Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I want to be an actionaid blogger!

'ActionAid Australia is searching for an energetic Australian to be our next outreach blogger, to help give poverty a voice'.

I would love to be the next ActionAid Outpost blogger! The aim of the game is for ActionAid to find a suitable candidate to travel to one of their program countries and assist/teach the locals to use social media to enhance their human rights & give them a voice (ie Facebook, Twitter, blogs and the likes). Considering I am studying a Masters in Communication for Development, and the module I am studying right now just happens to be Social Meida and Development - How much more perfect could this be for me?

If you feel I would be right for the job (cause I certainly think/hope I am the perfect candidate!) then I would love for you to leave a comment supporting my request to be the next blogger! see here.

Why not follow Actionaid on Twitter. Hell, why not follow me on Twitter (Casisverige), Tweet me, RT my request to vote for me, add me on facebook (Cassandra Doyle), Do it however you want - just do it!

While your doing all this, you might as well check out ActionAid's site & hopefully lend your support - they are doing some fab things all over the world!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Clean drinking water for all?

Whilst enjoying all the yummy goodness of 5th Elements Tapas menu with friends last night, Lib decided to share a little more than the last herb crumbed goats brie with me. She (and subsequently myself) has become hooked on a website titled TED: Ideas worth spreading. Now I would have liked to have thought I was reasonably up to date on developments which could enhance AID work; especially ones which could potentially allow the meeting of one of the UN's Millennium Development goals - and yet I had completely missed the ball on this one (lets blame it on a year upheaval, uncertainty and travel!) For those who are interested check out this potentially revolutionising invention by Michael Pritchard which turns filthy water into drinking water! It's titled the Lifesaver water-purification bottle.

While granted there are a few flaws in Michael's argument re: money already being spent on Aid; I'm not really interested in opening a debate on that. I am interested in hearing if anyone has seen these devices being used in the field, or if you have heard of any drawbacks to the system. And if not, why the hell are Governments and NGO's not distributing them, especially to agencies working in disaster zones?

Back to the start.....

It's been a while since I posted on Casisverige. Mostly because A) I'm no longer in Sweden and B) I have been a little confused about whether or not I really am 'Casisverige' anymore (as a blogger).

I've decided that I am Casisverige, despite my location. I wont be writing about my experiences as an Expat, but I will be writing about my life experiences, and interesting developments in the world!

Currently I'm focusing on finishing my Masters Degree in Communication for Development, and enjoying life. Join me if you will....

Friday, February 13, 2009


In 1999, Australia held a referendum asking the people if they wished to become a republic or not. Leading up to the vote, much of the debate surrounded the use of the term 'mateship' in the preamble, rather than focusing on the nitty gritty of what a republic would mean for the average joe. At the time, I felt the exclusion of the word was a positive thing. Mostly as I felt the world was far to 'folksy', also as many women believed the word had masculine connotations. After the events of the past few weeks, I would now question if that term should have remained in the preamble (despite the fact Australia voted No to a republic).

Most people would be aware that Victoria has recently experienced the worst bushfires known to have occured in Australian history. What many may not be aware of is that the northern parts of Queensland have been dealing with torrential rain and subsequent flooding over the past 6 weeks. Despite what this says about the diversity of the Australian climate and landscape it is the support of the Australian public to both these events in the midst of a financial crisis which has made me rethink the term 'mateship'. In excess of $50 Million dollars has been raised for the bushfire victims with the most notable dontations coming from Northern Queensland flood victims. A government grant was issued to people living in areas affected by the flood waters, which many of these reciepents then donated on to bushfire victims. I can't really think of a word which embodies this type of national spirit or generosity in the face of such adversity other than 'mateship'.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Maximo, Maximo, Maximo!

This poor little kid has been labeled a drama queen since the day he could reveal his personality.
Australia December 08 204
In fairness he is. He has a wonderfully 'dynamic' personality, he is ridiculously intelligent - he speaks like a 3 year old, he's taught himself to count to 10 (yes himself - from listening to his older brother) . He knows his ABC's, his colours, and he generally doesn't like a single thing about being anything other than a 'big boy'!

He also knows how to top anything anyone does!

