Friday 30 January 2009

World's Highest Cricket Game - Been there done that!

On 21st April this year, a team of cricketers will journey to the Himalayas to take part in the highest cricket game on record. They will play at around 5,100m at Gorak Shep - the last stop on the way up to Everest Base Camp and the stunning Everest viewpoint of Kala Patthar.

It may well be the highest official game on record but unofficially they have been beaten to it! In August 2006, 20 students from Durham University including myself, trekked up to Everest Base Camp and Kala Patthar to raise money for the Durham University Charities Kommittee (DUCK) and to sponsor two Nepali children through school with the charity Future For Nepal. The 12 day trek was made complete guessed it...a cricket bat and ball - for the obligatory, and quintessentially English, high altitude game at Gorak Shep. We even have the photos to prove it!

So good luck to the 22 participants of April's game. Lets hope as the hit themselves into the record books they listen out for the fading echoes of the DUCK team's soft whack of tennis ball on plastic (!).

See the BBC article here

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Thursday 29 January 2009

Zimbabwe dollar no more?

Over the last two years the Zim dollar has seen an unprecedented billion percent inflation.  Recently a $100 trillion dollar note was introduced and last year ten, yes ten zeros were slashed.  This has caused chaos in a country that is already suffering.  It has meant people struggle to buy food as their money becomes worthless over a few days.  Imagine paying for your bus ticket to work with a whole wheel barrow of cash!

At Victoria Falls you can purchase a variety of billion dollar a notes for as little as one US dollar.  The notes even have a use by date on them.   

An announcement by the finance minister Mr Chinamasa to allow both licensed and unlicensed Zimbabwe business to conduct transactions in foreign currency could stabilise the situation. 

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Classic African Signage...

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Wednesday 28 January 2009

Toast has arrived in the Quest office!

That's right, after 5 months of being deprived of one of the nations favourite breakfasts the Quest office can now make toast!  The XB8133 Kuhn Rikon can take up to 4 slices of thickly sliced bread at once and has a crumb tray and reheating function.


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Tuesday 27 January 2009

Gorillas on the increase in DRC

Despite all the problems in the Democratic Republic of Congo, gorillas are on the increase in Virunga National Park. According to a new census carried out by the Congolese Wildlife Authority there are now 211 gorillas in DRC which is thanks to 15 years and hard effort. None more so than the rangers who patrol the parks and face deadly poachers on a day to day basis.

This is a much needed good news story on what has been and will carry onto be a terrible year for DRC.

Africa News

BBC News
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Monday 26 January 2009

Happy Chinese New Year!

Today marks the first day of the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Ox, which is traditionally associated with calm, fortitude and success through toil...fitting for credit crunch times!

As could be expected from the birthplace of the firework - the celebrations in Beijing were spectacular, with the World's largest uncoordinated fireworks display being held in the city. The New Year has been brought in with parties, parades and festivities by Chinese communities across the globe.

Dancing pandas bring in the Year of the Ox - BBC video

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Goat Arrested in Nigeria

At first glance this story seems like a bit of a joke however on further discovery it only seems to highlight poor education and policing standards in Nigeria.

Many Nigerians believe that magicians can change shape into goats.  The goat was brought to police by, as BBC's Andrew Walker states, an ill-educated vigilantly squad who are only trying their best to fill the gaps left by the police.

Recent statistics show that over 30% of Nigeria's population cannot read and combined with high crime rates and a strong belief in witchcraft seems that this kind of case is only too common.

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