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The Attraction of a Holiday Spent in Mauritius

Posted by mandy on August 26th, 2009

Mauritius is one of the Mascarene Islands located just off the coast of Africa.  This is a tropical island with a climate that is characterized by dry and moderate winters, and hot and humid summers.  The island has a series of monsoon storms with weather during this time being stormy and a bit unpredictable.  These storms happen during the summer months, so many of the travelers find that the best time for a visit is during the winter months, and they find accommodations in any one of the best hotels.  Mauritius is a city very cosmopolitan in nature with a variety of cultural and ethnic groups living together in a tolerant way.

It is this spirit of tolerance that creates an atmosphere of warmth and friendliness, two of the many characteristics that draw many visitors year after year.  The capital of the island is Port Louis, which has been the major site of the export business of the sugar industry on the island for many years.  The sugar cane plantations that cover the island and the production of sugar accounts for the amazing economic growth of the island, although the tourism industry is not far behind.  The official language on the island is English, however the languages of French, Hindi, and Creole are widely spoken as well.

The island itself is beautiful in an ephemeral kind of way, with palm tree lined beaches of pristine sand.  The beauty of the beaches and the clear blue water and the famous cloud filled skies has provided inspiration for many artists who have traveled to the island over the years, and are a perfect backdrop for those interested in any of the myriad of outdoor activities, including hikes, mountain bike, surfing, and scuba diving just to name a few.  And for those just interested in a chance to relax and unwind, the island offers many opportunities to such as well.  The beaches are ideal for long walks or for lounging about sunbathing, a nice retreat from a hectic world.

The Accomplishment of Long Term Goals Through Organizational Development

Posted by mandy on August 24th, 2009

Committing to a goal, be it losing a substantial amount of weight, or going back to school and attaining a degree, can create an ecstatic feeling, and anxious to begin feeling.  For who of us does not want all of our most important dreams to come true.  Many people may be tempted to just jump right in, without a plan.  However one must be aware of the need for a plan, for an organizational development plan.

Short term goals are the key to successful completion of the end goal.  It is the goal that is accomplished each day which gets one closer to that end goal, and it is those small goals that must serve to keep one motivated with that initial burst of enthusiasm. When one begins a management training course, or any other study that requires time, one may question themselves, if that burst begins to wear off, as some of the goals seem so far away, so far into the future.  But in making a plan and following it, one can keep that feeling, make sure that that goal is worth it.

A plan is what it takes to remain motivated.  It is similar to create one’s own support system, and that is in the form for many people as a written list, and the keeping of a record of the progress and the individual successes.  This will keep the focus, until finally those small goals simply become a habit, a change in the way we go about organizing our time and our energy.  For some this is the recreation of different rituals, mantras, and plans.

The mantra may be the beginning step, it will serve to focus the mind and create one’s own enthusiasm.  Changing ritual habits are important for those with aspirations to loose weight to those making the transition from working in the office to setting up a home base.  Changing one’s habits may be the first step in organizing and planning to attain those long term goals.

The Relics of Kirkwall

Posted by mandy on August 19th, 2009

Saint Magnus Church is the only one in Britain that has a dungeon which is referred to as “Marwick’s Hole” although no one knows just exactly who Marwick was.  Throughout history the cathedral has had many near misses and partial destruction.  Much renovation was necessary after the occupation of it by Oliver Cromwell, when it was used as an army barracks as well as a horse stable in 1951.  Lightening wiped out the spire in 1671 as well as much of the interior of the cathedral as well.

There is much debate surrounding the identity of remains that were found in the dungeon.  During the cathedral’s renovation in 1919, a box of bones was discovered which contained amongst them, a skull.  The skull indicated severe trauma to the head, and it was believed that these were in fact, the remains of Saint Magnus himself.  Magnus was deemed a martyr following his murder on Easter in the early 1100’s.  The skull was re-examined later by R.W. Reid, a professor from Aberdeen University,  and by the Reverend George Walker from the East Parrish Church in Aberdeen.

That examination in 1925, seemed to confirm the identity of the bones as to those of Saint Magnus.  Apparently the evidence of the wounds to the skull, were consistent in the history of the death of the Saint.  The bones were then returned to the cathedral following the examination, where they continue to draw those interested who travel to the site and stay in one the Kirkwall hotels, hoping to draw some of their own conclusions.

Now days, there is some debate concerning the conclusions of 1925.  Don Brothwell is a an anthropologist who specializes in forensic science, who has been studying the case for some time.  His conclusion is that the wounds do not in fact match accounts of the murder, and that the earlier version is incorrect.  This has struck an emotional chord ever since he published an article in 2004 stating his findings.  To this day, those in the village of Kirkwall insist that these are the remains of their beloved Saint.

Off to Johannesburg

Posted by mandy on August 18th, 2009

I had just finished a big database project at work involving redundant redundant backup (don’t ask) when a friend with a passport and not much else to do said “Meet you in Johannesburg!” so naturally, what was I going to say but “Um, right!” and and hoped to meet Steve at some point. So I had little time to pick one of the Hotels Johannesburg travelers choose from. It’s quite a flight from Canada so I had time to pour over brochures and literature. We landed in Dakar Senegal to refuel the plane but we couldn’t get out and it was great when the plane finally landed, and it was chilly.

While on the plane I read about a zebra farm in Marulani about 150 kms north of the city. I hoped I could get Steve to come up there with me but he’s not so big on the outdoors (if we even met up). He’d probably want to head to the new Newtown district, a cultural precinct in Johannesburg’s heart. I guess they’re gearing up for the 2010 World Cup in football and this is apparently a great source of pride, a way to showcase the country’s painters and song in amongst the gritty warehouses and and squares. I couldn’t wait to see the cafes and the skyline of the city in what promises to be a wonderful place for galleries and, well, having a beer. There will be time to sneak off to the many game parks in the country, after we’ve crossed the Nelson Mandela Bridge and see the renewal of this area. I looked forward too to dining at Gramadoelas to try the mussels in cream sauce with garlic and the crayfish cooked with curry. But right now I just wanted to get to my room and try to catch up with Steve and have a beer.

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