For instance, I recently mentioned I had had a hospital visit - which resulted in a fair bit of attention being focused towards me for a few days. It would seem that Max decided to see me my hospital visit and raise me, I don't know, one of the most frightening experiences of his parents lives! Max begin last Thursday having what we now know were 'drop seizures'. His poor mother assumed that he had a middle ear infection (as who would suspect that their perfectly healthy child was suddenly having drop seizures?).

This lead to a suspected 'febrile convulsion' that evening (despite Max not having a temperature). This particular seizure lasted more than 7 mins and left him unconscious for almost an hour afterwards. Long story short - Max was released from hospital 2 hours after waking, despite having no obvious source of infection (a prerequiste for febrile convulsions). Funny enough both the drop seizures and the 'grand mal' seizures reoccured the next day - culminating in approx 30 seizures in 3 days (and a 6day hospital visit!).

While this was as horrible as horrible can be - and something I wish upon no parent. What I can take from it (my blog is MY ego) is that firstly, it made me realise that what is going on in my life is quite insignificant. Secondly, we were forced to face the reality that, while this is horrible and scary and many other emotions in between, we are actually very fortunate. Things could be so much worse. One of the obvious reasons for the onset of seizures is a brain tumor - and while we don't have the confirmation that it is NOT a brain tumor, we all feel in our heart of hearts that Maximo the drama queen is around to stay for alot longer than a few years!

However, we don't know now, and we may never know what causes these seizures, possibly he will have them whenever he is unwell. That's also ok as well - we just have to make sure we all stay well, and don't share our germs with him!

2009. Can only get better from here! Just you wait and see...

Maximo goes RARRRR! 03.12.08

January - off to a bang!

Happy New Year!
Or happy crappy start to 2009 - which can only mean things are on the rise!

2009 - wow where do I start?
I decided to end 2008 in hospital. I mean the only way to top the crappyness of 2008 was with a life threatening experience, right?

I have always had a crappy neck and back - and on my second or third beer on new years eve i decided to 'crack' my neck to relieve the tension. Needless to say it was a BIG mistake. Long story short my C1 (very top bone in your neck) was already out of place, and I made it worse = migraine = tension = pain = me feeling like my head was going to explode.
Which it turns out it almost was!!

After a couple hours I became fairly concerned as, although I hadn't had a migraine for some years, I knew they had never felt like this one. Being New Years Eve, I walked myself to the hospital (you try getting a cab - and I am a nurse - I would never call an ambulance for a 'headache') Natty escorted me and we were both astounded how seriously they were taking a migraine! Something tells me in hindsight that I looked pretty bloody terrible - terrible enough to have me in a hospital bed with a doctors undivided attention within 20 mins of my arrival to the hospital (Remembering this is one of the busiest emergency departments in Australia).

Long story short the pain was exacerbating my blood pressure which in turn exacerbated the pain (and so on) which lead me to have a blood pressure of 197/123 (for those who don't know what that means - high enough to have caused a stroke or a vessel to burst in my brain)

So after this little event, 2009 is going to be about limiting stress, looking after myself and learning to be completely happy again. Oh and staying near my family! Cause they are the ones that are there when we need them!

Happy New Year everyone, 2009 is going to be exciting to say the least! xx

Monday, December 29, 2008

Time flies when your unorganised :D

(Whoops... I forgot to post this earlier)

It really really really does!

First of all - God Jul/Merry Christmas!
Although almost a week late, I hope you believe that the sentiment is no less sincere. I had forgotten how busy life can get in Brisbane - luckily I caught up on sleep while I was living in Sweden. I'm going to need it!!

I had some Swedish friends here the week before Christmas or Jul! Linnea and Fredrik are friends of Nettan's whom I've adopted as my own. It was GREAT to spend time with them, although I probable wasn't the best host for them! Between being back at work at the Mater (which feels like 1 million steps in the wrong direction) the stress of not being able to complete an assignment and the plain weirdness of it being the week that Håkan should have arrived in Australia - I was a little off my game. Nothing major, but I just feel I could have showed people 'my Brisbane' better than I did that week! (Sleep deprivation is a bitch!)

