I ran with it!

I ran with it!

Hello, friends!

I’m sorry!

Huh? For what?

Ok, let me refresh your memory. I wanted to change what I was blogging about. I felt that I wasn’t reaching my full potential. Well back in April I announced that I was going to start a new blog.

I did!

And then I ran with it!

I forgot about this one (well not entirely but…it was on the back burner!)

A few months down the line and I realised I never followed up and informed you all about the new website.

I’m sorry!

visit the new site!

The new site focuses on my author and free-lance editing services. I feel so free now that I have said that! I know there are a few kinks to work on but the site is up and there are some new posts too.

Why did I decide to write a novella?

Naming the books!

Currently, I am almost ready to launch my first book. Yes, I did that too!! Whilst this is going on I am actively researching ideas for the book I am going to write in November during #NaNoWriMo!

Also, I am creating a FREE course on how to write a novel in a month – stay tuned for that!

I hope to keep you all updated and keep an eye on what you are doing too!

Xx

April 2016!

April 2016!

Hello, friends!!

It has been a month since I last published and so much has happened since then! Let me fill you in 🙂

Firstly, when I took the break it was because my work was going to be consuming most of my time and I knew I would not be able to put out readable content. My main goal has always been to put out content that engages you and gives you a different understanding of the topic.

Secondly, I was feeling as though current affairs was not something I wanted to post about anymore. I thought if I took time off to re-evaluate I would have a clearer understanding of where I want to go.

I have come to some choices:

  1. I am moving to a self-hosted site as this will enable me to reach more people with my new focus.
  2. My focus is not going to be current affairs, as previously mentioned. I am not going to say much more as I want to surprise you all.

While these things will take time to set up and there may be a few hiccups along the way, I hope you all will join me in this new journey!

Click this link to see the video on the Facebook Page!

Till next time

Xx

March 2016- Round-up:

March 2016- Round-up:

Hello friends!!

It is that time again when we look back of the course of the month and recall the posts of the month. This month I discussed Mass Migration – because it was time. It has been happening for over a year now with no possible signs of stopping. It is a classic case of treat the symptoms but not the infection!

Mass migration – why is it such a huge issue now in this decade?

Mass Migration – Who is affected by the migration – countries, people, economies?

Mass Migration – What are the effects of migration – on countries of origin and the new ones?

This month I shared another personal experience I went through. As part of my journey, I wanted to share my experience with you all, and not be ashamed of it. I want to use my journey to help others who may be going through the same thing.

Overcoming assault and the path to recovery!

I am not going to be posting any new content for a few weeks. I am working on a project and I hope to share it with you soon!!

Till then

Xx

I survived!

I survived!

I am sharing another personal experience today. I am sharing it because I am stronger than my experience and I want to use it to help others going through the same experience.

I was raped.

By separate men. On separate occasions.

Three words that changed my life! My outlook on life changed, how I view others has changed and how I look at myself has changed too.

This is not an easy post to write. It brings with it painful memories and feelings. But I feel it will make me stronger.

After I was raped I went through a very dark period. I started cutting myself. I did not know how to express the pain that was consuming me. I felt ashamed of myself. Most of all I felt guilty.

I blamed myself.

Even though it wasn’t my fault – part of me still feels I am to blame.

One of the things that has been the hardest thing to deal with during this time is the feeling of being violated. It is the most terrible feeling in the world! It is incredibly distressing to feel safe and have it snatched from you. I battle to trust people because of this. It is something I battle with each and every day!

I look at myself and I am proud of the accomplishments I have made to get through this time. It has been about a year now. How time has flown!

I am still here today because I have a strong support system. I would not be here without them and I have no words to express my gratitude to them!!

If you are going through a dark time, know that the light will shine again and you will be stronger in the end because of it! The scars may fade but they are part of you not what you are!

To the men that raped me –

Know that I am still here and I’m still fighting!

YOU WON’T BEAT ME!!

Mass Migration – Effects:

Mass Migration – Effects:

Hello, friends!

Wow! What a week it has been! Rain, rain and more rain! Almost every day it has rained and while I am very glad of the rain it also brings its challenges – which got me thinking, strange how that works isn’t it?

We have been looking at the issue of mass migration and the challenges of the people involved. This week we are going to switch and look at the countries that these migrants go to or pass through on their journey to a better life.

