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My Live Below the Line Challenge: day 3


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morning person

5:40 am *BEEP-BEEP-BEEP* snooze *BEEP-BEEP-BEEP*… At some point the beeps of the alarm merged into the beeps in my head as if they were filtering out the words I was thinking, #*@# mornings!

 

 Meal one: 6am, Breakfast “banana rice”

1/3 cup of rice, 1/2 Banana + milk

 

The story of Banana Rice

When I was 6-7yrs old my parents were missionaries in a poor area of the Philippines, an event that would undoubtedly shape my life and ruin me for happily zombieing along in a consumerist society, although I’d still give it a crack for a couple of years in my 20’s and occasionally wish I could flick a switch & play ‘house’ with all the other grown ups instead of pondering the meaning of life 🙂

Anyhow I digress… the Philippines equals lots of rice. Often the next morning there would be rice leftover from the night before, so we would have,

“Banana rice”  – banana + rice + milk + sugar, normally served heated, my preference is with a twirl of honey or maple syrup.

“Chocolate rice” – rice + milk + coco or Milo.

Or last and certainly least, “Yuk Rice” – rice + milk + golden syrup + sultanas.

Shortly after we returned from the Philippines we moved to Wellington, where dad – who had left the Police – began working for a very multicultural church. Guess what, more rice! Often having people over for meals, breakfast rice became a staple part of our diet.

I haven’t had breakfast rice for 10+ years, so I thought the Live Below the Line week was a great chance to bring out an old favourite. I cheat, I don’t do it properly, I’ve been having it cold, I have more milk than I need, and I’ve been missing the added honey (makes a world of difference).

 

It’s not hard to make. How hard can it be when the majority of the ingredients are listed in the name 🙂

You can follow along at home…

Step one: add banana

WP_001371Step two: add rice & milk

WP_001375Now some people like to switch step 1 & 2 around, but it is my expert opinion that only the most experienced should attempt this advanced technique.

 

6:30am – midway through my walk to work in the drizzling rain it feels like my ears are going to explode out of my head,  they’re so cold.

6:45am – I get picked up by a work colleague, most likely moved to sympathy for how tragic I was looking.

Meal two: 11am, Lunch,  Take that hunger, today I came prepared!

1/3 cup rice, couple of spoonfuls of tuna

3pm – Still drizzling, I’ve been fortunate enough to avoid any heavy rain, a refreshing walk home.

 

Walking

I’ve really been enjoying the walking – apart from this mornings exploding ears

it’s great for the mind to wander & ponder

Something that doesn’t tend to happen in amongst the hurried busyness that life can sometimes be, or maybe we keep ourselves busy so we don’t have to stop and think…

I smashed out an hour nap, naps are the best! before I caught up with a friend. Normally we’d go out for a meal but that was off the cards so we just wandered in the rain pondering life, love, money & all life’s great mysteries.

 

Meal three: 8pm, Dinner “mix it all” & “banana rice”

1/4 cup of rice, couple of spoonfuls of beans, couple of spoonfuls of tuna

topped off with heated banana rice.

 

12:30am brain fried from too much study & essay writing. shutting dowwn  n………..

 

You can follow my fund-raising progress here.

 

adventures

My Live Below the Line Challenge: day 2


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hangry

Hangry (Han-gree)

adj. Having a strong feeling of or showing annoyance, displeasure or hostility; a state of anger cause by lack of food.

My day didn’t start as a hangry day, in fact I don’t recall ever being hangry before. Now I’ve been hungry before, and I’ve certainly been tired and grumpy/angry before – would that be trumpy or tangry? – but not hangry.

My alarm went off at 5.30am & full of youthful enthusiasm and excitement for the day I jumped out of bed with the alertness of a meerkat. Most unusual as I am not a morning person, as I’m sure you’ll see as the week progresses, lets put this down as an anomaly.

I got home late last night so didn’t have time to prep anything for today, all I had left was some cooked rice from a missed meal yesterday – another anomaly, I just wasn’t hungry for some reason.

