Category Archives: Doing Good

Team in training – 4 weeks to go

4 weeks to go and I still need to raise another 700. I guess i should concentrate on the fundraising part more than the running at this point.

My donation page: http://pages.teamintraining.org/los/rnr09/tgongsakdi

It’s been a while since my last update. Some of you may have heard about my sprained ankle a month back. Thanks for all your well wishes. I did take a break to properly heal and even tried some aqua jogging which is supposed to be very low impact. Its my 3rd week back and the truth is that I am definitely feeling the 2-3 weeks of not training. Every week I ask myself if running a full marathon is realistic at this point considering that I only have 41 days left to train. When I run and every step hurts I wonder if that is in my mind or in my body? Everyone seems to hurt at this point of the season…I just wonder if they hurt as much as I do 🙂

I did 13.5 miles today and the hardest part was actually NOT running those 1.5 miles that everyone else ran. All in all it was a great day to be out running along the Santa Monica beach. It took me a little over 3 hours.

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Situation in Burma after Nargis

When I got news of the Nargis cyclone in Burma, my thoughts immediately turned to my brother who has been shuttling between Thailand and Burma for his work during the past few years. I grew more worried as the BBC reported up to 22,000 deaths (unconfirmed) while yesterday the bangkok post reported only 300. (Today they apparently updated the number to 22,000)

Here’s an excerpt from my brother’s email:

We received very little news in BKK of the Typhoon damage. I was informed of the real situation on Sunday. I managed to get myself back to YGN on Monday evening – Yangon is no longer the same Yangon. Big trees, power lines are down across the street. The green YGN is now only left with few trees standing with stripped branches. Most of the houses are damaged with missing roof – corrugated iron sheets and nails are in great demand. Fuel and water are also in high demand and with limited supply – at the office we have to run the generator for power (until we finish our diesel supply). I had arranged for smaller generators already which are much more economical than the main one. For communication, Myanmar government is also asking for our help for emergency battery power supply to run their side so Yangon can communicate outside!!!

At my office we are sending non essentials back ASAP, over ten staffs will fly back tonight – as for me, they had asked me to stay and help for a few more days……..looks like it will take a long time to get the situation back to normal on YGN.
Luckily I still have SPAM from our last visit to New York.

How you can help :

Today is International Human Rights Day

Let’s take a moment to remember how lucky we are and how sometimes we can take so many things for granted.

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law…

These are the second and third paragraphs of the preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948 without a dissenting vote.

Here are some Human Rights related sites for y’all to browse today and maybe do a little something to commemorate this special day.

  • The Hub: The Hub is designed to be a global platform for individuals, groups, networks and organizations to upload and share video, audio and photos related to violations of human rights. Through the Hub, organizations, networks and groups around the world are able to bring their human rights stories and campaigns to global attention.
  • Every Human Has Rights: Sign the Universal Declaration. It’s a time for a global conversation about human rights. To consider the values that unite us as one human family, and one global village. But it can be more. For the last 60 years it‘s been governments that have been asked to sign the Universal Declaration.We hope that 2008 can be the year that individuals, not just governments, sign the declaration.
  • Know Your Rights 2008: It’s time to know your rights. Join the UN’s yearlong campaign to mark the 60th anniversary. There’s a great ‘Le Petit Prince’ themed Human Rights quiz for kids too. OK. SO the site is not quite done…but it looks promising.
  • Amnesty International: The old staple..however they just relaunched their site just in time for the big anniversary – powered by drupal. Congrats guys.

WITNESS Video Hub

International Bloggers’ Day for Burma on the 4th of October


Free Burma!

FREE BURMA

QA begins today (oh what fun)

Here’s the promo video for the Hub. The site I have spent the last year of my life working on. If you want to read about it, volunteer or become a tester please go to WITNESS’ site or just contact me.

This November WITNESS will be launching its newest project: The Hub for human rights media and action.

The Hub will be a grassroots-driven, participatory media website that will enable anyone anywhere in the world with access to the internet to upload, share, discuss and take action around human rights-related media and resources. Through the Hub, organizations, networks and groups around the world will be able to bring their human rights stories and campaigns to global attention.’

Web of Change: Revisiting inspiration, work and ‘the calling’

So I have been noticeably absent for the past week or so. Not from lack of material or inspiration but for once, the complete opposite. Last week I had the opportunity to attend the Web of Change Conference. As many of my friends now know, I tend to approach any new gathering of strangers with a mixture of fear, skepticism and overall reluctance. The fact that everyone who has ever gone to one of these events gush about it with a cult-like enthusiasm and vigor, only increases my level of wariness and skepticism. Web of Change promises to be a ‘gathering connecting senior leaders working at the convergence of online strategy, technology, and social change’. So the big question remains, was it everything I thought it was going to be? As the website promised… did I come back inspired, reinvigorated and more importantly able to renew my passion for the work that I do?

woc.jpg

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Recycling LA style

Recycling CenterThere’s many details to settling into a new place that goes beyond the apartment hunting, buying a car etc. One dilemma I was immediately faced with was now that I have started unpacking my 80 boxes (half of which contain MORE packing paper) what do I do with the mountain of cardboard and paper that I was accumulating? In New York, I would tie them up and wait for recycling day when I would put them on the curb to be whisked away.

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