Facilitating Economic Growth in Sri Lanka, Team Dynamics

July 28th, 2014 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

By Hanna Moerland, Master of Public Policy ’15

In a lot of ways, our group was really lucky: as a four-person team who ended up working together on one project, we lucked out that our personalities and interests balanced each other out really well; our accommodations were very comfortable; we had good internet access; and we had access to real coffee (instant just doesn’t cut it sometimes).

The biggest challenge for our group was our intense schedule – I think we all underestimated how rigorous it would be: conducting hours upon hours of interviews and primary research, on top of spending hours in the car each day. As there were four of us, we decided to have four areas of focus in our research – although we hadn’t calculated into that equation the time and effort that goes into tracking down the experts in each of those areas, translating interviews from English to Sinhala or Tamil, and then sometimes translating between Sri Lankan English and American English. We had three main research sites, and by the third one we had a rhythm going that made it easier on each of us, but by then the primary research was done!

This project was a great learning experience. Every aspect of it was an opportunity for our group to engage and exchange information gleaned through work experience and school: everything from reviewing the policy document, focusing our areas of research, creating a policy evaluation framework, working out team communication, conducting interviews, recording data from interviews and primary research, to creating the final deliverables – a presentation and final written report.

In the end our client was impressed with our insight – noting that for outsiders who were there for just three weeks, we picked up on a lot of what is going on – and we got a lot of positive feedback on the format, structure, and findings in our final presentation. At the end of this experience, I’m really proud of all the hard work we put in as a group and the final product that we created.

PP team


Facilitating Economic Growth in Sri Lanka, A Pleasant Cultural Surprise

July 21st, 2014 by under International Consulting, Short-Term, Summer Break. No Comments.

By Maurice Nick, MBA ’15

My upbringing was different compared to many other children in America.  As a child, I was in church at least three nights out of the week: with prayer service on Tuesdays, Bible studies on Thursday and Sunday was an all-day event with two services starting from 10AM until 6PM.   While to others this church schedule may seem over the top, to me it was a part of life that I thoroughly enjoyed. My family is comprised of more than thirty ordained preachers, owning more than ten churches.

I thought everyone was raised similarly until high school when I realized how secular America actually was. While I knew many students had religious families, whether Christian or Muslim or any of the many others worshipped in the United States, my peer group made a conscious effort to not reveal it for fear of not fitting in.  I purposed in my heart then that I would stick to all the teachings instilled in me at a young age.

Over time, however, I started to accept secularity to be a part of everyday life and even found myself conforming to the point that I did not make many outright statements reflecting my Christian beliefs in the company of my peers.  This is why upon stepping onto Sri Lankan soil – I was immediately affected by the religious zeal displayed by every member of society.  It was a breath of fresh air to see individuals so devout in their faith.

The ways I was impacted ranged from my attire to my transportation.  For example, I was refused service for wearing a tank top – called “skinnies” there – an American staple in the summertime.  It made me wonder how they would react to other less savory articles often flaunted in public on American soil!

An even more significant example was when the public bus would not move without a word of prayer.  My colleague and I boarded a bus to make the four-hour trip from Anuradhapura to Trincomalee to enjoy the beach with others from our program stationed there.  My mother always taught me to pray before I moved my car, and as a child we would sit in the driveway and say a minute long prayer requesting protection from Jesus.  I had seen the crazy stunts these drivers pulled behind the wheel, and as per usual I was going to say a prayer.

I closed my eyes and begin to pray as others boarded.  Soon my surroundings got quiet, and I heard someone in the front of the bus speaking.  I peeked one eye open to see what caused this sudden shift in the environment.   Imagine the shock on my face and joy in my heart to see a small woman standing there praying!  Most of the other passengers had their head bowed or hands folded in some way to reverence the prayer.  I couldn’t help but think of the backlash this action would have received if done on public transportation in America.  Therefore, to find myself in a foreign country with strangers who I originally thought were different from me in every way and then to be connected with them on such a spiritual level with a prayer was such a powerful experience.  It gave me a level of understanding and shared camaraderie with strangers that I had never felt with my own compatriots.

Despite already being shocked by the public prayer, there was an even greater surprise awaiting me.  My colleague had fallen asleep, and we were on our way to Trinco.  The street signs were in Sinhala, the people only spoke Sinhala, and my map was in English.  So when the bus pulled over to the side of the road, as far as I was concerned – we were lost.