 

Meal 1: 5:50am Breakfast “banana rice”

1/3 cup rice, 1/2 banana,  milk all mixed together, Yum!

 

With a full belly & confidence overflowing – who needs food? not me, I survived on 2 meals yesterday, I’m going to own this week! – I headed off on a 50 min walk to work.

 

10 o’clock – I’m really missing my morning coffee (pretty much essential to my survival on the morning shift, see: not a morning person), and what’s that I feel? could that be hunger? yes, yes it was.

 

Up until this point my biggest gripe has been technology withdrawal, apart from writing this blog (which publishes straight to facebook in case you were wondering, as I know some of you are, I won’t name names… *cough* Mark *cough*) I’ve managed to stay tech free, no games, no texting, no email, no facebook, no movies, no music.

By “tech free” I guess I’m talking entertainment & communication. I did have it put to me that technology delivers & heats my shower, all I can say is I had enough dribbly-cold showers in Uganda to gain an everlasting appreciation of a hot shower.

So why has no tech been hard… I just wanted to watch some football yesterday, I wanted to check my fantasy scores, I wanted to play some music, I wanted to play some Civ…

Quick Side note: I was introduced to Civilization 5 less than 2 weeks ago & I’m hooked, I may have put in a few hrs with some friends this last week 🙂 The bonus is now I’ll probably stop dreaming in hexagons. The downside is at some stage I’ll probably get the shakes as I go through withdrawal.

 

12 o’clock – I’m really hungry, my stomach is making funny noises, why didn’t I bring lunch, what was I thinking ?!!

3 o’clock – Home Time!… but it isn’t as I have to stay on. It feels like my stomach is trying to eat itself.

4 o’clock – The Hangry Zone. I pick a kid up from the shops to bring him back to school. He hops into the car with a pizza, it smells Amaaaaaazing! He opens the lid and offers me some. Look at all that cheesy goodness & it’s vege! omg! this is the best looking pizza I have ever seen in my entire life! I smile, I politely decline. I want to smash his head through the window & drag him behind the car, why are you chomping so loudly!

Oh, so that’s what it feels like. I’m hangry.

 

I leave work just before 5, I get home just before 6, the walk home is freezing. I’m hangrier, I haven’t eaten for 12hrs. I cook a bunch of rice for Dinner, Breakfast & lunch.

 

Meal 2: 6:30 pm Dinner “mix up”

1/3 tin of beans

1/3 cup of rice

3 spoonfuls of tuna

 

10 o’clock: My hangry day has drawn to a close.

What I take out of today: If I can survive the temptation of pizza, I should be able to see the week out… and as for you Pizza, you’ll get your comeuppance come Saturday.

 

 

You can follow my fund-raising progress here.

 

adventures

My Live Below the Line Challenge: day 1


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Day 1 will be the easiest, because it’s shorter than the rest. After coming off 4 evening shifts, Monday was a day off. My day didn’t start till after midday where I headed off to the supermarket to grab my food for the next 5 days.

Walking through the supermarket was when it finally hit home. There would be no salmon, no halloumi cheese, no coffee, no juice, no beersies, no Freedom Farms Streaky Bacon…

Freedom Farms Streaky Bacon is like the Jesus of food, it’ll change your life.

and I’m back… no eggs, I was really tempted by a large tray of cage eggs, but couldn’t do it… though I quickly jumped off my ethical-eating high-horse so i could purchase some bananas.

WP_001365Here is my shop in all it’s glory.

brown rice $1.60

Tuna $2.50

Bananas x3 $1.64

milk $2

Beans $2

Total $9.74

Which leaves $1.51.

I’ll need that for Friday.

Meal one: midday who am i kidding, 3pm. “Beans & Rice”

1/2 glass of milk

1/2 cup rice

1/3 can of beans

WP_001367

I made the picture big so I wouldn’t be as sad.

