Taking the hero’s journey

SLOWING DOWN: Sii intends walking to Australia from England to reconnect with the small things we are missing. Picture: Claire DunnA FEW months ago I received an unusual Facebook message, about a young man planning to walk across Europe and Asia on a bid to “slow down” while pulling his belongings behind in a custom-made fibreglass pod. Having read about my bush adventure, he thought to get in touch and swap notes. My vague interest turned to curiosity when he revealed himself as a Mayfield local.
Nanjing Night Net

I Googled him.

“My name is Sii. I have a dream, a vision, that I hope can give other people the inspiration and drive to pursue their dreams. With video footage and still images I will be documenting my journey beginning in England and heading east across Europe and after many thousands of kilometres south into Asia. The good times, the bad times, the boring times where I’ve just had enough.

“It is the easiest it’s ever been to stay connected and observe our beautiful planet, yet we are the least connected we have ever been. This journey will show me the small things we are all missing in a lifestyle that is moving ever faster.”

The next week Sii was sitting cross-legged on my carpet, sipping tea. Hunter born and bred, he looked like someone with whom I went to school, although a few years younger. Sii answered my questions simply, his sentences often ending with a broad laconic grin.

“My first idea of something like this was back in about 2010 and I wanted to circumnavigate Australia with two Clydesdales and a dray buggy,” he laughed.

“I really want to change the course of my life, to learn and test myself, find a better way to live.”

Apart from smelling the roses on a long walk across the globe, Sii plans to busk with a selection of didgeridoos that he crafted from recycled fence railings.

His earnestness was as clear as his dedication. Flashing me photos of something that resembled a giant bottle on its side, I was astonished to learn that the self-named ‘SiiPod’ had taken three and a half years of trial and error to perfect, as well as an 8000-kilometre round trip to Kakadu to get it painted by an Aboriginal elder.

The whole journey suddenly struck me as a quintessential “Hero’s Journey” – the archetypal story of when a young man (or woman) sets out from the village on a mission of adventure and self-discovery, encountering obstacles that threaten to derail them – blisters, boredom or the final lip of a mountain – before finally arriving, humbled and wiser, at their destination.

This modern-day Frodo plans to fly to England with a one-way ticket in early March, reunite with his currently-in-transit-pod, and start walking.

“I feel excited to leave, scared, and sad to leave friends and family. All my comforts and securities I have sold and given away to live a lifestyle I have never experienced . . . and I’m going it alone.”

It is customary to farewell a hero with gifts and well wishes. Sii has made it easy for us with a crowdfunding campaign (gofundme南京夜网/siipodadventure).

So let’s unfurl the streamers, toss gold coins into his purse and bid our adventurer godspeed, knowing he will no doubt return with treasures for the tribe.

Australian journalist Candace Sutton faces deportation from Indonesia after reporting on Bali nine executions on tourist visa

Daily Mail journalist Candace Sutton. Photo: Jon Reid
Nanjing Night Net

Daily Mail journalist Candace Sutton. Photo: Jon Reid

Daily Mail journalist Candace Sutton. Photo: Jon Reid

An Australian journalist is facing possible deportation from Indonesia after being caught working on the Bali nine executions story while on a tourist visa.

Daily Mail reporter Candace Sutton had been filing articles under an anonymous byline from Cilacap, a port town near the execution island of Nusakambangan.

“It started with an information yesterday that a foreign reporter was doing journalistic activities at the Nusakambangan ferry dock,” said Aditya Perdana, a spokesman for Cilacap’s immigration office.

“We went there to meet the person but she’s gone. Then we got info where she stayed so we went there and we met her at the hotel she’s staying.

“We will interrogate her today. After that we will study the case to decide what to do with her.”

Security has been tight in Cilacap, with journalists forbidden from catching the ferry to the island. Nusakambangan is 121 square kilometres and, along with hosting seven prisons, is a popular recreational spot.

Tourists can go on the island but must be supervised and return by 6pm.

