Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Cable internet is the BOMB I tell you!

Praise be to having cable internet at home. Why did I fight it? Well... the cost for a start! But now we have CHEAP cable internet! Gold I tell you... Pure gold...

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Entry 7 – Listen to your heart

1. How does your intuition speak to you? List some hunches you've followed. What happened?

I get gut feelings. Sometimes I follow them, sometimes I don’t. In the past few years I have followed them and it has been for the best in most of the cases. Overall my gut is pretty on the mark. Most of my hunches are related to people's true personalities and people's true characters. I get gut feelings about people - occasionally they are wrong but most of the time I see people for who they really are regardless.

2. List the times you chose not to trust your instincts. Why didn't you? What happened?

I have made numerous decisions in my life that - given hindsight - I really should have done a lot differently. I didn't follow my instincts in these cases because I didn't have any faith in my decisions, my esteem was pretty low and my confidence to trust myself was pretty crap. I have always been a pretty confident person, but there is a big difference in being confident and having confidence in yourself. Its amazing who you can fool into thinking that you are an overly confident person when inside you don't have a drop of faith in yourself.

What happended? Life continued on, life passed me by, opportunities were missed and I got to the point I am today. Everything happens for a reason, to take you onto a new path and to show you new opportunities. Just because you missed one opportunity doe snot mean another isn't inside the next room.

3. Today I…

Since it is still bright and early I haven't done too much. I jumped out of bed at 5:45am, did a load of washing, had breakfast, watched some morning news on the TV, got the train to the city, did a weights class at the gym, did half a boxing class at the gym and then made my way to work for 8:45am. The day is laid out in front of me with only a massage at lunch time booked in.

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Monday, November 27, 2006

Expat pay absorbs aid to Cambodia

Expat pay absorbs aid to Cambodia
Mark Dodd - 27 Nov 06
The Australian

HUNDREDS of thousands of dollars of Australian aid is wasted on expatriate salaries and the running costs of big Cambodian-based international aid groups, hindering assistance to 40,000 landmine victims in the war-battered country.A country director for a prominent international charity typically receives a $250,000 package that includes a spacious villa, four-wheel-drive and schooling perks.

As much as 80 per cent of aid paid to international aid organisations based in Cambodia goes straight out again in the form of high expatriate salary packages and running costs, said Chris Minko, head of the Cambodian National Volleyball League for the Disabled.

He said AusAID's reluctance to directly fund non-Australian aid organisations in Cambodia had created major inefficiencies in the disbursement of funds.

The CNVLD is a well-respected Cambodian aid organisation audited annually by KPMG and recently given a UN best practice award.

In contrast to many of the big aid groups in Phnom Penh, the CNVLD relies on volunteers, has neither a flashy office nor even a four-wheel-drive and pays modest salaries to its staff, most of whom are Cambodians. Yet it has so far been unable to receive core funding from AusAID despite its highly commended programs for landmine victims.

An AusAID spokeswoman denied the wastage claims, but confirmed 12.5 per cent of total funding for landmine victim assistance was paid to the Australian Red Cross to cover disbursement costs, leaving 87.5 per cent for "a variety of NGOs that work directly with victims".

The Howard Government is providing about $8million to help Cambodian landmine victims over the next two years.

Mr Minko called for an audit of the agencies to track the distribution of aid funding. "About 80 per cent of aid money coming into Cambodia goes straight out again as it covers expatriate and adviser costs and that has been going on for a long time," he said.

His claims are backed by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has questioned the value of large expatriate-run aid agencies based in Cambodia.

While acknowledging the key role of aid groups in helping the war-battered country out of its economic morass in the early 1990s, the International Monetary Fund is also questioning the value of foreign aid in Cambodia.

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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Turkey Day

To all my northern hemisphere friends - happy turkey day to you and your family. Everyone I know has an awful lot ot be thankful for so I hope your day is very special.

On the other hand... I will be spending my Thanksgiving night flat on my back as result of being too ambitious at the gym yesterday. I have damaged my muscles in my hip and cannot bend without pretty bad pain. I got a massage to help heal, however I now have pain from the deep tissue massage as well as the hip... Crap! But it appears to be on the mend - either that or the drugs have finally kicked in.

I really have to get back into my blog again. I have officially finished my work travel for the year and I am looking forward to some serious down time come Christmas. Only one month to go!

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Thursday, November 02, 2006

A funny pic of Mark's new facial fuzz.

Funniest photo of Mark ever! This is what happens when someone has way to much exam stress combined with severe procrastination. The beard was a little too much. The mou was formed earlier this week from the beard. I love it and I am encouraging it to stay for a little while longer. I like having a 1970's porn star for a boyfriend. So funny. We need porn star names for him now!

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