Ship

31-10-07_1711.jpgJag har nu sen en vecka tillbaks en ny arbetsplats. Denna heter SHIP, som står för South Helsingborg Innovation Project eller något sådant, är en samling av stadsplaneringsutställning, konferanslokaler och företagshotell.

Jag måste säga att jag trivs väldigt bra, hittills i varje fall. Jag sitter på en “öppen plats”, dvs jag har inget kontor utan sitter i ett öppet kontorslandskap. Detta fungerar bra, man sitter med lite olika grannar varje dag. Själva lokalerna är även lätttillgängliga, man kan komma ut och in dygnet runt, och det är endast 5 minuter hem. Sen ligger det också i samma byggnad som Campus, så jag har nära till Daniela, som är min primära kontaktperson i projektet.

Men det bästa är att det är lätt att få kontakt med alla som sitter här, och alla håller på med intressanta projekt. Det är väl det som är själva grundtanken med ett företagshotell, men det är ändå roligt att se att det fungerar i praktiken.

Lite mer bilder här nedan. Bilderna är tagna sent på kvällen, så det är lite mörkt och ödsligt. Men jag hoppas man får en ungefärlig bild av hur det är i varje fall.31-10-07_1710.jpg

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Uppdatering 30 dec 2013: ursprunliga länken till SHIP på Helsingborg.se fungerade inte längre. Jag uppdaterade den till shiphelsingborg.se, som nu redirectar till mindpark.se

Old updates

750575_tropical_island.jpgI uploaded all the old emails my dear sister wrote during her first 1 1/2 month in Madagascar. You can find them all under the category Madagascar.

All of them are uploaded at there original dates, so if anyone wants to read them from the start that should be easily possible. The first one can be found at the bottom of this page

All future updates from her will be on the category page as well.

/Karsten

Skatteverket

90371_accounting_7.jpgVar på “utbildning” hos skatteverket idag. Eller kanske man ska säga föreläsning. Såg att de gjorde reklam för dessa när jag var och besökte dem i veckan, och det visade sig att de gör flera olika utbildningar.

Den jag var på var den första i ledet, som handlar om just eget företagande. Det finns även en fortsättning som riktar sig till personer som nylingen startat upp företag, men redan har lite erfarenhet med det. Sen finns det också en om moms vid gränshandel, och en om bokföring, om jag förstod det rätt.

Måste säga att jag blev imponerad. Föreläsaren var rolig och man förstod det mesta, samtidigt som det var en trevlig och öppen atmosfär. Lite bättre än när man besöker eller prata med dem i telefon. Det hela varade i 3 timmar, och jag ska lätt se till att gå på alla sådana som finns. Informativt och bra, skatter är en sädan sak man kan för lite om för ens eget bästa.

J & K målerifirman – lite billigare, lite sämre

Hjälpte idag Jorge att tapetsera och måla om sin lägenhet. Efter att vi pratat om det under en väldig lång tid. Det hela var väldigt trevligt, och jag kan lätt tänka mig göra något sådant oftare. Har alltid haft drömmen att syssla med ‘skapande’ arbete, som att jobba som byggare. Vem vet, kanske en vacker dag.

Tills dess kan man kontakta mig eller Jorge om man är intresserad av vår ‘expertis’. Vi har en alternativ slogan också: – som svartarbete, fast vitt.

Så det så.

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Är vi inte snygga? Till och med med olikfärgade arbetskepsar!

Projektet ‘öka antalet danska studenter’ är igång

Som det ofta gör så händer det saker i livet. Jag har nyligen fått klartecken att det projekt angående närvaron av danska studenter på Campus, som jag varit involverad de senaste tiden, kommer att bli av. Detta innebär en relativ hektisk period framför mig nu, men också en väldig lärorik.

Projektet går i korthet ut på att göra Campus och Lunds Universitet mera synligt i Danmark, framförallt för unga danskar. I dagsläget är situationen sådan att den kan förbättras, och ett ökat antal personer som läser över gränserna tror jag hade främjat integrationen. I praktiken kommer arbetet att innebära att jag fördjupar mig i den danska samhällstrukturen, och i hur det är att vara gymnasielev på andra sidan sundet.

