In the fun and laughter of the festive season it is all too easy to forget that for many in the world there is no celebration. 

MSF’s Top Ten Humanitarian Crises of 2008.

via Global Recession Squeezes Honduran Scavengers – NAM

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Here in Honduras

September 18, 2008

We are here!  After 4 flights and 5 airports we crashed in a hotel in San Pedro Sula for a few days to recover.  We are now in Copan Ruinas, a beautiful little town near the Guatemala border whose claim to fame is some amazing Maya ruins.  We are not here for the ruins through, but so I can do some spanish study and attend a conference here.   I started the classes on Monday, and am already feeling far more confident.

Our little girl has settled in reasonably well.  She proved to be an incredible little traveller, pulling her wheelie bag through airports like a pro and sleeping on planes far more easily (and confortably) than any adult! She took a little while to settle in Honduras, the travel and new experiences were obviously exhausting for her, but she relaxed a lot once we arrived in Copan.

I thought I knew a lot about traveling but in the process of flying half-way around the world with a small child I have learned a few more, very important lessons:

-Always sort and organise clothing, toys and travel essentials BEFORE going shopping for a trip!

-Always check the seat numbers allocated before leaving the check-in desk at the airport.

-There’s nothing wrong with using disposable nappies for a few days- and they really are soooo convenient!

-A tip for ensuring good service- take along a super-cute toddler!  You get priority in (some) queues, offers of help with bags, extra snacks, and even US immigration officers may crack a smile.

-You can never pack too many snacks, but with some imagination anything can become a toy.

-It is worthwhile organising accommodation ahead of time, especially for the first few days.

-Traveling with a child can get expensive.  Staying in child-friendly accommodation and eating in “safe” places costs much more than the places we used to stay and eat!

-It’s worth it.  Exhausting, often stressful but definitely worthwhile to see her experience new things, and learn more about her fathers culture and homeland.

Just because I can

January 24, 2008

…and because I think this blog needs a little light and happiness.  Here is my gorgeous girl jumping in puddles and chasing bubbles during Garden’s Magic at Wellington Botanic gardens.

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Fresh Perspectives

November 29, 2007

Obviously I am not doing very well at posting on this blog at the moment-  with family, work, research proposals and another small writing project I have committed to, blogging has ended up way down the list of priorities.  However in order to keep some interest in this blog (both for me and for readers) I thought I would post a great link with some amazing photos.

Panos pictures is “a London-based independent photo agency representing photojournalists worldwide. Our photographers document issues and geographical areas which are under-reported, misrepresented or ignored. In a media climate dominated by celebrity and lifestyle Panos aims to provide fresh perspectives on the world.”

Here are a couple of photos from “Climate Wars”, a collection of photos from refugee camps in the Sudan.  A sad indictment on the state of our world- there are many heartbreaking pictures, yet here we still see joy in children’s faces.

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Gap For Kids By Kids

November 1, 2007

 Following on from my post yesterday- here’s the Onion News Networks’ take on the issue:

Every minute of every day, a woman still dies needlessly during pregnancy or childbirth, most in the developing world. Ten million women are still lost in every generation – our mothers and sisters, daughters and grandmothers, wives and partners, friends and neighbors. At the same time, 4 million newborn babies die every year, also from causes that are mainly preventable.

In this silent tragedy, huge disparities exist between rich and poor countries and between the rich and the poor in all countries. One in six Afghan women will die during pregnancy, compared to one in 2,500 in the United States and one in 29,800 in Sweden, according to 2000 figures from the World Health Organization – the greatest disparity in all the indicators WHO monitors.

Fully 42 percent of all pregnancies everywhere experience a complication during pregnancy and childbirth, and in 8 percent of all pregnancies, the complications are life-threatening. Survival rates depend upon the distance and time women must travel to get skilled medical care. Maternal mortality, defined as the death of a pregnant woman during her pregnancy or within 42 days of pregnancy termination, has dire consequences for the woman’s family, community and country.

Click here for more.

By Joanne Omang
From The Global Health Council

Honduran Children

August 13, 2007

Maybe it is because my daughter is one, but I have a very soft spot for Honduran children. My google reader has thrown up a few posts about them recently which I thought I’d share.

The bad news- the UN Children’s Rights Committee has “warned that thousands of Honduran children are growing up on the streets without access to health care and education, and forced to work or commit crimes in order to survive.”

Another UN report (co-written by the UN’s Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean and the children’s fund, Unicef) states that more than a third of children and teenagers in Latin America lack access to safe drinking water in their homes, with the worst affected being groups black and indigenous children, particularly in Nicaragua, Honduras and Bolivia.

The good news- “ministers from several Central American nations (including Honduras) are gathering to discuss child labor problems in their countries. … The goal of the meeting is to eradicate child labor in the region. The ministers also plan to create programs ensuring a more decent life for children.”

The heartwarmer- This photo gallery of children from Ciudad España in Honduras, photographed by Terry Rombeck. I find that beautiful pictures like this one below help restore some balance to all the bad news.

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Excuses

July 10, 2007

My apologies for the lack of posts lately, between a 2-year olds birthday and a particularly nasty cold I haven’t had much time or energy for blogging. A crashed hard drive didn’t much help either. However we are back online, and slowly feeling better so maybe things will be back to normal soon.

In the meantime here’s the happy birthday girl-

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Global Snippets 2

June 24, 2007

  • A tale of two towns“Two controlled, imagined communities symbolise the global disorder and social polarisation that marks the era of war on terror.” A fascinating but sobering account of two “towns” that illustrate the world of the twenty-first century.
  • Meanwhile satellite images document atrocities in real towns- at least what once was towns.
  • Child labour and the Olympics “…basic labor standards are being violated by four Chinese factories in particular that have been licensed to manufacture goods for the games. The group reported that workers as young as 12 are working 12-hour shifts or longer, seven days a week in unsafe conditions.”
  • Slow intervention could lead to increased child malnutrition in the south of Honduras- early 8,300 subsistence-producer families lost most of the harvest during the 2006/07 agriculture cycle in this region.