It is not a piece of cake in these countries either,  many of the countries are still coming out of the global recession caused by the 2008 financial crisis on Wall Street and the added strain on the system caused by all the addition people puts a strain on their recovery.

What do the people in the country need?

  • Homes
  • Jobs
  • Education for their children
  • Future jobs for their children
  • The promise of a good future for their children
  • Retirement (a happy one!)

All these are basic needs of people, but many EU countries are struggling to provide those to their people because of the global economic crisis. Companies laid off employees, salaries fell, the prices of basic goods increased. Slowly, due to implementations by the global money and financial institutions the economy is improving but it takes countries different amounts of time to completely recover back to pre-crash levels.

These countries need to provide basic services to their own people –

  1. Sanitation
  2. Maintenance of roads, buildings and public areas.
  3. To provide the highest standard of living they can.

This is a tough task for any country let alone one recovering from a recession.

The influx of huge numbers of people can drastically affect the balance of a country. Countries need to find shelter for these people, medical facilities for those that need, food supplies, and eventually these people need to become part of the community or remain on the fringes. Extra resources like this take more money and personnel to be done right. Unfortunately the budget is too rigid for extra to be vetted out to the sectors that are the ones on the front lines dealing with all the immigrants. So it falls to the locals to care and help those they can.

Ultimately the immigrants are blamed for the increase in litter, crime, and a decline in the standard of the city, decline in cleanliness and ultimately the decline in the overall appearance of the city/town. Visually it is not appealing with all the loitering but what else can the migrants do until they receive their papers to prove they have refugee status or the like? Life is a challenge for those both in the countries and arriving.

On the flipside the country that loses people experiences the following:

  • A brain-drain on professional and blue collar workers.
  • Less income is brought in for the country’s GDP.
  • A strain on government services – both local and regional.

Neither country has policies in place to cope with the levels of people leaving or entering their country. The consequences are often far greater than what they seem on the surface.

Till next week

Xx

Mass Migration – Who?

Mass Migration – Who?

Hello, friends!

Last week we looked at why someone (or a family) would leave their country and move to another part of the world. There are many reasons. This week we are looking at real world examples.

Syria:

This example comes to mind almost immediately, as it is often in the news. People are fleeing continued conflict in this country and heading to Europe (mainly) in search of something better. Some of the things they may be searching for:

  • Safety
  • A home
  • A job
  • An education for their children
  • A better quality of life

All valid reasons. But the journey to Europe is long, costly and above all dangerous. When they arrive on European soil, the journey has often just begun.

North Africa:

People flee this area to escape the following:

  • Religious/ethnic persecution
  • Terrorist activities
  • Poverty
  • A lack of opportunities for jobs
  • To find a job to enable them to send money home to feed and help the rest of their family.

They too have a long journey ahead of them and it is often more challenging than they anticipate.

Southern Africa:

People leave this area in search of:

  • Better jobs with a better salary
  • A higher quality and standard of living
  • Further education

Again these people find that it is often harder when they arrive than they anticipated. They did not get rose coloured glasses. The problem is that the countries look good on the outside. When you arrive you see for yourself the struggles the ordinary people are going through that you yourself did not think about.

We look at richer countries and think they have it easier when in fact the challenges they face are different to ours and equally make their lives more complex. In a modern world with so many gadgets and devices to make our lives easier, some actually make it more difficult.

On the flipside, some people leave richer countries to come to poorer countries because

  • They want a simpler life
  • They are escaping persecution
  • They want a change
  • They move for a job

All these reasons are acceptable and valid, there may be others too.

Unfortunately, when arriving in a new country people have to find basic needs – food, shelter and money – yes money. Money is needed to pay for food, shelter and moving around the new city/country. Their body and mind are in a culture shock.

Whether you like it or not the city/country you lived in before has ingrained certain traits and expectations upon you – this is environmental and social stereotyping. You are biased towards certain things based on your experiences.

Now they have to adjust to new times, new social situations, new job requirements, new expectations on themselves!

So if someone is new in your neighbourhood think about how they must feel and give them a smile! You will feel good too, I promise 😉

Next week we shall explore what happens to the countries when they lose people and on the other side, gain people.

