Posts Tagged "development work"

Best of Year One in Laos

Posted by on Jul 6, 2011 in Life in Laos | 4 comments

Best of Year One in Laos

It’s been just over a year, and 132 blog posts, since we moved to Laos. To celebrate that milestone, today I’ve drawn together some of the best of this last year’s blog posts. Unless you’re independently wealthy and have way too much time on your hands (or you’re bedridden and desperate for entertainment) I doubt you’ll want to read all of them, so I’ve put them in categories for easier browsing. I’ve also marked a couple of my favorite funny posts with a double asterisk like this ** for those just looking for a laugh. Thank you all for tracking...

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Resilience Research Report – The Executive Summary

Posted by on Mar 29, 2011 in Humanitarian work, Psychology | 5 comments

Resilience Research Report – The Executive Summary

Here is the Executive Summary of the Report I introduced yesterday: Building resilient managers in humanitarian organizations (plus some photos from Cambodia, just because). The research report is available for purchase from the People In Aid website. Background, and purpose of the research In the last decade there has been increasing interest in the level of stress, trauma, or violence experienced by humanitarian workers, but relatively little focus on the other side of the coin – qualities that promote resilience and thriving in these challenging environments. People In Aid, through this...

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Resilience Research Report – The Introduction

Posted by on Mar 28, 2011 in Humanitarian work, Psychology | 6 comments

Resilience Research Report – The Introduction

Resilience is a defining theme of my life at present – last week’s chapter for the distance learning course I’m writing was on personal resilience and this week’s is on organizational resilience. In April, I’ll travel to Bangkok to spend a week working with the DART Center for Journalism and Trauma as they bring together journalists from around Asia for a week. Guess what I’ll be speaking on… Yup, resilience. And back in November I completed a research report for a very cool organization in London, People In Aid, on Building Resilient Managers in Humanitarian Organizations. That...

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Lessons learned about Laos, parenting, and development work, in Phonxai

Posted by on Feb 23, 2011 in Humanitarian work, Life in Laos, Posts with photos | 5 comments

Lessons learned about Laos, parenting, and development work, in Phonxai

On Monday, Mike and I plus the friends we have in town at the moment (Mum, Dad, and three little boys aged six, three, and 8 months) traveled up to Phonxai so that Mike could inspect a school in progress. This was an all day endeavor that involved renting a landrover and spending more than six hours traveling – about five of them on dirt roads. As always when I travel up to the villages here in Laos, it was illuminating. In no particular order, here is a summary of things I learned or relearned on Monday. 1. Northern Laos is lush with mountains and winding dirt roads dug into the side of...

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When Helping is Hard (Part 4): Money, It’s Complicated

Posted by on Oct 13, 2010 in Humanitarian work | 6 comments

When Helping is Hard (Part 4): Money, It’s Complicated

It was about a month after we returned from Viengkham that Mike received his first phone call about the case of Lahela, little orphan girl. You can read the start of this story in the post titled: What price a child’s life? After eight days in the hospital in Vientiane, no one seemed to be all that much closer to figuring out for sure what might be wrong with eleven-year-old Lahela. All the tests had come back negative, but the doctors had now circled back around to thinking that she might have Japanese encephalitis, after all. All that the medication she’d been given in Luang...

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Humanitarian work, psychology, and staff support

Posted by on Sep 27, 2010 in Humanitarian work, Psychology | 6 comments

Humanitarian work, psychology, and staff support

Happy Monday! I hope you had a great weekend (and spent less time at the computer than Mike and I did). Never mind – this time next week we’ll be in Cambodia at Siem Reap. Primarily because there are no good medical or dental facilities in Luang Prabang, Mike’s organization provides for one week of Rest and Relaxation (R&R) leave every six months. Thankfully, we don’t need to use this R&R to head to a doctor or a dentist, so we are going to explore one of the wonders of Asia instead. There are even rumors that Mike will not bring his work computer on our five day trip. So this...

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The circle of your passion

Posted by on Sep 24, 2010 in Humanitarian work, Writing | 9 comments

The circle of your passion

It’s been a week. For me, it’s been a week of finishing the draft, enjoying a brief high, then falling (temporarily, let’s hope) into a big black woeful hole of not feeling like doing anything at all, and wondering how we can possibly have been in Laos three months already, and whether the rumours are true that we’re staying here for the next couple of years. On that front, it appears so, unless the powers that be mandate otherwise. I’ve had ample time to mull all of this over during a string of nights when sleep eludes me until late – midnight or 1am – and sometimes only...

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What price a child’s life?

Posted by on Aug 23, 2010 in Humanitarian work | 4 comments

What price a child’s life?

This afternoon Mike and I sat upstairs on the deck at our place, looking out towards the trees. It was pouring rain. Water was sheeting off the tin roofs of the houses behind us and running down the big green leaves of the coconut trees – arcing off and dropping towards earth in one, unbroken, stream. We were up there because Mike had quit the kitchen table, which was burdened by our two laptops and a stack of documents eight inches thick that he’d bought home to sign over the weekend. The stack was peppered with neon tags demanding his signature. “Mr Michael,” the tags read, one...

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