There’s Much More in Truth

Throughout our life we are told to be true to ourselves and others. For truth always triumphs as goes the saying. My late father used to say that whenever you feel like you are in a dilemma, be on the side of truth. Assimilating truth is not an easy thing. It always hurts. It is always bitter to be confronted to a situation (especially when it is clear that it is the plain truth, not mere fabricated assertions) where one would otherwise have interest in dissimulating it. That’s why, in an attempt to try to suppress that truth, a targeted person, more often than not, will react in a disparaging manner and indulge in mud-slinging.

They may have recourse to every move in a hallucinated gesture to create diversions aimed at harassing and humiliating the truth teller, and hindering the effect of the uttered words reflecting the reality of a situation. But they fail to realize that truth can never be denied. It may reveal itself late. But it will surface out somehow some time.

So much energy will be deployed to counteract the truth or a genuinely truthful situation; while that same energy could be harnessed to dig into the pertinence of the statement/s with a view to bringing about corrective measures, if warranted, in the given circumstances. They could spare the same effort in an endeavour to solve more important and more urgent issues rather than getting caught in gossips and futile discussions. If only they could see the positive side of the affirmations.

Very often people resort to selective sight and thinking.  They’ll, for instance, see only one side of the coin. They’ll tend to limit themselves to an insider view of things. They’ll think in a way that is to their own credit. They’ll set the rules of the game to their own advantage. This is an archaic approach. We should give the devil his due. We should learn to see and think from outside the box. The world is a global reality. We need to have a global view of things. And gauge the merits of what’s being said, however bitter it may seem.

Alfa King Memories

Proportional Representation: A Post-mortem Analysis

Someone rightly said: “Experience is the best teacher.” The outcome of the recent regional elections in Rodrigues has a lot to offer in terms of whether the PR (proportional representation) system in its actual form does real justice to the parties and the candidates who actually stood for the elections. The euphoria of the overwhelming victory has quickly been overshadowed by confusion and frustration on the winning side, while the distress of the defeated party, on the other hand, has been patched up with the allocation of five additional seats.
Serge Clair, leader of the OPR, expressed his concern over not being allocated any additional seats based on PR. He went even further with the grudge that the gap between his party and the opposition, which was eight just after the poll results, has been narrowed down to three after the allocation of PR seats to the opposition. Indeed he has a claim, but the law is such that there’s nothing he can do about it in the foregoing.
Conversely, Nicolas Von Mally, leader of the MR, said it was only legitimate that his party be allocated the additional five seats based on the formula adopted by the Electoral Commission in conformity with the legal provisions.

 

But the problem of the PR does not stop at these controversial stands. The issue is pertinent to the party that has got lesser number of returned candidates as it is to the winning one. It is still more pertinent, in my view, to the candidates themselves, especially those who have not been returned. The system doesn’t seem to do justice to candidates who had struggled hard to canvass people and who have not been able to get elected, some with a low margin, while those in the PR party list have found their way to the RRA without, so to say, substantial effort. So far so good. There’s nothing illegitimate in that. It’s the system. We need to abide.
The PR system has been introduced to restore balance between the winning party and the unsuccessful one. It’s a good form of checks and balances for democracy in aiming at preventing the route to dictatorship with an absolute majority. Democracy seems to function better when there are matching forces. So the PR system proves to be useful in making appropriate adjustments towards this end. The formula adopted is excellent in bringing the right balance.
Opinions and remarks are being voiced out from various quarters through the social media regarding the pertinence of the system. The people are getting more and more concerned in trying to understand the working of such system. It may appear simple and complicated at the same time. It’s not the aim of this article to probe into the mathematics of the system.
The system, as it is, seems to be discriminatory towards candidates who actually stood for the elections. Why stand for an election when you can have a seat without doing so, in particular if it may, rightly or wrongly, be anticipated that the party has a lesser chance of forming the “government”? This is a question that requires some attention and has a direct bearing on those in the PR party list.
I am not making any insinuations, but let’s figure out the following scenario. The PR party list candidates may not put in the required effort; worse, they may even campaign against their own party (although this is unethical – well, after all what is ethics in politics?) to ensure there is minimum number of elected candidates within their party so that they in turn can secure a seat through the PR. (The more the number of elected candidates in a party the lesser the chance of a candidate in that PR party list to be nominated and vice versa).

