>> Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hello everybody
I'm missing reading blogs and posting myself but I wanted to let anyone reading know im unable to at the moment because ive just had a surgery that leaves 1 1/2 of my hands disabled.
SO i will do my rounds as soon as i wake up from taking all these drugs and regain full function of my hands!
All the best


Honest Scrap Award

>> Thursday, February 19, 2009

I have a goal, and that is to try to write something on here regularily. But it's not easy! Having a life, having a job, reading all other blogs and come up with something to write in the midst of all the buzinezz. So while I figure out how to get some of my million thoughts into writing, I thought I'd do the honest scrap thing. So you guys can start getting to know me a little better. I wasn't specifically tagged, but Writefreak said she tagged anyone reading hers that hadn't done it, so that's my excuse.
So I am to list at least 10 honest things about myself.

  1. I've been politically active since I was about 13. But for the past few years I've had more than enough with my life and therefore no time. Don't interpret that as if I want to be a politician though - that is not for me. But I've always dreamed of making a difference. I can't change the world but I know I can make a difference. And that is something I try to be aware of every single day, so whenever I have a chance to make a small difference, I do it. Whether it is to stand up for someone no one is standing up for, or speaking to a sad stranger who lost their way, making their day a little brighter. When I grow stronger I want to make bigger differences.
  2. I'm a bit of a neat freak. Not OCD neat freak but I like having a neat and clean home. Keeping the bathroom clean is particularily important, lol. If my whole home is a mess I feel like my internal feelings are all a mess too, because I panic wondering how to find things. Cleaning makes me feel relieved and relaxed.
  3. I don't smoke or drink. Never have and never will. No coffee either by the way.
  4. (Follow up to #3)I remember to have specifically decided when I was 13 years old, to live life in total truth. To be honest with myself and never run away, mentally or physically, from any challenge. I remember hearing the saying "Face your fears and live your dreams" somewhere, and have lived by those words ever since. It never gets easy - facing your innermost fears are one of the most difficult things one can do. But I'll never give up. I am very focused on living a healthy life - eating healthy, being active, drinking lots of water - no alcohol or smoking. I want to keep my senses sharp at all times, my body fit and strong and my mind fed. It's hard work, especially on rainy days, but worth it. I feel it is the best way to keep in touch with my inner spirit. I don't feel alive unless I learn new things every day.
  5. I'm 6ft tall (183cm). I love high heels but feel too self conscious to wear them most of the time. I feel like everyones eyes are on me, then I get emberrased. I feel like a giant.
  6. I love cooking and I'm good at it. I got it from my mama.
  7. I got 8 piercings. 3 in each ear, one in the belly button and one in the nose. I don't look like a piercing freak, don't worry. I'm not getting any more either. I like the elegant look, not the gothic multi-piercing thing.
  8. I once was an aspiring dancer and musician. I started playing instruments at 6, dancing at 8 and was told I could pursue a career in performing arts. However, I quit in my mid-teens in order to get enough time to pursue school and work hard there. I didn't think I had enough confidence to keep on performing on stages, even though I loved it. One of my greatest strengths and weaknesses is that I always push myself as close to perfection as possible. In this case that meant getting top grades. I regret quitting dance, but I'm happy I worked hard at school. I plan on getting back to dancing. If only I could find the time! Music however, I can't live without for a day. My iPod is my loyal companion.
  9. I cry easily, but I don't like to admit it. Anything that deeply touches me can make me cry. Music, justice being done, injustice, just being appreciative or of course feeling sad or in dispair. I am an extremely empathetic person, sometimes to my own disadvantage. I also used to be very hot tempered, but I've learnt to calm down significantly after I understood that everything is what you make it out to be. To not let a situation control me, but the other way around. Nothing is impossible.
  10. When I was a little girl, I was absolutely obsessed with cars. I knew every make and model, and I used to make songs of them when my dad took me out for walks, inspired by any car passing by. Lol. I had no interest in dolls or other girly things. Still, I didn't turn out a tomboy. Today I think certain cars are beautiful, but I go by public transport to be environmental. I lost complete interest in cars until a little while ago when I realised it IS kinda nice now and then. I'm about to go home from work on the bus after 15 mins walk in the deep snow. Yay.

This was harder than I thought!