The restrictions follow chaotic scenes when five foreigners were executed there last month, with journalists posing as fishermen in an attempt to get on the island and film the killings.

Indonesian authorities have been scrutinising the visas of journalists in Bali, making occasional sweeps outside Kerobokan prison where many congregate each day to check their bonafides.

Daily Mail editor Luke McIlveen declined to respond to requests for comment.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Abbott talks to Joko as grisly execution plans emerge

Indonesia’s president Joko Widodo is “carefully considering” his position in favour of executing Bali nine drug smugglers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, Prime Minister Tony Abbott says.
Nanjing Night Net

Mr Abbott made the remarks after he spoke to the Indonesian leader on Wednesday evening.

The conversation came as Indonesian authorities revealed plans to execute 10 drug felons simultaneously, a mass execution that would require a combined firing squad of 120 people.

Chan and Sukumaran are among those 10 slated to be executed but Mr Abbott said it was a “positive sign” that the Indonesian leader had taken his call, although he cautioned against any undue optimism.

“The President absolutely understands our position … and I think he is carefully considering Indonesia’s position,” he told reporters at Old Parliament House in Canberra.

Mr Abbott said he did not want to “raise hopes that might turn out to be dashed” and described the President as a “friend”.

The Australian government has been agitating for months for Indonesia to show clemency to the duo. Most of Mr Abbott’s entreaties, until now, have been relayed by letter.

His telephone conversation follows similar calls that the Indonesian president has received from the leaders of France, Brazil and the Netherlands. Nationals from each country has either been executed, or are scheduled to face a firing squad.

Despite the mounting international pressure, Mr Joko has remained implacable in his push to kill drug traffickers and has prioritised foreigners to be executed first.

He says the executions are a matter of Indonesia’s legal sovereignty and an important response to a “drugs emergency” being faced by the country.

The diplomatic manoeuvres come as chilling details emerged of plans for the Bali nine duo to be shot simultaneously in a field with eight other drug offenders.

“It will be done simultaneously with all 10 convicts,” Tony Spontana, the spokesman for the Indonesian attorney general, told Fairfax Media.

He denied media reports that the location had been decided, saying several alternatives were being reviewed.

Each execution victim is killed by a team of 12 specially trained police officers. Only three in each squad have live bullets.

Authorities also said that isolation cells will be ready on Saturday on Nusakambangan, the penal island where the executions will take place.

Lawyers for Chan and Sukumaran are preparing a further legal appeal to overturn Mr Joko’s refusal to grant clemency to the pair.

No date has been set for the executions but, in the seaport town of Cilacap, which is divided from Nusakambangan by a narrow strait, people are on standby.

The local priest believes at least three of the 10 condemned prisoners are Catholics, and is waiting to be asked to perform the last rites.

The doctor at the government health office wondered if his ambulance will be called upon, as it was when three murderers were executed in 2013.

The undertaker, Suhendro Putro, has stocked up on an extra six coffins. He was warned by police to have sufficient this time after he was caught short when five drug felons were killed on the island on January 18.

He can usually only accommodate nine coffins, but he now has 12, including one jumbo size and two for children.

Despite ghoulish speculation in the media that the large coffin has been earmarked for Sukumaran, who is nicknamed “the gentle giant”, Mr Suhendro said it had been in stock for three months.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Highlanders v Reds

Force v HurricanesCheetahs v BluesChiefs v CrusadersRebels v BrumbiesBulls v SharksLions v Stormers
Nanjing Night Net

Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin Friday 5.35pm (AEST) Last meeting: Round 16 2014 – Reds 38-31, Suncorp StadiumHead-to-head:  Played 18 Highlanders 9 Reds 9In Dunedin:  Played 8 Highlanders 7 Reds 1Referee:  Glen Jackson (NZL)TV: Live, FoxSports 502Ladbrokes: Highlanders $1.40, Reds $2.88BetEasy: Highlanders $1.30, Reds $3.20

