Blog Archives


launch pic & quote copy


We’re proudly working with the Headington Institute to help them continue to provide excellent care and support to aid workers when they need it most. To this end, Chasing Misery contributors are donating at least 10% of the book’s royalties to Headington. Their President and Cofounder just sent us this very kind response:

“Thank you for designating a portion of the book royalties to the Headington Institute.  We are stunned by this act of generosity and support.  The encouragement this gives us is hard to put into words.  We are so very grateful to you and your colleagues.  
May this book comfort and empower women throughout the aid world, while causing us all to join together to bring needed change.”  
Best wishes,
James D. Guy, Ph.D.
President & Cofounder
Headington Institute



One of the reasons we thought that Chasing Misery would be an important book to publish was that not enough attention has been paid to the psycho-social issues that women in aid work face either while they continue to do their work or after they return home. A number of essays in the book reflect on these issues as the essayists share their own struggles with depression, fear, and guilt.

Today, in the Guardian an article has been published highlighting this very topic called, Aid workers and post-traumatic stress disorder. This article explains clearly explains the battle and guilt that some aid workers face.

We’re working with Headington Institute (also mentioned in the article) to help develop resources specifically for women working in aid work. To this end, 10% of any royalties will go to Headington to help them in their important work!


Thoughts on an advance copy of Chasing Misery by contributor Kati Woronka. Click here for the full blog post.

But reading the essays is bringing a lot of memories to life. I’ve worked in many places, difficult places, fun places. I’ve lived in so many countries that I might consider “the most beautiful place on earth” that I would be at a complete loss to choose a winner. None of them are anyone’s top-ten-tourist destination list (unless that someone was an aid worker, or a bit crazy)… Competing for top ranks include Timor Leste, Kosovo, Syria, Darfur. I’ve woken up to mountain landscapes, and ended my days to sunsets that snatch my breath away. And each of those precious moments was all the more precious because I felt so privileged to be there. Not everyone gets to live in the Balkan Mountains or in Southeast Asian rice fields. I could do it because of how awful life was in those places.

I saw evil. Always it was at arm’s length, never did it invade my personal space. But it was always just an arm’s reach away. Genuine, perverse, pure, nasty evil. Hatred, abuse, torture, disdain for humanity – these took the shape of a wide array of expressions which were nothing if not evil.

And all this darkness made the natural beauty of the places where I lived all the more beautiful.

Now, I know there’s plenty of evil surrounding me here in cozy little London. Evil is far from the sole property of the developing world and conflict zones. But it was most certainly more in – your – face.

And after a day of talking to people who have suffered, writing reports about poverty, witnessing injustice in everyday encounters, the grandeur of the desert would fill me with a sense of awe that will never be matched in London, where life is just a tad more respectable.



Attention everyone out there in ‘the field’ in need of a bit of a de-stress. Now there’s yoga just for you…



I love this picture! We’re now moving along to try #24. As you’ve probably seen we didn’t quite reach our Kickstarter funding. What does that mean? Well, for every grey cloud there’s a silver lining. What we realised in watching the funding come in is that we know most of you and most of you know us. Why are we paying 5% to Amazon and 5% to Kickstarter when you can help fund this without taking that cut? Moreover, a lot of that $11,000-odd budget was to cover things like postage and prizes that we might/might not have had to ship.

So, our Plan B is this. There’s a number of ways that you can help support this still…

1. If you know me personally and think I’m a reasonably safe bet you can send me your support through paypal. Click here to use your paypal or credit card.

2. If you’d rather send a cheque, wire transfer, or credit card details and we can process whatever amount you would like to contribute.

3. We’re going to put up a new funding project on in coming days. This website is like Kickstarter but they let you keep proceeds even if you don’t reach your goal. (Taking a 9% cut if you don’t and a 4% cut if you do).

Any way you choose, once you’re on a contributor list we’ll still send you the prizes that were listed on Kickstarter as well as sending you the budget and keep you informed of how we’re spending the money for accountability purposes.

If you didn’t get a chance to kick in on Kickstarter and want to be a supporter (uhhh, I’m lookin’ at you DAD!!) then send me an email and we’ll get you on board!

Sound like a plan? Right! Go!


From the lyrics of another fabulous red-head in the musical, Annie. “Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow! You’re only a daaaay, aaaaa-way!”

Tomorrow’s the 30th of March and the deadline for essay submissions. Thanks to everyone who’s sent in their great submissions so far. And looking forward to seeing what the rest of you will be sending along!