Det är planerat omkring 570 arbetstimmar i projektet, som sträcker sig ända till september. Just detta ska bli intressant att uppleva, hur det blir att driva projekt som är intensivt ibland och väldigt lungt vid andra tidpunkter. Ska nog bli en bra erfarenhet.

Jag har dock fortfarande inte fått reda på huvudfrågan, ifall integration är bra eller inte, men jag förutsätter att den är bra i detta fall. Man verkar ofta eftersträva integration, så jag hoppas detta bygger på erfarenheten att det leder till det bättre. Skulle någon ha synpunkter på detta tar jag dock gärna emot tips. På allvar.

En början…

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Efter några månaders lång diskussion om detta är nu sidan deppert.se igång! Med detta kommer familjen Deppert att göra nya framsteg i mänsklighetens tecken och skapa underverk!

Sidan är dock fortfarande under uppbyggnad, så allt funkar inte riktigt som det är tänkt än. Men det kommer så småningom.

Trevligt att du hittat hit och läst detta!

Insects and fishing

I have come to realise that this has become some kind of weekly ritual, sending you all an email. Well, we’ll just have to see how long I can find stuff to write about. I have been away 8 weeks now, 1/3 of my stay, and I am bound to run out of material at some point…but not quite yet.

Like, for instance, last week I had the sensational feeling of having a gecko running on my arm…trust me, that was so unexpected that I screamed like a girl (and that is not like me)(unless I see a spider), waved my arm, got Kristina fired up who thought I would be eaten alive by a cockroach or worse and even made Brett and Arif come in and wonder what was going on. And geckos are usually lovely little creatures, but maybe not when they cling to you underarm like a wet…something. Then again, later that day I had a bad cockroach experience (cockroach flying into my pizza and then heading for me and landing in my hair) and that kind of took the edge of the gecko…

Anyhow, I survived another week in the house. We are now basically bat and rat free, just have occasional cockroach invasions. Wednesday night we had 30-40 cockroaches in Kris and my room, I am not kidding you, and even the peaceful animal lover in me went on a killing spree. We bombed the house and probably some parts of our own lungs, but that was just horrible.

But enough of creeping insect: I have done my first participative observation for my master thesis. As it is all going to be about fish and fisher folk, I went fishing with the mayor’s sons Thursday morning. We left when the first strokes of sun hit the sea, which was quite idyllic, in a dugout canoe on the totally quite sea. The fisher folk fleet was 40 pirogues strong and we all went for sardines and some kind of bigger fish (lamantsa in Malagasy). It took us about an hour to sail to the spot, anchor up, get the gear ready etc. Theses people are amazing sailors; they could steer these little wooden boats so perfectly without much help. The two boys, who didn’t speak any French and of course no English either, then handed me a line and two hooks and a handful of small shrimp (by small I mean the size they are in Sweden) and well…looked at me and started to laugh. I guess I must have looked really silly. The vegetarian in me revolted for a bit, but then I thought I might as well do some good while I sit on their boat for free…I am probably the worst shrimp peeler/stick it on the hook ever and probably not even good at fishing. The boys, I am ashamed that I forgot their names, had a good laugh, as had all the other who were in hearing distance (=all)…and did take pity in me eventually and helped me out. I must have worked, because I did catch one sardine!! With a little help, I admit, but still. We must have been out for about six hours or so, but in the end we only had seven fish altogether and no lamantsa; one of the other boats got lucky so I could at least see one. Apparently, the fish is really scarce and they are no big sardines anymore, and that is really destructive for the whole fish stock and the biodiversity. Good for my thesis, bad for the environment and the people. On the way home we raced each other and our boat was winning until we hit a sandbank…we got really splashed by the warm seawater but this was really fun!

Anyhow, we are on our way to Tana. We got notice last week that our boss in Tana wanted to see us and there was not much else to do. We are going by car again, this time we’ll be 7 people and five seats including the driver, but it will hopefully be a lot of fun. We will stop overnight on the way and that is going to be great, having some real new input. I am not that keen on seeing Tana again, my lungs didn’t really like that polluted air, but it will be nice to go on a small ride for a while. I am not wary of the area here yet, I don’t feel like I have don’t much here yet, but you always welcome the any change. It is like what Arif said about food: If you see food, you eat, because you don’t know when you’ll have some the next time. That goes for basically every kind of entertainment. We’ll just see what the big city will look like this time. And hopefully will the voyage not be too stressful, just getting to know a couple of days in advacne that we are off to Tana was stressful enough for some time.

