La Mesa Life, Cyclone Idai, & Daoud Nabi


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Don’t measure your life by ‘fearlessness’ but by your willingness to walk into the fear and love anyway.

–Jeremy Courtney

Daoud Nabi’s peace-filled, compassionate smile says it all.


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What’s going on, errybpdy? It’s been a little bit so let’s share another intro!

📿 Nonprofit marketing is my main gig. I work as a branding/creative/marketing guy for social impact organizations, chiefly, @plantwpurpose. I was led this way by a love for international travel and a love for stories that get people to care about things that matter.

🔥Lately, my life has looked like putting out a bunch of fires- which has made me put some of my bigger projects on the back burner. Having a wife with a fractured leg and needing to move twice in two months will do that to ya! Weirdly, it’s a challenge I appreciate having the chance to take on.

🗣Giving talks and leading workshops are some of my favorite things to do. In school I loved that most people hated public speaking because in group projects I could easily play the role of spokesperson. I haven’t been doing as much of this as I’d typically like, but that’s something I’m hoping to focus more on in the near future!


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About time to round up everybody again.


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Bravery is playing scared.

Every now and then you meet some people who absolutely seem to embody bravery. They go into darkness and bring light. They walk into scary places resolved to do what they know they need to.

But if you take a closer look, you’ll notice something else.

They aren’t actually fearless. They’re just choosing to press on despite knowing what could go wrong.

I think we’re living in an extremely fear oriented time, and that it’ll take bravery to set some things right. I also think that on a personal level, it’s hard to live a great story without taking a brave action that goes against the odds and away from comfort. If you want an impactful life, you gotta be bold.

The good news is this: even if you don’t think of yourself as a bold person, even if you feel anxious or nervous about all kinds of things, there’s room for you to be brave too. The bravest people are also worried. They just know what they need to do anyways.


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The life expectancy for poorer neighborhoods in Philadelphia is twenty years shorter than it is in the city’s more affluent areas. There’s a similar trend in Atlanta, St. Louis, Chicago, and just about every major American city.

I’ve seen the strong correlation between GDP and life expectancy when looking at a chart of different countries. It shouldn’t be a big surprise when the same trend holds true for urban US neighborhoods.

Good hospitals, doctors, and insurance are important, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Access to good food, safe housing, reliable transportation, employment, and other factors all contribute to a community’s health.

I really appreciated this read. Such an important and really insightful way to connect the dots between poverty and health.


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People are stuck in trees after Cyclone Idai brought massive floods into Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Malawi. Many think it was the deadliest storm to ever hit the Southern Hemisphere, and the underreporting of it feels unjust.

Luis Bernardo is a 26-year-old fisherman from Mozambique who has been using his fishing boat to make rescues. A single round trip takes him six hours but so far he has saved about 20 people. (Story from @careorg)

After disasters, people like Luis get it done. That’s why I’m quite partial to orgs that are locally led. Here are a couple that work in places affected by #Idai

🇿🇼 MeDRA ( is a locally owned organization that aims for long term sustainability. They take a spiritual approach to development.

🇲🇿 AMODEFA ( works in Mozambique, primarily in response to HIV and sexual health.

Relief work after a disaster is important and urgent, but so is building resilience against another one. Approaches that deal with root causes are my fave.


La Mesa’s been an interesting spot to live, at least for the short little time we’ve been here. I do have a few favorites in the neighborhood, in case you were wondering:

🥗 Farmer’s Table is one of my favorite restaurants in San Diego, period. It isn’t cheap, but you get what you pay for since they source the best ingredients. I ordered a grilled octopus dish there last week that made me crave octopus for like a week straight afterwards.

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Fourpenny House is the coolest little Scottish Alehouse in town. You’re lucky if your city has a single Scottish joint, and that makes La Mesa one of the lucky ones. Their lamb stew and fish & chips are fantastic, and I’m a huge fan of the Scottish ale they brew in house.

📚 Maxwell’s House of Books is always a good spot to go on a treasure hunt for your next read. There’s something so fun about a used bookstore.

🌮 I associate Bo + Beau with Ocean Beach and City Tacos with North Park. But they are two of my favorite San Diego restaurants and they both have locations out in La Mesa. So that’s good news!

Also, all these things are like a five minute walk from each other. So even more bonus points for that.

Philippe Lazaro