Climbing Goatfell on Arran

From the house I’m staying in in West Kilbride, Scotland we can see the Isle of Arran on most days (see previous post). It is a fairly large island, the seventh largest in Scotland. The island has both plains and hills and the highest peak of the island is Goatfell with its 2866 ft (874 m). So as I was feeling quite adventurous I decided to climb it and brought a friend along. It was definitely worth it although we hadn’t quite anticipated it would involve a 6 hour hike with quite steep sections. So here follows the journey to Isle of Arran from two weeks ago.

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South of West Kilbride is Ardrossen where the ferry would take us to Arran. Here is the coastline of the little town.

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The ferry from Ardrossen takes about an hour across, here the coastline of Ayrshire.

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About to arrive in Brodick and getting a closer view of Goatfell.

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Getting off the bus closer to the top we saw this cute little cottage.

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The heather was in full bloom. And looking back we start to see the breathtaking view of the sea!

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Clear water that made for some really good drinking water. Here we stopped to eat our packed lunch.

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Looking back again, the shore of Ayrshire looks very far away now.

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Looking ahead!

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As we reached the ridge we could get the first glimpse over the western side of Arran and the beautiful rough hills!

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Beautiful flowers!

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We have reached the top!

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Looking down towards Brodick and realising there was no wawy we would make it on time to the ferry…

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Beautiful green hills with the faint colour of blooming heather! Our God is a great God!

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Feeling quite proud of myself for doing this. But I’m also filled with such gratitude to my Father who is spoiling me on this trip and the privilege of getting to see all this beauty!

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Starting the decent back down, this time straight to Brodick.

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After six hours we are hungry and tired but no wonder, looking back at where we came from.

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Back in Brodick! Here we bought a few sandwiches at the Co-op and sat by the seashore looking out over Goatfell one last time from on the island before catching the ferry back home.

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Since we missed the ferry for 16.40 (we only got to Brodick at 18.00) the sun was setting behind Arran as we returned (taking the 19.20 ferry). It only got more and more beautiful!

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P1110971bWe arrived home in West Kilbride just in time for a good night’s sleep at 22.00!

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Ever changing skies!

I have the amazing privilege of spending 6 weeks in Seamill, Scotland. I am doing a course here and we live just 5 minutes walking away from the beach. And so many evenings there are spectacular sunsets, especially with Isle of Arran along the horizon. Here follow a collection from the past three weeks. I have tried to make a selection but still ended up with quite a few pictures. Enjoy! And I just have to say I think I get to serve a pretty amazing God who has created this earth so incredible beautiful! P1110531b P1110521b P1110497b P1110490bP1120004bP1110310b P1110306b P1110297b P1110294b P1110291b P1110284b  P1120041b P1120009b P1120034bP1110979b

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Visiting the Highlands and a friend!

I have now been in Scotland for about two weeks! I am here attending a course in spiritual deepening and it has been very good so far. The weekend before it started I took the chance to visit a friend I met in Uppsala, Sweden that now lives back in Inverness in Northern Scotland or as they also call it: the Highlands! I landed in Edinburgh and had about four hours before the bus up to Inverness would leave. I took the chance to some of the town with my suitcase dragging behind… What I didn’t know was that the world’s largest performance and art festival (The Fringe) was going on so I had to share the streets with quite a few other people. Well let me guide you through some snippets of the trip over that weekend with the following pictures.

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Above: I like getting a coffee in different places. Here I enjoyed my packed sandwiches in a little back-alley in the old city of Edinburgh.

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Saturday was spent seeing the town of Inverness! It is one of the biggest towns in the Highlands. I walked along the river Ness and enjoyed some more of my packed lunch! Following are some pictures from my walk!

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Downtown Inverness

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Above: The castle of Inverness with the Scottish flag!

Below: In the evening my friend took me out to the nearby famous lake of Loch Ness. It was a beautiful evening with the sun coming through! Scotland is truly beautiful!

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Above: The Scots called me brave, but I think in their mind they where thinking “Who is that crazy lady?”. So yes, I did take a dip in the cold Loch Ness but no, I did not get kissed by Nessie.

