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Seattle to Lusaka: Cognative Dissonance

Posted on | May 14, 2012 | No Comments

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I returned from Zambia barely 48 hours ago.
I’m happy to be home with my family.
I enjoyed being fussed by my boys on Mother’s Day.
But.
Today I’m back at work. My stomach is tied in knots and I’m nauseous.
I work for Google. I like working for Google. I usually enjoy what I do. I work with great, smart, fun people.
But.
(I knew I’d feel like this).
It’s hard to care about online advertising after spending a week learning about literacy programs in Zambia.
Zambia is home to 12 million people and had a GDP of US$21 Billion in 2011. Per-capita GDP is $1,600.
I saw and experienced that poverty first-hand every day last week.
Google employs about 32,000 people and made US$37 Billion in 2011.
I feel extreme cognative dissonance today. To work and be productive is good. To help people in a developing country is good. To experience such extremes of how people live and work in such a short time is really, really hard.

My trip to Zambia to visit the libraries built by Passports with Purpose in 2011 is sponsored by Expedia.

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