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Poems from the closet (Bob)


Ikut Jambore Nasional (Sarah O)


Books, Films and Stuff (Pete)


Free gift! (Hello Mister)


Time to Update Your Status (Sarah)


Hello Mrs (Anon)


By Bob

Cooking on a camp stove (Sarah)


So Long Indonesia!


There is a sense of disquiet that stalks me,

By Pete Howson and Sarah Oakes

When I start wondering if it’s over. Like the angst that smothers a recluse among the throngs

If, like Sarah and I, you use the Pre-Holocene LuniSolar calendar system then you will know that there are still quite a few weeks to go till we enter the month of October. So no apologies necessary for the lateness of this issue.

Or the bravado of an dockside hooker, high on glue, waiting on a late night trick It’s the demon about to dance on still waters.

As this month is Halloween month, which isn’t mentioned anywhere else in this issue, I have drawn a picture of a witch, to put you all in a festive mood.

There is a veracity that clogs in my pores, When I begin to realize that it’s over. Like the ache of aged memories sharing space with shattered vows Or the echo of promises kept colliding, seemingly at random, with those that slipped away It’s the crow’s foot crown letting out time and space.

There is a candour that seeps from my boot heals, Next month’s edition will very sadly be our last before handing over the Editor’s hat to the next budding Hello Misterer(s). So let us know if you’re keen on taking on this MASSIVE responsibility.

When I finally admit that it’s over. Like the telling sound of a tire gone flat, Or the bleat of a lamb, cuffed and tethered, being readied for the clever

Love Pete and Sarah.

It’s the “fuck-you” taunt of a gecko at night. 2

There is a weariness that rests in my pockets, When I know full well that it’s over. Like the scent of humility lingering in wait long after the gaff Or the darkness that smiles, sombre and unafraid, as dusk is being devoured by the Flores Sea It’s the torrential pounding of a Makassar rainstorm.

I discussed it with some volunteers and VSO staff and they told me I am not even allowed to do other voluntary work in other districts. So I thanked my colleague for the invitation and explained to her why I was deciding not to join. She understood, but still wanted me to join so she came up with the great idea: I was only coming for a few days, just as a tourist, to take photos and then leave again. I thought this was a good plan, so I agreed.

It’s always so damn nasty. And then the sun rises to smile and ready me for another day of wonder.

So long Indonesia ... sometime later my friends ... it is what it is. It’s over.

Jambore 2011 was based in Sumatra near a lake, about a 3 hours drive from Palembang. The 16 kids and 6 leaders from my district were already there and told me they would wait for me at the campsite.


In Indonesia pramuka (scouting) is one of the most important activities for kids and youth. It’s a moment where they gather together, socialize, sing songs, play games, learn how to build tents, make campfires, food etc. Once every 5 years they organize a national scouting event, named Jambore Nasional. This is a week of camping and scouting activities somewhere in Indonesia. Every district joins this event and the government support this, a lot. In April my colleague (a pramuka leader) asked me to join the Jambore 2011.

That’s why I landed in Palembang on the 1st of July. Unfortunately my plane was delayed, so instead of landing at 1100, we landed at 1500. During the flight I met somebody (working in youth government) who was also going to the event and he had a personal driver. He asked me to join, but before he had to visit some youth projects, I thought it was interesting and I also really liked the idea of the personal driver, so I agreed.

A lot of people told me this is very special, because only a few people from our district can join this event. In the past I always joined this kind of voluntary activity in the Netherlands and I love to work with youth, so I was willing to help. But because it was in my holiday-time, I felt doubts about staying for a whole week.


Of course you can’t just visit a place in Indonesia, as we all know, you have to eat and drink…. so in the end we left Palembang at 1800. We arrived at the campsite at around 2100, when it was already dark. You have to imagine, 25,000 people joining this event and every district has its own tents. The camp site was around 5 km in area and the phone signal was very low. The moment I arrived I already had 60 teenagers asking me, “dari mana, mau ke mana, bisa bicara bahasa Indonesia” etc. I thought to be smart and used this new fan-club to help me finding the tent of my district. But because all of them pointed out different ways, it wasn’t really successful. Just at the moment I thought this is never going to work out, my phone ring. It was my colleague, who described to me the place where she was staying. The network was not that good, but at least I could now ask the organization. So I arrived at 22.30 at the tent of the girl scouts, they had just finished dinner. We chatted a bit and then we went to bed. We stayed with 10 girls/ woman in a little tent, everybody next to each other on the floor. And that’s the moment I hated being “tinggi”, I couldn’t stretch my legs without kicking somebody, so sleeping was not that easy.

