Monday, February 1, 2010

Hi intrepid travelers. Following your blog. Looks like you didnt waste any time getting stuck into things. I hope you are all enjoying the amazing experience. Will follow with interest. Be safe and have a wonderful time. Sue Foley

Friday, December 26, 2008

We are sitting at KL airport feeling pleased with what we have accomplished over the past 10 days for Eyes Wide Open and Rotary. 

This research trip has confirmed in my mind the impact Rotary can have on current and future generations of people all over the world through Eyes Wide Open trips. 

Rotary has an opportunity to educate people by giving them first-hand humanitarian experiences and hopefully inspire them to contribute in some small way to those living in need in developing regions of the world. By introducing more people to the outstanding work of Rotary, we can spawn the next generation of humanitarians and Rotarians and see more people join the organisation as a result of a compelling and meaningful experience with Rotary.

Our group managed to touch the lives of many in an albeit small amount of time. In return, we were all touched by the bravery of these people whose daily struggles we can't begin to comprehend. Having read the team's blogs, hopefully you have some idea of how this trip has started to affect their perspectives on life and desire to become more involved in service-orientated work. 

There have been countless positive outcomes from this trip; some which will reveal themselves in time as our youngest team member reaches her adult life. 

I hope those who have read our blog along the way can see the value Eyes Wide Open will bring to those communities we visit, to Rotary and its future relevance and to participants who immerse themselves in Rotary's humanitarian work. 

Thank you to the Rotary Club of Melbourne South for being so far-sighted as to see the long-term benefits of Eyes Wide Open. It's time to start engaging more people in the work of the world's largest humanitarian organisation and Eyes Wide Open is one way to achieve this. 

We are looking forward to showing you the photos and documentary from this trip. 


my second last word on the matter...

WELL! what now???

I speak for myself when I say that I am a little sad to be coming home so soon, although I am looking forward to seeing my family for a belated Christmas and seeing in the new year at home. What we are leaving behind will be thought about a lot over the coming days.

I believe that this trip is just the beginning and encourage everybody to get behind Lena and do what you can to see the Eyes Wide Open dream rocking along...

Anyway, there will be opportunities to view the entire photography portfolio and there is a short film to come from me yet. 

Until then stay safe and know that I am really proud to have been a part of the first EWO trip (if only my teachers at school had told me research could be this much fun!)

Speak soon,

Jungle Jim

Thursday, December 25, 2008


Twisted limbs and broken souls remain,
Coloured by the poisonous orange
That ravaged a nation,
Distorting children's endeavour
With enduring rage.

Man's destruction lies dormant
In fields that bore witness to battle
While generations unknown to war
Live with its burdens
Of body and mind.

It bled its toxin into a people
That yearn for liberty and peace.
And it is only with new life
That hope arrives
For a future absent
From the horror that preceded.


A post from Michael

Hi there it's Michael, the international man of mystery. As usual I haven't blogged yet but its only because the others have been doing such a great job. :) It can be hard for me to articulate exactly what it is that I want to say and how I feel but here goes... 

The Eyes Wide Open slogan "see the world, make a difference" is a good reflection of how I feel about this trip. For me, it has been very much along those lines. I have ventured outside my comfort zone completely. This is my first time to what you would call a developing country, but it has just been one surprise after another, from the growth of their cities to the amazing beauty of the country side and the grandeur of the Ancient Temples. The trip has been a total immersion into the culture of these countries, the way of life, the people, customs and of course the food.

For me, being from a building background, being able to watch the construction going on and the restoration of the Ancient Temples has been for a want of a better word delightful. All of the temples I have visited are breath taking, from there sheer size, the design and the craftsmanship, to the wonderful masonry carving on every wall and every square inch of the the Temples. 

But there has also being the other part of the trip - the humanitarian side - which has honestly caught me a little bit off guard. With the team we have visited quite a few orphanages, an unwed mothers home and street kids' homes. The orphanages are what have gotten to me the most, being able to interact with the kids, read books, sing songs and of course play time. Their bright faces and disarming smiles really got to me. Even at the earliest of ages, these kids understand that education is their way out and their way forward. The children have a way that connects with you straight away and for me it is a little weird; they just come up to you hold your hand and just start to ask you lots of questions. It gets harder every time we have to leave. It's been a very humbling experience and I must be honest with you that it has bought this man to tears during one of our debriefs. 

These places that we have been visiting are not asking us to take control or run anything, they are simply asking for a little bit of assistance to help make life a little better for the people that live there. If you ask me did i make a difference in these kids' lives, I would have to say yes, just a tiny little bit, for I know that for at least one afternoon I was able to provide them with an outlet of fun and laughter which to a little kid is priceless, and I know for me they have given it right back ten-fold.

Eyes Wide Open has given me a very unique opportunity to be able to discover myself and explore possibilities of another country. I am ready for the next trip and will be telling others about this experience.

Merry Christmas.