Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Honduras and Iran

Six years ago it was scenes from Honduras that filled television newscasts and newspaper pages. Then as now, there was a public outpouring of sympathy and support. Then as now, heads of state pledged huge amounts of aid. International relief agencies committed themselves to "build back better," promising to stay for the long term and provide the tools needed to overcome the social and economic forces that make the poor so vulnerable.

It is possible that this time will be different, that the donor nations really will come through with the aid they have promised, and there are reasons for optimism. [In Washington on Monday, President Bush promised a "long-term commitment" to the victims and urged Americans not to reduce charitable giving to other parts of the world.]

In addition, the tsunami catastrophe, in sheer numbers of victims and countries affected, is on a scale far greater than any recent natural disaster. And in the post-9/11 world - particularly the United States, with the war in Iraq and the fight against terrorism - the richer countries now have a strong incentive to demonstrate their sensitivity to the concerns of people in developing countries, and particularly to Muslims, who died in disproportionate numbers in the waves.

But all too often when disaster strikes - from here in Honduras to Iran, where the ancient city of Bam was shattered by an earthquake a year ago, to Mozambique, which endured floods in 2000 - that mission seems to last only as long as the media attention.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Chinese

Yesterday I got back to my Chinese clases, it was a bit tiring but the best part was when my chinese teacher started to talk about his life in China. He's a chinese guy who has been leaving in Brazil for six years, and he speakes portuguese fairly well. He lives with his family, they are from China too, but none of them speak portuguese, weel his brither just says some words in portuguese.
Chinese is a language totally different from mine, I can't make clear sentenses yet, I just repeat some sounds that I'm familiar with. My teacher and I decided that I should learn hideograms and "pyn-yin" at the same time. Hideogrms are those "draws" which is very famous in oriental countries and "pyn-yin" is a kind of "translation" of the sound to ocidental people don't go nuts trying to study it. He's been living in my city for three years, and his family has a restaurant in my city, which serves just vegetarian food. Sometimes I try to speak chinese with his mother, and we always end lauthing at each other, because she can hardly undestand me, but till the next Olimpic games I'll make myself understood by the chinese guys....

See you...

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

some poetry

Like burnt-out torches by a sick man's bed
Gaunt cypress-trees stand round the sun-bleached stone;
Here doth the little night-owl make her throne,
And the slight lizard show his jewelled head.
And, where the chaliced poppies flame to red,
In the still chamber of yon pyramidSurely some Old-World Sphinx lurks darkly hid,
Grim warder of this pleasaunce of the dead.

Ah! sweet indeed to rest within the womb
Of Earth, great mother of eternal sleep,
But sweeter far for thee a restless tomb
In the blue cavern of an echoing deep,
Or where the tall ships founder in the gloom
Against the rocks of some wave-shattered steep

Lewis Carroll...

If you want to read something really good, try any work of Lewis Carroll. His known especially for his work, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, but he wrote other things which are as good as this one.

Cost of the War in Iraq
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