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By Andy Ross

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A tough week

This past week has seen some dreadful events across the globe but there is also hope and kindness.

The awful events in Christchurch have dominated much of the reporting this week. As someone who is married to a New Zealander and with family and friends in the city, it has been a sad experience. Thank goodness for all those who rallied around, who cared for and looked after each other, for the fantastic leadership of the New Zealander Prime Minister, and for small acts of kindness like this one from our friend, Debra. Debra in Australia regularly writes to the blog and sent us a link to her pattern that has been made downloadable for a "Hug Doll". It is a small and lovely gesture to show how much people do care about others. You can find that pattern here. 

At the same time, the Southern African countries of Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi were hit by a cyclone which has caused utter devastation across the region. Again, with family and friends in Zimbabwe, times like this feel very close and yet far away. Awareness of the tragedy, which is still unfolding, has been slow to hit the headlines but people have been donating and sending food and clothes, supplies and medicine to these hard-hit places. Some good news is that Zimbabwean relief efforts have started to get to where they are so desperately needed. There is still a lot to do and there is more bad news to come, I am sure, but thank you for donating so generously already, and for asking about our family and friends. If you would like to donate, the Disasters Emergency Committee is coordinating fund-raising efforts, or you can give direct to any of the agencies working on the ground. 

It is at times like these that we really need each other. When I write the blog, I try to be very careful to keep things light and entertaining, informative and creative. There is so much negativity out there which could easily get out of hand, and I believe that services like this blog help to balance out the gloom. It is amazing to see how we can all pull together to help and make sense of tragedy. Thank you one and all.