Greatest movies of all time

>> Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I usually hate chain mail but this one was great. Thought I'd share it until I get the time to write a REAL blogpost. Sooo busy. Some of you might have seen it before, looked like it's been going around Nigeria, lol.
  • 'The vast majority of our imports come from outside the country.'
  • 'If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure.'
  • 'One word sums up probably the responsibility of any Governor, and that one word is 'to be prepared'.
  • 'I have made good judgments in the past. I have made good judgments in the future.'
  • 'The future will be better tomorrow.'
  • 'We're going to have the best educated American people in the world.'
  • 'I stand by all the misstatements that I've made.'
  • 'We have a firm commitment to NATO, we are a part of NATO. We have a firm commitment to Europe . We are a part of Europe '
  • 'Public speaking is very easy.'
  • 'A low voter turnout is an indication of fewer people going to the polls.'
  • ' I have opinions of my own -- strong opinions -- but I don't always agree with them.'
  • 'We are ready for any unforeseen event that may or may not occur.'
  • 'For NASA, space is still a high priority.'
  • 'Quite frankly, teachers are the only profession that teach our children.'
  • 'It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it.'

Thank God it's over.


US Firm pleads guilty to bribing Nigerian officials

>> Friday, February 13, 2009

Found this article on ThisDay:
Lagos — Houston-based KBR pleaded guilty yesterday to federal criminal charges alleging it paid millions of dollars in bribes to Nigerian officials to win contracts to build a massive natural gas project in the country.By This Day (Nigeria) 02.12.2009
The engineering giant and military contractor will pay $402 million in fines and spend three years under the watch of a court-appointed monitor, according to the plea agreement entered before US District Judge Keith Ellison.
KBR's former parent company, Halliburton, will pay most of the fine under terms of the two companies' separation almost two years ago. KBR General Counsel Andrew Farley entered the guilty plea on behalf of the company.
The five charges-one count of conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and four counts of violating the act-stem from allegations of a decade-long scheme in which KBR, through intermediaries, paid more than $180 million in bribes to Nigerian officials to get contracts to build a $6 billion gas liquefaction plant on Nigeria's Bonny Island.
Gas liquefaction is the process of turning natural gas into a liquid so it can be transported on tankers.
In a statement yesterday, KBR Chairman and Chief Executive, William P. Utt, said the settlement of the criminal case and related Securities and Exchange Commission complaints "close both a regrettable and unfortunate chapter in KBR's rich and storied history." Utt said KBR cooperated with the government during the five-year investigation.
Last September, Albert "Jack" Stanley, a former chairman of the company previously called Kellogg Brown & Root, admitted he took part in the dealings. Stanley, of Houston, served as Kellogg Brown & Root's senior representative on a Madeira, Portugal-based consortium known as TSKJ, which was awarded four separate contracts for work on that complex.
Stanley is scheduled to be sentenced on May 6.
Last month Halliburton said it planned to pay nearly $560 million to settle allegations related to the case.
Halliburton said yesterday it will pay $382 million of the KBR fine, and KBR will pay $20 million. Halliburton will pay an additional $177 to settle SEC complaints, without admitting or denying wrongdoing, the company said.
KBR's spinoff from Halliburton was completed in April 2007, with Halliburton agreeing to cover KBR "for certain contingent liabilities" related to any fines that come out of the case, according to filings by both companies.

I'm happy to see that these money sucking corporations will get repercussions for their wrongdoings. At the same time I can't help but feel annoyed and angry, in spite of knowing this happens every day. But one can't just stop getting annoyed just because it's happening over and over. This is exactly what Nigeria don't need, most especially the Niger-Delta. I am waiting for the western corporations to step up and take their rightful responsibility. The world community can't blame Nigerian officials alone for corruption and stealing of money. The western companies have their fair share of it too. And they should know better. Coming from countries where corruption is not as open and widespread, where the population can actually enjoy seeing some of the profit being generated from their riches and hard work, if they want to claim they're not heartless leeches, they should try to spread some of those good principles to Africa instead of adding fuel to the fire. They're used to being regulated by strict laws and they should follow the same guidelines in any country of operation. I know it's a bit unrealistic since most global corporations are quite ruthless and capitalistic. But it's time they take some responsibility and we'll never get anywhere unless we demand for change. I'm happy anytime I see someone speaking up about a matter. That's what makes the difference. Let there be NO SILENCE!

