Saturday, February 27, 2010

Snow falling on cedars

We had the day off today, so Ingebjorg and I jumped in the Fiat Punto and headed up to the Cedars to see some snow. On the way, we weren't feeling too optimistic, because there was no snow to be seen. And then we passed a small puddle. Suddenly I was 10 years old again, in New Zealand with my family and seeing snow for the first time. "Stop the car, stop the car," my brother and I screamed from the backseat, frantically pointing at the one foot square patch of snow on the ground. Mum and Dad had to assure us that there'd be more snow a bit further on, and sure enough there was.

It was the same today. We hit the snow line and then turned into the cedar park. As we started down the narrow road, it actually started snowing. Big, fat, wet snow!

I was seriously excited...

Don't worry, we got the car unbogged very easily.

Even the crappy souvernir shop dummies were getting in on the action (it's a bit hard to see through all the snow, but they're wearing ski helmets and goggles)

We then headed back down the hill a bit to where the best cedars are...

I would have been happy to settle for seeing snow around the cedars, but instead, I got to see...

We found a place with a fireplace to have a hot chocolate and warm up

Then after some lunch it was time to head off

This is how much snow had accumulated on the roof of the car...2 knuckes worth!


The drive back down was rainy and slushy, but the sky started to clear up

About five kms from Tripoli it seemed like winter was just a brief memory. The olive groves are so green!

A wonderful adventure!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Warm and Fuzzy

I received an email this morning from my travel insurance company. Thinking it was going to be yet another notification about them changing underwriters, or other boring stuff, I was tempted not to read it straight away. But I did, and was pleasantly surprised:

Remember way back when when you bought your travel insurance? We were thrilled that you also chose to make a micro-donation to one of the global poverty-alleviation projects in our Footprints charity program: "Distributing food to vulnerable families," in the Chiredzi district, Zimbabwe.

We thought you'd like to know that your small contribution, combined with thousands of others did make a huge difference.

Food totalling over 8,865 MT was distributed to over 206,000 people in Chiredzi between October 2008 and March 2009, covering the period when food insecurity was at its worst. The majority of people receiving the food rations were children under 5 and children aged between 5 and 18 years old.

I'm not sure about their use of the term "micro donation". I know it wasn't a huge sum of money, but hey, I donated right?! Anyway, below that text was a link to a website to read more about the project, run by Plan and WFP, with a case study of a 12 year old girl who has to look after her three younger siblings. I'd totally forgotten I'd made the donation, it's good PR for them to have sent this update. I'm all warm and fuzzy this morning.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

In sickness and in health

Dear Shwarma Man

Well, the unthinkable happened; I'm absolutely devastated Shwarma Man. The beef shwarma you made for me the other night made me ill. I won't go into details but it was bad. Yassmin had the chicken and she was fine. It was the beef, in the shwarma, with the bacteria.

If it were anyone else, I'd swear that I'd never go back to them again. But I can't say that about you Shwarma Man, you're too special. I can't throw away what we have over one silly gut rot incident.

I forgive you.
Love Carly.

Clean money

Below is further empirical proof to my assertion that high value Bangladeshi taka can withstand frequent cleaning.

Behold, my lucky 500 taka note

It lives in the coin pocket of my favourite jeans. If you look closely, you'll notice a tear below the 500. That tear has always been there.

No amount of washing can increase the size of that tear. If only rickshaw wallas were paid with 500 taka notes ($8) instead of 2 taka notes, then they could safely wash their money, and be rid of all that pesky bacteria!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The funniest thing I've read this week

Travels with a Parasol is a wonderful blog by an aid worker currently in Haiti. The recent post, entitled "Cultural Differences" had me in stitches.

An except:

Interpreting a Terrorist Alert...

The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent terrorist threats
and have raised their security level from "Miffed" to "Peeved." Soon,
though, security levels may be raised yet again to "Irritated" or even "A
Bit Cross." The English have not been "A Bit Cross" since the blitz in 1940
when tea supplies all but ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from
"Tiresome" to a "Bloody Nuisance." The last time the British issued a
"Bloody Nuisance" warning level was during the great fire of 1666.

