Showing posts from December, 2011

Photos of Bangkok Canal & Floods, Nov 2011 [updated]


Can distributing clean NEEDLES ever be as easy as giving out CONDOMS?

Fighting HIV/AIDS in Thailand: can distributing clean needles ever be as easy as giving out condoms?
When I think of HIV/AIDs, symbols pop into my mind: the red looped ribbon and the free condom. They’re actually a good representation of what Thailand is doing best to combat the epidemic- massive information campaigns and the 100% Condom Program which saw the dramatic decline of HIV/AIDS among sex workers.
However, those symbols faded in my mind after I visited an old, impoverished part of Bangkok and met the people who currently are the most vulnerable to HIV/AIDS- the injection drug users.
HIV/AIDS and other blood-borne diseases are transmitted when needles are shared. Under influence, many users are also likely to have unprotected sex.  There are programs called ‘harm reduction’ where drug users are provided with clean needles, syringes, and condoms to avoid transmission. Condom distribution is easy but needles are another issue. 
It’s not uncommon here to hear stories of community …

Your meat is sweet to me...


Calm is what seeks me

Comforting sight, those angry clouds above.

Continuous rumbling of thunder, vicious and gracefully brutal, accompanied by the sudden whiplash, the kiss of the wild wind. Such a day, waiting impatiently for this moment, it promises a cleansing, and its worth the wait.

Smile, a tired crooked smile, is what I can offer the menacing sky. So little, yet sincere do the warmth I generate, gratitude to the monstrosity of what seeks to engulf me.

The Storm, my moment of calmness.

No Chains, Not Bound to Fate

As I sit at my porch, the night, and the darkness has swallowed the sky, I'm uncertain of the future.

The future that promises much, yet offers little of foresight. I don't believe in predictions, especially related to my life, nor do I see a need. Fortunes rarely show any kindness, I see no reason to dig, nor ponder about my Fate, into the mist of the future.

The past, filled with pain, misery, a cocktail of unpredictable happiness and agony. This, coupled with haunting memories, I remember them well. I locked them in Vaults, secured them with chains made from my will.

Yet, at times, I hear the seductive whispers, partially seducing me to take action. Such voice begs me to open the Vaults, to release the memories, to drown in them.

I neither seek the past nor the future. I live for the present. It is safer for me, comforted by a Fate which I alone can control. This gives me a degree of comfort, the knowledge to be my own Karma.

Chasing Infinite Storm

Divinity dwells there, whose frost-flesh and skin resemble snow, delicate and soft like the skin of an infant; they consume the thoughts of others, they suck the bravery of their foes and drink the morning dew from Nature; they mount on vapours and clouds and fiercely drive the Storm, thus they rove beyond the sea, looking for one such as me.

Forsaken, Inevitable, the Memories Pound the Soul

The memories clash against the vaults that I have tried, oh so many times, to confine in the Void of my soul. Hiding these vaults gives me no joy, no pleasure, no rest, but merely a creeping pain, every hour of the day. I hear the pounding, it grows louder, it does not stop, when I grow careless, when I see the reflection in the mist, and within the shadows.

The Void is alive, It taunts me, amplified, insane pounding. I hear no music, but the noise, soul-shattering and the misery that the taunts carry.

Waves, pounding. Mercilessly.

Scent of memories, fermented by the Void, shatters my spirit, drowning and resurrecting it.
It is a matter of time. I prepare for the day, when I will embrace those memories with complete acceptance.

I. Am. Not. Ready. Now.

PAKISTAN: Girls fight for the right to education

PESHAWAR, 7 December 2011 (IRIN) - Armed with only a slightly used copy book sent by her aunt from Peshawar, the capital of the northwestern Khyber Pakhtoomkhw’a province, Azeera Gul, 12, is fighting for the rights of girls to an education.
Source: PAKISTAN: Girls fight for the right to education

You'll smile, guaranteed‏! :)

Hello readers! I'm so glad that the weekend is here, time to relax a bit, time to put a sweetest smile on your face. You know, one thing I like to do is make people smile because the best way to make yourself smile is if you make someone else smile, so I thought I would like to share an email that I've received from World Food Program few days back that probably will put a smile on your face. Here it goes:

"Twenty years ago, I was just like these kids -- surrounded by poverty. I grew up in an industrial town in Lesotho. I slept on a mattress in the kitchen. Many of my schoolmates’ families couldn’t afford to put food on the table.

But we all had big dreams (I wanted to be a doctor).

So when WFP trucks would arrive at school with food for our daily meals, we’d shout and we’d dance! Those meals not only filled our bellies, they filled us with happiness and hope.

I wish we could give every hungry child a daily school meal. Meet some of the children we’re reaching -- …

My Thoughts of Bangkok & Floods (Part 1)

The floods. Me. 27 days in Bangkok. I saw no rain, but the streets and homes were wet from the flood. I experienced the devastating impact of Mother Nature, with mixed emotions: the joy of doing relief work again and the sadness at the raging effects of climate change. The deaths, the displaced, the hunger and the homelessness: Misery was shared by Thais, migrant workers and refugees.

Humanitarian relief work in disaster areas is not a new experience, I have had my fair share of missions in the early 90s. In those days, relief work was challenged by limited resources, poor communication tools, and the inexperience of government agencies and many relief workers in disorganised coordination. At times, there was no "plan of action" but just the urgency of helping led to misadventures and the suffering of others. The delivery of aid took months to execute then, courtesy of stifling bureaucracy and the ever-changing political affiliation. I don't think much has changed nowada…