Nigeria has so much potential for growing and developing. I can only imagine what could be done if some of that oil money was put into developing infrastructure such as roads and power networks. Developing the educational system and finding more environmentally responsible ways of running their oil industry. Using their highly contaminating gas flares to extract gas that could be used for cooking, instead of increasing deforestation because of lack of firewood and polluting the atmosphere. There's so many more efficient and beneficial ways of doing things.


Late night questions

>> Friday, February 6, 2009

I'm a thinker, always have been. It's been keeping me up at night for years. I finally resolved my worst sleep issues about 1 year ago, but for the past 3 weeks they've come back.
I'm ridiculously tired, still, I just CAN'T sleep. As if my thinking wasn't bad to begin with, this just leads to me pondering and thinking even more. Lately I've also discovered new feelings and fears I've never had before. I'm not sure if they are age appropriate. At the same time I know my weakness and strength in life is pushing myself. Hard.

These are some of the things that have taken up attention lately:
- Time. Goes by so fast. How do I maximise the time I have of each day and week? What do I need to do in order to feel I've taken the most advantage of the time I have? How do I do everything that needs to be done and still have time left for me? How can I also do the things I want to do and also fulfill my duties as a citizen, wife and daughter?
- How far to go. I suffer from the conscience syndrome and good-super-responsible-girl syndrome. I have a natural instinct to help. Anybody. First and foremost family and other close ones. I believe it's good to go a little bit out of your way for people. Although not always. Doing only what is the minimal requirement is not always going to work. But how far is acceptable to go? Is there a universal limit or does it depend on my own strength? Always caring and being there for family is a rule of life to me. But how far do I go in order to help? How much should I sacrifice before I give up? Is it acceptable to ever give up? How much do I do for you and how much should you do for yourself? Where is the limit between helper and enabler?
- Long-term future. How do I find the balance between achievement, ambitions, responsibility, wishes and personal needs?
- Keeping in touch. How do I stay in touch with friends, when we are all consumed by life's chores and duties?
- Relationship perfection. One of my conclusions in life is that no relationship is perfect. They all require patience, time and trust. But where's the line between patience and stupidity?

These are just a few. I have some answers, but most of them are not definite. I'm not sure they ever can be until I reach 90. I hope to discover more of them as I grow older.



>> Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Growing up in this cold country I never understood the full extent of what I was missing, in spite of this being one of the best countries to live in in the world, according to the UN. I beg to differ though, theres often newspaperspreads on how "unhappy" the ungrateful people who live here are. Don't worry I'm not as bitter as I may sound. Anyway, growing up I think I've had only one Norwegian friend. All my friends were from around the world, and as long as I can remember, they've all been complaining about living here, how they want to go back to their countries etc. Isn't it ironic? In Nigeria most people seem to be fighting hard to get abroad, namely my brother in-law. The grass is always greener on the other side somehow.
I have full understanding for wanting to get away from f.ex Nigeria, but I also have full understanding for those who want to go back! Since I met my husband, he's been never stopped complaining about life here, especially during the winter months (which makes up almost half the year). "It's so sad and boring, so much staying inside, no people, no life! There's no life here!" I understood him, but there isn't much we can do about it is there? Currently we're both tied to both jobs and studies. This year though, I have somehow managed to adopt his winter frustration and depression to full extent. Winter months have never brought much joy, but this year I'm just feeling all weird. Since coming back from Nigeria I just want to go back! Life quality is reduced to endless boredom in fear of the cold. The last couple of days its been -10C and me not being a full blooded Norwegian I just can't bear to go out. Neither can anyone I know, so everyone ends up spending most their time inside watching TV. Other Norwegians of course compensate by drinking huge amounts of alcohol, esp. during weekends, getting drunk and partying. I don't drink though, neither do I find such activities to be any rewarding what so ever. I find myself increasingly depending and looking forward to certain series and tv programmes. I hate that. What happened to social life? At the same time I'm beating myself up for not being appreciative enough. After all I am truly blessed to live the way I do and I think I'm spoiled to be complaining - So what to do? Any advices on improving winter life will be greatly appreciated. My current solution is to become rich and move to warmer fields...


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