 

Such scenario was reported to have happened in previous elections. It’s very unfair towards those who stood as candidates, struggled hard in the field attempting to convince people to vote for them (with all the risks associated when faring in hostile grounds). These unreturned candidates find themselves outside the assembly (in “carreau cane” as we say in the Mauritian jargon or “dans bois” in the Rodriguan jargon). Don’t forget that the winner today may be the defeated tomorrow. There’s no room for complacency.
My intention is not to question the system out of the blue. I have no problem with the nominees of party list (congratulations for those nominated). It’s not a question of the “persons” in the list; rather the list itself. My concern is the “source” for the allocation of additional seats. The party list does not seem to be a fair source. It may be fraught with the issues highlighted earlier. The choice would appear fairer, in my opinion, if the allocation were made among the best losers.
It appears that we are confronted with a situation that seems to be unfair. If matters can improve for the betterment of democracy there’ll be no reason to make a creak. I’m just putting it to the political and electoral gurus to give some thought to such scenarios, most often than not unpredictable, with a view to coming up with a fairer and more equitable framework that will do better justice to those who are actually in the forefront of the battle field. I am of the considered view that the allocation of seats on the system of PR needs to take on board best losers. In other words, a system of PR based on BLS (best loser system). Remember it’s not a question of community or ethnic belonging here. It’s purely national.
“L’intérêt national doit primer” as they say.

Alfa King Memories

Results of RRA Elections

Finally the results are out. The OPR has won a landslide victory with the election of 10 candidates in five constituencies, namely 2 to 6. The MR could only secure the election of two candidates in constituency number 1 by a low margin. Since the first partial results it was clear that the OPR was heading towards an unprecedented victory.

However, the gap between the two parties has been decreased by the allocation of five additional seats to the MR on the basis of proportional representation. So in all the OPR will have 10 and the MR 7 members in the RRA.

In all probability Serge Clair will keep the position of Chief Commissioner, while Nicolas Von Mally will be the new Minority Leader.

The composition of the Executive will be known shortly with the appointment of commissioners.

Alfa King Memories

International Epilepsy Day

Today the world celebrates International Epilepsy Day. This day was first celebrated around the world on Monday 9 February 2015 at the joint initiative of the International Bureau of Epilepsy (IBE) and the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE). Such celebration has been the subject of much debate in these organizations until a consensus was reached to mark this day on the second Monday of February every year onwards.

As for other international days, a theme is chosen every year. This year the theme is “Putting Epilepsy in the Picture”.

The aim is to provide a platform for those with epilepsy to share experiences and stories, and for sensitising people, organizations and governments on the need to encourage epileptic persons to live their life to their fullest potential, to have appropriate legislations to guarantee their human rights, and on the urgency of increased investments on IT-aided support and research in epilepsy with a view to securing more appropriate diagnosis, treatment and medication options.

It is a day to reflect upon how we can contribute and how we can join hands together and pool resources to bring epilepsy out of the shadows. It is a day dedicated to those who, by their condition, are looked down, stigmatized, discriminated and marginalized. It is a day that aims at bringing hope and comfort to those often sidelined as mental patients.

But first we need to understand this dreaded condition which affects one in every 100 people in the world.

Epilepsy is characterised by recurrent seizures. A seizure occurs when the brain is unable to organize and coordinate messages coming to it from the rest of the body and the spinal cord through nerve fibres. The person experiences bouts of fits and he faints; his body stiffens and his muscles convulse; the whole body jerks.

Well, most of the time seizures can be controlled successfully through various strategies – medication, psychological and medical counseling, physiotherapy, neurotherapy, massage therapy and social and environmental support, to name but a few. What is difficult to overcome is the stigmatization and discrimination they are often subjected to. That’s the root of most of the problems of epileptic patients.

Epilepsy is all too often misunderstood, whence the backward thought and taboo around it. So let us see what epilepsy is and what it is not.

