Archive for June, 2010
On Monday morning, as my last posts shows, I was in the great hall at Parliament House listening to KRudd, Abbott and others talk about fighting global poverty. I then spent all day Monday and Tuesday wandering the back corridors of the building taking photos of politicians meeting with everyday aussies who want to see the government and opposition do more to see that poverty is reduced.
It’s quite weird that the day after I got home the PM was no longer the PM.
And the new PM didn’t take part in any of our events, or meet with any of the people I was with. I hope that’s not a sign of things to come.
Now you may be wondering why the title mentions pants down, well let me enlighten you.
On Tuesday, around lunch time I needed to pee, so I went to one of the public toilets near the marble foyer. As i walked into the toilets the urinal was straight ahead, so if anyone was doing a wee their back would be towards me.
There was a man doing a wee, a man wearing a suit, well half a suit. He was wearing a suit jacket, I’m not sure you could say he was ‘wearing’ the suit pants as they where around his ankles whilst he pee’d. It was a very odd image to see, a grown man in a suit with his pants at his feet standing at the urinal.
Canberra really is a a strange place.
This morning I had to be at Parliament House at 6:30am, So I could set up and get a good spot for taking photos at the unveiling on a giant scroll that was a snap shot of over 112,000 signatures collected by Micah challenge, of people who have signed up to the Micah Call.
The captain of Australia got up to say some words,
It looks like he is saying something like ‘It’s ok, I know the Micah Challenge banner looks terrible”
The Opposition captain also took the stage for a response.
Then it was time for Cameron Semmens to sing us a song as this picture shows.
But ladies and gentlemen there is also a serious side to this flight, We now ask for your full attention.
This mornings event was a chance for pollies to see that making poverty history is not just a desire of a select few, it is the desire of many Australians and it’s time for us as a nation to step up.
Normally leaders of NGO’s and vocal advocates who are passionate about seeing change in the way we do aid and development weaken their message when they are actually in the presence of decision makers, but this morning there was a beautiful moment when a international guest from a developing country got up and addressed all in attendance and very clearly stated that Australia is doing a pretty crap job and we need to lift our game.
He closed with a very simple and powerful image,
The last harry potter book was distributed in such a way that 9 million people had instant access to it when it became available, but we can’t even get instant access to the 2 million people who need 12cent medicine in developing countries.
Today was day 2 of Voices for Justice. for me the day began with a taxi ride into the city where I chatted away with the driver, he asked why I was in Canberra and I told him all about who I worked for and why I was here. He was an Indian man and only been in Australia for less then 12 months, I asked him his perspective on foreign aid, and helping the poor in this way, his response took me by surprise. He said not to worry about giving aid an concentrate the governments money on putting extra lanes on the main roads around Canberra.
I don’t have a nice segway for that story to this next bit. As you can now tell.
The rest of the day was filled with a few meetings, corridor conversations, A poor attempt at leading a quick workshop on climate change for the young ones and a solar light lit service on the lawns of parliament house.
The service on the lawns was a chance to get together and pray for the upcoming days of meeting with decision makers, repent for personal blunders that have contributed to the abuse, hardships, and disrespect of the poor.
I have to say that it was freezing cold!!!
On a deeper level it was also a great time to put aside the last 2 days of data and policy and a chance to stand alongside one another and pause before we hit the corridors of power.We do live in a pretty amazing country where crazy Christians can turn up to a place of power and just have intimate chats with politicians and advisers about issues we are passionate about.
Now it’s bed time. I have to be up at 5:30am,
I’m in Canberra as part of Micah Challenges national gathering ‘Voices for justice’
300 Christians from around the country have converged on the worlds boring-est city to lobby the people in suits we sometimes call leaders. We are here as ambassadors and voices for the poorest and most marginalized people on our planet. We are hear lobby, to put forward a radical idea, an idea that poverty could be drastically reduced if governments like ours gave more and better aid.
I may or may not updates of how things are going.
If I do you can read them, If i don’t you can read someone’s blog who will.
This morning I had to get up at 4:45am but thanks to my dumbness I woke at 3 and couldn’t get back to sleep. I rang for a taxi and he arrived at 5:30am and took me off to Radelaide airport. He was a funny taxi driver he told me all about politics and how it works, and more importantly that Julia Gillard is hot and he would do her.
