Welcoming Christmas and the New Year!!!

As we enter last month of the year, the city is all dolled up to celebrate Christmas and welcome the New Year. This year’s Christmas tree decoration is special as it has beautiful bronze ring ornaments, marking the 350 jubilee of Lund University. More information about the jubilee can be found at Lund-university-350-years

The pretty decoration on streets along with delicious cookies, pastries, glög make the dark, cold winters happy and joyful. All this reminds me of Diwali- the festival of lights, which is one of the major festivals celebrated in India. I feel the resemblance as Diwali is celebrated in November which is also the period of early sunsets. It also involves lighting lanterns, diyas (small oil lamps), beautiful decorations and of course delicious traditional cuisine. It is amazing how different countries and cultures celebrate different festivals, with different stories but have kind of similar thought behind it…for example in this case…making the long dark evenings happy and brighter 🙂

Here is the glimpse of beautiful decoration in Lund…

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God Jul!!!

-Rajeshwari

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Exploring the Faculty of Medicine

My dream came true 🙂 I study together with doctors and explore this amazing world of human-beings and our nature. Moreover, since the course is held in the Clinical Research Center in Malmö, I’m really happy to leave Lund at least for a month.

How could it happen? I’ve applied for the course Sexual and Reproductive Health as an elective to get another 7.5 credits. Luckily, it was possible to apply for courses not related to LTH.

What is my experience so far? I find it very interesting and complementary to DRMCCA programme. Guest lectures will tell more more about violence during conflicts and disasters, as well as gender issue as a cross-cutting one in capacity development. Additionally, I’ll try some new group works formats, for example, recording a presentation (or even making a video of it).

  • Tatiana
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A Beach visit in Winter

A Swedish beach visit in December might not sound attractive to many students, especially on a Saturday morning. But a chance to see a new Swedish coastal town, good weather and the promise of a barbecue, inspired most of my class to pile on the layers of clothing for a day on the beach.

The field trip was part of an elective course titled ‘Coastal Hydraulics’, which provides students with an understanding of problems and processes related to coastal engineering and integrated coastal zone management. On the trip we visited the Sandskogen and Löderups strandbad areas near Ystad along the south-eastern coast of Sweden. The Ystad municipality and local homeowners have historically been plagued by ongoing coastal erosion that has caused the coastline to retreat more than 100 meters in some areas over the last few decades.

A visit to these areas provided a hands on look at the erosion processes and the performance of implemented solution methods such as the construction of piers, seawalls and ongoing beach replenishment.  The protection of these areas is not only of great importance to homeowners, but to the municipality too, as a large attractive beach provides a valuable source of income through tourism in the summer months.

Finishing the day with some beach erosion measurements, drone flying and cold toes, we retreated to a warm home and a nice glass of red wine by the barbecue. All in all a very succesfull day.

Here is a good YouTube video on coastal erosion in this area if you would like to see some more.

Cheers for now!

Johan

Löderup Strandbad pier construction to trap transported sediment

Löderup Strandbad pier construction to minimise and trap eroded sediment

Drones have a great ability to capture overhead images of coastal erosion over time

Drones have a great ability to capture overhead images of coastal erosion over time

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Nerf war

Last week a friend of mine, whom apparently got too much money to spend, invited me for a Nerf gun war. (For all of you who don’t know what it is, here comes a short explanation: A Nerf gun is a plastic gun that can shoot foam darts. 🙂 To start a Nerf war, one needs a couple of guns, loads of darts and some friends.) As if that doesn’t sound fun enough, the event took place in the campus cafeteria. So, we made ourselves a nice little battlefield by overthrowing some tables to hide behind; we put on some good music (to get a good First Person Shooter vibe); and we were ready to play some capture the flag and team death match!

Now I said in the first sentence that my friend has a bit of money to spend. My reason for thinking that is because he provided all equipment for our little war to start. We ended up with 1 full automatic Nerf machine-gun, 4 semi-automatic guns, 2 crossbows, 2 shotguns, and a couple of hand guns (and probably some more, which I forget to mention now). This all made for an awesome Sunday afternoon!

Unfortunately this was the only picture taken, and it wasn't the best of pictures. But I guess it'll do.

Unfortunately this was the only picture taken, and it wasn’t the best of pictures. But I guess it’ll do.

OK. Bye.
– Anton

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Little guide to: biking on ice!

You might have been already surprised by little weather breakdown in November, when the temperatures dropped to -5 degrees C, but with the beginning of December we can expect icy bike ways much more often.

If, like me, you don’t abandon biking just because of weather conditions, you may find those few tips quite useful!

20161113_1042501So how to prepare and bike safe?

  1. Don’t pump your tires! It may be a bit harder to bike on softer tires, but bigger surface of contact with bikepath may save you!
  2. Oil your chain, brakes and locker! If any water gets into the mechanisms and freezes… you may be stucked without bike.
  3. Actually… with minus temperatures I take water displacing and penetrating oil (example: WD40) everywhere with me (yes, it happened to me few times that my brakes froze and I was left with my own… heels to brake).
  4. If you leave your bike outside, it’s nice to cover your sit with a plastic bag or material cover so you don’t have to sit on frost when you need to bike.
  5. And finally… take your lights ALWAYS with you. It gets dark early and you never know if you won’t stay somewhere a bit longer and get surprised by darkness!