Go and read the whole thing now!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Architectural delights

I don't think I'd ever met an architect before I moved here, and now I'm surrounded by them (unfortunately, none of them are Ted Mosby!) Today, my friend Jenan invited a group of us for a bit of an architectural tour of Tripoli, which of course had to start with some hommus and then some coffee, and THEN the tour began.

First stop was the public garden in Tel,

We then headed into the old city, and somehow managed to end up being shown into an old hammam, a bath house, which hasn't been used in a very, very long time. You can see the reflection of a star that the pattern in the roof makes.

There was then a brief window of opportunity to look inside the Grand Mosque...it wasn't particularly grand...

We called in to Kahn al Saboun (the soap souk), which made for some interesting photos


And a view of the elusive citadel. Now I know where it is, I can finally visit it!

We then found another hammam, this one is only for men, but they let us check out the front room.

There were more soap shops across the other side of the souk that I'd never really explored before

including Sharkass soap (I'm told the Sharkass are a race of people from near Russia, it's not actually soap made from shark asses)...

After a tea break, we headed down and then up what had been described as the "depressing staircase" to see this sign.

The black text translates to something like, "the mosque of Tel warns men and women from standing in this spot together." The red text translates to, "the whore and the slut are the ones who stand in this spot." So of course, Loai and I couldn't resist taking this shot! :-)

That conservativeness was balanced out by this nice grafitti...

There are many more photos to show, I'll put them up on picasaweb in the coming days (my internet is about to run out in 10 minutes!!) It was great to explore Tripoli with two locals, and a total of 5 architects, and to walk down alleys and corridors that I would never have found myself. A wonderful Sunday afternoon!

Wake up!

This is what got me out of bed this morning...

I can't remember what the festival is called (something like Zamba-ambo) but apparently it's something that's been going on for ever.

When I left the house a couple of hours later, they were still marauding around the streets of Al Mina, with the army following close behind them.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I am the walrus

I can't remember when the walrus/bucket LOL first made the rounds of the interwebs, but I can honestly say that I sympathise with that walrus.

We had a bucket (well, you'd probably call it a tub) and it disappeared some time ago. So I went to the junk shop and I bought two different sized buckets as replacements. We spent a few enjoyable months with these buckets, doing the laundry and the mopping, just one big happy bucketed family.

You can imagine my distress this morning, when I went to get the big bucket to do the washing. It was gone!! I searched every inch of the house, including the balcony, and the balcony that runs below our balcony...it was gone. The little bucket was gone too. THEY BE STEALIN' MY BUCKET!!!

So off I tottered to the junk shop once more, to buy another bucket. It's a beautiful day out, so I enjoyed the stroll. On my walk back, with my brand spanking new bucket wedged comfortably against my waist, I noticed the looks: the approving looks of women I passed along the way. I could just imagine their thoughts, "there goes the white girl, with a nice new bucket. She must be doing housework. She's one of us." I've never felt like more of a local, than I did today walking down the main street on a sunny day, with my bucket under my arm. A happy plus to this was seeing a cab driver who drove me home twice this week from the gym. "Mahabar," I called out to him as he drove past. "Ki fiq?" he called past with a big smile.

I has a bucket. I has a happy.

Congratulations Elsa

Our lovely friend and former colleague Elsa is getting married today in France.

One of the benefits of working with a lot of design architects is that well, not only are they very creative people, but they have access to printing on very large pieces of paper. So we gathered as many of Elsa's friends as we could find in the compound and sent her this photo.

Congratulations Elsa and Loic!!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Armchair tourism

I stumbled across this awesome webpage over at Lonely Planet, which is a google earth-esque photo competition. Interested in seeing photos of that destination you've always dreamed of? Just type it in the search box! I've been checking out Tanzania, Botswana and Zambia...that's the short list for July's adventuring!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

UNRWA Com-Gen meets with Hariri

We were supposed to be visited by our new Commissioner General this morning, but unfortunately for us, and hopefully fortunately for Palestinians, he was called back for a meeting with the Chairman of the PLO.

