Joshua Berman (Nicaragua 1998-2000) is a freelance writer, Spanish teacher, and dad, based in Boulder, Colorado. He is the author of four Avalon Travel guidebooks; his articles have appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, Yoga Journal, and National Geographic Traveler; and he has a monthly column in the Denver Post. Josh also won the Peace Corps Writers Book Award for his travel book on Nicaragua in 2006. He is married to an RPCV, Sutay Kunda Berman (Gambia 1996-98).
His first narrative travel book, Crocodile Love, is a collection of tales from his honeymoon to Pakistan, India, Ghana, and The Gambia. In 2005, the married couple quit everything and flew to Pakistan to begin an open-ended trip together. They didn’t need wedding gifts, they needed shared experiences, preferably toilsome, scary, and rewarding ones in strange, faraway places. Crocodile Love: Tales From An Extended Honeymoon is the story of that journey.
The book is divided into four parts:
Pakistan, where they sought surviving colleagues, writings, and plant specimens of his wife’s great grandfather, Dr. Ralph Stewart, an esteemed botanist. India, where they conducted a malnutrition survey of tea workers as participants in the American Jewish World Service Volunteer Corps, living with a Bengali translators in a cramped apartment for 3 months. Ghana, where they were based in the crusty, seaside capital of Accra, working for the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana while plotting their next move up the Gold Coast. The Gambia, where they arrived, unannounced at his wife’s Peace Corps village, eight years after she’d departed; and where Josh was compelled to buy and slaughter a goat in honor of their visit.
AJWS Volunteer Corps:3-month assignment in Birpara, India
Josh is now seeking funding for his book.
His website is: joshuaberman.net
Or go to Kickstarter and search for Crocodile Love: http://www.kickstarter.com/
What is Kickstarter?
Seven Things to Know about Kickstarter
1. Kickstarter is a new way to fund creative projects.
We’re a home for everything from films, games, and music to art, design, and technology. Kickstarter is full of projects, big and small, that are brought to life through the direct support of people like you. Since our launch in 2009, 4.8 million people have pledged $790 million, funding 48,000 creative projects. Thousands of creative projects are raising funds on Kickstarter right now.
2. Each project is independently created.
The filmmakers, musicians, artists, and designers you see on Kickstarter have complete control over and responsibility for their projects. Kickstarter is a platform and a resource; we’re not involved in the development of the projects themselves. Anyone can launch a project on Kickstarter as long as it meets our guidelines.
3. Together, creators and backers make projects happen.
Project creators set a funding goal and deadline. If people like a project, they can pledge money to make it happen. Funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing – projects must reach their funding goals to receive any money. All-or-nothing funding might seem scary, but it’s amazingly effective in creating momentum and rallying people around an idea. To date, an impressive 44% of projects have reached their funding goals.
4. Creators keep 100% ownership of their work.
Backers are supporting projects to help them come to life, not to profit financially. Instead, project creators offer rewards to thank backers for their support. Backers of an effort to make a book or film, for example, often get a copy of the finished work. A bigger pledge to a film project might get you into the premiere – or a private screening for you and your friends. One artist raised funds to create a wall installation, then gave pieces of it to her backers when the exhibit ended.
5. Creative works were funded this way for centuries.
Mozart, Beethoven, Whitman, Twain, and other artists funded works in similar ways – not just with help from large patrons, but by soliciting money from smaller patrons, often called subscribers. In return for their support, these subscribers might have received an early copy or special edition of the work. Kickstarter is an extension of this model, turbocharged by the web.
6. Backing a project is more than just giving someone money.
It’s supporting their dream to create something that they want to see exist in the world. People rally around their friends’ projects, fans support people they admire, and others simply come to Kickstarter to be inspired by new ideas. Some projects take longer than anticipated, but creators who are transparent about issues and delays usually find their backers to be understanding.
7. Our mission is to help bring creative projects to life.
We’re a for-profit company based in New York City’s Lower East Side. We spend our time making Kickstarter a little bit better every day, answering questions from backers and creators, and finding new projects to share. If a project is successfully funded, we apply a 5% fee to the funds collected.
We believe that creative projects make for a better world, and we’re thrilled to help support new ones. Building a community of backers around an idea is an amazing way to make something new.