Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Oink! Hebron Haven piggy!

Oink! Hebron Haven piggy!
Originally uploaded by make_change.
Here is just a few of the country animals found this weekend during the Midlands Meander. The area's wide vast, agricultural fields, dairy cows chewing on patches of grass and horses running around in their fenced off playground. Of course you are reminded once in a while that you are still in South Africa with the odd zebra chewing among the cows or a little duiker fawn's horns perk up from the shrubs. The midlands look like the towns you would pull into through the Californian vineyards of Napa Valley, filled with their little trinket shops and cheese farms (we visited Swissland Cheese farm, goat cheese). A venture through the midlands also needs the necessary stop at the Swiss-German sausage place and the Austrian brewery called Nottingham Road? Interesting mix of coffee shops and European style pleasantries which again demonstrates all the different areas of South Africa. All was topped off to watch a bridge in a purple dress with a groom in a purple vest; whatever floats your boat, I suppose. Click on piggy for more photos.

On the assignment side, I just emailed my assignment on a poverty profile of Kwazulu-Natal analysing empirical data of this Kwazulu-Natal Income Dynamic Study (KIDS). Really practical exercise on trying to find the poverty measures for a sample of 362 households in this province who were surveyed in 1993, 1998 and 2004. Main thing I learned is that poverty is multi-dimensional and can't just look at low incomes to solve problems. It's important to look at those who are stuck in poverty (chronically poor), and those who move in and out of poverty (transitorily poor). The strategies to help both are very different. The other thing I learned about from this particular study is that the richest 10% of this group spent between 33-40% of all expenditures of all the people surveyed while the poorest 10% spent between 1-3%. Great exercise but back to the proposal writing!

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