Erenlai - Items filtered by date: Tuesday, 27 May 2008
Tuesday, 27 May 2008 23:08

把摄影机当作你的朋友

Learning how to drive a car is becoming more and more common as more and more families and individuals now own their own vehicles, convenient for them, perhaps, but making the traffic congestion worse and worse. It is not hard to learn to drive, especially with automatic transmissions, but that doesn’t make everyone automatically a good driver, given such a wide range of attentiveness, reaction time, mechanical handling skills, relaxation or tension, fear or confidence, aptitude and attitudes and temperaments. There are the speed demons and the cautious crawlers, the patient manipulators through traffic jams and the rude ones always cutting you off as they dash frantically from lane to lane in their perpetual hurry.

To be a good driver requires a modicum of manual control and attention to detail. To be a safe driver requires a high level of alertness, quick reactions and responsible avoidance of potentially dangerous speeds and conditions. When you get behind the wheel, you are not just putting your own life and that of your passengers on the line, but the lives of everyone your car draws near.

Given my present state of paralysis, there is no way I could now safely handle a vehicle on the highway, but for three years while studying rehabilitation in the United States I did buy my own van and had it fitted with hand controls and a lift gate for my wheelchair, so that I could travel about independently. What freedom it was to drive myself whenever I wanted to go somewhere without having to find a driver free to take me. How proud and satisfied I felt when I, who had always previously had to be picked up by others, could now go and pick others up. But I mustn’t kid myself, I was never a good driver, just a mediocre one with the good luck of not being involved in only one minor accident. My mother never had much confidence in my driving, because the very first time when I was in high school and my dad took me out for a driving lesson, I hit a tree.

Several scenes haunt my memory. There was the time that I forgot to raise up the lift gate on the side of my van, so that if I had pulled out into traffic, it would have struck anything near that side of the van. Fortunately, just as I was about to enter the street a passerby alerted me to the danger. Then there is the time that I in the darkness of midnight hurtled down the freeway at 140 km an hour with a load of sleeping passengers unaware of my recklessness. Finally, there is the time that I took my mother on a ride in a desert in Arizona and turned onto a dirt road I had taken before, but this time I somehow got off the road and soon realized I was going across the open field without any road in sight and the ground getting so soft I was afraid to stop. I didn’t dare tell my mother anything was wrong, but we would have been in a lot of trouble, because it was late afternoon in wintertime and the desert often got down to below freezing during the night. Then fortunately, I saw the top of a truck pass by behind some bushes a few yards away and found the roadway again. I never told mother the danger we had been in. Maybe she never wanted me to know she knew.

So be grateful that you can drive and always drive cautiously and carefully. Safety depends not just on you, but on all the other vehicles and road conditions that you just have to hope will not interfere with your progress.

Attached media :
{rokbox}media/articles/Bob_driving.jpg{/rokbox}
Tuesday, 27 May 2008 23:07

把攝影機當作你的朋友

Learning how to drive a car is becoming more and more common as more and more families and individuals now own their own vehicles, convenient for them, perhaps, but making the traffic congestion worse and worse. It is not hard to learn to drive, especially with automatic transmissions, but that doesn’t make everyone automatically a good driver, given such a wide range of attentiveness, reaction time, mechanical handling skills, relaxation or tension, fear or confidence, aptitude and attitudes and temperaments. There are the speed demons and the cautious crawlers, the patient manipulators through traffic jams and the rude ones always cutting you off as they dash frantically from lane to lane in their perpetual hurry.

To be a good driver requires a modicum of manual control and attention to detail. To be a safe driver requires a high level of alertness, quick reactions and responsible avoidance of potentially dangerous speeds and conditions. When you get behind the wheel, you are not just putting your own life and that of your passengers on the line, but the lives of everyone your car draws near.

Given my present state of paralysis, there is no way I could now safely handle a vehicle on the highway, but for three years while studying rehabilitation in the United States I did buy my own van and had it fitted with hand controls and a lift gate for my wheelchair, so that I could travel about independently. What freedom it was to drive myself whenever I wanted to go somewhere without having to find a driver free to take me. How proud and satisfied I felt when I, who had always previously had to be picked up by others, could now go and pick others up. But I mustn’t kid myself, I was never a good driver, just a mediocre one with the good luck of not being involved in only one minor accident. My mother never had much confidence in my driving, because the very first time when I was in high school and my dad took me out for a driving lesson, I hit a tree.