I hope that you are all fine back home an thanks for your mails, they really cheer me up !

From riches to rags

I am sorry if this letter is not as cheerful as the previous ones, but I just realised that my walking boots are missing. And without them, it is really hard doing any trips or going into any national parks and this really limits my experiences and travels here…so I am not in the best mood right now. Anyway, the last week has been exciting. In many ways. After two and a half days of shopping (everything ranging from generator and fuel over plastics to stove and lots of food and water) we finally left for St Augustin last Saturday. We squeezed everything into a Landrover, including also the carpenter and the boards for the beds. Jean, the driver, did a good job in securing everything to the roof and inside the car; still, Arif and Brett had to take the taxi brousse and transport our mattresses.

I hadn’t seen the house for a month and remembering the first impression I was not so keen on living there. But much had been improved. There were wooden doors and windows to start with and the wasp nets had been scraped of the walls and roof. Also, the house had been painted outside and the walls inside the upper rooms (were we decided on living) had received a white coat as well. Everything looked much friendlier. And once the carpenter had finished the beds and the mattresses had arrived we started to settle in. We put mosquito net in front of the windows and some of the doors, we started to unpack and fetch water from the well. Kristina and I shave the back room and the boys the one just adjacent to us. There is no door in between our rooms and we have to walk through the boys rooms every time we get out. This arrangement was good for everyone and it is nice having everyone quite close. Arif out his Turkish flag up, so we even have some decoration.

At 4 pm Jocelyne and the other people from SAGE left end we were on our own. Darkness approached and we realised we wouldn’t be able to cook for ourselves tonight. So we went into the village centre – not really a centre, more of a 10×10 m spot were people gather – and found a lady who sold grilled fish and rice. That was a good enough dinner and we went home in the dark with the stars and moon guiding us. We had a memorable moment of all four of us peeing under a tree, before entering the house. This suddenly had turned into a haunted house or something similar. There were cockroaches everywhere and we actually went on a killing spree; well, I had the others do it since killing animals not really is my thing. Suddenly, Brett says “rats” and we all panic a bit and start to gather all the food we have in our backpacks. I eat the lat of my good chocolate, brought all the way from Sweden, cause there is no way a rat will have that. After a second we realised that we had misunderstood Brett, he hadn’t said “rat” but “bat”. That wasn’t really any funnier; I now had no chocolate left and had lots of bats flying around my head. Stupid bats too, they apparently couldn’t sense us with there radar. So, we all went to bed really quickly but it was a true nightmare when we blew the candles out. The mosquito net moved every time the bats flew into it and Kristina told us that bats could have rabies and they really make a lot of noise…needless to say, none of us got any sleep that night. We all stayed up in our beds and talked about the best ways of getting rid of the bats. And of course, we did realise in the morning that we did have rats too, our tomatoes where all half eaten. So the first night was quite eventful and definitely not the bets I ever had. The nest day we pretty much spent on fixing the house, putting more mosquito nets up, securing the food (plastic containers and bear traps (putting it in baskets and tying them to the roof on the bottom floor)) and putting poison around the house. The fun thing was that we managed to cook our first own meal on the charcoal stove (yeah, we had some big discussions of us for environmentalist using charcoal, but that is the only possible way if you want any food). Ok, the meal wasn’t the best one, the pasta turned out like…all starchy but still edible and the tomato sauce was more of a soup…but as darkness approached we were satisfied with having eaten something. This night we didn’t have any cockroaches and only two bats and one rat. That has to be considered some kind of success…we are now down to 0 rats, bats and cockroaches – really crossing my fingers that is stays like that. We’ll see how the house looks like once we return to it on Monday. And the malgach word of the week has been kinakina – bat. (My malgach is picking up a bit, slowly slowly, I can’t construct any sentences yet but my vocabulary is coming along.)