  • Epilepsy is not a mental illness; rather a neurological condition, although in certain cases an epilepsy can accompany mental conditions. It has been categorized as a disease in 2014 by the ILAE. This, according to ILAE, constitutes “a very important step forward in ensuring that legislators, public health officials, media people and funders see epilepsy for what it is: a major serious health issue which can destroy lives”. In other words this categorization aims at giving epilepsy the prominence it deserves.
  • Epilepsy does not have any spiritual or supernatural cause. By the ancient nature of epilepsy some people believe that epileptic patients are “possessed” by evil spirits and should be treated by invoking mystical powers. This is merely a myth.
  • Epilepsy is a physical condition in the same way as arthritis and blindness (arthritis occurs in the joints, epilepsy occurs in the brain).
  • It can be triggered by various factors, often by a head injury, an infection in the brain or a stroke or brain haemorrhage; brain tumours or structural abnormalitiesbrain not developed properly in the womb or damage caused during birth. This is symptomatic type of epilepsy.
  • However in 50% of people diagnosed there is no apparent cause. Genetic cause is suspected and thus it is thought to be inherited. This type of epilepsy is known as idiopathic
  • In cryptogenic epilepsy, the third type, no cause is found but a structural cause is suspected.
  • Epilepsy is not contagious. It cannot be transmitted from one person to another.
  • Anyone at any time of their life can develop epilepsy. It is most common under the 20’s (case of seizures in unborn child, which will continue after the baby is born. Some are born with low seizure threshold. Others with physical cause); and over 60’s: because they are more susceptible to stroke and other cardio-vascular problems, and because the brain may be damaged as a result of any of these they may go on to develop epilepsy.
  • Epilepsy can simply go away, called spontaneous remission, usually in children reaching puberty. Some children just grow out of their epilepsy, usually by the age of 15 or 16, after which they will no longer have seizures.
  • There is no need to worry. Epileptic patients are no different from others. Contrary to common beliefs, they are not dangerous. If you observe somebody having seizures don’t panic, although it may be scary to watch. Most seizures are not medical emergencies; they end up after one minute or two. Let the person recover by himself. Just keep them away from objects that can cause them harm, if possible put something soft under their head. Once the seizure is over, put them in recovery position. If the seizure lasts for more than 5 minutes or should you observe any signs of injury or sickness, seek medical help.
  • With appropriate treatment and follow-up most epileptic people may keep their status under check. They may lead a normal life like anyone else; they can go to school, work, practice sports, get married and socialize.

Many famous and well known people have had epilepsy in their lives. Here are some of them:

  • Sir Isaac Newton, famous scientist who studied many scientific disciplines and formulated the laws of motion and of gravitation,
  • Agatha Christie, English crime fiction writer,
  • Charles Dickens, English novelist of the Victorian era,
  • Alfred Nobel, Swedish chemist, engineer, innovator, armaments manufacturer and the inventor of dynamite,
  • Richard Burton, well known for his distinctive voice and at one time the highest paid Hollywood actor,
  • Chanda Gunn, American ice hockey player. She won a bronze medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics.
  • Alexander the Great, ancient Macedonian king.
  • Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the U.S. He was subject to epileptic seizures, but was still a man of courage and strength appreciated by many.

People with epilepsy can live to their highest potential provided they get the necessary supportive environment. Each of us, family members, friends, neighbours, colleagues, social organizations, governments, has a role in setting up the necessary framework aimed at targeting our efforts towards helping them to unleash their potential and get more self confidence so as to better manage their condition and remain fully integrated in normal life.

For those seeking help and support, know that there are centres around the world that can bring answers to your queries and apprehensions. In Mauritius there’s an epilepsy centre in Port Louis at 442 Boulevard Rivaltz. If you are in Rodrigues the centre is situated at Manique, La Ferme. Both are under the aegis of EDYCS Epilepsy Group. You can avail of a variety of specialist support services.

Wish all concerned with the subject of epilepsy a fruitful day.