Then somebody yelled out a command of sorts and I watched as folks dug into their pockets and bags to retrieve cash.  I had no idea what was going on and all I could do was be a bystander as people started giving money to a collector who got off the bus and later reappeared.  This entire episode confused me and it was only later that I found that he had gone to say another prayer and give an offering to Buddha.

I was truly amazed by these occurrences in Sri Lanka.  I couldn’t help but feel an uncomfortable knot in my stomach at the thought of the reaction in America if a prayer was suggested on public transportation.  And not to mention how other individuals would have reacted if prayers during the bus ride interrupted the average American’s on-the-go non-stop hustle and bustle!

Even though I was sent there to teach the business owners how to maintain their financial records, in the end, it was the Sri Lankan people who taught me to always hold steadfast to my faith regardless of where I am in the world.


Facilitating Economic Development in Sri Lanka, Briefings and Beachings

July 16th, 2014 by under International Consulting. No Comments.

9am: After security checks, we met Paul Richardson, Director of the Office of Economic Growth of the U.S. Agency for International Development in Sri Lanka. He briefed us on the security issues and awareness as Americans/foreigners in Sri Lanka. Don’t worry mom, I think I’ll manage. Bottom line: be aware of your surroundings and dress appropriately.

The second part of Richardson’s talk was specifically of interest: USAID’s work in the region and Sri Lanka, and him being apart of it. As a graduate student trying to navigate my career path, my current interests somewhat lie in international development, be it social, health, or environmental issues. I’m unsure how to navigate that career path, and thus love networking and hearing other peoples stories. I will now elaborate on Richardson’s career path, as it was of interest to my umd cohort and me. Paul Richardson was originally born in Canada, studied his masters in Italy, and finished his post-graduate published work in the UK. Richardson defined himself an economist by trade. He originally worked for the UN in Milan, Africa, and then in the UK. Richardson found himself immigrating to the US upon marriage to a native Bostonian. In the US, he found work with the US Dept of Commerce, and finally USAID, where he works as a foreign-service officer, and lives places long-term with his family. He’s lived in 11 countries and visited over 70 countries in his lifetime. Currently, he and his family have lived 2 years in Sri Lanka with 2 years left. His squadron focuses on the economic development of Sri Lanka, which is now a low middle-income country. Richardson explained, unlike other facets of the Foreign Service, USAID requires a master’s degree of its officers, which results in more interesting and in depth work. Good to know I’m on the right track.

11am: Meeting with Jamal, the coordinator of our consulting projects at Biz+ Vega. He laid out the next 3 weeks of our stay.

2pm: While everyone else was meeting with his or her clients, and since my cohort is meeting with our client tomorrow, my team took a poolside lunch. Where we discussed our work styles and past experiences. After lunch, we walked 5 minutes to the train station to catch a local train to Mount Lavinia to finally go to the beach! The train cost 10 rupees, which translates to less than 10 cents. The train ride was raw and beautiful. Just simple benches, open windows, and the startlingly beautiful ocean scenery. No foreigners in sight. The train let us off right at the beach. We wandered to a beachside cabana restaurant, ordered a drink, and relaxed and chatted on chaise lounges on the sand. Watching the sunset over the rough Sri Lankan surf with the subtle noise of the every so often train rattling by seemed like a dream.

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Slightly Philosophical, Mostly Personal

July 16th, 2014 by under Australian Internship, Summer Break. No Comments.

BoothBy Jenna Booth

The one thing about studying abroad that everyone forgets to mention is that it really is an experiment in self-discovery.

There is a famous quote in reference to the world as a book and those who do not travel read only one page. I love that quote, but I realized the missing piece in that analogy is that it assumes travel is a vessel for exploring only the external environment, neglecting the implications that travel has in allowing for new perspectives on self perception.

My time in Australia has been eye-opening on many fronts. In my work I have realized that my priorities in future job searches should really focus on company culture – I have learned the hard way that I get the most satisfaction in my work when I am interacting with my coworkers both professionally and socially.

As much as I love meeting new people, I often feel exceptionally exhausted afterward, revealing that I may be much more introverted than I had ever thought before.

