Two days ago, someone on my G+ timeline published a post and some photos of a stray dog they had found earlier on Wednesday morning – with a limping leg. A quick visit at a veterinary clinic revealed that the dog has a broken leg and urgently needs some surgery. Expected costs: 500-600 EUR.


So we were asked for donations and I did that, donated a small amount (via Paypal). You can do the same if you’d like to and can afford it.

Now, the person behind this G+ post lives in Spain, is probably German with Spanish roots and I’ve never met him. So why should I donate anything to a foreigner I’ve never seen “in real life”?

In February 2010, I posted this item called “offline/online” on my blog, asking my readers: “how important is it to meet offline? Does it change anything? Would you continue working with your online contacts if you were to meet them offline?”

When we told this story to my (probable :-) father-in-law, his first reaction was: “…but you don’t know him! Maybe he’s trying to con you?”. I am sure my sister and my mother would react in the very same way.

Eh, if you grew up in Nairobi, you’re used to folks trying to con you. Or trying to milk your pocket just bcs you live in a bigger house.

And still I gave some of my hard earned money to a stranger. For me, this time it’s not (only) a matter of sharing or giving because you can or because I felt sorry for the dog, but to prove that even these pure online connections matter as much as meeting somone offline. I am following this user on G+ for some time now, read his posts and that’s enough reason to trust someone. For me, that is.

Someone else from the German blogosphere even wrote that “this is how Social Media works”. Amazingly true. A network purely based on trust. Some things will never change, and while these “trust” networks obviously work in other cultures (Dabbawalla in India or Hawala in Somalia), this Christian part of Europe is still having problems with this modern form of trust. But why?

(I just realized that “Tumaini” is a recurring issue and post title on my blog :-)

Author: jke

Hi, I am an engineer who freelances in water & sanitation-related IT projects at Saniblog.org. You'll also find me on Twitter @jke and Instagram.

One thought on “Tumaini”

  1. Thank you very much for the blogpost!
    Just one thing I wanted to emphasize… I do speak (and write) german quite well and yes my father is indeed german, while my mother is spanish… I was even born in Germany but I consider myself being spanish. Ok that is strange, I know, because most of us are absolutely unable to speak or write proper english… consider me as an exception. ;)

    The normal situation is that more people know me than I know… this is because I brought the #spanishrevolution to german media and it seems that a lot of people kept my name… no idea why. I am not that wellknown… far away of being a “celeb” or something comparable. But it happens that I meet people in real life that remember my voice, or my name or something I said in one of the many many interviews I gave when the media started covering what was going on in spain in Mai/June.

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