Rich man, poor man….

Here’s what Ausaid has to say about the good folk of East Timor:
East Timor is one of the world’s poorest nations, ranking 120 out of 169 countries in the UN’s Human Development Index. Life expectancy is 60 years and 46 per cent of children are underweight for their age (0–5 years). Forty four per cent of people in East Timor are malnourished, which compares poorly to Sub-Saharan Africa’s malnutrition rate of 27 per cent. Overall, 41 per cent of East Timorese live below East Timor’s national poverty line of USD0.88 a day.

So, at 46 years of age, ensconced as I am in Melbourne’s leafy south eastern suburbs, I dare say that my experience of life is a tiny bit not quite the same as a 46 year old Timorese!  This is on my mind a bit today as I pack things up in preparation for departure.  Six days of racing:  usually I chew through at least a couple of gels, and a couple of muesli bars during a 4 hour race, but I’m not really sure what to expect, so I’m taking enough for 3 gels and 4 muesli bars.  And extras, for just-in-case.  Not exactly malnourished.  Actually, the cost of my race-day pocket food is probably enough to feed a Timorese family for weeks.  Or send all of their kids to school for a month.  Or more.  The comparisons don’t really bear thinking about.

Here’s what the pile of stuff looks like:

Some clothes – but not many.
Some lycra  – some for me, and some to give out when I get there.  I hope there are some tall Timorese riders…
Tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mat.
More clip-on koalas than you can poke a stick at.
Electronic gadgets – laptop, video, camera, phone.  Imagine life without them?
A bike – quite a cheap one in the scheme of things, but still perhaps ‘worth’ a couple of years of Timorese wages.
And all the other stuff.

We do have  a bit of stuff in our affluent lives, don’t we?

It all packs down to look like this:

So, my bags are packed, it’s Sunday night, and I leave on Friday morning.



4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jeff
    Sep 05, 2011 @ 12:43:23

    Have a great trip John and dont forget your buddies on Beach Rd as they struggle in to the wind without you up front, even though we struggle to keep up with you whether or not you are struggling into a wind…


  2. Julie
    Sep 07, 2011 @ 09:38:20

    No way – how did it all pack down to that little bag? Or it might be a deceptively big bag? Mary Poppins or Tardis style?


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