Hiking, bureaucracy, work, heat, ghost nets, teeth and cake (from Hong Kong)
Day 2,899 since October 10th 2013: 194 countries out of 203. No flight, no return home, min 24 hrs in each country and 1 pandemic!
(The opinions expressed on this site are my own, and do not reflect the position or policies of the Danish Red Cross which I represent as a Goodwill Ambassador).
Hurry up world!! Follow Denmark!!!
I can’t believe that my home nation is ahead of the race. The pandemic is over in Denmark and life is back to normal. Meanwhile here in Hong Kong: masks are mandatory.
Last week’s entry: Leading by example (from Hong Kong)
So! Ultra-wifey attended a ‘Minds of 99’ concert last week. She didn’t go alone. She was joined by 50,000 people! One big party full of happy Danes. Denmark has a formidable healthcare system. Certainly, compared to most of the world. And Danes are simultaneously obedient and independent, so they went out and got vaccinated as soon as they could. Not everyone of course – but most have done so. And now COVID-19 is no longer considered a socially critical decease in Denmark. With more than 80% of everyone older than twelve vaccinated and a strong and capable healthcare system, Denmark has dropped all restrictions and is now living as pre-covid times. How crazy is that? Wonderfully crazy! I’m so envious. It doesn’t mean that Denmark is free of COVID-19. It just means that the healthcare system can handle the cases and life can go on. Meanwhile here in Hong Kong masks are mandatory, QR codes are the norm, inbound travel requires two-weeks hotel quarantine and about half the population has been vaccinated. I’ve heard all sorts of reasons why so many Hong Kongers abstain from getting vaccinated. Some relate to political views, others to distrust. New Zealand remains adamant about its zero-tolerance strategy but Australia has begun to change its. Man!! Let Denmark be a shining beacon for the way out of the pandemic (now let’s hope the cases don’t come soaring back and shuts Denmark down).
The Savagars sent me this article :)
This week I had the pleasure of meeting the locally famous “Ghost Net hunter” Harry Chan. He’s a really kind guy who’s been spending the past nine years hunting for ghost nets which are nets that have been lost or discarded at sea by fishermen. It was my friend Jessi who connected us. Jessi invited Thomas, Maggie and I to join herself and Harry for a cleanup on Lamma Island. As such we met up and went. The five of us made up a great group but the overall task was hopelessly depressing. There was so much waste!! What on earth are we doing to this planet?!? Harry likes to call himself crazy but if that’s the case then it’s a good kind of crazy. He has helped to organize the removal of tens of tons of ghost nets from the ocean. On this particular day we removed about 150kgs (330lb) of ghost nets, which might have been in the ocean for five to ten years. And in doing so we bypassed perhaps a hundred times more. And we didn’t even pick up a single piece of plastic waste from any of the beaches, which would be a project on its own. In fact, this upcoming Saturday I’ll be joining Harry and Jessi again in a beach cleanup. Its as part of a large event organized by Sous les dechents la plage (SLDLP) for the European coastal cleanup.
Harry Chan - the Ghost Net Hunter!
About 150kgs (330lb) of entangled ghost net.
Well, at least we can celebrate that we removed a little out of the ocean.
It's such a strange feeling to be out there collecting garbage from the ocean and then leaving tons of garbage behind. In reality the day with Harry was much more about gaining awareness than actually making a real physical impact. Because what we brought back was next to nothing compared to the size of the problem. But hopefully I can help Harry raise more awareness about this problem. I would really recommend that you take a look at THIS VIDEO which beautifully portrays Harry’s work. Harry does not want to be an NGO or an organization. He is just a man doing his best and pouring his own money and time into what he believes in. What an inspiration.
Evening hiking with the nutcases.
Hong Kong seems rather lucky when it comes to typhoons. It’s not that Hong Kong never gets hit because it does. But most of the typhoon warnings have seen typhoons pass Hong Kong left and right. Most recently typhoon Conson went west and super typhoon Chanthu went east and then north. Shanghai would have felt the full force of Chanthu. Cyclones, typhoons and hurricanes are all the same thing but named differently depending on where they form. Around here tropical storms are called typhoons. The temperatures went up and the weather got really hazy as the typhoons bypassed the region. I hike far less now than I did in previous months but I still get out to go running every so often. Running in 34 degrees Celsius (93.2 F) is no joke. I remember running in Kuwait which was above 40 C (104 F) but with a lot lower humidity. Around here the humidity is around 80%.