I checked in to my flight and headed to the gate.
I boarded the plane and sat in the wrong seat, the plane filled up and we began moving towards the runway. Then we stopped moving and after a while moved back to the terminal. We all had to get off then they announced the flight was canceled, which meant I will miss my Melbounre connection to Canberra. They have moved me to different flights so i now have 2 hours to kill in adelaide airport then another 2 hours in Melbounre airport, getting to canberra 4 and a half hours later than expected.
In a lot of us there is a bit of of rebel, a bit of middle finger to authority. Some people like to stick it to the man by chaining themselves to tractors, launching themselves at politicians or blocking coal ships with their babies. Me I’m a bit of a closet naughty boy, I’m not one for breaking the law. But don’t worry I have compiled a list below of how I stick it to the man. You will read it and think, wow Howie is hardcore….
- On empty escalators sometimes I stand on the right hand side, stuff you non existent people who want to overtake on the right
- In my office building lifts I press the ‘close doors’ button if I see people who have been smoking wanting to get in!!
- Sometimes I start walking across a road when the red man stars flashing, I think the image of a man flashing you is supposed to put you off approaching, Stuff him!!!!!
- On flights I fart freely thanks to the drone of the engine drowning out any rumbles I may create
- I try to never offer to pay after someone has said “don’t worry Howie I’ll get this”, sometimes offering can end up in you paying
- sometimes when I wee I aim for that little duck thing hanging down, stuff you lavender scented duck I don’t want my wee to smell like an old lady!!!!
Tonight I went off to woolies to get some shampoo / shower gel as my parents are coming to stay with us for a few nights and when they stayed a few weeks ago we didn’t supply any form of shampoo or soap in their bathroom. Not sure our hospitality would get a star rating.
anyway I went to get some organic 3 in 1 soap, shampoo, conditioner. Surely that will get us a star rating!!!
I also Had to get a pack of stir fry vegies.
Jenny gave me some detailed instructions.
I walked off into the freezing night, on arrival at woollies i was amused by some ‘WOW SOUP’
I stood in the frozen section for a long time, looking into the freezer, looking back at the note, looking into the freezer looking back at the note.
I picked up a purple packed of BirdyEye stir fry vegies, quite proud of myself as the reason jenny gave me such a detailed note is I don’t often return with what she asked for.
When i got home she saw the packet and said “I told you not to get flavour infusions”
My reply was “no you didn’t, i got what you asked for, it has a purple packet, it says purple on your note, it doesnt say anything about flavour infusions”
2 weeks ago I went to see Q&A, Tom already blogged about this so I’ll just put up a photo of my view in the studio.
Last week was also the end of a long running competition between myself and a volunteer in our office. The comp was the person who could answer the phone the most times in a 6 week period. The only rule was we both had to be in the office, it didnt matter if we where already on the phone or doing something else, that was just bad luck.
I had to buy Josh a beer.
I went to Melbourne again
I stopped using my personal twitter account
I walked past the most embarrassing shop in the whole world.
I’m not really in with what is fashion and not, but I can say that crocs are horrible, ugly, offensive and obscene.
And yesterday I was in Wollongong running a simulation game with 160 year 11 students, it was hectic, that is the biggest group I have ever run one sim game with.
Tomorrow I’m going on a steam train, wednesday i’m going to Adealide.
The old blog is about to turn 8 years old.
I thought a nice present would be a new banner, continuing the pencil drawn style what should the new banner include?????
Well since my last blog post I have been to Melbourne again, this time for work stuff, It was for a two day meeting that was pretty intense and all. I enjoy hanging out with work buddies, we all get on pretty well.
As much as i love planes and traveling it really makes you tired. I dont understand why sitting on trains and planes and in meetings can be so exhausting but it is, I’ve been home for 2 nights and i’m still stuffed!
I have another big work trip in just over a week, I’m going to Adelaide to run some stuff in a high school with 150 young peoples for 2 days, then from there to Canberra to wear a suit and annoy politicians for a few days before heading home.
I like my job.