References:

  • Alice Hanscomb and Liz Hughes – Epilepsy, a publication of EUCARE in association with The International Society for Epilepsy
  • Website of the IBE and ILAE

Alfa King Memories

Day of Poll in Rodrigues

80.19% of the total number of registered electors accomplished their civic rights today. Although this figure is slightly less than that of the previous elections held in 2012 it augurs a good sign as regards the interest of voters at the regional elections as affirmed by the leaders. As early as 06.00 am voters proceeded to their respective polling stations to vote for their preferred candidates.

Supporters of the two main parties gathered side by side, or at places opposite to each other just outside the 200 m boundary. They were dancing and singing all along in mutual respect at the tune of “nou pou coule ti bato” (“we’ll sink the boat” – the boat being the symbol of the MR party) by the OPR group, and “nou pou balyer OPR” (“we’ll sweep away the OPR”) by the MR group. This forms part of the typical Rodriguan folklore during elections.

At the close of the poll the ballot boxes were transported under strict security to the main polling stations of each of the six constituencies. The authorities were satisfied with the good conduct of the elections. The Leaders of the main parties expressed their confidence as to the results that are expected around mid-day tomorrow.

Whether it will be an OPR or an MR led Regional Assembly, Rodrigues will be subjected to another five-year mandate towards realization of the objectives set in the respective electoral programmes.

Alfa King Memories

Election Time in Rodrigues

After a little more than one month of intense electoral campaign, electors in Rodrigues (an island about 650 kms to the east of Mauritius and forming part of the Republic of Mauritius, but with a distinct form of regional government) will be called upon to vote for members of the Rodrigues Regional Assembly (RRA) on Sunday 12 February 2017. Such election takes place every five years.

The party having the majority of elected members will form the “government” headed by a Chief Commissioner and various Commissioners. While the party with a lesser number of returned candidates will be in the opposition headed by a Minority Leader. The RRA meets usually at Port Mathurin, conducting its meeting in the same manner as Parliament with a Chairperson (not necessarily an elected member) assuming the role of Speaker.

The main parties had rallied their supporters on Thursday 9 February. The OPR (Organisation du Peuple Rodriguais), headed by Serge Clair, the actual Chief Commissioner, had convened its people at Malabar in the central part of the island, while the MR (Mouvement Rodriguais) headed by Nicolas Von Mally (ex-Minister), met at Mourouk near the seaside.

Each party claims to have gathered a greater number of people around their electoral manifesto containing their vision for the development of the island. The MR is calling for a change with the motto “Ler sanzman fine arriver” (It’s time for change) while the OPR is reiterating another mandate to allow them to continue with their so called ongoing development programme.

Except for some minor isolated cases of clashes between supporters of adversarial parties (which form part of the electoral folklore) no major incident is to be deplored, fortunately. Resources have been supplied by mainland Mauritius to ensure the smooth running of the election.

Security has been reinforced to minimise incidents as far as is reasonably practicable. A broadcast station has been established at Les Cocotiers Hotel to relay timely news and videos in addition to the local MBC station at Citronelle. The Electoral Commissioner has given strict instructions to ensure all related exercises are carried out at their best.

Electors are invited to exercise their rights by casting their votes in all confidentiality. The counting of votes will be effected on Monday 13 and allocation of additional seats on the basis of proportional representation will be done at 06.00 pm on same day, as announced by the Electoral Commissioner.

The last RRA elections were held in February 2012.

 

Alfa King Memories

Hello Again

Hi again. Here am I. Still going strong. With the same vigour, the same motivation, the same style and the same stance. A warm greeting to all my readers and followers.

You might have been wondering where the hell I’ve been for so much time. Well, I’m still alive; and in good shape. Thank God. Circumstances have been such that I had to break from this routine of blogging. But the love for writing and sharing knowledge and experiences which constitute the basis of my blog is more intense than I could realize.

I’ll try to pick up from you. I guess some of you might have shifted somewhere else in the cyberspace. Anyway, I hope to keep a regular schedule.

There’s not much for this re-entry. I’m waiting for my webmaster to redesign my blog for more attractiveness. We’ll carry on then.

See you.

