Showing posts from September, 2006

Passing Through Paris

What a place!! An amazing number of old buildings and stunning architecture and art work. All quite overwhelming in many ways to have so many famous sights all within a small city centre area. I spent time at the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, and of course the Louvre. I shared the time with Hannah who was on the MSF course in Bordeaux with me and some of her friends who visited for the weekend from London.

Traveling now in my thirties rather than my twenties is pretty weird. Most people at the hostel are younger and some are a whole lot younger. Quite off putting to find out the group of people you are chatting to haven’t even had their 21st birthday yet. I guess a quick train trip to Paris from London is pretty easy for uni students on holiday break.

I think it reinforces my view that I would like to travel with friends, family or a partner if possible in the future. Even if you get less done and there is lots of compromise at least you get to share the experience. Onto the train now to Lo…

MSF (Doctors Without Borders)

I had been trying to get a position through the Red Cross but with no luck in this field I thought I would go back to my first choice with MSF (Médecins Sans Frontières), a French emergency aid organisation based in Europe. I got lucky and scored a position on the logistics training course run in Bordeaux, France. With two weeks notice I packed up, flew around the world, had my bag go missing on the way, and then spent a wonderful week with ten other aspiring MSF’ers.

The course was good, quite full on time wise with sessions from 8:30 in the morning till 8 at night. The people were great with a good cross section of backgrounds and personalities. I’m now eligible to be placed on the ‘mission’, although there are no openings in the near future and so I’ll have to wait and see if I get selected for anything soon. It’s a bit stressful not knowing what the future holds but in the meantime I’m checking out a little bit of Europe.

Leaving the New Zealand Alpine Club

I ended my five and a half years as executive officer of the New Zealand Alpine Club on a high note with the opening of the Home of Mountaineering. This new building provides a great new office for the organisation, as well as meeting and storage areas. It was opened by Sir Ed with a couple of hundred people along to all celebrate.

The club certainly drove me mad at times with the lack of responsibility from the Club management but hopefully this can change in the future. The job did give me new skills in accounting, staff management and generally moving things forward. It was a dream job in many ways working in an area I love with a lot of freedom.

After finishing with the Club I spent a week with the parents up in Auckland, some time in the hills ski touring, and then a lot of time packing up little Selwyn Street cottage. I’m getting ready to see if I can get a job doing international aid work. I’m very sad to leave this phase of my Christchurch life and look forward to returning.