Posts filed under ‘Dadaab’

Relaxation….

I will be heading off today for a week in the sun. I have packed many books but no laptop or iPad, I will be techno-free. There is no doubt that I will miss my virtual life, I am very fond of it. I admit my techo-addiction, I am currently logged into Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus. I am not sure what this makes me, I wonder what those who only inhabit the real world think of people like me. There are many of us out there, we live a mix of real and virtual and love both. I also find my online world informative and laugh-out-loud funny. People also aren’t afraid to challenge each other on beliefs, politics and the best sauce for a bacon butty (brown since you ask).

One other thing that my social media roundabout does is make me think. When we read and watch the news it tends towards the dark and dire but I do get balance from the kindness I see generated on social media. Yes, there are arguments but if you have a bad day someone will always try to cheer you up and send you ((hugs)). There are many good people out there who send out support for charities, raise money and think of new and inventive ways to raise awareness for their favourite causes. This I will miss, I think those who believe social media is only a tool for cruelty and arranging riots would do well to browse a little and see for themselves.

So, I am looking forward to a rest with no work, driving, cooking or cleaning. I will miss my virtual life but I think it can stand a week without my company. I will read and watch news when I am away, one thing I will not give up at any time. I want to see what is happening in the Horn of Africa and the progress towards peace in Tripoli. I am aware of the irony that I seek the sun while those in Africa pray for rain.

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are old enough.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading.

Lesley

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August 28, 2011 at 11:36 am 2 comments

What is News Exactly? Happy Resting Mr Jobs?

I am, as I like to every morning, watching the news. I watch the news as I have my coffee to have some awareness of what is happening in the world. I confess that I don’t read a newspaper every day. I sometimes feel a bit guilty about that as I know this means I only ‘skim’ over the news stories.

I am on a few days off so today I am having coffee, watching the news, tweeting (naturally!) and checking out a couple of news websites. I default to the BBC but will also look at few others.

So, the BBC, what is your website offering me today? Top stories of the day on the Home page:-

  • Rebels appeal for Gaddafi capture
  • Steve Jobs quits as Apple chief
  • GCSE students poised for results. (Good luck everyone).
  • Police could have stopped riots (will read that one later)
  • UN warns on 12 million stateless people
  • US-bound Hurricane Irene swells
  • Man in custody over Jersey stab deaths
  • Riot summit for social networks (will read this one too!)
  • Google pays $500m in drug ad row
  • Savings ‘needed’ in Scotland

I then move to the Africa page on the BBC website and find:-

  • Rebels appeal for Gaddafi capture
  • UN warning over 12 million stateless people
  • Africa heads to pledge famine aid
  • ICC accused Kenya Minister sacked
  • Zimbabwe VP calls for death probe

Now I roam to the Guardian and the Independent. I do not subscribe to any news feeds so will not be covering the Times.

The Guardian has Gaddafi and Steve Jobs as their headliners. Then follows ‘Twitter Study creates Riot Plan Doubt’ and one I will definitely read later – ‘UK in Tax Evasion Deal with Swiss’. One interesting headline on the Home Page is Germany Mourns King of Comedy with the sub-heading ‘Death of Loriot, man who taught Germans to laugh, knocks the battle for Tripoli off the front pages’. An interesting headline that I think will get many readers…

Lastly, I pick the Independent. I pick this on purpose as the Independent is well-known for taking a slightly different tack on the stories of the day. They lead with Tripoli, the headline ‘Terror as Loyalists Fight to the Death’. Then follows Steve Jobs and his resignation. The next two headlines are ones I will read later – ‘Revealed : Climate Quirk that Doubles Risk of War’ and ‘Disaster Looms over addiction to Painkillers’. To pique your interest in the climate quirk story I give you the first paragraph:-

“Wars and civil conflicts are twice as likely to occur during years affected by the El Niño climate-warming phenomenon, a study suggests. The naturally recurring weather system, which boosts temperatures and cuts rainfall over a broad swath of the globe every three to seven years, doubles the risk of civil wars across many countries in the tropics, shows a remarkable statistical analysis by American scientists.”

I can’t decide whether this is a story that links the ‘mysterious’ powers of weather to people and how they behave or you can get a good story from statistics? I will read it later and see but I suspect a little bit of the latter?

I find it interesting that Steve Jobs resignation has made world headlines. Yes, I do know who he is and what he has done for Apple. Apple are one of the few companies who went from success to almost belly up to instant global recognition. You may disagree with my last statement but in business lore and beyond Jobs is famous for bucking trends, be it management style (micro since you ask) or taking a company on the ropes and making it a contender. I applaud him for his successes and wish him well as he struggles with his health.

But now to the point of this blog. Did you notice anything? Was there something conspicuous by its absence? My gast is flabbered. Why was there only one story on the famine in all of those headlines above? Why is it not front page every day? Why, why, why?

Any regular readers know why I do this blog, I want you, yes you, to donate to a children’s charity and then write to me about it. I try not to dictate to anyone which charity they should choose, that is not my place. I understand how some people feel about charities; there are some out there where the revenue percentage that goes to their stated cause is both abysmal and, to my mind, criminal. However, there are well-established charities out there who are open with their accounting methods and spending patterns, surely you can consider them?

In the Horn of Africa right now there are tens of thousands of people at risk of starvation and death. There are hundreds of thousands of people who have lived in the refugee camps for many years as they literally have nowhere else to go. With the arrival of hundreds more every day the fragile infrastructure creaks a little more; how much more can it take I wonder? Many new people arrive simply to die, they have used their last vestiges of strength to get there and have nothing left, even when given help, to recover. This is horrific.

Please consider helping an organisation that will help those suffering in the drought and famine in Africa, please……

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are old enough.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading.

Lesley

August 25, 2011 at 10:38 am Leave a comment

Imagine.

Today was and still is Monday. After a couple of domestic disasters last week, exploding shower causing flooding in the kitchen, I felt that the weekend had been far too short. I woke this morning and wanted to just turn over and dream for a little longer. Needless to say I got up and went to work.

It was that kind of day though. You know the kind I mean? I did all the things I needed to and prepared for a busy today tomorrow. I then came home and was, quite simply, grumpy and tired. It took me ages to gee myself up to do a few bits and bobs round the house.

Then I did what I do every day at the moment. I went to the BBC news site for Africa.If you ever want to stop a pity-party then that is the cure. They say if you want to understand someone else’s life then walk a mile in their shoes, I will briefly try.

My alarm wakens me in the morning. My family are all sleeping peacefully at this time, just after 6am. I like to lie there for a minute or two and listen to the birds singing in the trees behind my house. I then quietly slip out of bed. I have about 40 minutes of precious time on my own to shower and get ready. It really is one of my favourite parts of the day once I have recovered from the shock of waking. I love the quiet, no talking, just me and my thoughts.

So, if I was a mother in Dadaab, what would my morning be like? The heat would start to rise as dawn breaks and the noise starts to build. The smell I imagine would be harsh, a camp built for less than 100,000 people with over 300,000 in place would struggle with sanitation; it would have to be extended and extended to cope with the numbers. Thoughts of disease such as cholera and diarrhoea would then strike you, how to protect your children from this? I imagine that would be a constant thread of fear in my head.

But the worst part I can imagine? The sounds of children. Hungry and distressed babies have a very unique cry, it sounds hoarse and from the back of the throat. I know the sound from when my children were ill for, thankfully, short periods. It is the most heart-rending sound I know, guttural and primal. You know the sound I mean.

Next time I want to have myself a pity-party I will remind myself of this post.

I close with this:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are old enough.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading.

Lesley

August 1, 2011 at 10:55 pm 4 comments


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