Otherwise, the week was good. We went on two day trips, the first one to a natural swimming pool with the clearest colours I have ever seen and the second one to Sarodrano, the neighbouring village, and visited the underground caves there. We were guided by the mayor, who is really keen on us making a good eco tourism study, which of course puts a huge bias to our objectiveness…but we have made plans of talking to other people in the village to and of course go on other day trips alone (if I now can make it without my beloved walking boots).

We also organised a cooking lady, Madame Fahnza. Might sound a bit posh to all of you, but we decided that we rather spend daylight time on working than cooking. She cooks lunch and dinner for us and is not the best I ever have, but her tomato sauce is really good. But she is no good for my vegetables; they all turn out overcooked and oily…we pay her an equivalent of 20 Euros a month, so it is not really any money for us. Also, we have a washing lady, Madame Julienne. She did a full load of dirty stuff for 2 Euros, so we asked her to come back every Tuesday. And we feel a bit better about contributing to the local economy. Because people on the village are really really poor. You can see that in the market, some people have things to sell other don’t and most stuff you can buy is meagre fish and some peanut cookies. But it seems all to work out for the people and they seem to take good care of each other. It is a bit too soon to tell, but the solidarity in the community seems remarkably. One thing that is very disturbing is that all the children always approach us when we are out or they are just on our front porch and say “cadeau, cadeau”. In different varieties, “cadeau l’argent”, “cadeau le stylo”, “cadeau bonbon” and the worst “cadeau la cigarette”. We are not giving people anything and it is really annoying but there is nothing you can do.

Anyhow, we are back in Toliara over the weekend, taking care of assignments and getting supplies. The idea was that Kristina and I would go to a national park nearby, but without boots I am not setting my feet in any moisty place full with creatures creeping on the ground. So we might just go up north a bit to a place called Ifaty. The boys will return to St Augustin tomorrow. According to Brett a big swell is coming and he needs to be close to his surfboards then.

But in summary, I must say that the week has been good, despite the totally freaking start it had.

Swimming in an aquarium

The last couple of days have been awesome. Brett convinced us, after having been away for another couple of days, that we all should go on the yacht for two nights. He promised us surf, snorkeling and lots of fun. And we actually did reschedule everything and went on the yacht. We met the guys he has been talking about, Grant and Gus and Stephan and Martina, and spent our first night on the boat. We ate the most amazing pesto, done by Gus (argentinian background, but I dont think that it had any influence on the pesto), under a clear sky and really enjoyed ourselves. The guys played poker until late into the night, I just enjoyed having lots of company and the music variety they had on board.

However, things became a bit more cloudy and way more wavy the next day. We sailed down to Sarodrano (like 1 hour south) but there was no surf at all. Kris and I still went out for some snorkeling, and I think that Brett phrased it good when he said: “it feels like swimming in an aquarium”. All the brightcolored fishes you always see on tv or in the magazines: I have seen them live. It was really such a cool experience. The rest of the day and night vanished in a blur though, the wind speed was up in 26 knots and we all lay flat in our beds in order not to become sea sick. So, it didnt really turn out as great as Brett promised, but we really enjoyed it.

In the evening we went to “La Maison”. It is the expat hang out and of course the world cup was on. It is so fun seeing all the guys gathered in front of the tv watching Samoa play against the USA (I do wonder how Samoa can have enough people to gather a good team and participate in the world cup? Along with Fidji ang Georgia, that is another mystery) and cheering and drinking beer and really forgetting that we are in Mad…and it is so strange having comments in French, it is always Monsieur this and la ballon that. I cant really say that it i,mproves my French much, but it is fun. Gus used to play back in Argentina and really got us all into the rules and everything, so now even Kristina enjoys the games. And as England are the ruling winners of the last world cup, she has good chances of seeing her team win.

Anyhow, this is the last mail for a couple of days. We are moving out to St Augustin tomorrow. We spent the morning on buying a generator, that is harder than you think it is, and the afternoon is devoted to plastic items and matrasses! I am really looking forward to move into our house and become more stabile for a while. Sure, I have stayed in the same hotel the last three weeks, but actually being able to unpack stuff, that is what I am looking forward to.

We need to get back into town soon to resupply and to do school work, but I have no idea when we will come back here the next time. So if you dont here anything for a while; that just means that everything is ok!

Cheers,

Ulrike