 

Off to a good start. Today was a car free day I made two trips clocking up 3hrs of walking, although it meant I didn’t get home till 11ish.  Fortunately I avoided the rain but was unable to avoid a snail on my way home, I knew I was hungry because the crushing sound reminded me of crispy potato chips Mmmmm…

I just re-read that sentence, to clarify I stood on the snail, I didn’t eat it. That might come later in the week 🙂

 

Meal two: 11:30 pm “Banana Rice”

1/2 Banana, 1/3 cup of Rice, 1/2 cup of milk… all mixed together.

 

Almost midnight, I’ll be up at 5.30am to make it to work for 7 o’clock starts *shudder*.

 

You can follow my fund-raising progress here.

adventures

My Live Below the Line Challenge: the who


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child-trafficking

The average sex traffic victim is a 12-year-old girl.

The average sex tourist is a male from a wealthy country.

He will visit a poor country.

Average flight to Bangkok $1,300.

$10-30 for a meal.

$10-30 for a child prostitute.

 

trafficking

 

As part of the Live Below the Line challenge you chose an organisation to benefit from the money you’ve raised.

It’s a brief dilemma as there are so many quality groups to choose from, World Vision, Oxfam, Global Poverty Project, Engineers Without Borders, Habitat for Humanity, Salvation Army… & many more.

One of the consequences of extreme poverty is human trafficking, part of which is forced exploration in the sex industry. This often effects the poorest & most vulnerable people in our world. This is why I chose Tear Fund.

 

Maria’s Story

“Maria was only 13 years old when a family friend offered to find her a job working as a waitress in a neighbouring country. The woman promised to escort her across the border where she said Maria could make enough money to support her impoverished family. However after crossing the border, the woman took Maria straight to a brothel.

Maria was horrified and protested saying she wanted to go home. The manager told Maria that her freedom had been purchased from the woman who had delivered her. She now had a debt imposed on her and was told she could not leave until she had paid it back in full. Maria was told she must pay back the money she owed by selling her body.

A willing customer was found later that night and shaking with fear, Maria was led into a room where the man waited. When he began to rape her, Maria cried out so loudly in pain that the man complained.

The brothel manager then strapped tape over Maria’s mouth to silence her screams.

But the horror was not over as she was forced to have sex with seven more strangers that night.

Posing as a potential customer, one of our investigators was able to covertly infiltrate the criminal network responsible for Maria’s captivity. Working with trusted local authorities, Nvader facilitated the rescue of Maria and the prosecution of those responsible. Maria was placed with a secure professional aftercare provider where she was able to begin her journey of healing and restoration”.

 

I don’t think I need to say more, a week without the food, technology, car that I’m used to should be a walk in the park compared to this.

 

Maria was only 13 years old when a family friend offered to find her a job working as a waitress in a neighbouring country. The woman promised to escort her across the border where she said Maria could make enough money to support her impoverished family. However after crossing the border, the woman took Maria straight to a brothel. – See more at: https://www.livebelowtheline.com/nz-tearfund-about#sthash.BKuHlEIf.dpuf
Maria was only 13 years old when a family friend offered to find her a job working as a waitress in a neighbouring country. The woman promised to escort her across the border where she said Maria could make enough money to support her impoverished family. However after crossing the border, the woman took Maria straight to a brothel.Maria was horrified and protested saying she wanted to go home. The manager told Maria that her freedom had been purchased from the woman who had delivered her. She now had a debt imposed on her and was told she could not leave until she had paid it back in full. Maria was told she must pay back the money she owed by selling her body.A willing customer was found later that night and shaking with fear, Maria was led into a room where the man waited. When he began to rape her, Maria cried out so loudly in pain that the man complained. The brothel manager then strapped tape over Maria’s mouth to silence her screams. But the horror was not over as she was forced to have sex with seven more strangers that night.

