Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Suspended in Singapore

Arrived at 6.30am at the vast and sprawling and terrifyingly efficient Changi Airport after an uneventful flight. We left Auckland at 1.05am and were immediately presented with a large meal - which I guess is very generous but not exactly necessary!

I was fortunate to have a window seat but not quite so fortunate to be sitting next to a gentleman who not only snored regularly and loudly, but also, in his semi-conscious state, seemed to assume that my left shoulder was an obvious and natural extension to the small pink Airlines pillow that was propped between his head and seat. The tricky part for me was trying to wake him in order to slide past to stretch the old legs.

Phil and Chalpat were a few rows back. What a great idea booking a couple of day rooms ... ahhhh a nice long hot bath. I have now emerged after some sleep blinking into the artificial light to be faced by endless miles of people movers and smart shops. We fly to Jakarta in a couple of hours.

These few hours will be an extraordinary contrast to Nias and Banda Aceh where we will find ourselves in a day or two. This is a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate how money raised by New Zealanders and channeled through an array of agencies and community organisations is making a difference already. There are so many wonderful stories - a few of which we heard at the media launches in Auckland and Wellington - but there are so many more to be told.

It is a privilege to be part of this trip and I so hope that in some small way, this series of visits will help to promote the extraordinary work that NZAID and many New Zealand agencies are engaged in.

Kia kaha and until tomorrow - Mike


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