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Guest Blogs

Knowitall.ch often invites local experts in their field to contribute to their own blogs on our site. This means not only you will benefit from the useful recommendations that we make on our News pages, but you can also profit from some of the great advice and tips that these experts have to make on their favorite subjects. Whilst each of these bloggers has been recommended to us at some point during the evolution of Know-it-all passport and  knowitall.ch, obviously we are not able to test out all the suggestions they make on their blogs, nor do we necessarily agree with all their opinions.  So if you do find one of their tips useful (or not!), do let us know!

To make these blogs more accessible to you, we have now decided to group them altogether in one section, entitled Guest Blogs, accessible from our main menu bar.  We will also post the most recent blogs on the home page of our site in the right hand column.

We are still building up this area of the site, and are looking for bloggers in a number of sections, including Your Home, Travel, and Leisure, so if you feel you have a useful contribution to make in either of these areas, and have the time to submit blog entries approximately every month, then please get in touch!

Sunita blog Jan 2018
The Dalai Lama laughs with Richard Moore, director of Children in Crossfire, during a press conference in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, in April 2013. AFP

By Sunita Sehmi, Walk The Talk

Richard Moore is the founder and Director of Children in Crossfire which is an International NGO based in Derry Northern Ireland.  He was born in 1961 and grew up during the conflict in Northern Ireland. He was the second youngest of a family of 12 children, 9 boys and 3 girls. The Creggan and Derry from around 1969 was at the center of the Northern Ireland conflict. Shootings, bombings and riots were a daily occurrence.

In 1972 when he was 10 years old whilst on his way home from school he was shot and blinded by a rubber bullet fired by a British soldier....

This is his story of loss, struggle, resilience and forgiveness.

Tell us about yourself.

I was compensated by the British Government for being shot and with some of the money I set up my own business. I also learned to play the guitar, played in local bands and set up a folk choir that sing in church every week. Eventually after 14 years of running my own business I decided to set up a charity to help children in Africa suffering from the injustice of poverty.

The charity, Children in Crossfire, was launched 21 years ago in 1996. I wanted to use my own experience as a child to help other children who were not as lucky as me. I was able to survive what happened to me because I came from a good family and a good community. I also was able to return to school and get a good education. In my young adult years, I became very aware of children in other parts of the world who might have had their eye-sight but didn’t have the same opportunities as me.  

"When I listened to the Dalai Lama speak I remember thinking he was describing how I felt. It was then that I realized what I was experiencing was forgiveness."

CDC Interacting with audience
Photo courtesy of Women's Forum for Economy and Society

By Claire Doole, Claire Doole Communications

The audience is king in communications. Whether giving a presentation, talking to the media, or writing a document, who matters most is the viewer, listener or reader. What do you want them to do, feel or say as a result of your communications?

How strange this is too often forgotten when organising a conference.

I am sure you have attended conferences where death by PowerPoint was a real possibility or panel discussions where the moderator runs out of time for the Q and A session with the audience.

Have a read of this article by Guardian journalist, Duncan Green, entitled "Conference rage: How did awful panel discussions become the default format?"

He says, "a badly run conference is not only a lost opportunity, but a waste of time. How can we improve them?"

He gives a lot of good ideas, but doesn't mention how technology can really make a difference, putting the audience back in the driving seat.

aaron balick

By Sunita Sehmi, Walk The Talk

Over the past decade, the very nature of the way we relate to each other has been completely transformed by online social networking and the mobile technologies that enable unrestricted access to it. Our very selves have been drawn-out into the digital world in ways formerly unimagined, giving us an immediate means of relating to others over a variety of platforms. In the Psychodynamics of Social Networking, Aaron Balick draws on his experience as a psychotherapist and cultural theorist to question the “unconscious drives” behind our online social networking use.

Aaron has a passionate interest in psychology because he knows it can revolutionise people’s lives as well as improve society as a whole.

I was very lucky to interview Aaron, who is not only kind and smart, but also an integrative psychotherapist and supervisor trained in a variety of different methodologies, from psychoanalysis to cognitive behavioural therapy.

Enjoy!

jennie delreeve worthiness blog

By Jennie Delreeve, Peak of Wellbeing

We recently delivered one of our retreats in the Jura, and one of the topics that captured the imagination of the participants was “Worthiness”.  So I decided that I would share my ideas on this throught-provoking topic here!

There's a general belief on the planet by extremely well-meaning parents that we should 'socialize' our children, help them to fit in, so others will like them. Unfortunately this idea in our opinion, can often create problems later in adulthood.

The idea that 'it's my job to please others so I'll be liked and accepted,' is flawed and can lead to a great deal of inner conflict and loss of self. The more we do to please others, molding our actions, beliefs and personality, the further away we get from who we really are. The result is that we end up feeling inauthentic, like a fraud, anxious a great deal of the time and never quite getting the approval we're seeking. It's an old cliche, but the only place we can ever truly achieve great self-esteem is within ourselves.

If someone criticizes us, it's never really about us, but their perception of us. We can't control or change others or make people like us, but we can like ourselves. The irony is that when we learn how to do this, others tend to like us too! When we're constantly on the search for approval from others as I was, we come across as needy and insecure and usually don't get the reaction we are seeking, no matter how good we are at masking ourselves as confident and independent.

powdair

By Rachel Beacher, Journalist

For short haul travel, sometimes the queues at Geneva airport can be longer than your flight. From December, a new airline will offer alternative routes for people travelling between Swiss Romandy and the UK, and a few other European destinations.

Powdair will operate out of the tiny, picturesque airport in Sion, Valais from 11 December. It will run flights between Sion and eight UK, Belgian and Swiss destinations - London City, London Luton, London Southend, Southampton, Bristol, Manchester, Antwerp and Zürich.

It represents a viable alternative for families from the Geneva area who will have already decamped to the mountains, or who have friends and family visiting over the winter and don't want their visitors to waste too much precious skiing time on travelling. The airline's efficiency has yet to be proven, but it is hard to imagine that the queues could be anything like as long as at Geneva because the footfall at Sion airport will be so much smaller.

Powdair's prices are more expensive than most budget airlines – starting at CHF 176 for one way – but  they are all-inclusive which means you can bring a suitcase, transport your skis, snowboards or golf clubs, and enjoy an in-flight drink and snack without paying any extra. Transfers to resorts will also be bookable on the website.

The company is billing itself as a 'mountain sports airline'. It will run all year round and is targeted not just at people coming to ski in the region, but also summer tourists, residents and businesspeople.