The first day the president came to open the event, so the activities only started the second day. That’s why we had lots of time to walk around and wait until the president arrived. But because I was the only buleh putih, I became the biggest attraction of the day. It’s no joke when I tell you that more than 600 people wanted a photo with me or even worse they wanted my autograph. I still don’t know why you should be happy with the autograph of a buleh, but well…. In the beginning I thought it was quite funny and I felt like a real film-star, but in the end it was not funny anymore. You have to imagine it’s 40 degree Celsius there, very hot and sticky weather.

Everybody wanted to touch me, hug me and all asked the same questions. I felt like I was a doll you can just pull and push towards you. Some of them became really pussy. For example: I was waiting with my camera to make photo’s of the president arriving, people around me asking me for a photo, so I explained them that the president (in my eyes: the real important person) almost arrives and I would like to see that. But they just don’t listen and already make the photo with me. Anyway, in the end I ended up with an empty battery, so no picture of the president and as a result of that they ended up with a photo of an angry looking buleh ;-)

At 4 am we woke up from the voice of the organization (megaphone) to tell us it’s time to get up, pray, mandi and do the morning activities. Because almost every person is Muslim, they also share the whole mess using the megaphone. So that’s why I had my first catholic praying experience with this on in the background, the sound of the imam. Very funny experience. Every day the organization organize activities for the kids and I can tell you this is a hard job for more than 20,000 people.


The next day, our kids were supposed to go to for a picnic a little drive away from the campsite. Like I said before every day they join different activities and the organization divide them in groups of 3000. So also 3000 kids were going that day to pick nick. They were told to be ready at 5 am, I was joining them, so we were ready and waiting for the busses to arrive. At 8 am the first 7 busses arrived and the first group of kids could join. I asked the organization when the other busses arrived, so they told me, there were no other busses coming. This was it… I’m not good in mathematics, but for me it was really obvious that 3000 person won’t fit in 7 busses. I think they also noticed that themselves, because they called another buss organization. At that time I realized this is going to take hours and at the same time I became the filmstar again. I thought after the first day the photo shoot would be over, but it got worse. They even published me in the daily newspaper. People even came to our tent to find the buleh. So when a friend told me he was leaving and offered me a lift to Palembang, I decided this was a good time to leave. I said goodbye to everybody and thanked them for this unforgettable experience. Because that is what it was, a once in your life time experience.

sensibility and a modest budget, or the occasional decent blockbuster the studios have made by mistake. Never Let Me Go is one that has definitely slipped through the Hollywood net and is sure to linger in the mind for days.

Adapted by screenwriter Alex Garland from the Kazuo Ishiguro novel of the same name, Never Let Me Go is too miserable to be scary. But being scary or tragic may not be precisely the point. Where Never Let Me Go succeeds is in being a dreamlike parable of Britishness – a particularly miserable Britishness, which submits numbly and uncomplainingly to authority, has an unshakable loyalty to unhappiness, and, with the coming of death, regards not raging against the dying of the light as some grim sort of social or municipal obligation.


Kathy, Tommy and Ruth, have grown up together in a boarding school in a kind of alternative-reality England, which, but for occasional touches of modernity, could be the late 1940s or early 50s. The children are being groomed for a special, selfsacrificial destiny in a weirdly Sovietised society.

Never Let Me Go By Peter Howson Do you remember the days when you used to be able to head out to the cinema safe in the knowledge that even if the film you wanted to see had sold out, there'd be something else worth watching? I'm talking about 10,000 years ago, obviously, because here's what's on offer at your local Cinema 21: Screen one: a rom-com so formulaic you suspect it was created from a template on Screen two: The Very Hungry Caterpillar 3D. Screen three: both of the above, randomly intercut with one another because no one's paying attention anyway. Screen three: a lightshow for cattle. And so on.