Speaking of my Brisbane I have been slowly reintroduced to the local culinary delights of Brisbane - of course I've been enjoying this with my foodie sidekick Lib. (Hopefully she'll forgive me now I've given her a mention - she felt somewhat neglected after I failed to mention her in my first Australian blog post!) As foodies go we're difficult to please, and to be honest I haven't eaten anything in Brisbane that is worth mention so far (except for Tandoori King - expect more on that later). I'm not sure if this is a case of me having creating a world of exceptional brisbane cafes in my head over the past two years, or if we've just been plain unlucky.

I'll leave you with a couple of photos I've taken since being home. One day I will get Fona to teach me to edit them properly, however as it stands now I only have a lap top and photoshop causes laptops to CRASH regularly....

Maximo 2

Fona & Maximo

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Australia December 08 305

Australia December 08 242

Friday, December 5, 2008

Home is where the heart is....

Apparently. I'm not sure if I am convinced it's where my heart is, but it's certainly where the hearts of my loved ones are! I arrived home on Monday, with the gorgeous Sambo literally pushing his little brother out of the way to get to me. Poor little Maximo (who is not quite two) took a little while to come to terms with me not being inside a computer. He certainly knew who I was - he whispered to his Mum 'It's Aunty Cas?' With a very confused and puzzled look as if to question why there would be a real life version of me!

My comming home 'treat' was Cirque De Soleil - I had never been to Cirque De Soleil before, so I wasn't sure what to expect exactly. I had seen one or two of their performances on TV -so I knew to there would be Dance, Theatre, Acrobats, Music - I wasn't prepared for the level of comedy nor the element of suspense! This particular performance is titled 'Dralion' which claims to be a fusion of the ancient Chinese circus tradition and the avant-garde approach of Cirque du Soleil - 'Dralion derives much of its inspiration from Eastern philosophy with its perpetual quest for harmony between humankind and nature'.

It's safe to say that all of the performances certainly met their mark! I could not fault anything - other to say than some of the more tranquil and delicate acts saw me almost slip into a jet-lagged coma - so possibly not the best idea to an evening performance with jet lag! The performances were so well executed that had it not been for a few minor mistakes (possibly life threatening) I imagine I would have forgotten exactly how remarkable and difficult most of the movements were. Needless to say I think CDS meet their goal of "to entertain, uplift and enlighten audiences the world over."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

and the countdown... it begins.

In ten days time I shall be on my way to Australia, full of uncertainty and quite possibly even more anxious than I already am. I guess I will no longer be 'Cas i Sverige', I assume I will just be normal old Cas again. (Although I was told recently, that I wasn't really of domestic quality; I was much more of the 'export' quality.... so who knows).

The begining of goodbye drinks and dinners have begun (to my mortification with my current fringe debacle!) and it feels strange. For so long I was looking forward to moving home to Australia, which was primarily based on my own feelings of inadequacy. I had no goals, dreams or aspirations here, and of course now I have finally found the life that I had craved - it seems it's time to go home. Please don't get me wrong, I am very much looking forward to spending time with my family and friends again, it's just that this feels a little like a cruel twist of fate. And of course this blog allows me to express my true inner emo!

On the plus side there will be daylight! As i am writing this the sun has all but set at 4pm, so the thought of sunshine and heat is fairly exciting right now. I am also looking forward to improving my english skills - to re-include complex structure when speaking; and to use adjectives other than those of awesome, good, nice, great and cool!

When bad hair happens to good people!

I have always had crazy sleeping patterns when I'm dealing with tranisitions in my life. So it came as no suprise to me that as I am preparing to uproot myself again, that sleep is becomming a rare commodity! Monday night I decided to do something productive with my 'awake time' i.e the midnight to 2am time bracket. I decided to redo my hair. Which included cutting my fringe.

I've done this 100 times before - there shouldn't have been a problem. Of course there was. I stupidly cut my fringe at the length I wanted it to sit.... while it was wet! Roll your eyes people - it's just one more ingredient in this #!@*cake I seem to be baking... (Maddie's metaphore not mine!).

I have a 60's party to attend on Saturday night - which Håkan will also attend - so I am desperately searching for a wig to wear - as we all know your hair makes or breaks you - and right now it damn well breaks me!

I will post about Stockholm and Paris before the end of the week!