Writer’s Block in Focus Again

When I started this blog in March 2007 I haphazardly talked about writer’s block when I felt no idea would flow on one occasion that I had to write a post.  I was still a novice then. I had a daily writing schedule for my blog at that time. I took up this pertinent issue a year later at this post.

 

Today I came across an interesting post at The Write Place blog  where Shaun Fawcett says “You too can Beat Writer’s Block”. “Writer’s block is fear-based”, says Shaun. And he comes up with 7 secrets he has identified for beating writer’s block. I thought this post might be of interest to anyone in the writing world and I’d commend it.

 

 

Mumbai’s 9/11

As I write the death of one of our fellow-countrymen makes the local news headlines. He is one of the victims of the cold-blooded killings at Taj Hotel in Mumbai on Thursday last. As bank chief executive he was on official mission in India.

 

His wife who had accompanied him was luckier. She had left her room for the business centre when terrorists perpetrated attacks in the hotel. She was immediately brought to safer locations while her husband was still in his room. They exchanged a last phone conversation at around 11.30 am Indian time. No news since then until she was called to identify his corpse.

 

We also learned that the anti-terrorist chief in India was shot dead in an encounter. Several innocent people are reported dead following gun fires and bomb blasts. The target seems to be clear. Hotels like Taj and Oberoi are known to lodge high profile international travelers.

 

Attacks like this one reminds us of the September 11, 2001 episode of the twin towers in New York. The world is becoming ever more insecure. Terrorists seem to be everywhere and they can strike any time. No country can be said to be safe.

 

Is there any means we can identify and annihilate such moves? Can anybody find out why terrorism strikes? Is there a terrorism profile? How is it that the security services are not privy until the terror has occurred? We always have to indulge in fire fighting. Can the world come up with effective prevention strategies?

 

These and many other questions still haunt the minds of all people around the world. As silly as it might appear I am tempted to ask whether terrorists are human beings. Any human being worthy of his name cannot commit such cold-blooded killings without any particular motives. If there are motives, what they?

 

May be if we can go down to the source of these motives we might come up with some sort of explanation. And only then can we find possible means to bring terrorist attacks to a halt once for all. It’s not a one-person concern. Every body should be in as an anti-terrorist ambassador. Remember terrorists do not discriminate. Their hands are always on the trigger. They hit; and they hit hard. They kill. They act like robots.

 

 

Fish Bone down my Throat

I spent one night at the ENT (Ear Nose and Throat) hospital (ex-Royal Navy) at Vacoas yesterday. A fish bone got stuck in my throat at dinner time. That was a fine bone of a small fish called “vielle rouge”.

I was having dinner unusually late. My system was still on the old clock while we stepped into summer time last week. We tried old granny’s method, taking lumps of dry bread and rice, to get it out; no success. The bone was indeed stubborn. My son drove me to the hospital.

The doctor could not locate the intruder in my throat. “Sorry,” he said “you’ll have to stay.” I had no option. After the formalities an attendant brought me to the male ward. A nurse then brought me to Queen Victoria hospital at Candos for an x-ray. When I came back at the ENT ward it was already past 11.00 pm.

The ENT specialist examined me in this morning. “Lay down on the couch,” he said in a hard voice while he asked the nurse to bring the tools. “Tilt your head backwards and open your mouth.”

I couldn’t bear the presence of the forceps in my mouth. It’s nauseating and I was indeed uncomfortable. “Please understand that you must co-operate else we’ll need to resort to complete anesthesia,” said one nurse. “And this is not without risks.”

I started getting more apprehensive. But I controlled myself. I took a deep breath and relaxed. The surgeon drove the forceps down the throat after a couple of attempts. I yelled with pain. “How do you feel, Sir?” he asked.

I sat up and made a swallowing gesture. There was no more pricking sensation. “OK, you can go home now,” the surgeon uttered in a smile. He prescribed some antibiotics and painkillers. I was relieved to be discharged.

It was my first stay in a hospital. I always dread staying in hospitals. Those who’ve had such experience will tell you how uncomfortable it is to be amidst patients whining with pain and snoring at night, especially when you are struggling to sleep. And when you have to go for washing it’s yet another chore.