The purpose, which the government have assigned to them, is not revealed with the flash of drama, horror, or vertigo that it might have in conventional sci-fi treatments. Instead, it is humdrum, workaday, embedded in the tatty fabric of everyday life, and just something else to be depressed about. The secret – hidden in plain sight – is mysterious, horrifying and yet accepted: it is like poverty or even death itself, that drab fact in all our lives which is just as mysterious and horrifying, and yet treated by all of us, every day, with a fatalistic, unthinking shrug.

About once a year there's a film actually worth bothering with: either something with a quirky

After watching it, you will wake up thinking about it. Everyone we’ve lent it to says the same. 5

Impress friends with your knowledge of famous buildings with your free cut-out-and-keep scale model of Buckingham Palace.


ADVOCACY – TIME TO UPDATE YOUR STATUS? Social Media can be used in various ways to help people and organisations to have a positive impact in development everywhere and anywhere in the world – reaching out to and connecting with more people than ever possible before. Health organisations in Indonesia download videos on breast feeding from YouTube as training materials for new mothers in rural villages. The BBC in India provides English language training for hard-to-reach groups via their mobile phones. Grassroots organisations around the world find supporters and funders via Facebook.

By Sarah Oakes

In September 2011, three volunteers were invited to join an Advocacy and Social Media workshop in Bali. Who cares? Well you should. Here’s why: FACT: Over 50% of the world’s population is under 30 years old FACT: Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Britney Spears have more Twitter followers than the entire populations of...Sweden, Israel, Greece, Chile, North Korea and Australia

One way to use Social Media to have a positive impact is advocacy - connecting people in order to influence decisions that affect people’s rights. Advocacy – What is it?  Protesting?  Raising Awareness?  Lobbying?  Fighting for Rights?  Changing Policy?  Campaigning?  Networking?

FACT: YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world FACT: Kindergartens are learning on i-pads, not chalk boards “We don’t have a choice on whether we DO social media, the question is how well we DO it.” Eric Qualman

VSO's says advocacy is... ‘A process that tackles disadvantage by working with communities and key stakeholders to bring about changes in policy, process, practice and attitudes in order to ensure communities' rights are recognised and realised. The aim is to actively support disadvantaged people to influence the decisions that affect their rights and lives.’

However you feel about Facebook, twitter and Youtube, they are part of our lives. More than that, they are transforming them. At the heart of it all, Social Media is about people. If your work as a volunteer has any kind of impact on people, then you need to know about Social Media and how to use them.

It’s the process of amplifying the voice of the marginalized to be heard for a change. Speaking up, drawing the attention of a community to an important 7

issue and directing decision makers towards a solution, thus a change.

Want to know more? We look forward to giving you lots of tips at the Sector workshop on how to use Social Media for the better.

So it’s everything – from sharing your research to raise awareness, to mobilizing people who care about a cause, to writing a petition, to finding other groups that want the same thing and working together.


FACT: If Facebook were a country, it would be the world’s third largest

Hello Mrs

And YOU have the power to access that country sharing training materials by posting videos on Youtube, mobilizing your 100’s of Facebook friends to support a cause, changing opinions and attitudes with your blog, even impacting policy by voting online – advocacy at the click of a button. What’s’s FREE. So why wouldn’t you?

Like most volunteers, I often get very lonely in the kapoeng all by myself. Some Fridays I make a party to try and feel more sociable, but as no one else ever attends, I’m just left with hundreds of deflating balloons that lie around the place for days after, reminding me of how alone I am here. Please Mrs, how can I feel more sociable?

As so many around the world realise the power of social media, being ignorant of this power and how to harness it only risks the gap between the privileged and the disadvantaged getting bigger. Knowledge is power. As volunteers we are here to help close that gap. Keeping partners up-to-date about the importance of technology is key.

Dear Party Planner Balloons are such wonderful things. In the shadow of economic crisis, many Hollywood celebrities and Wall Street Bankers alike are replacing their usual cocktail of illegal drugs and alcohol with standard party balloons! But what do you do with them after? Deflating balloons lying around the house taking up space are always a somewhat sorrowful sight. And simply letting them go is irresponsible, as the deaths of many migrating birds are caused through the ingestion of party balloons mistaken for worms.

