Category Archives: About me/about blog

No One Said It Would Be Easy

I had an important epiphany last week: I’m going to go to Grad School to study Development Economics. I’m emotionally invested enough that I want to make a career out of it. Somehow, I don’t think that my current Bachelor’s will cut it, especially with my limited network and contacts. Hopefully, grad school will give me an edge with more research/knowledge, and more contact with people who are influential in this stuff.

As far as this blog is concerned, it may be on the back-burner for a while. I know that’s not particularly upsetting, since I don’t have a readership per se, but it’s kind of hard for me to accept.

My goals for the next year are:

1) Get into the best grad program I can for Economic Development by Fall 2009

2) Earn money, be financially independent, and invest for my future via IRA & 401k (compound interest now not later…)

3) Look for a mate whose company I enjoy and who will support and challenge me in my goals

That’s not to say I won’t be updating this blog or have anything to add about developing economies, but looking back over the last 2 weeks, those other goals are going to come first. Here’s to achieving your dreams!


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My name is Neil.

In addition to inspiring, educating, and holding accountable, I think I started this blog as a way to reconnect to my writing and to the issues surrounding the third world. In college, I frequently got paid (in grades) to write about the economic situations of developing countries. Now that I’m graduated and trying to start a career, there’s not as much opportunity or incentive to keep up with everything that used to matter so much to me. I’m hoping that this blog will change all that.

In between high school and college, I had the opportunity to spend 1 year in Bolivia with AFS Exchange Programs. I was a volunteer with Habitat For Humanity, and lived with a Bolivian host family. Living alongside poverty and NGOs dedicated to poverty relief certainly had a profound impact on me. I now feel that my life could be used to do so much more than simply making money and being concerned only with my self and my immediate family.

Trouble is, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to get anything done. Often, it seems like 90% of the responsibility and opportunity for development lies with the natives of a country, with outsiders lacking the insight or credibility to bring about change. As if that weren’t enough, living in the developed world has a lulling effect on even the most dedicated people – poverty, like anything else, is very much “out of sight, out of mind”. So the challenges are many…  but my experience has taught me that with great challenge comes great reward.

I’m by no means an expert in this field. However, I know some folks who are, and I know plenty of places to get interesting facts and news about development. My task, then: distill lots of information from credible sources, and present it to you in a clear and concise manner.


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Welcome to The Third World Monitor!

Hello, and welcome to The Third World Monitor. My name is Neil and I’ll be your host.

My intentions for this blog are as follows:

  1. To educate myself and others about what’s happening in developing countries
  2. To hold accountable governments and other actors to the Millennium Development Goals
  3. To inspire courage, collaboration, and dedication towards the problems of developing countries by focusing on the solutions and showcasing stories of success

…I think I’ll let all that sink in for a bit. This blog is definitely in its infancy–a few days ago, it was just an idea–and likely will be for a while. I have a lot of great ideas for things I’d like to see here, but it will take a lot of time and effort to implement them all.

My short term goal is – invest myself in this blog a little bit every day, and make it something I can be proud of.

Coming up next: who I am and why I care.

Feel free to drop a comment and introduce yourself!

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