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Friday, 28 November 2014 11:00

Knock-off Time

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It’s Friday afternoon, 5:00 pm. For the past 4 hours you’ve been sitting at your computer thinking about the moment you can finally shut it down and embrace the weekend. For many of us, we celebrate this momentous occasion by cracking open a cold beer, perhaps a glass of red wine accompanied by a slice of cheese or two. Well, before you get too excited, I ask you to ponder just one question. It shouldn’t be too difficult or take up too much time, but it’s rather important you take a moment to give it some thought. The question is:…
One of the things you get from friends before you leave on project activities in developing countries is…. so you are off on another holiday then? (I can sense a few heads nodding). The perception is that it’s glamorous work. Anyone who works in this field knows it couldn’t be further from the truth. I am currently in Vietnam. This is my sixth visit and I am yet to visit the major tourist drawcards of Nha Trang, Hoi An, Ha Long Bay, Da Lat or Sa Pa. There is little glamorous about many of our project locations or the hotels…
Friday, 14 November 2014 11:00

Don't leave home without...

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Working on international agriculture projects means travelling overseas. A lot. I’m a big fan of travelling light, and it doesn’t take me long to pack for a few weeks away. With the exception of credit cards and passports, most things you forget to pack can be easily replaced in-country. But here’s a few things I don’t leave home without... Power board with extension cord. Evenings and weekends overseas are often spent catching up on work. Hotel rooms only ever seem to have one power point, and it is rarely next to the desk or bed. Money. In several different forms.…
Friday, 07 November 2014 11:00

Paying it Forward

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Australian Volunteer for International Development I am fortunate. Really fortunate. So are you by the way. Chances are we’ve all graduated high school, probably even been to university, and when we go to the shops we don’t have to haggle over the bottom dollar price. And while we worry over the next pay cheque and paying the rent, I know I come from a country where support systems are in place to care for me if all else fails. Elsewhere, people are lucky to finish primary school, not through lack of intelligence, but through lack of money and opportunity. They…
  Working in a normal 9-5 job was never for me. You get to a point when you realise that there has to be more to life than doing the same thing day in day out. I used to work in insurance and finance. I worked long hours but the money was great. Lunchtime sport, after-work drinks, client functions, business trips away – I lived a nice life! But something was missing. What difference was I making? How was I contributing to society? The more and more I began to ask myself these questions the more and more I began…