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Posts Tagged ‘heroes’

The Hero In Everyone

I’ve been on the move for a half a year and the past week has been the slowest I’ve spent in all that time. It took an immense effort to keep my foul mood and despair in check. I hadn’t just been robbed of my bag; I had been robbed of my freedom to move. So what does one do with time to spare in Paris- with no form of ID and almost no money?
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When the Greenie Sees Red

Zsolt SzegfalviA few weeks ago- Hungary faced its most daunting ecological disaster till date. A reservoir at an aluminum refinery ruptured, sending a wave of toxic sludge across three counties, and into the Danube River.
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A Home For Gypsies: Gabrile’s Story

In the middle of prosperous cosmopolitan Europe I saw beggars whose destitution was shocking. I was warned by several locals to not give them any money and to watch my belongings when I was around them. It was the same story from Dublin to Berlin to Warsaw and now in Prague in the Czech Republic. They are the Romas and Gypsies- Europe’s dirty little secret.
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A question of choice: Wanda’s story

As I arrive in Poland, the temperature is one degree and dropping. I feel I’m turning blue and I could swear my backpack was several kilos lighter in the morning. The thirty-minute walk to my hostel feels never ending.
I trek up the winding staircase and I’m greeted by three beautiful smiling faces at the reception — one grabs my backpack, another girl takes my coat and the third offers to bring me a cup of tea.
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Reverse Garbage: Beauty in the Bin!

Sydney is a busy and prosperous city. Residents have a great quality of life, access to all amenities and creature comforts that one could hope for. It also means that people acquire and dispose off a lot of ‘stuff’ here. It’s easier and often cheaper to ‘just buy a new one’ than spend the time and effort to fix things up. The volume of household and industrial trash is alarming. So reading about Reverse Garbage and their work was very heartening.
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High-tech Hitchhiking: Sean’s Story

Live in New Delhi? Work in Gurgaon? Live in Vasai and work in Nariman Point? You’re probably spending upwards of ten hours a week driving to work and back. You’re most likely alone in the car. As are thousands of others lined bonnet to bumper on the jammed roads.
The faces of your co-commuters reflecting the despair and angst you feel yourself. The odd road rage incident aside, most seem to have resigned to their fate. That’s the way things are, you see.

If folks like Sean O’Sullivan have their way, things can and will change for the better.
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Football for Peace: Yamam Nabeels Story

The queue for immigration at London’s Heathrow Airport is the longest I’ve ever seen. Refugees, students, workers; nervously holding their passports and immigration forms, inching forward slowly to have their documents checked. In the hour that I stood there waiting my turn, I saw passports from Sudan, Mexico, Israel, UAE, Algeria, Fiji and China. Refugees, students, workers and travellers trying unsuccessfully to mask their excitement, paranoia, fear, and apprehension: my first hour in the UK really set the tone for my time there. Everybody here is from someplace else. read more

Food For Thought, No Bill Attached!: Shanaka’s Story

I walked into a restaurant. All the tables were occupied. To my right, were six well-dressed men in suits. A homeless man with all his possessions in a shopping cart was parked right next to them. They were all digging into a hot meal from the buffet. I glanced around the room and spotted Shanaka Fernando sitting on the far left corner. He looked like he was busy with someone, so I waited a while.
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Be the change: Ray’s Story

Grins Ray Avery, as he signs his autobiography Rebel With a Cause. “I really hope my book makes it to the bestseller list in New Zealand. It’s currently number four on the list, the current best seller is about bread! Only because we don’t want people thinking Kiwis like their bread more than changing the world!”
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Sanjay’s Story: Loo and Behold

Traveling around Asia I got quite used to holding my breath when I’d use the restrooms at bus stops, museums and even some of the seedy guesthouses I stayed in.

With the big exception of Singapore of course. From the first loo I used at the airport to every other I walked into while I was there, I was amazed at the thoughtful design elements and impeccably clean interiors. Really, I probably sound like a deprived third world citizen, but after Vietnam, Cambodia and even Indonesia… it was quite literally a breath of fresh air!
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