As much as I love having new experiences, I have a newfound appreciation for the comfort of routines and familiarity. I find that familiarity in getting Junior Mints from the same corner store just about every night, having a delicious stir fry for lunch at the same place every day (literally, every day), going boxing after work, watching my favorite TV shows to unwind before I go to sleep, and coming home to my roommates that I now consider some of my best friends. I am quite happy in Sydney and the best is yet to come, but I never expected to find myself longing for my family, friends, and coworkers that constitute “home” for me as much as I do.


  • I can survive just fine without a working phone and 24/7 internet access.
  • I have a new affinity for nightlife, but my first preference has been and continues to be: Friday nights spent laying in my own bed in sweatpants and watching a movie.
  • I frequently wear my emotions on my sleeve, but only when it suits me.
  • I envy people who can run gracefully with a backpack.
  • I’m impatient and indecisive, which is a frustrating combination.
  • Sitting on the harbor in the sun just watching the water is supremely refreshing and rewarding.
  • I’m open but risk-averse.
  • I used to think that I loved the beach and the mountains equally, but as I get older I find that I thrive going hiking (in the Blue Mountains) rather than lying in the sand (at Bondi beach).
  • I forgot how much I love to read.
  • I can’t not be punctual.
  • Finding equanimity takes a lot of effort.
  • Self-reflection is really just a time to be unapologetically fascinated with yourself

With every day of work, night out, or weekend trip, my subconscious/conscious is constantly weighing, confirming, and rejecting the hypotheses of my Self that I have spent years creating, and those are the assumptions that are most bluntly challenged by the novel environments that travel affords.

 Updates to my blogger biography:

I like yoga a lot now.

I drink more cappuccinos and mochas than black coffee these days.

I think I finally realized that my passion lies in human resources.

I still love public transportation and sock monkeys.


Magic Money

July 16th, 2014 by under Australian Internship, Summer Break. No Comments.

GaldiBy John Galdi

Only 4 short weeks left in this beautiful country and there’s still so much left to do! But let me be the first to tell you, these first 6 weeks have been some of the busiest and most exciting weeks of my life. If you haven’t been to Australia, or even studied abroad for that matter, I recommend it to everybody.

One thing that Australia definitely has figured out much better than the U.S. is their paper money. Check out the picture below to really understand what I’m talking about. First of all, all the bills are different sizes. The fifty is the largest and the five is the smallest. It makes sense… the more its worth, the bigger it is. They are also all different colors, so you never get confused when you look into your wallet. A couple of mates we befriended over here told us that when they came to America they would accidentally pay with 100s instead of 10s, since all the money is the same size and color, and unintentionally leave quite the tip for their server… I wish I was the server that received that tip.

Also, the money is plastic, so you are able to wash it with your clothes without ruining the money…as I always do…unintentionally of course. Instead of finding ruined dollars that are unusable in your laundry, you find these brand new clean bills… It’s kind of like your birthday every day? Sure that sounds good. The plastic bills also make the money impossible to rip. Yes. Impossible. Trust me…you can’t rip. Although I was able to make one tear slightly after aggressively biting it with my teeth… but I wouldn’t recommend doing that, just take my word for it.

The coins, on the other hand, are still a struggle for me… especially when I’m under pressure at the cash register with a long line of people behind me. I usually fold under this immense pressure and grab a handful of change and hand it to the cashier. They’re not always too happy with that. Oh well.

Anyway, I’m off to do a little adventuring around the country of Australia. Be sure to check out my next post, as I’ll tell you all about how beautiful the country is and what I’ve been doing in my free time. Cheers!

The two small gold coins on the far right are 2-dollar coins. The bigger gold coins are 1-dollar coins. The biggest coin they have is the large 50-cent coin in the middle.

The two small gold coins on the far right are 2-dollar coins. The bigger gold coins are 1-dollar coins. The biggest coin they have is the large 50-cent coin in the middle.


“See you later buffhead”

July 16th, 2014 by under Australian Internship, Summer Break, Uncategorized. No Comments.

