Sunday, 29 August 2010


A little about the island I will be going to work and live.

Flores is about 360 km end to end, and 14,300km2. The island is volcanic, and shaped by mountainous valleys and ridges separating communities into distinct ethnic groups. It has approximately 1.5 million residents, with 6 separately identifiable languages being spoken across the island.The island inhabitants are predominantly Catholic, however Ende, one of the main towns, is half Catholic and half Muslim.

Ende is the capital city of Flores. It is located on the South Coast. It has good transport links both by sea and air. It is hemmed in by black sand beaches and has a backdrop of mountains.

These are a few facts, but soon I will be able to tell how things are from my own eyes!

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

extracts from my hand written journal

As a parting gift, two of my friends gave me moleskine journals. Carefully taped to the inside of one of the journals was a quote by Thomas Carlyle, "A well written Life is almost as rare as a well-spent one". Im hoping to make an attempt at both. Here is what I have written so far, it relates to the time between being accepted by VSO and preparing to depart.

May 25th, 2010

An email from Skev, my placement officer, confirmed that my PAF - Placement Assessment Form - seems really good and is ready to be sent off to the partners, the indonesian government.
I really feel good. Im energised, motivated, curious, excited. THere is so much to do, injections, dental checks, motorcycle tests, online courses, training courses, self study! I feel like a sprinter who had a false start. I've been accepted by VSO but until I am accepted by the partner organisation I can't get going. It is difficult but it makes sense and I am stay as cool as I can.
I really do feel like the world is my oyster right now, and a large part of feeling like this is down to oppertunities too. I have a lot of oppertunities right now because I put a lot of time and energy into getting more involved in the things Ive always wanted to do, weeding out ones that turned out to be less how I imagined and putting more effort behind the ones I enjoy. Its been a rewarding process. As some guy on a Joy Division documentary I watched the other day said, "this is the future".

9th June, 2010

Onboard the first of three aircraft, commencing my journey back to Scotland from Perth, Australia.

I feel excited because it feels like when I get home, I will be beginning the VSO job. With training to organise, studying to do and no work to juggle around it, it is very much the first step of the adventure.
Im really glad to have had a good amount of time to spend with my parents doing nothing more than chilling out. It seems to have meant a lot to them, and it has helped me to feel settled in my decision to go ahead and leave my job in oil to begin work in development.
I feel more alive than I have done in years and ready to give my best, work hard and achieve the goals of my placement. Going through some hard times, making mistakes and learning through tough experiences I think I am going into my placement as a stronger, surer person with a more realistic (although still heavily idyillistic) outlook.
Take off and we are acsending over Perth. 15:30 It is very beautiful from here, under the cloudless sky, the colours are vibrant, the greenry rich and the waterways intertwine in the city's heart.

4th July, 2010

Robert Indiana created the LOVE sculpture. His original is found in the Indianapolis Museum of Art.
He originally designed it for a christmas card for MOMA in 1964. The sculpture first appeared in New York in 1970. Today variations can be found worldwide, in several languages.
Ive probably taken 10 years to get round to discovering the name of the sculptor who made the LOVE statue! Im still very proud of stumbling upon it by accident in New York and demanding Joanne to take a picture of me hugging Love! ..I dont have it in digital, but here is the sculpture.

PS for anyone who has a moleskine, my reward in case of loss is A Big Hug.