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Below: I got to spend the second night with another friend from Sweden at her and her husband’s farm. This was the view from their guestroom! Not bad!

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On the Sunday morning my friend and I drove over the mountains down to Southern Scotland  and to the city of Glasgow. From Glasgow I took the train (see below) out west to the coast to arrive in West Kilbride where the course was going to start.

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I am hoping to post some pictures soon of the beautiful scenery here in West Kilbride. So until then!

Teaching on the digestive system, diarrhoea and worms…!

This week I had the privilege of teaching in another IPHC (acronym for Introduction to Primary Health Care). It is a 6 month course to train people with no medical background in how to do community health care, and especially how they can improve the health of people in communities.

I did the school myself now already 12 years ago (!) in Australia and really see that the school gives great tools to really strengthen communities, especially its women and children. This week’s topic was the digestive system with some diseases, especially diarrhoea and worms… So prevention is an important element. UNICEF India have been running a campaign called Poo2Loo, since almost 50% of the Indian population still practice, what is called open defecation. In preparation for the teaching I found some great new resources for our students, like this mobile “Facts for Life” in 5 Indian languages, plus English. I get very excited when I give on some resources that the students can go back to and make the knowledge their own. Well below follow some pictures from the past week, starting with the beautiful travel back to Lonavala from Pune.

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On the Friday we went to a nearby community, to put some of the theory into practice.

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Beautiful Maharashtra

After being in Delhi for four weeks I made the journey south to the state of Maharashtra, home of Mumbai (former Bombay) and India’s second largest city (after Kolkata). However I didn’t go to Mumbai but to Pune, about 150 km east.   P1100153b

Waiting in the bus before boarding the plane in Delhi. Much of the country got some refreshing rain!

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At arrival in Pune!

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I stayed with friends in the old town of Lonavala, along the Mumbai-Pune highway. It is a popular getaway for the rich and famous from Mumbai. Just behind where I was staying the famous former cricket player, Sachin Tendulkar is building (yet another) mansion for himself. When going around in the town and its surroundings you can see why it is so popular.

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Last Sunday I went with a friend to a resort nearby to swim and we enjoyed some good food with a beautiful view over the hills. Apparently this becomes even more beautiful as the rain comes in the summer and everything become green! I would like to come back for that.

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The swim was so refreshing!

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On our way out from the resort we found these interesting looking flowers. God is so creative!

I am really enjoying being back in India, and seeing new places! It is good to meet friends again and talk and work on how future community health workers in the sub-continent can become better equipped for the job. It is good to get the opportunity to put my knowledge into practice and to pass it on!

Back in India

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I have now been back in India for over two weeks and I am trying to gather my thoughts as to what to write. It is all so strangely familiar to be back, yet it is all so different as well. Since having lived in the city seven years ago A LOT has changed. There is now metro lines all over the city (see pictures below), air conditioned buses, more and bigger shopping malls, supermarkets/department stores and so much more that I haven’t quite seen yet. Some things have changed but not completely yet. The streets are cleaner, yet the rivers still stink terribly, the air is (if possible) even more polluted (read an article on it here), so much so that it is the most polluted city in the world.

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Last week I attended a gathering with lots of women working in community development from all over North India in the city of Chandigarh. Chandigarh was a completely planned city, and when the Indians put their mind to it, well I guess that is so with anybody, they really do a great job at it. Wide roads, lots of green parks and trees along the roads. This makes for good traveling and a very walk-able town.

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And here are some pictures from where we were at outside the city (so the not so planned area of town).

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Since I have a passion for breastfeeding promotion I approached the organizers of the gathering and asked if they would be interested in a workshop on breastfeeding. They said “yes”! So I got to speak (see picture below) on my all time favorite topic and inspire women to do breastfeeding well and/or to support other breastfeeding women. I hope this is something they will be able to bring back to their communities.

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Graduated

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I took “selfie” on the day of the opening ceremony in the University Main Building out on the second floor looking into the hallway. Today as I was at the closing ceremony for all Master’s students I took a similar “selfie”! I am filled with gratefulness when I think of the past 2 years and that I was able to study at Uppsala University together with such great people! Looking forward to what the future brings!