Any experience out there?

Mauritius Adopts Summer Time

At 2.00 am on Sunday 26 October this year the clocks in Mauritius read 3.00 am. The country stepped into the summer time concept practiced in many countries. Government aims primarily to save on energy costs as it expects a reduction in the demand of electricity supply at peak hour in the evening. This measure will last until 2.00 am on 29 March 2009 and it is said to be on a pilot basis.

The introduction of this measure however didn’t go without controversial voices from various quarters. Will the electricity charges go down in real terms? What will happen to those religious beliefs that attach special importance on birth dates and specific prayer times? Will it not impact negatively on the health of people with a disturbance in the circadian rhythm? These and many other questions are still not clear in the minds of the common people for whom it means no more that getting up earlier in the morning.

Mauritius has its own specificity with a diversity of cultural heritage. In the absence of prior study on the real impacts of this new system we will have to wait for the answers at the end of summer time. Let’s hope the government comes up with a comprehensive feedback on the practical implications of this innovation to find out whether these are in consonance with the main objective. Only then can it come up with a definite stand on the implementation of such measure in the future.

It’s worth mentioning that such measure was implemented for the first time in the history of Mauritius in 1982 when the MMM-PSM alliance won all the seats at the national elections. A spokesman who was Minister of Energy at that time said in a radio broadcast last week that it did indeed bring about a decrease in the electricity demand by 5% which was quite conclusive in his opinion.

Settled and Healthier

Nearly two months since I came back from Rodrigues. It was somewhat hectic but I have managed to settle down smoothly in the normal daily routine. You remember when I first wrote from Hill in the Sea in February I pledged to throw at least four kilos by the end of my stay there? Any guess how much I lost? I left Rodrigues on 8 August with three kilos less. But you’ll be amazed I’ve gone down another three kilos since then.

While many people thrive with various slimming and weight loss strategies often at onerous costs, I chose the natural way, healthier and with no extra penny. Just do what you are capable of and don’t rely too much on the over-the-counter formulae which will do no more than deplete your purse, slowly but surely. So what did I do? Simple. No magic formula.

I adopted a health regime with respect to my bodily constitution, which I maintained after my return from Rodrigues. Believe me, as simple as it might appear, it worked. I made it a point to do the following on a sustained basis:

– walking (briskly at least an hour on each occasion) four to six kilometers;
– swimming;
– avoiding oily and fried foods;
– cutting down on rice and all that make heavy meals;
– favouring raw salads and boiled veggies;
– reducing salt content, and avoiding it altogether where possible; and
– above all keeping regular medical follow up.

One more thing: I don’t drink or smoke. All for a healthier lifestyle.

Interested in knowing more about how you can adopt a healthier lifestyle? Go back to my post Five Rituals for a Healthier You.

Forging Ahead

New Look, New Design

As I told you in my previous post, I had in mind to change the look of my blog. Are the same theme and the same design still appealing after some time? This question has been haunting me since a while. If for some reason or other we tend to resist change, I have a whole different view of this pertinent issue. On-going change, I believe, favours fresh enthusiasm and commitment at the service of the customer. We shouldn’t keep out of mind that what we are is what our customers want us to be. We have to live up to their expectations if we want to survive.

What are our readers looking for? They need to know not only what’s new but also how it’s new. The content is vital; the wrapping is even more. Have you ever halted a while in the shopping mall? Have you noticed people carefully choosing the wrapping material for their gifts? Why are they so selective on something that’s only going to serve as a cover or blanket only for the moment it’s handed over to the recipient? Once the gift is in hand they forget about the wrapper. Isn’t it? This is what I’d call the appeal factor. The stuff that wraps gifts is as important, if not more, as the gift itself. I hope advertising agents won’t contradict me on this matter.

New Hosting Service

It all happened when my webmaster told me he was in the process of making a new design for his blog. He was at the same time looking for a more reliable web hosting service for Wakish Wonderz. We had enough of the erratic service we were having.We’ve been discussing about this during the past months. He was determined for a change. He also proposed to give my blog a new look too. I agreed to that, and so I decided that I won’t resume blogging until all this would have been cleared.