After a 6.4km (4mi) run. 34 min. Hot!
The ships keep coming and the Danish Seamen’s Church keeps servicing them. Less ships this month than the last. But there’s still plenty of work to do. Especially as the bazar committee has begun to prepare for the Danish Christmas Bazar in November. We’re importing a lot of foodstuffs from Denmark and I’m coordinating it. Thankfully we’re also seeing a lot of support from DSV which is a Danish freight forwarding company. DSV is big in Hong Kong too. Within Denmark DSV will make the collections and deliver to Maersk in Aarhus. From there the shipment goes onboard a ship to Hong Kong. Maersk and the Danish Seamen’s Church has a symbiotic relationship, in which the Seamen’s Church provides support for the Danish flagged ships, of which most belong to Maersk here in Hong Kong. In turn Maersk supports the Seamen’s Church and it all works out nicely.
Can you spot the new filling ;)
I am super ready to go to Palau!! Bring it on!! A few weeks ago, I went to the dentist and he recommended I had a filling replaced. Generally, I consider myself fairly brave (or stupid) but when it comes to dentist, I turn into a little girl who’s ready to explode with fear. I can’t really explain it and it seems rather irrational. But it’s definitely a big deal. Anyway, the dentist told me I had to get the filling fixed within the next six months. So, I went the other day and now the filling won’t be a problem later on. The night before my dentist appointment I was already feeling uneasy. The next day I woke up ahead of the alarm and I was tense. My heartrate was slightly increased. But I soldiered on. For a moment I thought to myself that I would rather have the entire tooth knocked out than have a dentist work on it. I got to the clinic on time. Sat down in the chair and was tense throughout the entire 20 minutes it took, And I was tense two hours later as well. The replacement of the filling was no big deal. Barely painful and in reality, a good reference for another time. But my vivid imagination made it so much worse. Anyway, it’s done. And Hong Kong Immigration also delivered a new employment visa for me which is valid for a full year. So now I couldn’t be more ready! Let’s go to Palau! Well – at this point we’re still waiting for green light from our friends at Pacific International Lines (PIL) whom are exploring the possibilities. Keep your fingers crossed.
The always efficient HK Immigration.
Oh Kenneth! How lucky you are to have married such a wonderful wife! Rose is a gem! And she organized a dinner out to celebrate Kenneth’s 44th trip around the sun. Well done Kenneth. And you didn’t even fall off once. In all fairness Kenneth is a pretty standup guy too and I get to see him at least once a week now as he’s one of the nutcases. Congratulations :)
Rose and Kenneth :)
This upcoming Sunday will mark 600 days in Hong Kong. That is 600 days of promoting the best of Hong Kong. The food, beaches, mountains, forests, restaurants, people, shopping, culture, history and probably a lot more. That has led to a collaboration with Hong Kong Tourism Board which remains intact. And as it happens there will be a few new events organized for the ‘Hong Kong Superfans’ within the upcoming weeks. It has also been 600 days of determination, hope, willpower and ambition in the flesh. My goodness I cannot stress enough how much the Saga wears me down. Add a global pandemic to the weight and it’s a wonder that I haven’t been crushed beneath it yet. Part of it has been all the side projects such as completing the MacLehose Trail in less than 24 hours and making my way to the peak of Hong Kong’s ten highest mountains. A part of it has been getting married and spending time with super-wifey. Another part has stemmed from keeping an eye out for opportunities and always remaining hopeful that there will be a solution for the final nine. And yet another part of why I’m still standing can be attributed to good friends. This photo was taken by Maxime Champigneulle who works at PacSafe. My mask is from PacSafe and so is my future carry-on bag once the Saga gets rolling again. PacSafe gave me that anti-theft bag more than a year ago now. Anyway, this photo is the one I’ve picked to commemorate 600 days in Hong Kong. The hat is worn, my arms are crossed, I’m in a mask, the city is behind me and the sky is blue. Within this project we keep on keeping on! ;)
Photo by Maxime Champigneulle, PacSafe.
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Mr. Torbjørn C. Pedersen (Thor) - determination in the flesh!
"A stranger is a friend you've never met before"
Once Upon A Saga