First New Job Task: Take Hardtail to Lusaka

2023 > Zambia

Mountain bike shipped to Lusaka

This week, I started a new job. I’ve traded the private sector profit of Deloitte for the public sector promise of the US Government. I am now the Senior Digital Development Advisor for USAID/Zambia, working from the Mission in Lusaka, and when not here, from my home in Chapel Hill.

My aim is to increase technology policy, investment, and entrepreneurship opportunities that expand Zambia’s open, inclusive, and democratic digital ecosystem.

Digital Development Advising

I remember years ago, when Priya asked me about the Digital Development Advisor role at USAID. How it should be defined, what it would do, and the benefits it could bring to USAID Missions around the world. At the time, I thought it a dream job for ICT4D experts, but I never thought I’d be in the role myself.

Most DDAs are what USAID calls, “host country nationals” – citizens of the country in which that USAID Mission is working. There are a few US citizens in DDA roles, though they typically live in the country full time. I met one in Georgia a few years ago, a friend of mine, and I was crazy jealous of his role.

However, since I promised Amy that’s we’d not move the family again after our Philippines misadventure, I never expected to be a DDA myself. Then the Zambia Mission sought a US citizen to be their DDA and they welcomed a hybrid work arrangement. So here I am, living the dream in Lusaka and Chapel Hill.

Hard Tailing Lusaka

Since I will never run again, I need something to fill my off hours with excitement and exertion. I’ve now imported my endorphin religion of mountain biking with a new hardtail, bought and shipped here specifically to ride XXXX trails every weekend.

Yes, it is crazy expensive to be a mountain biker when you travel, when compared to my running past. I do miss the effortlessness of a quick jog between flights or around town. Yet, I must accept my age (don’t ask!) and my body as it is today, not in my misspent youth. I can still miss my full suspension bike in Chapel Hill. Wow! There is sure a difference between front and full shocks on mountain bikes.

If you know of good people or great trails in Zambia, let me know! I’ll be here enough that I’ll want paths taken and not to challenge myself and regain my youthful vigor.

3 Comments on “First New Job Task: Take Hardtail to Lusaka

  1. Welcome, Wayan!
    I moved here in ’21 and loving it thus far. I’m you’ll love it too.

  2. Congrats on the new gig! Reading your post brought back a lot of memories of the week I spent in Lusaka back in early 2013. Mike Lee from D.C. had connected me with the Lubuto Library Partners ( and he and I each spent about a week in Lusaka giving workshops about XOs, Scratch, etc. in the libraries.

    Have a great time whenever you’re there and have some Nshima and a cold Mosi for me. 🙂