Instead, we were visited by the new Deputy Commissioner General and the UNRWA Spokesman, who gave us some insight into the future strategies of the agency. When asked about how UNRWA would avoid having to give future emergency aid (i.e. protecting refugees against future conflicts like in Nahr el-Bared or Gaza), the spokesman went off on a spiel about UNRWA's commitment to protection, including how in the Commissioner's office there was now a senior protection officer and that advocacy was hugely important to the agency. Basically, he gave a stock standard response, that, while interesting, did not address the question at all. The spokesman really impressed me, because he didn't even take a second to think about the question, he just reeled off a diplomatic response. Convincing if you don't need to know the answer to the question, but useless if you do. CJ Cregg would be proud.

It was encouraging to hear that the Com-Gen had had a meeting with PM Hariri, in which the politician had raised the point of trying to address the issue of giving Palestine refugees access to their right to employment, without prompting from the Com-Gen. One of the major barriers facing these refugees is that they're not allowed to work in a number of professions, like medicine or engineering in Lebanon, unless they're employed by UNRWA. One of the staff then asked if there would be any progress made on the right to land ownership, which is another huge problem. The response was that the focus would firstly be on the right to work, as land rights will be much more of a challenge. Fair enough I suppose, but I'm sure that didn't console the staff much.

What was most useful was the pointing out of the following article published in today's Daily Star, about the meeting the Com-Gen had with PM Hariri yesterday.

Hariri vows to raise funds for Nahr al-Bared
Premier assures top UNRWA official of commitment to completing reconstruction of camp
By Michael Bluhm
Daily Star staff
Thursday, February 18, 2010

BEIRUT: Prime Minister Saad Hariri promised to help raise money for rebuilding the war-ravaged Nahr al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp by using his connections with wealthy Gulf donors, said United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Commissioner General Filippo Grandi after meeting Hariri on Wednesday.

“He said he would use his influence and his contacts to help us raise this money,” Grandi told The Daily Star. “I found his commitment very spontaneous, unprompted by me.

“I was very much encouraged by how determined, precise and concrete the prime minister was.”

Continue reading here...

Figaro

Oh come on, it's been ages since I put something cute up...and I'm not even going to show the actual picture. I'm simply going to direct you to this page at Cute Overload and let you commence the awwwwwwwwwwwing in the privacy of your own home/office/container.

Annnnnnnnnnnnd...Go!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A rewarding and frustrating visit

I spent most of the day in the camp yesterday, taking photographs for one ginormous report I'm working on, and talking to beneficiaries as well. Most of my day was encouraging:

I witnessed the installation of solar panels on the best block of temporary accommodation we have. As you can see, some transparent panels have been put in the roofing to allow greater light in.

I then paid a visit to one of the clinics, where there was a dentist, a pharmacy, and a female doctor all working hard. I had to giggle at this sign...

because a few seconds after I took it, three men came and sat down under it and lit up cigarettes.

I then checked out the women's program centre, which is providing skills training in make-up and hairdressing (and funky hijab arranging)

in sewing

and sweets preparation

It was great to actually talk to these young women and find out what they were learning, if they were enjoying themselves, and what their families thought of their involvement. I spent a year doing this in Bangladesh, and it was nice to get back into some qualitative reflection.

Since we were in the neighbourhood, we swung past Package 1 to check out the reconstruction...it's coming along nicely.

It was the third to last stop that got to me. We went into one of the "collective centres" which is probably the crappiest accommodation option in the area. Basically, it's a big room, that's been divided up with fibro boards. It's dark, it's dingy, it's soul sucking.

The people were complaining that there are rats and insects. It's a terrible place to live. But this wasn't what upset me. Well, it was only one of the reasons why I was upset. What really got to me was the fact that the people living here were doing so by choice. They were offered rental cash subsidies, which are $150 per month, but refused to move out. They were offered units in the plot with the transparent roofing. They refused to move out. It upsets me that these people would choose to live in such a hell hole, would choose to raise their children in such a hell hole, when there are better options available to them. I can not understand why, and no-one has been able to explain it to me.

The second to last stop cheered me up. I went into my colleague's brother-in-law's shop and he had prostitute red nail polish, which is always fun. The price was 1000 pounds, I told him that was too cheap, that he should sell it for 3000. But I put 1000 on the counter, which he tried to refuse. The generosity of strangers, particularly strangers who don't have much to give, always astounds me. Before I leave this country I'm going to go on a massive spending spree in the camp since the reactivation of businesses has been so slow. Prostitute red nail polish for all!!