Several scenes haunt my memory. There was the time that I forgot to raise up the lift gate on the side of my van, so that if I had pulled out into traffic, it would have struck anything near that side of the van. Fortunately, just as I was about to enter the street a passerby alerted me to the danger. Then there is the time that I in the darkness of midnight hurtled down the freeway at 140 km an hour with a load of sleeping passengers unaware of my recklessness. Finally, there is the time that I took my mother on a ride in a desert in Arizona and turned onto a dirt road I had taken before, but this time I somehow got off the road and soon realized I was going across the open field without any road in sight and the ground getting so soft I was afraid to stop. I didn’t dare tell my mother anything was wrong, but we would have been in a lot of trouble, because it was late afternoon in wintertime and the desert often got down to below freezing during the night. Then fortunately, I saw the top of a truck pass by behind some bushes a few yards away and found the roadway again. I never told mother the danger we had been in. Maybe she never wanted me to know she knew.

So be grateful that you can drive and always drive cautiously and carefully. Safety depends not just on you, but on all the other vehicles and road conditions that you just have to hope will not interfere with your progress.

Attached media :
{rokbox}media/articles/Bob_driving.jpg{/rokbox}
Tuesday, 27 May 2008 22:47

How well do you drive?

Learning how to drive a car is becoming more and more common as more and more families and individuals now own their own vehicles, convenient for them, perhaps, but making the traffic congestion worse and worse. It is not hard to learn to drive, especially with automatic transmissions, but that doesn’t make everyone automatically a good driver, given such a wide range of attentiveness, reaction time, mechanical handling skills, relaxation or tension, fear or confidence, aptitude and attitudes and temperaments. There are the speed demons and the cautious crawlers, the patient manipulators through traffic jams and the rude ones always cutting you off as they dash frantically from lane to lane in their perpetual hurry.

To be a good driver requires a modicum of manual control and attention to detail. To be a safe driver requires a high level of alertness, quick reactions and responsible avoidance of potentially dangerous speeds and conditions. When you get behind the wheel, you are not just putting your own life and that of your passengers on the line, but the lives of everyone your car draws near.

Given my present state of paralysis, there is no way I could now safely handle a vehicle on the highway, but for three years while studying rehabilitation in the United States I did buy my own van and had it fitted with hand controls and a lift gate for my wheelchair, so that I could travel about independently. What freedom it was to drive myself whenever I wanted to go somewhere without having to find a driver free to take me. How proud and satisfied I felt when I, who had always previously had to be picked up by others, could now go and pick others up. But I mustn’t kid myself, I was never a good driver, just a mediocre one with the good luck of not being involved in only one minor accident. My mother never had much confidence in my driving, because the very first time when I was in high school and my dad took me out for a driving lesson, I hit a tree.

Several scenes haunt my memory. There was the time that I forgot to raise up the lift gate on the side of my van, so that if I had pulled out into traffic, it would have struck anything near that side of the van. Fortunately, just as I was about to enter the street a passerby alerted me to the danger. Then there is the time that I in the darkness of midnight hurtled down the freeway at 140 km an hour with a load of sleeping passengers unaware of my recklessness. Finally, there is the time that I took my mother on a ride in a desert in Arizona and turned onto a dirt road I had taken before, but this time I somehow got off the road and soon realized I was going across the open field without any road in sight and the ground getting so soft I was afraid to stop. I didn’t dare tell my mother anything was wrong, but we would have been in a lot of trouble, because it was late afternoon in wintertime and the desert often got down to below freezing during the night. Then fortunately, I saw the top of a truck pass by behind some bushes a few yards away and found the roadway again. I never told mother the danger we had been in. Maybe she never wanted me to know she knew.

So be grateful that you can drive and always drive cautiously and carefully. Safety depends not just on you, but on all the other vehicles and road conditions that you just have to hope will not interfere with your progress.

