Let’s Make the Next 5 Years Count for the MDGs

A long time ago, when I was attending the Dutch version of secondary education, I was a delegate to the Model United Nations in The Hague twice. It was a great experience, which I can highly recommend to anyone. Not only did we have a week of fun, but it was also very interesting to actually experience how the real UN works. Next to that, it was a great opportunity to learn more about the countries we represented, and the problems the international community deals with. At the time, I believed firmly that international cooperation was the best way to address global problems, and my two THIMUN sessions only made that believe stronger.

Now, the UN is calling for Citizen Ambassadors, to get a different angle on how to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. These MDGs were set in 2000 by all the world’s countries on the Millennium Summit. Of course, I could not pass this opportunity by, to again try to experience from close by the inner workings of the UN, and uploaded this video as a response to the call for Citizen Ambassadors by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Now, let’s hope I win one of the six Ambassador posts, and get the possibility to represent all the volunteers and fund-raisers and anybody else who contributes to achieving the Millennium Development goals. I don’t know if it helps, but if you like the video on YouTube, that would be greatly appreciated.

Oh, the music in the video was made using GarageBand on my Mac, the font in the titles is Junction Regular from The League of Moveable Type.

Baltic Postcards – Horseman of Mystery

Horseman of Mystery

Dear friends,

Saturday morning, or early afternoon, is a perfect time to run some errands. So, yesterday morning I went out for a little supermarket-post office-dry cleaners round. On the corner of our street and another, I saw some police officers preparing to block off the intersection. Being a man on a mission, I didn’t pay that much notice. Normally when they do such a thing, some black cars with tinted windows will rush by a bit later, without me being able to see who or what is flying by. So, off to the supermarket I went.

When I was done there, I had to pass the intersection again, just as the police stopped traffic and a man on a white horse (no, fellow Dutchies, it was not Sinterklaas) came out of the park and went right past me, followed by a handful of press people and a small crowd wearing Dinamo Riga shirts. The fun part of when you do not know what is going on, and still have a lot to learn about the customs in a new country of residence, you can guess what such things are about, and come up with something yourself. Even though the crowd was rather small, since the Horseman of Mystery was going in the direction of the Riga Arena, I thought this might be the traditional season opening of the immensely popular local professional hockey team (ice hockey, that is).

Anyway, after the procession had passed, I went on with my business and did not give it that much thought anymore. In the evening, I got a bit curious, and tried to find out what it was about. On the website of Diena, one of Latvia’s newspapers, I found what I was looking for. The Horseman of Mystery was Jūliuss Šuplers, the head coach of Dinamo Riga, who had lost a bet with one of the players, and was therefore obliged to ride a horse through the streets of Riga.

Sometimes reality is even more fun than things you can imagine.

Warm regards,
A