My last stop was a meeting with a university student who received a scholarship from UNRWA. Lina is a great girl, who's in her third year of a biology degree with a 3.4 GPA (out of 4). We sat and talked for about half an hour about her life, her studies, her dreams. There's obviously a lot of healing that remains to be needed, but she's got a bright future ahead of her.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Death day anniversary

Today is the fifth anniversary of former PM Rafic Hariri's assisination. On 14 February 2005, a car bomb with the equivalent of 1000kg of TNT was detonated, killing Hariri and 21 other people in Beirut.

About a week ago large posters of Hariri started appearing everywhere. The drive down to Beirut yesterday saw hundreds of huge sign boards bearing his face. There was going to be a huge memorial/celebration today in downtown Beirut, so Najwa and I decided to get out of town early to avoid the masses. On the drive up to Tripoli I was absolutely stunned at the convoys of cars heading in the opposite direction.

Almost every single car had men and women hanging out the windows, waving the national flag or the blue flag of Hariri's party, or with photos of Hariri himself plastered all over them.

And by hanging out the windows, I mean sitting on the windows, or the roof of the car (on the highway going at least 80km/hr!)

What better occassion to have your young children standing up with their heads out the sunroof?

I find it hard to believe that a politician can be so loved, even after death. I struggle to imagine K-Rudd causing such a celebration.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The importance of being Australian

Anyone who's ever been to an Australian-owned Italian resturant in Lebanon will know how important it is to have an Australian in the party. Particularly anyone who's eaten at such a place that also had ceiling murals...

Because if you didn't have such an Australian, who would be there to translate the menu? Capsicum is a bell pepper, prawns are shrimps. Really, how do people get by without an Australian???

Friday, February 12, 2010

Dirty money

A friend who's still in Bangladesh posted a link to an article in the very reputable Daily Star (to which I once sent a letter to the editor) which discussed the health risks of the two taka note.

Two taka notes are the most disgusting things known to man. Try as I might (ok, a 20 second google image search), I can't find a photo of the typical two taka note. Go ahead, search for yourself, and you'll only find pristine examples. I think in my one year in Bangers, I saw one such note. The two taka note is the smallest of all notes, taking wrinklage and shrinkage into account, usually about the size of a business card. It was almost as if you could see the bacteria hovering on the note, and now, it's been proven that they are indeed, festering with bacteria.

My favourite line of the article is towards the end as reads: "Instead of avoiding or cleaning money, the best protection is to wash hands with soap regularly." Now, I once saw a woman (in Washington D.C) in a bathroom giving her US dollars a nice rinse in soapy water, and then drying them lovingly with some paper towels, but I don't think she was quite all there. But back to the point about cleaning money, I have, at this very moment, a 500 taka note (about $8) in the little coin pocket of my favourite jeans. The jeans that I wear a lot. The jeans that I wash a lot because I wear them a lot. This 500 taka note is still in great shape (remembering that I left Bangers in September 2008), and I imagine by the time I'm ready to go back to Bangers for a holiday, it'll still be in pretty great shape. My own scientific research has led me to the conclusion that the higher the value of the taka, the better cleaning survival it has.

I present to you my incontrovertable proof:

My friend Jez, in a pool (at the Dead Sea Marriott, natch), with a five taka note he found in his pocket after entering the pool. The five taka note didn't really survive. So if this is what happens to a five taka note, imagine the damage to a two taka note!!

The Daily Star is absolutely right, people should not attempt to clean their two taka notes, or their five or ten taka notes. I think it's safe to say, that unless you're holding 500s you should clean your money at all. The other advice the Daily Star presents, that of avoiding money, is one I don't think will be as difficult to ensure. You find me one rickshaw walla in Bangladesh who would avoid money over being exposed to some bacteria, and, well, I'll say "well done you".