Attached media :
{rokbox}media/articles/Bob_driving.jpg{/rokbox}
5月12日四川發生了地震災難,當我面對電視和網路,都是淚流滿面,傷心不已。在四川有我的父母和養育我的地方,每每聽到四川方言和看到四川人的身影,都讓我激動萬分,幾次衝動想去四川災區做志願者,但都不能如愿。唯一能做的就是往紅十字會捐點錢, 在心中默默地為他們祈禱。
驚恐之余讓我想到了納帕小村,2006年我來到了雲南香格裡拉縣美麗的一個藏族小村,被那裡善良的人們和美麗的風景吸引,同時也為那裡村民無序亂砍伐原始森林的樹木痛心,幾百年的樹木就這樣被砍下,堆積成林,我們不能責怪村民的無知,因為這是他們的生存模式。
2007年我們開始招募志願者老師在村裡教孩子們上課,開始發展村莊生態旅遊,開始做村莊全村民的家庭調查,為了是讓村民改變理念,旅遊收入能替代砍伐樹木的收入。當然這些美好的願望只是開始,今后的任務任重而道遠。
今年夏天我們同樣也做了兩個月的計畫在納帕,希望得到大家的支持,你們的建議和意見是我們完成納帕計畫的動力,我們都來做好身邊的每一件事,這個世界將變得更加美好,因為我們都生活在一起。


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

夢想另一個香格裡拉活動之旅
納帕國小2008年志願者計畫項目
活動時間︰2008年6月25日─8月25日

一、香格裡拉的地理位置
香格裡拉位於雲南省西北部,青康藏高原南緣,地處滇、川、藏三省(區)交界處,海拔約3380米。
納帕村離香格裡拉縣城有12公里,海拔3260米,位於一個上世紀80年代就由國家建立起“自然保護區”核心區的村莊,現有半農半牧的藏族村民41戶,總人口227人。納帕村前的集水沼澤被人們稱為“海”,就是20多年前被國家設定為著名的“高山濕地羽族棲息地自然保護區”之一的“納帕海”。
二、志願者活動的緣由
2006年我旅行到中甸時認識了扎西多吉,他創辦了一個名叫香格裡拉民間自然保護協會。
扎西多吉於1998年在中甸縣開設一間小小的旅遊餐館“TIBET CAF ”謀生,靠它微薄的一點收入養活了自己,支撐起一個“組織”營運,建立起一個“民間自然保護區”帶動起17個自然村的旅遊經濟發展,十年來他把在這一地域從事旅遊業的全部收入返回了這片土地。
納帕村歷史上從無學校,過去要送孩子上學要走6-7公里路程,村裡幾十年來從沒有送孩子到城裡上學,只在本村的教學點讀到三年級“畢業”,所以從來沒有一個讀完國小的畢業生,因為村裡只有一個老師,他的任務是教到國小三年級。
2007年我在上海召集了19名志願者陸續到納帕村觀光,我們一起為納帕村出謀劃策,尋找四年級的支教老師、為村裡孩子體檢身體、培養訓練年輕村民的漢語和英語、村裡遭受水災時積極幫助村民和政府的溝通等等。所有的志願者們都奉獻了最大的熱情和能力。
三、2008年計畫項目
1、幫助村裡完成教育中心樓的建設。
教育中心樓是去年由台灣人捐助9萬元開始建造,最初計畫建一層樓到后來改建二層樓,因此資金缺口8萬元,再加上去年8月到12月的水災,教育中心樓從去年7月停工到現下。
教育中心樓的建設是由村委會監督執行,全體村民以有償和無償勞動相結合的模式參加中心樓的建設,資金由扎西多吉管理。教育中心樓的建設是幫助培養訓練村民的基本文化和勞動技能,同時也為學生們建圖書室和電腦室。
項目支持︰捌萬元民眾幣完工教育中心樓

2、幫助村裡50歲以上的老人進城體檢身體。
07年的全村走訪調查,年老村民的胃病占了很大比例。07年的適齡兒童的體檢是營養和衛生方面需要注意。雖然我們不能改變他們的飲食習慣和模式,希望透過這樣的活動帶給年青村民一些參考,讓他們能重視起自身的健康情況。
項目支持︰陸仟元民眾幣
完成40名老人的體檢費,計畫2天

