Featured Blogs & Columns

Over the summer you were able to lose weight by sticking to your bikini diet. But as we head into
Jan 28, 2018
This month resident counsellor Douglas Holwerda answers the question of dealing with excessive ...
Jan 27, 2018
This month resident counsellor Douglas Holwerda answers the question about dealing with ...
Jan 12, 2018
Quality children’s picture books, published by top Vietnamese publishing houses, used to be ...
Jan 12, 2018

Dear Douglas,

Not that long ago, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg pledged to give away his gazillions of shares of the company he famously started in his pyjamas. Add to this fray the recent Brexit vote in the UK and the never-ending US presidential campaign, and you could say I’ve had plutocracy on the brain for a while now.

Many of us view rivers as background elements in our landscape, as open space, as a pleasant vista. In Brisbane the Brisbane River was historically seen — as is the Saigon River — as a place for the mining of sand and gravel, and of industrial transport.

This story starts over a year ago when a happy gentleman from the Philippines visited me for his yearly health check. These involve a range of tests and with this particular patient I noticed that his blood pressure was on the high side. I gave him advice which included a change of diet and some steady exercise. My patient was also starting to show early signs of diabetes and so I prescribed him medication. But this is difficult to understand for a person who does not feel ill; health checks have a purpose of finding disease early and preventing disease from developing further.

Muscle Up

Some people seem to be able to put on muscle by simply throwing some weights around. For most people, though, it’s a challenge — the simple fact is that they are just not lifting properly or using the wrong types of programmes.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the acronym that makes your mouth feel full of marbles — lgbtqi (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender — queer/questioning, intersex) — disappeared; if rainbows took back their real meaning; the word gay once again meant bright and happy; pride referred to a group of lions or to deep pleasure and satisfaction; you stepped outdoors if coming out; people could marry whoever they wanted, and same-sex marriage no longer deflected media attention from important issues.

Our planet is in the midst of turbulent times. The rate at which we are informed of tragic global events can have a negative impact on our psyche. The media tends to highlight all that is wrong in the world, painting a bleak picture of humanity.

Connecting the two dots on the map, Hanoi to Kathmandu, Matt Dworzanczyk hits the brakes after 25,000km on the road.

The conventional approach to getting fit (joining a gym or plodding along on the pavement) is failing us. About 70% of the western adult population is overweight and over 30% are classified as obese. Vietnam, like most of the world, is beginning to follow in these unhealthy footsteps.

By the time you read this, another graduation will have been celebrated at KOTO. This year three classes of young men and women proudly walked across the stage as they received their certificates, the triumphant culmination in their two-year journey with KOTO. If you’re not familiar, KOTO provides vocational hospitality training to youth who come from highly disadvantaged circumstances.

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