At the Sector workshop, we will be looking more about how to help volunteers and partners understand the importance of social media and mobile technology in their work now and in the future - how to use it to work more efficiently and cost effectively, reach out to more people, gain support for their work, even access training and resources at low cost.

So blow the party comedown, follow these simple steps to a misery free placement:

Make an even bigger impact. Help everyone to take advantage of the globalised world they live in. 8

1. Make new friends by drawing faces on your balloons. The more they shrivel with age, the wiser they become, making for better conversations.

Hello Mrs As a sustainable livelihoods volunteer I spend a lot of time around trees and nature and things. In the spirit of participatory approach, during my last field trip I had an idea to ask the trees how I could help them better. No matter how loud I shouted I couldn’t get a response. How can I get the trees to communicate better Mrs? Can they even speak? Dear I’m not sure, but it ends in ‘phrenic’. Trees are a source of wonder and beauty for many people who gaze upon them and spend time around them. People from all walks of life come into contact with trees daily – hikers, gardeners, artists, lovers, dreamers, naturalists, travellers and tourists, hunters, botanists, and more. By dint of being rooted to the ground they grow in, trees are representative of strength and constancy for many and this can bring on a sense of peace and connection when spending time around trees.

2. Beat stress with this rugged executive stress toy.

3. Make a piñata. And then SMASH it! You just need flour, water and newspaper, in some sort of ratio to one another.

Listening to the communications of trees is a way of attuning our hearing and paying more attention to what we hear around us rather than letting sounds invade our space unawares. Follow these steps:

4. Balloon darts is a great alternative to normal darts. Normal darts is rubbish. If you don’t have any darts, just throw spoons or crockery.

1. Find a comfortable place for spending time with the trees. Choose a place that has at least two trees but preferably more. 2. Be prepared to spend a decent amount of time on this exercise. Trees are very noble and peaceful. They neither welcome the bird nor beckon for its return. 3. Repeat the exercise of listening over and over. As you listen, continue asking yourself how you are affected by the sounds of the tree. What is the quality 9

of the sound and where does it resonate most within your body? What does the sound actually do – is it constant, intermittent, loud, soft, or always changing? The more you persist with this line of inquiry and a focus on simply listening to the trees, the more you will attune your hearing to the communications from the trees.


Hummus Total Time: 10 minutes

Hello Mrs In my office the chat gets a bit dull from time to time. I’m often asked the same questions daily, and no matter how many different answers I give, the response is always met with just a nod before everyone gets on with their business of watching the television or sleeping. How can I get a decent conversation going Mrs? Dear Captain Charisma The art of conversation takes practice, but is not as hard as you might think. With some patience and these steps, you can learn to relax and enjoy a great conversation.


Be confident. Being around confident people makes you feel good, for example having a confident boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, or a friend makes you feel better and amazing so what you need to do everyday is remind yourself of how amazing and beautiful you are, and how good you are at talking with others, this is the key to everything. Find out about the person you'll be talking to before you actually talk to them, if you can. Look at their social networks pages before talking to them for the first time. The information you get can be good for starting conversations.

1 16 oz can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans

1/4 cup liquid from can of chickpeas

3-5 tablespoons lemon juice (depending on taste)

1 1/2 tablespoons tahini

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

Preparation: Drain chickpeas and set aside liquid from can. Combine remaining ingredients in blender or food processor. Add 1/4 cup of liquid from chickpeas. Blend for 3-5 minutes on low until thoroughly mixed and smooth.

Remember that sometimes if a conversation isn't going well, it might not be your fault. Sometimes the other person is distracted/lost in thought, isn't willing to contribute, or is having a bad day. If they don't speak or listen, then they are the ones not using good conversation skills, not you. But in any case, it's still a good idea to strive to do your part as a good conversationalist.

Place in serving bowl, and create a shallow well in the center of the hummus. Add a small amount (1-2 tablespoons) of olive oil in the well. Garnish with parsley (optional). Serve immediately with fresh, warm or toasted pita bread, or cover and refrigerate. 10

Hello Mister September 2011  

The only real alternative to the main stream media.

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