3、衛生常識的培養訓練課。
村裡年輕村民占了人口的三分之二,年輕人是發展村莊經濟的重要力量,對他們衛生常識的培養訓練是非常重要,因為有一大半的人面臨生育下一代的重任,也是對下一代孩子們的負責,多一點衛生知識方面的培養訓練就會少生一些病,生病也會及時得到治療。
項目支持︰三仟元民眾幣 作為醫療救助
聘請當地醫院的醫生在村莊作培養訓練,每周一次,計畫6個月。

4、畜牧業的培養訓練課
面臨草原為不斷退化和牛、馬、羊不斷需求草原的困難,村民不得不放牧牛、馬、羊到很遠的高山,動物們不斷的生病和配種,村民只能作原始的飼養,牛、馬、羊的配種越來越退化,急需畜牧業的專家上門作培養訓練。
項目支持︰肆仟元民眾幣
聘請畜牧業培養訓練師每月一次,計畫18個月。

5、暑期英語、漢語的培養訓練課
希望有上海的志願者前往小村作志願者培養訓練,根據村民的情況安排時間,多數是在晚上8點─9點左右,參加培養訓練的是村裡的青年人和國小生。
項目支持︰志願者4名
需要志願者的奉獻,所有的費用都需要志願者自己承擔。
時間︰6月25日─8月25日

6、旅遊觀光者
每年夏季,四周山上的積雪融化流入內帕海中,納曲河、奶子河等河流也注入海中,形成四面青山環抱,湖面波光粼粼的迷人景觀。納帕海西北山上,是中甸古寺──袞欽寺的遺址。納帕海因有世界瀕危珍禽黑頸鶴在此越冬而聞名。遊客可以在村莊租馬騎乘飛奔在遼闊的高原草場上,住宿藏民家體驗一個藏族牧民的生活,同時也有燒烤、徒步游、戶外生活等一系列的旅遊新穎項目。
項目支持︰旅遊觀光客若干
納帕村一次最大接待能力在50人左右

如果你對任何一個項目有興趣,或者有新的建議,請你給我們聯繫,也希望你們給予更多的支持。
更多消息也請瀏覽網路︰
http://www.soho-ku.com/cn/index.asp?classid=86

四、聯絡人員︰
1、上海聯繫人︰王麗、Astrid
位址︰上海市江蘇路186弄7號102室
手機︰13816510818(中文)
信箱︰This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (中文)
Skype ID: astridbernard_coront(英文、法語)
信箱︰This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (英文、法語)

2、納帕村國小聯繫人︰扎西多吉
雲南中甸 香格裡拉民間自然保護協會
位址︰雲南香格裡拉長征路烈士陵園口西藏咖啡館
電話︰0887-8230018 、8288918
手機︰13988701240
信箱︰This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (中文)

附加的多媒體:
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Tuesday, 27 May 2008 19:32

An Overview of Human Rights in Brazil

[dropcap cap="B"]razil is a recent democracy and it was only in October of 1989 that it held its first universal and direct elections to elect its President since a military coup in March 1964, overthrew Joao Goulart’s democratic and progressive government. In 1988 a Constitutional Assembly was established to draft the Brazilian Constitution.[/dropcap]

The constitution’s preamble lays clear the intention of elevating Brazil to the level of a true democratic nation, founded on the principles of freedom, safety, equality, and guaranteeing the enjoyment of collective and individual rights, repressed during the military dictatorship. The Brazilian constitution contains 250 articles and since its promulgation on the 5th of October 1988, has already undergone 56 constitutional amendments . The constitution is extremely detailed and far-reaching in the content of its rights, and is considered progressive.

Brazil has been part of the United Nations (UN) since the 24th October 1945 and a member of the Organization of American States – (OAS) since 30th April 1945. It has ratified the following global and regional instruments: The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination – ICERD (ratified on 4th January 1969), The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) (ratified on 2nd March 1984), The Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment – CAT (ratified on 28th October 1989), The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – ICCPR (ratified on 24th April 1992 – Brazil has yet to ratify the 1st and 2nd Optional Protocols), The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights – ICESCR (ratified on 24th April 1992), The Convention on the Rights of the Child – CRC (ratified on 24th April 1990), The Inter-American Convention on Torture (ratified in 1989), The American Convention on Human Rights (ratified in 1992), The Inter-American Convention on the Eradication of Violence Against Women (ratified in 1995) and the Optional Protocol to the American Convention on the Social, Economic and Cultural Rights (ratified in 1996).