Alice bio picBy Alice Lu

This is one of the many phrases I get the pleasure of hearing at my internship. One of my colleagues is the definition of your chill, hip, and rock star 1960s father. Every time I’m asking him a question about agency purchasing, he launches into his life wisdoms and his colorful rants. If there’s one thing I appreciate in this country, it’s the honesty of people regardless of age to say exactly what’s on their mind without holding back. Another thing is their patience to explain everything to you and really dedicate all their time to pay attention to you. In the USA, I feel like adults just give you a short summary and are too busy to ever fully explain or answer questions without making me feel bad for wasting their time. After spending six weeks here, I find myself using common terms like “No worries”, “Cheers”,  “Brekky”, “Mackers”, “Keen”, and etc. I used to be afraid of sounding like I’m making fun of the colloquial language here but now it’s become more and more natural sounding.  For those who are wondering, buffhead is an enduring term to call a mate who you think is an idiot. I just love how it’s the fatherly figure of the office calling everyone that rather than the younger ones. To be fair though, they do retaliate by calling him “Old man” every now and then.

He said to me today, “it must be a huge culture shock for you to be here because of the language” and I told him, “it will be a bigger culture shock when I go back to the states.” The language here has made its mark on me and pretty soon I’ll be a regular speaking aussie. The slang is UK and New Zealand influenced in my opinion and because of that it has a more chill and sophisticated sound to it. When my roommate told me someone said they think American accents are beautiful, we both agreed that person was crazy. American accents can have such a unsophisticated or uneducated sound to them sometimes and there’s a reason why “Mean Girls” or really thick southern accents are probably one of our biggest stereotypes.

I’ve learned a lot of old Australian phrases from my colleague, now if only I could remember all of them. Then I could be an American transformed Aussie when I return.

We also went dune boarding on sands that made me feel like I was in Aladdin. Even though I wiped out in this picture, it was a ton of fun!!

We also went dune boarding on sands that made me feel like I was in Aladdin. Even though I wiped out in this picture, it was a ton of fun!!


This weekend we went to Port Stephens and this was one of the whales I saw

This weekend we went to Port Stephens and this was one of the whales I saw



To the Field!

July 15th, 2014 by under Maryland Social Entrepreneur Corps, Summer Break. No Comments.

Victoria ZhaoBy Victoria Zhao

After two long weeks of sessions on international development and Spanish language, we are ready (well, as ready as we will be) to enter the field, working directly in the communities. As we travel around the beautiful country of Ecuador, we will learn to work in teams while being tested by our environment. Adaptability is a must, and oftentimes even the most well planned itinerary is not infallible. These two weeks of preparation have felt like a wealth of preparation, but I am sure that we will never be completely prepared for our experiences in the field if we only sit in a classroom.

While in the field, our work will be comprised primarily of three different types of projects:

  • Village Campaigns

The twenty interns have been separated into four groups of five to facilitate the work that we do throughout the remaining six weeks. Thus, ten students respectively will travel to each location in the North and South. The largest component on the program is the village campaign, in which we will work with asesores comunitarias (“community consultants”) to provide rural communities with access to basic goods and health products. Our products include eyeglasses, sunglasses, water filters, solar powered flashlights and panels, and seed packets.

A community woman tries on a pair of eyeglasses.

A community woman tries on a pair of eyeglasses.

The most unique aspect of our program is the model that we implement, the MicroConsignment Model, which focuses on the relationship with the asesores to create a lasting impact. Certain community members (usually women with little to no other source of income) become asesores after a long training process that may take anywhere between six months to a year. Afterwards, we continue a working relationship to provide products to our asesores, allowing them to sell the products on consignment to effectively make an income with greatly reduced risk of failure. And although all of our asesores have different personalities and styles of working, every single one is deeply invested in helping the family and the community.  

  • Priority Projects

Another purpose of the smaller groups is to facilitate priority projects, which we will work on for the rest of the program. My group is called Initiativa, or “Initiative,” and will be focusing on two projects: redesigning the water filters that are sold at community campaigns to reduce total cost, and designing an effective workshop on saving and budgeting for rural communities.

  • Consulting Projects

Throughout our work, we will also visit various organizations and microenterprises to understand their work and offer our student consulting services. This work will vary from small women’s community groups to larger, more established businesses. This week, we plan to consult with the women’s group in Pulinguí to create all-natural shampoos and conduct a cost analysis on the profit potentials for their new line of product.

Of course, these three categories are only a few among all of the different projects and works that we will be diving into one in the field. With that, another exciting adventure begins today… Wish me luck!

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Detoxing, Ecuadorian Style

July 1st, 2014 by under Maryland Social Entrepreneur Corps, Summer Break. 1 Comment.

