Ms Chocaholic with lots of opinions and an attitude

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

My 18months in review......

Following on from the year 2006 in review post...I thought Id make a distinction between what happened around the world, opposed to what happened specifically in my life for the year 2006. Then I started to think back on events, and realised that I couldnt mention my life in 2006 without going back a little further into 2005. Hence the 18months review instead....
so here goes:

Jul/ August 2005: My first ever trip to Europe. Italy, Austria and Germany
August 2005: Returned home to find out that Dad has colon cancer in addition to his heart condition
August 2005: Met a new friend at the conference on Poverty Eradication
September 2005:
October 2005: Weekend at a friend's place, continuing into a week spent with my friend.
29 October 2005: Returned home from Kuala Lumpur
31 October 2005: very early Monday morning Dad died.

Jan - Apr 2006: Monthly work trips to Malaysia
Mar - Apr 2006: Online course on Liberalism and Human Rights
Apr 2006: Official end of the EU Malaysia project on Women Empowerment / end of my time with Malaysia team of FNF (including Malaysia web editorial)
May 2006: Financial reporting for the EU project / Official start in my new capacity at Regional team of FNF
late May 2006: Mom has a little accident, an operation on her right ankle. flew to Hatyai and spent weekend in hospital with her. (had me really worried!)
early June 2006: External Audit of EU project
mid June 2006: finished writing for my first ever book!!! (might also be my only?)
23 June 2006: Julie dies....just a day before my flight to Germany. She was 20.5 years old.
late June - early July 2006: Liberalism and Human rights course in Gummersbach, germany
July 2006: watched the finals of the world cup on TV in Cologne (game in Berlin)
July 2006: sneaked in a week off to Amsterdam, Zandaam and Brussels. (managed to meet up with Bonne in Holland, Eva, Anna and Jules in Brussels)
July 2006: finally start the work on Regional team
September 2006: Organised my first EFN Asia conference in Kuala Lumpur
September 2006: trip to Cambodia (my first time)
November 2006: trip to Manila (also a first), presented a case study at a workshop organised by FNF
December 2006: Lily visits from US
December 2006: trip to Jakarta (another first, although not first time to Indonesia)
December 2006: Christmas in Bali with bank. met Jochen, Kai and Isabell
December 2006: Medical Clinic trip to Maesod with Virg and the volunteers from GAIN (Global Aid Network, Australia)
31 December 2006: Medical clinic at UN Refugee camp with GAIN

I guess I feel its been an eventful year for me.......

2006 in review

Im sure a number of important incidents took place around the world and the region in 2006. Im not trying to make this a journalistic site...cos I cant begin to cover them all...but still want to mention some significant events that comes to my mind....

June: war in Lebanon (Hezbollah vs Israel)
June - July: UEFA World Cup in Germany

September 19: Military coup in Thailand!! shocking!! and I thought coups were a thing of the past...apparently not!

Dec 30: Saddam executed
Dec 31: Bombs in Bangkok!!!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Medical aid to remote north of Thailand

all too often our new year's celebration includes such fun things as nice dinners, crazy drinks, raving parties, fireworks set against backdrops such as Sydney harbour bridge, bangkok's skyscrapers etc etc
looking back at my days, especially over the last 2 years or so....even for no special occasion Ive had my share of parties and fun, so this year I reckoned it was time to do something different. I decided to join Virg and a group of volunteers from Global Aid Network (australia) to go up north on a mission trip. I helped work in the pharmacy, and have to admit I quite enjoyed it. the group was there for 2 weeks, with the second half of the trip going further into the village. I stayed for the first half of the trip, and we had a chance to work with villages of Thai Karen people, Burmese immigrants, and on New Year's eve we set up medical clinic for the day at UNHCR's Refugee camp. many have asked me what the experience was like for me....I dont think I need to go into details about all the heart wrenching stories these people go through, but I will mention here that what really impressed me were the people I was with. young volunteers so dedicated and so committed. many travel on the mission as a whole family..hence this trip had the youngest volunteer aged 12!! many others were not all that much older....16, 18, 20, 23.
I felt somewhat guilty for leaving them half way into the mission...with some lame excuse of having to get back to work. Grant and Cassidy even got me roses for leaving early....thanks boys :)


Christmas eve dinner

In true Christmas spirit Jochen, Isabell and Kai invited me to their lovely Christmas dinner. I even got my first Christmas gift for the year...a nice pocket-sized diary adorned with indian mirror artwork (I should know the name of what this artwork is called!) thanks Jochen...very sweet :)


What of Bali?

too short a trip, so I only managed to stay in the Kuta, Legion and Semenyak vicinity, with an afternoon ventured to the tip of the island to watch the sunset and one of Bali's many traditional dance that is part of its rich culture.
Kuta itself was too much like Patong on Phuket to impress me...coupled with the traffic jam!! (yes you read correct..I mentioned traffic) added in to the scores of Aussie clothes and surf shop...the place was a strange mix of relaxation, reminder of familiar places...but not so many familiar faces since although it was supposedly the high season...the place was somewhat quiet...much to do with the terrorist attacks scare given the Christmas period.
so my overall impression? leaning on the positive side definitely...just wish I had more time to go further up north of the island. reason to go back for another visit at some point perhaps :)

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Call me slow....

but here is an update about my days since Christmas.....

was in Bali for the days before Christmas..met up with Jochen who happens to be there at the time. after we met Im not surprised at the coincident anymore..seeing that he almost lives there with his friend Kai. Also met Isabell there...if I can get the photos out of this other camera at some point...then you will see how lovely they all are :0
anyhow...we went to a local place... Made's Warung I think..which interestingly Supika and I were just at that same afternoon for a snack (different branch...and just so you know..we were at the original one near Kuta for snack!....almost crappy though!!) surprisingly the dinner was good...i blame it on us silly tourists not knowing what to order ..granted it was a different branch....
the later evening we continued on to Hu'u Bar...yes the same chain as the one on Sathorn in Bangkok...but gotta admit that the Bali one was a lot more happening..also more spacious..with even a section of al fresco dining. was an interesting night of strawberries drink, talks of metro and ubersexual fad that even inspired me to use these terms in my new article on women's rights....
link to that article will be available at some later point :p

24th January

Pa Mickey's Birthday

if he were around perhaps we might have gone for a rootbeer float at A&W's?
I miss you.