Under the UN treaty system Brazil is only bound to the individual complaint procedures with relation to the CEDAW (Women Convention), since Brazil has ratified its additional protocol in 1999. With regard to the UN thematic mechanisms, the following have been on mission to Brazil: Special Rapporteurs on the Contemporary forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance (June, 1995), on Violence Against Women (July, 1996), on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance (June, 1995), on the adverse effects of the illicit movement and dumping of toxic and dangerous products and wastes on the enjoyment of human rights, on Torture (2000) and on the right to food (March, 2002). Fernando Henrique Cardoso, the former President of Brazil, in December 1999, officially announced an open invitation to all UN Special Rapporteurs to visit Brazil at any time they wished. The present President Luís Inácio Lula da Silva did not withdraw this invitation so far.

Brazil only recognised the jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights on the 10th of December 1998, a delay that considerably limited the possibility of making Brazil accountable on a regional level. The Brazilian government did however decree that all cases pending before the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights against the country should be subject to friendly settlements, which has since happened in practice.

It is clearly no easy task to administer a country the size of Brazil which is furthermore so abundant in natural resources and full of social contrasts. From north to south and from east to west there exist both climatic (equatorial, tropical, semi-arid) and more significantly cultural differences. Brazil has been influenced over the years by various immigrant groups from various countries, which together have come to form the people of Brazil as it is today, rich in racial diversity (among the immigrant groups were Portuguese, Africans, Germans, Italians, Syrians, and Spanish). According to a population census carried out in 2000 by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) , Brazil has the following ethnic composition : “brancos” [whites] (54%), “pardos” (39,9%) [a mixture of afro-descendent and white], “negros” [blacks] (5,4%), “amarelos” [asians] (0,5%), and natives (0,2%) (indigenous). There are 246 indigenous groups in Brazil and roughly 325.652 Indigenous people according to the FUNAI . Besides, Brazil has the biggest afro-descendent population outside Africa, and is second in the world just behind Nigeria, a result of centuries of slave traffic into the country . The Brazilian afro-descendent population is the most affected by poverty and has lowest educational achievement . According to the 1996 Brazilian Human Development Report (UNDP) 35,2% of afro-Brazilians and 33,6% of “pardos” are illiterate compared with 15% of whites.

Brazil finds itself in 73rd position in the ranking of Human Development in a report of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Indeed, Brazil has one of the most unjust and unequal income distributions in the world; the richest 20% control more than 64% of the wealth, whilst the poorest 20% account for only 2,2% of income . In 2001, the Brazilian Gross National Product (GNP) was 503,857 million dollars, of which 46.2% was used to repay foreign debt , and only 3.9% on education .

The intention of promoting human rights at the national level led to the creation of the Secretary of Human Rights in 1996, firstly under the structure of the Ministry of Justice, and now inside the Presidency structure. Furthermore, Brazil enacted two national human rights programmes, one in 1996, which has focused primarily on civil and political rights, and the other in 2002, which has been revised and expanded from the first version to now include economic, social and cultural rights.

Unquestionably, the decision of the Brazilian Government to put Human Rights as State Programme, creating a national plan of action, and making itself accountable both in national and in international levels is a great advance towards the implementation of Human Rights domestically. It is relevant to highlight that the President and the Governors do not intervene in the Judiciary, which has independence to decide against those interests. There are still shortcomings and violations regarding the realization of these rights, however it can be said that there are judicial and quasi-judicial mechanisms available to the population to make the State accountable.

Bibliography
1. Arambulo, Kitti. (1999), The Development of the Protection of Economic Social and Cultural Rights in the United Nations in Strengthening the Supervision of the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights, Hart, Chapter II;
2. Benvenuto Lima, Jayme (2001), Os Direitos Humanos Econômicos, Sociais e Culturais, Rio de Janeiro: Renovar;
3. Galindo, J. (2001), Human Rights Treaties and the Brazilian Constitution, Master thesis in Law, University of Brasilia (not published).


(Photos: Roberto M. Ribeiro)
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