Planning / doing / reviewing

11 days ago, Friday June 2nd 2023, was when I decided to review my previous summer plan, and change it completely around. Based on a strong feeling, I knew that I needed to go far outside my comfort zone; I needed to travel to Tanzania. I wrote about that here.

I have never been on the African continent, and I am in my process now of getting small glimpses into it, glimpses into the continent, through Tanzania as my first gate. First, but not last.

I know that the trip will be a new experience. That is a given. My first trip to India, sometime in my future, will also be a new experience, to put it mildly. But I also know that somewhere in this new horizon, and new experience, there will also be a new set of PDR – Planning / Doing / Reviewing. Old concepts and assumptions may crumble. Old views of what an African society is like may crumble. Or it may be confirmed. Confirmed in my eyes, that is.

I have not blogged so much lately. That may change when I get there on June 30th, but it may also continue. In either case, I will try to plan ever smaller challenges for myself to dive into.

But I now know that I will also go to Mbeya. I will avoid Arusha and other safari-loaded places. I may stay in Mbeya for 10 days or so during my time in Tanzania. The Mbeya region has 1.7 million inhabitants. Who are they? What are their dreams, hopes, fears, nightmares? What do they aim for in their society? What is the future of this city, this region, this part of the country?

I leave for Tanzania on Thursday June 29th. It is now June 13th. I will be leaving in 16 days. It feels so wonderful.

But in the meantime: A ton of work. And I will do what I can do plan/do/review. But in small cycles. Iterative movements.

(process video)


In 2007, during VlogEurope in Heidelberg, I organized an event. The participants would be given a certain timeframe, and they would get a card each from the Oblique Strategies (Wikipedia). The task was to create a videoblog entry with the theme from the card.

My card was this one:

A card from the “Oblique strategies”: “Define an area as ‘safe’ and use it as an anchor”

I remember that when I pulled this card from the pack, and it was my card for the time… This really struck me, almost like a lightning.

The point is:

You define an area as ‘safe’ – whether it actually is safe or not.

Then you use that area as your anchor, and from that anchor you can build further.

The message in this card has been with me ever since, and I often do it, in all kinds of situations and contexts. I conceptually define a “safe spot”, and then I use that spot as my anchor.

Now that I am not going across Europe for my summer vacation, but instead going to Tanzania, I am also doing this – looking for safe spots, that I can use as anchors.

One very concrete example. I use a focal point in the map: Nafari Art Space (GMaps / Website). The ethos of this place seems just right for me, and I decide to look at areas around that. Perhaps that space can be a “safe spot”, that I can return to often. Hang around. And from that space, I can circle myself out, seeking out other anchors. And as time goes, I will have several anchors in the city.

This is how my map of Dar es Salaam looks now:

GMaps of Dar es Salaam, with my pins as of June 5th 2023.

As the month of July progresses this year, I will have more and more pins, and they will have specific categories, as well as notes. They are not public, so it is just in my view, but they are important as part of my processing of the event.

Defining. Using the anchor. Using the anchors. Switching the anchors. Finding my own rhytm.


A new direction

My plans for this summer vacation has changed.

My first version of the summer vacation plans was: Amsterdam, Brussels, Warsaw, Krakow, Milan, lake Como area, and finally back home to Oslo. Three weeks solo travel.

My second version of the summer vacation plan was: Amsterdam, Brussels. Warsaw, Krakow, eastern Czech Republic, back home.

But yesterday night, during a conversation at the summer party at work, I decided on the spot to change my summer vacation plans completely.

I will instead go to Tanzania for the entire summer vacation.

It is linked to several things, basically.

Mostly, it is linked to my wish to get first-hand experience on the ground in an African country. How can I do my job properly as leader of the expert group for IT and digitalization at Engineers Without Borders Norway if I do not have any field experience?

Also, this summer, when I have my summer vacation, I would feel better if my vacation is conceptually linked to something larger. And if I now spend 4 weeks in Tanzania in this summer, both to relax and recharge my batteries, as well as doing field trips, and talking with locals, questions related to Their life, their situation, their hopes, dreams, opportunities; I will feel better afterwards.

Also, I have the intuitive feeling that this trip will mark a new direction for me. The trip marks, cements, my dedication to a new urge to challenge my comfort zone. To see new things. To find new threads.

To weave with new threads. Weave the next phase of my life with new threads, and based on new designs.

Of course, this sudden change in my summer vacation plans has consequences, including economically. But I will now start to conceptualize ways I can apply for funds for my field trip this summer. And I will also find/invent new threads related to this that will aid me in this process.

I will begin by talking about the trip with others, and ask for feedback. I will explore the Existing links, and seek new ones. The links are the threads; while the…

Let me explain my weaving process.

Data points are of several types: Facts, intuition, emotions, analysis.

Threads are of several types: Cognitive links, emotional links, intuitive links.

My weaving is combinations of these elements; an interplay between them. My instrument for the actual weaving is myself, in all my aspects.

I create internal «heat maps» as a part of my process. I scan my field of vision, which as I mentioned includes different sources and processes. And in this scan, I have started to use my intuition as my «sensor» much more often. I look at the picture, the field, the different elements with my intuitive sensory system. I reach deep inside myself, within seconds or hours, and I see the heat map-like. I see it visually with my mind.

Image by DALL-E 2, prompt by author

So, «heat map» is an image of my mental processes, just like the «litmus test» is another.

And I listen to the results of my heat map view.

Yesterday, I did a scan, in the middle of my talk with the other person. It took 2-3 seconds. The scan revealed this new heat map, where there was the huge red/orange new spot, it almost blinded me. It said: «Skip Europe this summer. Go to Tanzania. Go to Dar es Salaam.»

So, in a month, on July 3rd, 2023, I will be in Dar es Salaam. I will write about this process under the tag «Tanzania 2023».

Summer party – expectations

I try to remember when I started loathing the “mandatory” summer parties or Christmas parties at work. But it must be many years ago; I don’t even remember when.

Tonight, there is a summer party at work. Again. My expectation is to be bored to death. Not because I don’t have good colleagues; I enjoy being with them. But because the Setting is so unsettling for me. I simply do not enjoy those kinds of events.

My expectation is 3/6. A three out of six score. I will leave just after the dessert; after the food is done. But I actually believe that I should just listen to my own needs more, and just avoid them.

Joining OpenStreetMap

As a part of my EWB Norway ramp-up, I have agreed to get involved with their Missing Maps initiative, in one way or another.

Today, I joined as participant on my first “mapathon”, and here is the result – my “cell” that I marked with buildings. It is part of this project, and I hope to do a lot more mapping in this part of Malawi (GMaps).

Here is my OpenStreetMap user that I created today, and this is my diary there; just starting out.

I will first do my best to become an experienced mapper the next days in my spare time, and then later on get involved in the mapping community. My goal is to with time organize a mapathon here in Norway.

As always: One step at the time. Iterative processes.

(process video)