Posing as a potential customer, one of our investigators was able to covertly infiltrate the criminal network responsible for Maria’s captivity. Working with trusted local authorities, Nvader facilitated the rescue of Maria and the prosecution of those responsible. Maria was placed with a secure professional aftercare provider where she was able to begin her journey of healing and restoration. – See more at: https://www.livebelowtheline.com/nz-tearfund-about#sthash.Xplx0NRB.dpuf

Maria was only 13 years old when a family friend offered to find her a job working as a waitress in a neighbouring country. The woman promised to escort her across the border where she said Maria could make enough money to support her impoverished family. However after crossing the border, the woman took Maria straight to a brothel.Maria was horrified and protested saying she wanted to go home. The manager told Maria that her freedom had been purchased from the woman who had delivered her. She now had a debt imposed on her and was told she could not leave until she had paid it back in full. Maria was told she must pay back the money she owed by selling her body.A willing customer was found later that night and shaking with fear, Maria was led into a room where the man waited. When he began to rape her, Maria cried out so loudly in pain that the man complained. The brothel manager then strapped tape over Maria’s mouth to silence her screams. But the horror was not over as she was forced to have sex with seven more strangers that night.

Posing as a potential customer, one of our investigators was able to covertly infiltrate the criminal network responsible for Maria’s captivity. Working with trusted local authorities, Nvader facilitated the rescue of Maria and the prosecution of those responsible. Maria was placed with a secure professional aftercare provider where she was able to begin her journey of healing and restoration. – See more at: https://www.livebelowtheline.com/nz-tearfund-about#sthash.Xplx0NRB.dpuf

Maria was only 13 years old when a family friend offered to find her a job working as a waitress in a neighbouring country. The woman promised to escort her across the border where she said Maria could make enough money to support her impoverished family. However after crossing the border, the woman took Maria straight to a brothel.Maria was horrified and protested saying she wanted to go home. The manager told Maria that her freedom had been purchased from the woman who had delivered her. She now had a debt imposed on her and was told she could not leave until she had paid it back in full. Maria was told she must pay back the money she owed by selling her body.A willing customer was found later that night and shaking with fear, Maria was led into a room where the man waited. When he began to rape her, Maria cried out so loudly in pain that the man complained. The brothel manager then strapped tape over Maria’s mouth to silence her screams. But the horror was not over as she was forced to have sex with seven more strangers that night.

Posing as a potential customer, one of our investigators was able to covertly infiltrate the criminal network responsible for Maria’s captivity. Working with trusted local authorities, Nvader facilitated the rescue of Maria and the prosecution of those responsible. Maria was placed with a secure professional aftercare provider where she was able to begin her journey of healing and restoration. – See more at: https://www.livebelowtheline.com/nz-tearfund-about#sthash.Xplx0NRB.dpuf

Maria was only 13 years old when a
adventures

My Live Below the Line Challenge: what & why


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So I’m doing the Live Below the Line Challenge but I’m going to try spice it up a bit (more to come).

The challenge is to feed yourself on $2.25 (aprx $1.80 US, $1.35 EUR) a day for 5 days, in an effort to raise money, awareness & to give me a little insight into the lives of the Billion-plus people who live below the extreme poverty line ($2.25) every day… and that $2.25, it covers everything for them, not just food.

Now I’ve had a half hearted attempt at this before (which prompted this reflection) & in a moment of weakness brought a bottle of Powerade for a game of basketball and blew out my budget.

So this time I know I’ll need a plan, I’ll need to scout out the supermarket, I’ll need some rules & some people to keep me accountable.

You can sponsor me here if you feel inclined, otherwise I encourage you to join in yourself or feel free to hang around as I blog this brief journey.

Why am I doing this?

Partly to get a little more insight into the lives of others, partly to gain a greater appreciation for what I have. But mostly because I believe that with all the wealth, technology & resources we have available world, that it’s criminal that people die because of poverty.

I often wonder – when looking back at our history – how Christians (others as well) stood so idly by during the civil rights movement & apartheid era, and advocated for, or remained silent against a clearly oppressive & inhumane way of treating people.

I often find myself thinking, “how can you even call yourself a follower of Jesus?”

Harsh, I know.

That’s the beauty of hindsight.

We can see something so clearly looking back, that we can’t when we are immersed in it or it is the acceptable norm. Which makes me wonder what they’ll say about us in the future…

Poverty – an accepted norm.

