Showing posts from January, 2014

Neighbours Day 2014

Neighbours Day Aotearoa 2014 is coming up at the end of March.  If you're in New Zealand, maybe you could start thinking about organising a gathering in your street?

Martin, Sarah and I have found Neighbours Day a fun and fairly non-threatening way to get to know some of our neighbours.  Don't be put off by the apparent complexity of our event!  We happen to have a very energetic woman who coordinates organisation for our street so what happens here is moderately involved.  However, it can be much simpler.  Last year my friend Anna simply invited people to her place for afternoon tea :-)

If you think that sounds like a fun and worthwhile thing to do, check out the NDA website: they have a bunch of resources to help you get started.

The Surprising Discovery About Those Colonialist, Proselytizing Missionaries

I've just read an encouraging article (recommended by Paul Windsor) entitled The Surprising Discovery About Those Colonialist, Proselytizing Missionaries.  It describes the work of sociologist Robert Woodberry, who believes he has established that:
Areas [of the world] where [19th century] Protestant missionaries had a significant presence in the past are on average more economically developed today, with comparatively better health, lower infant mortality, lower corruption, greater literacy, higher educational attainment (especially for women), and more robust membership in nongovernmental associations.  As far as he can tell, the presence of such missionaries was far more significant than any other factor(s) (culture, climate, other historical factors etc.) in making this difference. He doesn't know exactly what caused this difference, but he notes that missionaries promoted the idea that all people were of equal worth and also that they tended to teach reading and estab…

Carbon offsetting

Yesterday a friend told me that she's really looking forward to a relaxing week in Fiji after a really busy few months.  I was happy for her that she could have this holiday, but sad to think of the suffering flying inflicts on some of the world's most vulnerable people.  The flights were already booked so it seemed too late to encourage her and her husband to consider holidaying in the Bay of Islands or somewhere else local instead, but maybe they could at least offset the carbon emissions of the flight.  After thinking about it for a while, this is the email I sent in response:
Hi again, A relaxing week in Fiji sounds lovely :-)

May I ask, have you considered offsetting your carbon emissions for the flights?

As a Christian, the human suffering and death climate change is causing concerns me deeply.  This is the article that first opened my eyes to what Western lifestyles are doing to people in low-lying poor countries like Bangladesh.

However, it need not all be doom and gloom…

We went to the beach!

Martin and I are in Whangarei, staying with his parents for two weeks.  The highlight for me has definitely been getting to go to the beach!  We've been twice - on Wednesday of last week then again yesterday.  It took a lot of preparatory resting to manage it, plus a lot of help whilst there, but it was so much fun!

We had a lovely time.  The water was warm and the weather was perfect :-)

There are a few more pics up on flickr.