Till then

Xx

Mass migration – why now?

Mass migration – why now?

Hello, friends

During the last year, Europe has seen an upsurge in migration from countries. Europe has had to scramble to provide for the challenges caused by this. The EU has broad-based policies in place that aid anyone with an EU passport. So the goal of many migrants is to make it into one of the European Union countries. The question is – Why are they migrating?

I am assuming most of you are sitting back and saying – to escape conflict. True, but it is not always the case. There are personal and professional reasons for someone (or a family) to move away from their home. The two types of migration are:

Voluntary migration involves the free movement of migrants looking for an improved quality of life and personal freedom. For example:

  • Employment – either to find a job, to earn a higher salary or avoid paying tax
  • Pioneers developing new areas
  • Trade and economic expansion
  • Territorial expansion
  • Better climate, especially on retirement
  • Social amenities such as hospitals, schools and entertainment
  • To be with friends and relatives

Forced migration is when the migrants have no personal choice but has to move due to a natural disaster or to economic or social imposition. For example:

  • Religious and/or political persecution
  • Wars, creating large numbers of refugees
  • Forced labour as slaves or prisoners of war
  • Racial discrimination
  • Lack of food due to famine
  • Natural disasters caused by floods, drought, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions or hurricanes
  • Overpopulation, when the number of people living in an area exceeds the resources available to them

Many of these reasons are valid. But the decision to leave home is not made lightly. It is often made after considering the impact it will have on family, friends, work and school – both in the country of origin and the destination. There may be other reasons but these are the main ones.

Unfortunately, for many people, the reality does not add up to their expectations. We shall explore this more in the next post.

Till then

Xx

February 2016 Round-up:

February 2016 Round-up:

Hello, friends!!

February is winding down and I must say it has been a busy month for me! And it has made me grow as a person to learn about myself in this busy time 🙂

At the end of last month, I heard about a young woman who saw no way out but to end her life. I was really saddened by this! What made her choose that? It got me thinking and here is the post – suicide is the only way – wait..what?!?!

In our regular posts, I looked at the financial crisis that shook the world 8 years ago –

Causes of the 2008 (almost) crash

The crash affected the world too

The recent interest rate increase by the Federal Reserve

I also began to do some more Saturday Shorts (the new posts on Saturdays that are shorter and cover a wide range of topics)

Sometimes it is hard to balance all the parts of your life- especially when things are busy so I looked at ways to create a balance.

Balancing act of life

I also looked at why I am still living in my home country, not out exploring the world –

why the grass is not always greener on the other side

We have also seen some fast-paced action in the primaries and caucuses of the American election process.

Did you know – US elections

The Democrats

An update on the Democrats – the following candidates have suspended their campaigns:

  • Martin ‘O’ Malley – 01/02/2016
  • Jim Webb – 20/10/2015
  • Lincoln Chafee – 23/10/2015
  • Lawrence Lessig – 02/11/2015

The Republicans

An update on the Republicans – the following candidates have suspended their campaigns:

  • Mike Huckabee – 01/02/2016
  • Rand Paul – 03/02/ 2016
  • Rick Santorum – 03/02/2016
  • Carly Fiorina – 10/02/2016
  • Chris Christie – 10/02/2016
  • Jim Gilmore – 12/02/2016
  • Jeb Bush – 20/02/2016

It will be an exciting few months in the Race for the White House!!

Well, that is it for this month! I can’t wait to share with you again soon!

Xx

 

 

Why did the Federal Reserve increase the interest rate?

Why did the Federal Reserve increase the interest rate?

Hello, friends!

This is Part 3 of our look at the financial crisis that shook the world.

The US Federal Reserve recently decided to raise its interest rate. This is the same as a doctor deciding a patient is well enough to come off medication.

The reason for this is that the Federal Reserve finally feels that the US economy is healthy enough for borrowing costs to return to ‘normal’ levels to keep inflation levels stable and avoid an acceleration of the inflation level.

In the wake of the financial crisis on Wall Street, the Federal Reserve lowered its interest rate to almost zero. This was a way to boost the economy. The Fed (as it is known) has kept its interest rate between o and 1/4 of a percentage point since 2008, as jobs were being squeezed out of the economy like water from a sponge.