In 50 years time will the Christians of the future look back and question us? Will they say, “I can’t believe you had so much & did so little…”

This is why I’m doing the challenge, if nothing else it may change my heart & attitude a little. Hopefully it makes a small difference in some one else’s life.

With all the wealth, technology & resources we have available in the world it’s criminal that people die of poverty… one of the consequences of extreme poverty is Human Trafficking, the average victim is a 12yr old girl, that’s seriously messed up. So please please please donate as i go without coffee, chocolate, junk food & all things nice in an attempt to make a small difference in someone else’s life. – See more at: https://www.livebelowtheline.com/me/nzkiwi41#sthash.ghvwL7sT.dpuf
With all the wealth, technology & resources we have available in the world it’s criminal that people die of poverty… one of the consequences of extreme poverty is Human Trafficking, the average victim is a 12yr old girl, that’s seriously messed up. So please please please donate as i go without coffee, chocolate, junk food & all things nice in an attempt to make a small difference in someone else’s life. – See more at: https://www.livebelowtheline.com/me/nzkiwi41#sthash.ghvwL7sT.dpuf
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living wage


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Bishop

 

The following is part of an article in The New Zealand Herald.

 

A couple of years ago I had the privilege of visiting the very inspiring Justin & his beautiful Ngatiawa community. It was a significant moment for me.

Bishop challenges high-income earners

Wellington’s Anglican bishop says he may cut his own salary to help fund a “living wage” for cleaners, caregivers and other low-paid workers in Anglican churches and social agencies.

Bishop Justin Duckworth, a dreadlocked, Jandal-wearing priest who was an upset choice as bishop last year, is also challenging other high-income earners to take less to fund higher wages for the 39 per cent of Kiwi workers who now earn less than the living wage, defined by union and church groups as $18.40 an hour.

His current salary is about $63,000, or $30 an hour, plus a house.

My personal response is in the future I have to look at what I am earning and say, what is appropriate for me to earn given that many people in our society don’t even have enough to participate meaningfully in our society

 

“I would ask that everyone else should be engaged in the moral conversation of when is too much too much.”

The bishop, who has lived his entire married life sharing his family home with people in need such as lost teenagers and ex-prisoners, said he and his wife, Jenny, were also considering how to make best use of the bishop’s official home across the road from Parliament when they move there later this year from the community for recovering addicts and others where they have lived for the past 10 years.

“We have always lived with people. We will do that again,” he said.

One of the things we don’t tell the next generation is that you can’t have it all. You have to choose which story you are going to fit

 

“If you want to choose the story of upward mobility, 2.3 kids, a white picket fence, a mortgage, a university education, a good career and superannuation, you can’t have that and come to this conference and expect to work for justice. You can’t do everything.

We have to tell our young people clearly that Jesus is not an app that we load onto our smartphones. He is the core operating system. If he is the core operating system, that influences everything in our lives

 

“We have to tell them how to live simply and to be happy with what you’ve got, realising that everyone else in society is screaming, ‘Have more, have more, have more!”‘

His comments came as an Auckland Council committee decided yesterday to keep investigating ways to pay the living wage to the 1623 council staff who now earn below $18.40 an hour. Officials said this would cost $3.75 million a year.

They also backed an amendment by councillor Cameron Brewer to find the cost within the existing $693 million wage bill, which includes 1500 people earning over $100,000 a year.

 

the full article from Simon Collins can be found here  

You can read more about Justin here

 

 

 

poetic, Uncategorized

a Franciscan blessing


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May God bless you with a restless discomfort about easy answers, half-truths and superficial relationships, so that you may seek truth boldly and love deep within your heart.

May God bless you with holy anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may tirelessly work for justice, freedom, and peace among all people.

May God bless you with the gift of tears to shed with those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, or the loss of all that they cherish, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and transform their pain into joy.

May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you really can make a difference in this world, so that you are able, with God’s grace, to do what others claim cannot be done.