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Thursday, December 14, 2006

To view the full story so far please click here.

A story interested me very much in the Yonhap News recently - Don't ask me what I was doing reading a South Korean newspaper, the web really is a wonderful place. I thought that I might bring it to the attention of an audience outside of Asia.

Anyway, I tried to summarise the story but they seem to have done a good job of making a concise and interesting article themselves so I have just copied it below.


SEOUL, Dec. 11 (Yonhap) -- Two children from Inner Mongolia were recent recipients of free open-heart surgery in South Korea, a nonprofit organization based in Seoul said Monday.

The group Save the Children said doctors from Sejong General Hospital successfully completed surgical operations on the children, who had congenital heart disease.

One-year-old Du Jiale and 4-year-old Zhang Xinying, both from small villages in Wengniute County, Chifeng City, were born in impoverished families and were chosen for the free heart surgery.

"I cannot express how thankful I am. I will do my best bringing up the child," said Wang Chunxia, the mother of the year-old girl.

Zhang also gained a healthy color in her face and can now walk farther.

Their peasant families live in secluded villages in Inner Mongolia, which has a population of 400,000 and where more than half of the region is covered with sand dunes.

The families earn an average yearly income of US$500 and could not afford the surgery.

Children with congenital heart diseases can normally be cured by early surgery, but do not live long if not operated on at a proper time, the organization said.

After about a three-week stay in South Korea, Du and Zhang are expected to go back to their country on Tuesday.

Organizer Kim Young-il said, "They are perfectly cured. We will keep in touch with them and informed on how they are doing."
The Save the Child organization has provided free surgery for 42 children with congenital disease this year. It is also planning to assist five more children from Russia before the end of the year. The costs have been defrayed by fund raising and donations to the organization from local and overseas organizations.

The organization is registered as a nongovernmental organization with special consultative status with the United Nations' Economic and Social Council.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

To view the full story so far please click here.

An update on where I've been for the past couple of weeks.

I'm now settled in to my new life as a student.

I travelled to Jodrell Bank to see the giant dish. It is a radio telescope that looks at distant Quasars and other radio emitting objects in the universe. I have included a picture of it from when I visited but it is impossible to envisage the vastness of it unless you are actually there. The dish is 250 foot across and the entire structure that you can see on the picture rotates on wheels so that the dish can point to any part of the sky.

November quickly became December and the start of Advent - I'm not particularly religious but I do enjoy chocolate advent calenders. This year however I was not going to have an advent calendar as I went on holiday for the first 10 days of advent. My dog however - he did not go with us - has had a chocolate every morning since December 1st. I've not had the heart to tell him that it's not real chocolate yet but I will if he keeps up that smug look.

I went to Lanzarote on my holiday and the weather was really good. I came home with a slight tan which is great for Winter I also overindulged on Tapas and all of the other good food they have over there. It was hard to come back to England where the weather has been miserable and doesn't look set to get any better until next May.

So, onwards with the challenge to turn the Liverpool shirt into something better. I have obtained the Liverpool shirt from a piece of old rope in less than half a year and I still have almost a year left so I think that I will end up with something rather great for charity.

If you have any ideas of where to go next or you would like to trade with me then please email me through my profile on the right and side.