AAP writes: James O’Connor is set to make his debut for the Reds at No.10 following last week’s late scratching but you can bet all of Dunedin’s eyes will be on former Highlanders hero Adam Thompson. The former All Blacks backrower is exactly what the embattled Reds need right now: a ruck-barnacle happy to get his hands dirty. He helped the Reds overcome a week from hell to topple the Force. However they’ve paid the price with James Horwill (hand webbing) out injured. He’ll be replaced by Dave McDuling, while Anthony Fainga’a starts at centre, pushing Chris Feauai-Sautia to the wing. Meanwhile the Highlanders have made four changes to their side that went down swinging against the Crusaders, with Marty Banks replacing Lima Sopoaga at 10, and forwards Brendon Edmonds, Ash Dixon and Mark Reddish all earning starts.

HIGHLANDERS: Ben Smith, Waisake Naholo, Malakai Fekitoa, Jason Emery, Patrick Osbourne, Marty Banks. Aaron Smith, Nasi Manu, John Hardie, Elliot Dixon, Tom Franklin, Mark Reddish, Ross Geldenhuys, Ash Dixon, Brendon Edmonds. Reserves: Josh Hohneck, Liam Coltman, Ma’afu Fia, Joe Wheeler, Dan Pryor, Fumiaki Tanaka, Hayden Parker, Kurt Barker

REDS: Lachie Turner, Chris Kuridrani, Samu Kerevi, Anthony Fainga’a, Chris Feauai-Sautia, James O’Connor. Will Genia, Jake Schatz, Liam Gill, Adam Thomson, Marco Kotze, Dave McDuling, Sam Talakai, Saia Fainga’a, James Slipper. Reserves: James Hanson, Ben Daley, Sef Faagase, Tom Murday, Curtis Browning, Nick Frisby, Sam Johnson, Campbell Magnay.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Force v Hurricanes

Highlanders v RedsCheetahs v BluesChiefs v CrusadersRebels v BrumbiesBulls v SharksLions v Stormers
Nanjing Night Net

nib Stadium, Perth Friday 10pm (AEST) Last meeting: Round 10 2013 – Hurricanes 22-16, Westpac StadiumHead-to-head:  Played 8 Force 1 Hurricane 7In Perth:  Played 3 Force 1 Hurricanes 2Referee:  Marius van der Westhuizen (RSA)TV: Live, FoxSports 502Ladbrokes: Force $2, Hurricanes $1.80 BetEasy: Force $2.08, Hurricanes $1.75

AAP writes: It hasn’t taken long for the injury curse to strike the Force. Prop Francois van Wyk, Chris Alcock, Matt Hodgson, Dane Haylett-Petty, and Adam Coleman are among the walking wounded, while Nick Cummins won’t be ready to return until next week’s clash with the Brumbies. The unbeaten Hurricanes have won their past six games against the Force, with their last loss coming back in 2007. And although All Blacks centre Conrad Smith is being rested this week, the Hurricanes still possess a backline capable of inflicting major damage. The Force’s scrum was demolished in last week’s loss to the Reds, but the return of prop Pek Cowan should stabilise that area.

FORCE: Luke Burton, Luke Morahan, Kyle Godwin, Solomoni Jnr Rasolea, Marcel Brache, Zach Holmes. Alby Mathewson, Ben McCalman, Byrnard Stander, Angus Cottrell, Steve Mafi, Sam Wykes, Tetera Fualkner, Nathan Charles, Pek Cowan. Reserves: Heath Tessmann, Chris Heiberg, Oliver Hoskins, Rory Walton, Kane Koteka, Ian Prior, Sias Embersohn, Mitchell Scott

HURRICANES: James Marshall; Cory Jane, Rey Lee-Lo, Ma’a Nonu, Julian Savea; Beauden Barrett, Chris Smylie; Victor Vito, Brad Shields, Ardie Savea; James Broadhurst, Blade Thomson; Ben Franks, Dane Coles (capt), Reggie Goodes. Reserves: Brayden Mitchell, Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, Chris Eves, Mark Abbott, Callum Gibbins, TJ Perenara, Matt Proctor, Nehe Milner-Skudder.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.