07 March 2008

An Update from Five and a Half Hours East of ‘Normal’

Even though I’m not a regular blogger, here’s an update about why things are quiet now. As a rule I keep this blog for SQL Developer related comment or features. I plan to continue in that vein, but sometimes it’s nice to talk about or read something slightly different. I was pinged a few times in January by various friends and colleagues to add a list of “8 Things …” At the time I thought this was quite a fun activity and despite the various mumbles and grumbles on a few sites, planned to add a short list to my blog, thinking it would be a great way to get blogging in 2008 and to break my ever-sporadic habit. You are welcome to stop reading at this point, I should just add that this is not a list of 8 things…just one. For those who pinged me, this would have been on the list of ‘8 things you don’t know about me’

If you are a regular reader or know me, you’ll know that I live and work in London. This month I am living and working in New Delhi, India. I’m working for an Indian based charity called Asha. Dr Kiran Martin, a paediatrician, established Asha some 18 years ago, when she started to treat the slum dwellers during a cholera outbreak. Asha is now active in about 40 slums in Delhi, working with over 200 000 people, with a programme that encompasses community and individual development, working on environmental improvements and providing health care. Asha uses volunteers to help, with many hundred from the slum communities. The slum volunteers are trained by Asha staff and then become part of the team working together with professional health care workers. Last year I came out with a team for 10 days from the UK, during a break from Oracle, to help paint a clinic in one of the slums. I documented my trip during that time on this separate blog. http://delhiminimission.blogspot.com
While we were there, we were told about their plans to start English and Computer Literacy programmes and to call for volunteers to get involved. They were hoping for TEFL or TESOL trained volunteers who could spare 2 – 3 months. I am here for a month, as one of the volunteers, teaching children English in one of the slums.

I do have access to the Internet sporadically and so you might see me pop up on the forum from time to time, but I’m officially on leave, so if you think I’m quieter than normal, you might find me chatting here, http://delhiminimission.blogspot.com or maybe even here, http://sueharper.visualblogging.com

I’ll be back in April.