Archive for August, 2010

Traveling through Islamabad Airport

Posted on: August 20th, 2010 | No Comments

Most airports conduct their affairs in an orderly almost post-modern way.  Islamabad is a different story.  Furnace like heat is pushed around by long lines of ceiling fans.  Each departing flight is witnesses hundreds of people seeing off relatives.  To get to the gate, it is necessary to wade through a sea of salwar kameez where few people are ready to make space for anyone else.  The armed security guard seems to have never heard of an electronic ticket.  I’m headed South to Pakistan’s fourth largest city of Quetta.  Once the birthplace of the Taliban, now thousands of people have fled the raising Indus River who need urgent assistance.  If nothing else, this is what exciting travel is all about.

Traveling to Help with Pakistan’s Devastating Floods

Posted on: August 17th, 2010 | No Comments

Water is necessary for life but life is also vulnerable to water.  Right now, the Indus River is overflowing and the people of Pakistan are suffering.  This is disproportionately affecting the poor and especially women and children.  I’m going to see what I can do to help arriving in Islamabad, the country’s manicured capital.

Flood waters have ripped apart mud-houses, destroyed bridges, schools and health clinics.  People’s livelihoods are no longer viable.  Water systems are damaged and wells are contaminated.  Some people have not made it to higher ground and have resorted to waiting on roofs and in trees hoping helicopters will come to the rescue. 

The reasons for flooding are complex and will likely be debated in the future.  The basic causes are at least a combination of heavier than average rain fall, deforestation, a lack of maintenance on water systems (some say no upkeep has been made on infrastructure built by colonial Britain) and climate change.  This has killed at least 1,600 people, displaced another million people and overall affected as many as 20 million people.  That makes this disaster bigger than many of the world’s recent disasters, including the 2004 South Asian tsunami, combined.

Four Helpful Acronyms for Traveling

Posted on: August 17th, 2010 | No Comments

“RICE” helpful in first aid especially for sports injuries where Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation are needed

 “STOP” when lost you should first Stand, Think, Observe and Plan

 “DATE” to respond to a sick or injured person you should carry out a Diagnosis, Assessment, Treatment and Evacuation

 “SUCCESS” is needed when traveling, or in the outdoors, a person should have a Sense of direction, Understanding, Courage, Charity, Esteem, Self-confidence and Self-acceptance