Showing posts from June, 2008


Once in Spain I met up with a good friend Lisa for a one week tour of the Pyrenees. We started in Barcelona and worked our way westward. On the way we discovered the (for us) unheard of country, Andorra. Quite amazing to randomly ‘discover’ a country in the middle of Europe? Guess that there might be a few more surprises lurking around the place.

We walked and explored and even climbed in the soft slushy spring snow. Ended up at the top of a wonderful hill and look forward to returning for more peak bagging one day. The whole mountain range from coast to coast looks like it is filled with all sorts of interesting corners, peaks, huts and viewpoints. It is very much like the NZ alps, with mountains about the same size, trails, and (in June) not many people at all.

Heading now for a weekend in Paris and then back down to Bordeaux for an MSF logistics training course.

Two Worlds Apart

The Mediterranean Sea separates Europe from Africa, with the closest point being between the two sides of the Straights of Gibraltar. On one side to the north are the very rich, developed nations of the west, with their huge economic and military power. On the other side to the south, separated by only a matter of kilometres lies Africa, with its poverty, underdevelopment, war, famine and disease.

While in other places it is possible to be struck by the culture shock of flying from a modern built up city such as Paris, to the simple depths of despair in a dessert town of Darfur over the course of a few days, here is the place where the difference between worlds is simply a two hour boat ride.

In a world of plenty it would seem to me that the current flow of wealth from rich to poor, whether looked at on the neighbourhood scale, a local regional setting, within nation states, between countries, or across civilisations, is so small as to be completely discountable in the greater transacti…