Victoria ZhaoBy Victoria Zhao

I still cannot believe that I am actually here in Ecuador. Only a week has gone by here, but every single day feels like two or more! If time continues to fly by so fast, though, I would expect that in the blink of an eye the entire eight weeks will be over.

The group of twenty interns all arrived in Guayaquil late last Monday, and we rested that night in a hostel close to the airport before leaving the next morning for Cuenca. It was an overwhelming experience, to say the least — in addition to the stress of having to remember nineteen new names and faces, I had also never stayed in a hostel before! 

The next morning, we left promptly at eight for our four hour bus ride. On the bus, we were given more materials about the city that we would be staying in for half of our time in Ecuador and the work that we would be doing in different regions. Given that before my arrival I did not know what at all to expect, it was surprising at first to see that our schedule was precisely planned out, for every single day that we would be in the country. 

A map of the northeastern corner of Cuenca.

A map of the northeastern corner of Cuenca.

Now thinking back, I should have realized from the first early morning that our days would begin early and end late. For the last week, we have dived into learning more about international development and improving our skills in the Spanish language. Morning sessions begin at nine; Spanish classes end at six. Barring the lunch period between 12:30 and 2:00 when we return to our host families to eat, we are busy busy busy.

While I haven’t had much time to explore the city on my own, Cuenca is absolutely lovely. The historic center of the town is a beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site, well known for its colonial-style architecture and lush parks. My host family lives approximately a thirty minute walk to the west from the Spanish school, so I plan to take a look at the Cuenca City Bus Tours when we have a free day.

The entire city is also filled with different cultures and traditions. In our Spanish classes, we learned about a special tradition that is believed to heal and rid the body of sickness. And last Friday, we ventured to the outdoor markets ourselves to experience the process.

Another student receiving the limpias from the curandera.

Another student receiving the limpias from the curandera.

The art of las limpias, which quite literally means “the cleaning,” has been passed down from generations and is still commonly used as a medicinal tool in rural and indigenous communities. It is believed that the process scares away fears and heals el mal de ojo — bad energy from the eyes that leads to pain in the head – and el mal aire — pain in the legs or a tiredness in the body — among other ailments. Culturally, the curandera must be a woman with a strong will. Apparently that is the only way to rid the body of its ailments!

In Cuenca, many mothers bring their children to the markets for the limpias when they are scared, have trouble sleeping in the night, or cry excessively. While learning about the process in class, I was strongly reminded of a type of mental and physical detoxification. 

When we arrived at the market Diez de Agosto, the curandera sat me down in a stool and began by beating my body with bunches of herbs. Eucalyptus is one of the herbs used, and all are considered to have healing properties. Afterwards, I was rubbed with an egg that was meant to draw out negative energy from the body.

The entire group, cleansed after the limpias!

The entire group, cleansed after the limpias!

Next, the curandera held a bottle of a special  mixture that included water, alcohol, and herbs under my nose. Just breathing in the smell made me light headed! To finish the process, I rubbed some of the mixture on my hands and breathed in the scent. Finally, she marked my forehead and wrists with crosses in ash. I was officially cleansed.

Within the market, there were at least six curanderas working simultaneously to assist mothers and children. Each woman differed slightly in her actions to rid the body of negative energy, and among the twenty students we all received slightly different treatments. Some women held the mixture of water and herbs in their mouths before spitting it onto the client’s body. Others broke the egg and placed the yolk in a bowl. But although each limpia was slightly different, we all had to follow the same rules — we could not thank the curandera afterwards, and we also could not bathe for twenty four hours. These actions would cause the bad energy to return to the body.

Afterward, the entire group returned to classes to discuss the market and the process. I feel that understanding the limpias was just a beginning to gaining a better understanding of the indigenous people in Ecuador, and would be helpful in the field when we are living in those communities. Ultimately, although the ritual was a little strange to me, I am happy that I participated. Although I am not sure if the limpias did indeed cure me of sickness, it was a great way to experience a tradition firsthand!

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Opal card, the Aussie Smarttrip

July 1st, 2014 by under Australian Internship, Summer Break, Uncategorized. No Comments.

The opal card used to get on to trains and other forms of public transportation. Probably the easiest method of paying.

The opal card used to get on to trains and other forms of public transportation. Probably the easiest method of paying.