Side Bar De-cluttered a bit

It took quite some time. That’s the “other reason for my long absence” I mentioned in my previous post. And we came up with this new design for Alfa King Memories. You’ll notice the new logo and avatar; a slight de-cluttering of the side bar; and the posts appearing only partly to allow more space per page. The archive has been moved to a separate page. Some items that I consider don’t make any difference have been removed. There’s still some more de-cluttering to do and we’ll tackle this as we go along. What do you think about it?

Forward with Determination

From the bold “first step which was the hardest” some 18 months ago, Alfa King is “forging ahead” with renewed vigour thanks to your support and encouragement. There’s a substantial growth in my visitors’ list; and I hope to have a still bigger number with posts that need to reconcile both readers’ interests and areas of expertise I feel better at ease.

So there you are folks. Keep visiting Alfa King Memories. There’s lot more to dig out and learn together. Feel free, as usual, to air any suggestions or thoughts through my comment box.

Still There to Serve You

Heya! Here am I. A relatively long absence indeed. Well, I know it’s been longer than intended. All my plans to connect with you last week were in vain. How many of you have had their telephone line interrupted for at least a week? It was my case since Tuesday 16 September. It seems a lorry hit against one of the poles in the roadside where I live and the main cable was torn apart.

And you know the time it takes to get the whole thing fixed again, especially when you have a non-stop rain for nearly three days, from Tuesday evening to Friday morning. Just to give you an idea, the 24-hour rainfall on Wednesday reached a record-breaking amount of 250 mm in the central part of the country; and 270 mm at some places, which largely exceeded the long-term average for September.

The line was restored at last today, not without multiple complaints. Can you figure out having to do without internet for a whole week? Our lives have become so technology-dependant that even a slight breakdown amplifies our distress. I don’t dare look at my list of waiting tasks.

Anyway, when I came back from Rodrigues I went straight to my office the next working day. Usually after a tour of service we go on leave immediately on a priority basis, if we so desire. Instead I chose to have some vacation leave as from the second week of this month. I’ll resume my full time job in the second week of October. Plenty of time to recuperate and get settled. Right?

Ok. Now, what have I been doing? To be frank I was idle. So why didn’t I keep you posted? I have no straightforward answer. But I had to check back all my routine matters, banking, car insurance and road tax, utilities and the rest of other personal matters so that there’s nothing outstanding.

I also wanted to have a deeper look over this whole issue of blogging again. The break allowed me some time to go through my pages and readership statistics. It was a fruitful exercise and I came up with some quite interesting clues as to what they’ve been looking for. But there’s yet another reason for my absence: I was contemplating a change in the look and design of my blog. We’ll talk more about this in my next post.

Watch out.

Time to Pack up

Cocos

Uuuhh… It’s the end of my tour. Do you still recall my first post from Rodrigues a week after my arrival here? Well, it’s already time to pack up. As from this evening I’ll be on hot ashes with the arrival of my relief, packing up of my personal effects and handing over procedures. My wife came some 10 days ago. After some quick visits to some sites she is busy doing some shopping so that we can bring little gifts for the close relatives. The specialities of the island are straw hats, bags, chillies, honey, lemons and pickles.

Six months have elapsed. I should say I had a cool moment, far from the rush and stress in homeland. I enjoyed the countryside, the seaside, the fishing parties and, most of all, my visit to Ile aux Cocos. The nice time I had with my son and a very intimate and special companion will ever remain as an unforgettable moment in my life. I have been here on several occasions. This one was indeed special. For the first time I visited the whole island and interested myself in the people’s way of life. And you know what? I had so many visitors, which made my stay really enjoyable.

This morning I conveyed the bulk of my personal effects for shipment. I’ll have to leave my car under the care of my relief to ship it back next week. The boat is expected on 10 August. Back home I’ll have to do without my car until around the 13th on the return of the boat to Port Louis.

I am sorry for having been irregular during the past month. I hope to catch up as soon as I’m settled at home. Until then take care. See you.