I am sure you are asking yourself how does an interest rate affect you? Well, firstly when you borrow money from a bank or any financial institution you need to pay it back. You have to pay for borrowing the money – this is called interest. Let us assume you have done the following – borrowed $10 000 from the bank. You have to pay this back in 3 years and the rate is 1%.

Using the formula Interest = (Principle x Rate x Time)/100, you need to pay back $300 as well as the $10 000 you initially borrowed.

Ok so you borrow $10 000 and you pay back $10300. Doesn’t seem a lot?? What happens if the rate is 0.25%?

Using the same formula, we get $10 075. The difference is $225! A large difference so yes, the interest rate is very important, especially for vast sums of money that pass between banks and companies.

The Fed lowered its rate to the floor to try and stabilise the economy and encourage growth.

This has worked to an extent – the hourly wages, housing sector and job creation show staggered results at best.

During the summer of last year, several events occurred which cast doubt on the possibility of a Fed rate rise. They were:

  1. The slowing Chinese economy.
  2. The devaluation of the Renminbi.
  3. The slumping price of oil.
  4. The downturn in the global economy.

Many analysts were asked to give their opinions on the possible effects of the rate rise. There were mixed views:

  1. The Fed must be cautious as it implements an overdue rate rise:
    • a zero bound interest rate can also negatively affect the growth of the economy.
    • It is difficult to predict the effects on the global economy.
  2. The Fed must wait:
    • Credit is becoming more expensive.
    • Emerging markets are submerging.
    • Outlook for the Chinese economy is not as positive as expected. The US Stock Market is in a state of correction.
    • Liquidity concerns.
    • Dampening in the markets.

Despite all this the Fed did raise the interest rate. Investors were aware and the markets reacted better than expected. The Federal Open Market Committee expects to meet again on March 15-16. There is speculation they will again raise the interest rate.

Will they or won’t they? We shall have to wait and see!

Till next week

Xx

Why the grass is not always greener on the otherside:

Why the grass is not always greener on the otherside:

Hello, friends!

Happy Saturday to you and I hope you are relaxing with a glass of wine surrounded by family and friends 🙂

This week I was thinking about the country I live in and the problems it has. It actually started when someone said why was I still here?? I thought they were being rude but the more I thought about it, the more I could see why they were asking. Why was I not exploring the world? Well the truth is – I don’t know!!

Wow!

I actually do not know why I have no inkling to visit another part of the world…yet. Right now my business is starting to become successful so I do not want to leave when the hard work is starting to pay off. I want to travel with a friend – I suppose I haven’t met that friend that wants to explore the world with me, silly excuse I know 😉 So why haven’t I left to find a country with better opportunities than the one I was born in?

I know that my country has problems (don’t they all?) but it also has good points.

For me they are:

  • Family and friends
  • Community
  • Nature in my country
  • The animals

The country also has its problems, both political and socio-economic. So why do I stay? I stay because I see a better future in this country and I want to be a part of it. I want to help build the future.

I would love to visit other countries and view other cultures and have new experiences. After all, countries are different and they can shape the lives of all those who cross their borders, whether for short periods or long periods.

Then I started thinking about people who leave their country of birth – the reasons are many – and why they chose to do so.

  1. Employment
  2. Education
  3. A better quality of life
  4. Fleeing conflict (of any sort)

These reasons are perfectly valid and any person has the right to explore options available to them even if that means leaving their country of birth.

When people arrive in a new country they experience a culture shock as well as a new way of doing things. It is amazing how set in the ‘norm’ we get. When something goes wrong we fix it and move on – we know exactly how and where to obtain help. In a new country all that has dissolved! You need to adapt, to change to the new surroundings. For some people this is exceedingly difficult to do, they find adapting a challenge. Also, our perceived view of other countries is sometimes whiter than it really is on the ground. We expect the better part without really envisioning all that will need to happen to make our fantasy a reality. A new home, friends, work environment, leisure activities and more. It is a whole change to the system! Some people react and change faster and easier than others. Perfectly acceptable!

Many people always feel a close kinship to their country of birth and so do I. For me it runs in my blood, it is not just the country I grew up in, it’s more than that. It’s a part of me.

And it always will be!

What about you? How do you feel about the country you live in?

Till next time

Xx