Stay safe on the roads!

-Zuzanna-

 

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Something about working in a group

A fact you will find when you are studying in LTH is that group work is very important and for every course you take you should work in a group. You can work with many students with different backgrounds, which leads to exciting discussions and inspiring ideas. We will have two courses and sometimes three courses at each period, and it means you will work with two or three different groups at a time, which is very interesting and also challenging. Working in groups can help you think in a critical way and sharpen your communication skills, and it is helpful in your career.

Now I am working in three different groups, and group members are from China, Thailand, Mexico, Sweden, Ireland. All groups are diverse and working with them is quite good. Life is really fulfilling, after finishing the discussion with one group, you should continue working with another. Although it is busy and tiring, we can really learn a lot from group working!

~Minjia

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Aftershosk: gaming for learning

What I like most in my DRMCCA programme is a genius combination of theory and practical aspects. Courses coordinators not only invite professional working in the field for different organizations, like UNFPA, UNHCR or WFP, but apply interesting learning methods, like board games. For example, last week during a class on Humanitarian Logistics we played the Board Game AFTERSHOCK.

AFTERSHOCK is a fast-paced (around 2 hours), very challenging game where players must cooperate to address a complex humanitarian crisis. The game is set in the fictional country of “Carana” that has suffered years of sometimes violent turmoil, and has only recently taken the first tentative steps to national reconciliation and reconstruction. The game starts with a powerful earthquake that strikes Carana’s capital, causing widespread destruction of homes and infrastructure. Tens of thousands of people are in need of urgent aid and medical attention.

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We as students arranged teams of 6-8 students and according to the rules if the game had to negotiate, provided assistance needed and solve some issues, like social unrest or cholera, that were occurring simultaneously to humanitarian operations. Teams acted on behalf of the Government of Carana, the multinational Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Task Force (HADR-FT), additional contingents of UN and NGO personnel.

The game was loosely modeled on disasters such as the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and the 2010 Haiti earthquake, that’s why it provides real problems and mechanisms to cooperate and establish mutually beneficial partnerships on the ground. During the game we experienced constraints, lack of resources and communication, tried risk management and maybe forecasting. All in all, that was a great experience and exciting hours with other ‘colleagues’.

I personally was a member of a NGO team together with another student, according to the rules of the game, we could make a move on the board when three other teams – the Government, HADR-FT and the UN – had made theirs. We were always the last one to act, and unfortunately, we couldn’t change a lot in the current situation… I hope that is not the case for real emergency situations.

  • Tatiana
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Vinterlund: how Lund is preparing for cold and dark times

This weekend seems to be a beginning of a very important time in Sweden. Christmas is one of most important celebrations in the year and you will see that Swedes love their lights, stars and candles.

Last Friday around 4pm the christmas tree in the city center was officially lit up. Weekend was filled with christmas related markets in center and Kulturen. If you have swedish friends or live with swedish family you could see that many people bake cinnamon rolls, saffron buns and gingerbread cookies cause this Sunday the countdown to Christmas starts and from now on, each Sunday next of 4 candles will be lit!

If you wanna be up to date with events happening in Winter Lund, visit official website: http://vinterlund.se

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Enjoy December!

-Zuzanna-

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Nimis burns down (partly)

I tentatively hope my previous post inspired some of you to hastily visit the beautiful Kullaberg nature reserve and driftwood sculptures of Nimis, while the autumn leaves were still hanging around.  Sadly Nimis fell victim to an arson attack on Thursday evening. Due to its isolated location, fire crews arrived at the scene after the fire had already subsided. Fortunately it was found only part of the structure nearest to the shoreline was destroyed.

The motivation for a pyromaniac to destroy such a historical piece of art is hard to grasp. So when things have cooled down and you’ve got some free time and hiking ambitions, I would suggest with a little more urgency this time, to make the trip to this receding magical place.

Below is a link to a news article containing more information and photos of the aftermath:

http://www.sydsvenskan.se/2016-11-24/brand-pa-kullaberg

Link to my previous post.

Cheers for now!

Johan

Nimis in all its previous glory

Nimis in all its previous glory

 

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Refugees and volunteering: good to know

If you want to volunteer and help an NGO in Sweden that provides assistance to refugges from Syria , please bare in mind that it is not enough to have spare time and motivation to help. Even previous work experience might be not enough, especially for the Swedish context.

Having some professional experience in humanitarian aid field and worked for an NGO that has been providing assistance to refugees and asylum-seekers in Russia, I decided to look for opportunities as a volunteer in Sweden. I have contacted  several organizations in Malmö and Lund, and I would like to share the main finding.

One should have some (unfortunately, I don’t know the criteria to measure it) knowledge about LGBT, prevention of sexual abuse of minors, some level of understanding and previous expertise of work/volunteering with unaccompanied youth . LGBT is a big part of the human rights work in Sweden, therefore it’s very important to be educated and informed.  One of the organizations that can help you to catch up with the knowledge is RFSU, the office in Malmö or many other cities of Sweden.

  • Tatiana
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