GaldiBy John Galdi

Wow! I can’t believe another two weeks have already gone by since my last post. One week away from the halfway point and I’m starting to feel like a true Australian. We have so much left to do and so little time to do it. I’m currently trying to figure out a way to piece in every trip we want to do…but I probably should have done that within the first week of getting here. It’s going to be quite the task. In other news…

Work is awesome! Yes, you read that correctly. The Australian work environment is much different than the American work environment, mostly in ways that make it enjoyable and more tolerable. First of all, everybody is very straightforward and direct. There is no beating around the bush. While this may not be everybody’s cup of tea, I really appreciate the directness of everybody in the work place. I have yet to find myself confused about my responsibilities or what I should be doing. Another thing I have noticed is that there isn’t really a hierarchal system at work. Regardless of whether you are the CEO or a new intern, like myself, everybody’s opinion matters and is taken into account. Nobody is above anybody and all conversations are on level terms. It was a bit weird to get used to at first, but now that I am adjusted I actually like this style of work environment much more.

The work hours are very flexible as well. My supervisor, Hubert, lets me to come in a little later and leave a bit early in order to avoid rush hour on the trains. This allows me to work from home and spend less time commuting. Lunch hours also tend to be very flexible as most lunch breaks with my fellow employees tend to go for about an hour or an hour and a half. The long lunches have been really good times to talk to my fellow colleagues and get to know more about them. Talk about an awesome job!

Getting to work is also incredibly easy. The train systems here are very customer-friendly and easy to use. I have a card, called an opal card, that I am able to put money on and swipe in a machine as I get onto the train instead of having to buy weekly or monthly train tickets… which are ridiculously expensive. The only difficult part about the trains is that Central station has more than 20 platforms, but with all the display monitors showing you what trains go where, it is very difficult to get on the wrong train. My commute to work is about a 40-minute train ride with a 5-minute walk on either side of the train ride. Piece of Cake.

Finally, once 2 pm hits on Friday, all the work goes away and then the fun at the office begins. But if you want to hear more about that, I’ll have to tell you some other time.

Sydney is still an incredibly fun city and as time passes, I’m enjoying my stay more and more. Cheers!

The opal card used to get on to trains and other forms of public transportation. Probably the easiest method of paying.

The opal card used to get on to trains and other forms of public transportation. Probably the easiest method of paying.

Macquarie University Station… this is the station I get off at for work. Most stations look similar to this one. Imagine central station…it has 20 of these platforms instead of just one…

Macquarie University Station… this is the station I get off at for work. Most stations look similar to this one. Imagine central station…it has 20 of these platforms instead of just one…


On the Rocks

June 29th, 2014 by under Australian Internship, Summer Break. No Comments.

BoothBy Jenna Booth

I was never very interested in history but on one of the first nights that we were in Sydney, we all went on a tour of the Rocks, which is the signature historical district right on the edge of the harbor toward the bridge. It is beautiful and charming and frankly quite magical, especially on weekend nights.

One of the more interesting parts of the tour was when we ventured a few streets over to a neighborhood adjacent to the Rocks called Millers Point. The views of the harbor are incredible there and surely only millionaires would be able to live there.

Amongst the historical buildings as well as the swanky apartment complexes, we could see some cloth signs hanging over balcony railings that said “Save Our Community.” When we asked our tour guide about them, she said that one of the great things about the area was that people from all different backgrounds and socio-economic status live there. The same families have occupied a lot of the housing in the area for generations (considering Australia’s relatively young history) and a lot of it is still public housing.


The problem is that as the city increasingly becomes a worldwide hub for business, industry, and tourism, the value of the property there has skyrocketed. Looking to sell off the property to real estate developers, about 400 people stand to be evicted from their homes, many of them elderly.


This comes alongside a major development project in Barangaroo closer to Darling Harbor and actually right outside the window of the office building where I work. After reading up on a lot of the proposed and already-under-way changes being made to the city, there is a lot of controversy over the gentrification of the city.

It’s interesting seeing the pictures online of buildings that are being sold or might get torn down and replaced with modern high-rise structures, the same buildings that we passed by and remarked on how much history was in them or how interesting the architecture was.

Sydney is quite often a city of contradictions and I personally think that the diverse community around Millers Point and the Rocks just adds this wonderfully interesting flavor to the city that always brings me back there.