whew, i didn't mean to have such a long break between posts, but i've been hectic with other things. and just taking a break too.
we had the visit with farrah pandith on thursday night, which was interesting. she reports directly to hilary clinton & visits muslim communities around the world. her main goal seems to be to consult with communities, with a particular focus on youth, to find out what their main issues are. she then goes back to her bureau to debrief & to report to the secretary of state.
there was some lively discussions at her meeting here in hamilton. the question is, what happens next? to which the answer is that we will wait & see. if nothing else, i hope that she has gone back with a positive impression of the muslim community here.
friday night i had to attend an AGM, which was supposed to take 1 hour but ended up taking 3. not the most fun way to spend a friday night, but there you go. at least the weekend was a lot more quiet, which i really needed. the next two weeks before the holidays are going to be incredibly hectic, so it's nice to have a break going in to it.
as i've written about before, i'm a fan of master chef so i'm looking forward to the final of the australian series tomorrow night. they aren't the 2 finalists i supported (i really wanted to see marion get through), but still should be fun. i'm hoping adam will win - and australian readers, please no comments until after 10.30pm tomorrow night (nz time)!
the thing i love most about the australian series is the diversity on the show. both last year & this year, they made an effort to ensure a wide range of ethnicities as well as other aspects of diversity. not only that, but they treat everyone as a fair-dinkum aussie, regardless of accent or whatever. i think it's such a nice change to see the definition of what is australian being expanded in this way, on a popular tv show.
not only that, but i also like the way the competitors behave towards one another. they are competitive without being nasty either in their tactics or in their behaviour towards each other. i love how they seem to genuinely wish other competitors well, even though each person desperately wants to win. i know that some other shows probably do this as well, and i think it's great.
the behaviour of the judges is pretty good - they have moments when they are a little harsh (especially george losing it several times, the night they were cooking at his restaurant), but generally they are never nasty. and on the whole, they tend to be quite supportive. the australian judges are way better than the nz judges in that regard, as are the UK judges. at the very least, they are never abusive or petty. as i've said before, it just illustrates that programmes like this can be extremely successful without the "simon cowell" factor.
or the "gordon ramsay" factor. which is why i can't bear to watch the US version of the show. i did try, but one episode of mr ramsay screaming at a contestant, centimetres away from his face, was quite enough for me. i should have known better than to watch it at all really, given that i generally can't stand mr ramsay's style, but i thought that this particular franchise might have had him toning down. no such luck. really, jamie oliver would have been a much better fit for this show, but no doubt he was busy with his various other projects.
so yes, i'll be busy tomorrow night :)