Friday, December 29, 2006

It's in you to give....

As we approach the New Year's eve w/end, I have heard a lot about the NOT-drinking-and-driving campaign here in MU. This week after Christmas, the news have been about how the police force stopped vehicles on Christmas eve for alcohol tests and how many drunk drivers were tested.

We all know that we shouldn't drink and drive, yet some drivers still do it because they either think they are above the law or because they think their tolerance for alcohol is better than most people. What these drivers do not realize is that by driving under the influence of alcohol, they not only put themselves in danger, but they put the lives of other people in danger too. Most often than not, in road accidents involving drunk drivers, the innocent are more hurt than the drunk driver himself. The Don't-Drink-And-Drive campaigns usually try to remind people of those risks come the holiday season.

That said, the Canadian Blood Services (CBS) usually have a massive campaign to make people donate blood during the holidays. Here in MU, I haven't heard that much about giving blood although I am sure the need for blood is even more critical during this period. The blood banks in MU already run low most of the time, so it is only normal that during the holiday period, with people getting busier at home and with parties, fewer donors have the time to go to a blood collection point and unfortunately more accidents occur during this period meaning more people needing blood.

Since the blood collected can only be used within 35 days, every healthy person who can donate blood should be encouraged to do so to relieve the need for blood nation-wide. Blood to spare is something most people have... yet, there is still not enough to go around. It is something money can't buy, only something one person can give to another. In fact, one blood donation may help save up to three lives.

As the CBS campaigns usually say: "It's in you to give. Give the gift of life, donate blood."

If nothing else, that could be your good deed for the coming year.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Goodbye 2006, hello 2007!

As 2006 is coming to a close, this is the time to reflect on the year just gone by and for some of us, to make new year's resolutions.

Looking back over the events in 2006, it seems that this year has seen its quota of natural disasters, political scandals, unfortunate killings and accidents and sporting events. Personally, the year has been way more peaceful than in the world, the highlights being getting a new job then changing companies, a trip to Birmingham, and making loads and loads of new friends.

With only a few days left in 2006 though, let's not linger over the past, and let's look forward to the new blank page ahead. I am sure that the question that will pop up sooner or later would be about my new year's resolution.

What's a new year resolution you say? Check out the answer on wikipedia:
A New Year's resolution is a commitment that an individual makes to a project or a habit, often a lifestyle change that is generally interpreted as advantageous. The name comes from the fact that these commitments normally go into effect on New Year's Day and remain until the set goal has been achieved, although many resolutions go unachieved and are often broken fairly shortly after they are set.
According to a few surveys online, the most popular new year's resolutions are:
- Spend more time with family and friends.
- Get fit/ lose weight.
- Quit smoking.
- Enjoy life more.
- Quit drinking.
- Get out of debt/ save money.
- Learn something new.
- Help others/ volunteer.
- Get organized.
- Get a better job/education.
- Eat right.
- Reduce stress/take a trip in the year.

I, by experience, know that my new year's resolutions do not hold all the way because I tend to forget them after 1 week. Yes, we are all getting older, some of us a little bit wiser, some a little bit balder, some a little bit fatter. The bottom line remains that we don't need a new year to come by to realize that we need to take action, either it is to lose weight, eat right, quit smoking or decide to take a trip. However, some of us do like to have a set date to start something even though the goal might not be reached anytime soon.

Having said all that, I have decided that my 2007 resolution would be NOT to have a resolution.

What's your new year's resolution for 2007?

The countdown has started...only 3 days left.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Fireworks, firecrackers, etc.

It is the custom in MU to set off fireworks or firecrackers for celebrations like Christmas, New Year's, Divali, Chinese New Year.....bah, any festival or celebration in fact.
So, in this season of holidays, it is very common to see/hear fireworks around the island...EXCEPT I never expected to see what I saw last night.

I was driving down the motorway after work when, lo and behold, I saw fireworks being set off from a GAS STATION! It is to believe that Mauritians from Roche-bois have no clue whatsoever of the danger of lighting up fireworks in a highly inflammable area like a gas station. I had no time to check if they were being set off by kids or by "responsible" adults, but in any case, the gas station was open, so there must have been the said responsible adults around. An accident could so easily happen and the sad story would be on the headlines the following day claiming that nobody thought such an awful thing could happen.

In CA, the law prevents citizens to set off fireworks or firecrackers if it is not during the Victoria Day week-end (the w/end preceding May 25), Canada Day (July 1st) or New Year's Eve. Some provinces allow fireworks for Divali, but I haven't seen any on Divali during the 5 yrs I was there. It is justifiable why Canada would have such restrictions on fireworks: people do not realize until it is too late that what they are doing could put other people in danger. If such a law was to be implemented in MU, I bet a lot of Mauritians would be outraged that their kids do not know the pleasure of setting off firecrackers and fireworks. Safety comes first though, so I wish there could be something to be done about this....Right now, all I can think of is maybe stop by Roche-bois and kick some uneducated @ss over there. I must say that this particular region in MU could give me unlimited inspiration for blog entries. :P

It is on this happy note that I wish y'all a Happy New Year 2007.

Viva fireworks!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

My Christmas tree

Today, I've put up my Christmas tree.
For the last 7 yrs, I either didn't have a Christmas tree or couldn't be bothered if I put it up or not. And my parents didn't bother either when I wasn't here.

But this year is different, I am home and I WANTED to put it up. So this morning, I dug out my old plastic Xmas tree and that's what it looked like:

I was glad it could still stand up and wasn't too bad looking though it's a bit tilted at the top. (But that only makes it look like a natural one, haha!)
After an hour of bending, stretching, sweating and what not, that is what it looks like:

I've tried to simulate snow with cotton balls....but humm....I ran out of cotton balls. So you can see some snow at the top, but it didn't reach the bottom branches :P

A few of my friends asked if it isn't too early to put up my Xmas tree, after all Christmas is still 3 weeks away....The answer is NO! The beginning of December is as good a time as any to put it up. Some people decide to put it at the beginning of December, some 1-2 weeks before, some on the eve, some a few days before. It is up to people's preferences and sometimes to family traditions. In my family, I've always been the one to put it up (and take it down) every year ever since I'm old enough to do it by myself. So it was always up to me to drag it out year after year, to my convenience.

I'm glad I've put it up this year. Not only it gives a festive mood to the house, but who knows, Santa might drop by on Dec 25!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Nail in the fence...

I've hurt someone I love this week and it reminded me of this email:

There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence. The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Finally the day came when the boy didn't lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.

The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, "You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won't matter how many times you say I'm sorry, the wound is still there.

"A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one. Friends are very rare jewels, indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear, they share words of praise and they always want to open their hearts to us."