New York Squirrels

Even though, New York (especially Manhattan) doesn’t have too much green space, of course you can find squirrels everywhere (a friend of mine called them New York’s rats of the trees – a rather unflattering account, I think)! The squirrels I found most amusing were jumping around in Central Park!

For everyone who’s wondering about why I post so many squirrels on my blog, click here.

‘For those who couldn’t afford it’ – my time with the Fair Internship Initiative

In November 2015, I joined the FII.

In case you haven’t heard of it, it’s a movement of current and former interns at the UN advocating for fair, more accessible quality internships (Quality and Equality) within the UN system. It is a relatively young movement in the phase where there’s a lot to be done, prioritites to be set and the survival to be secured. When I started, the Initiative did not even have a website and little knowledge about the possibilities to actually induce change. Now, it is much more organized, has joined forces more efficiently with the partner organisation in Geneva and has a well set-up website and social media presence, all due to the efforts of dedicated people who were willing to take up bits and pieces here and there and in total make it more coherent and efficient. However, there are many problems with the organisation of a small and constantly fluctuating initiative advocating at one of the biggest organisations with a high degree of institutional inertia – the UN. Although, I’ve withdrawn mostly from the FII since my return to Europe, I’ve learned a lot when I did my bits and pieces –  about the UN, youth activism, and more.

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New York, New York – impressions

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Voilà, I fled London due to crazy high prices, just to end up in another of the world’s most expensive cities: New York. I’ve been living here for a while now but there are still some things that surprise me (after all it’s my first time on this continent). So in good old tradition with my ‘Impressions’ posts about Bishkek: here some impressions from New York City!

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Mens sana in corpore sano – stories about the Kyrgyz health care system

Everyone is talking about health care these days. The US government was shut down due to trouble with the Tea Party Republicans about the health reform “Obamacare”. Okay, it’s basically two different things – the US household and Obamacare – but you see: one can link anything to health (or anything else that suits the Conservatives)…

Anyway, recently random American people were asked about their preferences regarding the health care system and didn’t know that there is no difference between the affordable health care act and its nickname “Obamacare”. See the video here. Still, I guess we shouldn’t be too ready to make fun of them (like we Europeans often are), because, I, being asked about the health care system in my country, probably couldn’t explain how it works in detail either. And if we don’t know about our own country, what then about other countries we have been to due to globalization?

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Abandoned health care. A surgery room in an old hospital in Beelitz, not far from Berlin. (pic by Grabthar – flickr)

Recently, I’ve had the unwanted opportunity to get in touch with the Kyrgyz health care system and made some research about it additionally. Of course my experiences (in italic) are not to represent the system but only picture the tiny impression I could get during one week of coping with labs, doctors, nurses and pharmacists of the Kyrgyz Republic. So here’s what I learned:

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Passport, please

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Attention: this is going to be an angry, political blogpost. So, if you just had your first cup of coffee, and are happily smiling at your partner or flatmate who’s preparing eggs, a second coffee or just smoking a cigarette and stealing your newspaper (depending on your partner or flatmate), if you decide that you don’t want your morning energy and your happy thoughts to be spoiled, I recommend you not to read it, because it will make you angry at the world…

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