Daily Star, you've brought joy to my evening.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Thoughts on Grameen

I've been feeling a bit removed from the aid world of late. I read a few blogs by aid workers regularly, and their intelligent and insightful critiques of various issues has left me feeling a bit out of the loop. The fault is my own of course, but I also feel like this current job has moved me out of the emergency game, and a lot of the debate that surrounds it; I don't have to grapple with complex issues (whether they're realistic or idealistic) at work anymore.

Anyway, Alanna Shaikh, who I follow on Twitter, and who writes a fantastic blog posted a link to this article on the Grameen Bank. I'll be the first to admit that some of the financial data (I'm not much of a numbers or graph person) went over my head, but it did lead me to remember some of the issues I faced when investigating the successes and challenges the NGO I worked for in Bangladesh had in microcredit.

In this case, every single village that benefitted from the program I was working on established at least one savings group (gender segregated). The members would deposit between 5-20 taka (US$1=70 taka) on a weekly basis. This is such a tiny amount, and seems so inconsequential to many of us. But sure enough, over time, the fund grows and members are able to take loans to support their income generation activities. Some members were able to purchase CNGs (auto-rickshaws) or sewing machines or increase the capital in their grocery stalls.

One of the key things we found was that these savings groups were a means of effectively improving their "credit rating". These people had applied for Grameen Bank loans in the past, and been denied. Basically, they had to prove that they could repay a loan, which they would do in the savings groups we established. Then they might have to take a loan from another organisation to bring the credit rating up further. Perhaps after they had repaid a couple of loans, and had a functioning income system, they might be accepted by Grameen.

So while the Grameen bank has achieved incredible things over the past 34 years, it is not necessarily the 'bank for the poor' that it has claimed to be. The experiences that were communicated to us indicated that the interest rates on Grameen loans were often prohibitively high, that flexibility in repayments was limited, and that Grameen often required the provision of collateral, which was impossible for the extremely poor people we were working with, who lived without any real formal assets.

What was great about these savings groups was the ownership by the group. There were a set of guidelines that had to be followed in the establishment of a group, but groups were free to decide on any other rules (for example, if loans provided in times of personal emergency would be repaid with interest or not). The groups had a management committee, with specific roles outlined, including a person for complaints or disputes.

Of course, a small village savings program can not really be compared to the goliath that Grameen has become. But it does show how influential the idea of microcredit has become, and that communities can improve their own resilience to economic shocks.

Just my thoughts....

You know it's time for stronger detergent...


when the dish drying rack starts to sprout...oh dear!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Nahr al-Bared's economic recovery hampered by military siege

I've been meaning to post this article for a couple of weeks. Follow the link at the bottom to read the whole thing.

Nahr al-Bared's economic recovery hampered by military siege
Ray Smith, Electronic Lebanon, 18 January 2010

More than two years after the end of the fighting, the war-torn Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared, located in northern Lebanon, is far from the model the Lebanese government has promised the camp would become. Instead, reconstruction of the camp is delayed, the area is a military zone with restricted access, and the camp's economy is stalled and residents are largely unemployed.

Following a 15-week war in the summer of 2007 between the Lebanese army and the militant group Fatah al-Islam, who occupied portions of the camp, Nahr al-Bared was totally destroyed. So far, about two-thirds of its 30,000 Palestinian inhabitants have returned and resettled on the camp's outskirts. One of them is Jihad Awed, who sits in front of his tiny clothing store and tells about the good times before the war. "My shop was larger and I sold more products. It went well and I made a living. I sold between $130 to $200 per day."

Having returned to Nahr al-Bared after the war, Awed started to sell shoes, but went bankrupt. He sold his wife's jewelry and opened his new store, which barely makes $30 a day. "I can't live on it. The rent is $100 per month. I buy cigarettes and coffee and my income is gone," Awed explains...

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11013.shtml

Haram Maia

Maia and I went for a lovely long walk this morning along the corniche, then spent an enjoyable couple of hours on the couch watching the end of 24 season 6.

In the afternoon, Ingebjorg called to see if we wanted to go for a drive somewhere, and we decided to head down to Byblos and take Maia for another big walk there. The cloud cover was still a bit much, but here's some snow for you.

We made it to the first checkpoint out of Tripoli when I turned around to check on Maia and saw the bright yellow vomit on the backseat. Haram Maia (poor Maia)! We pulled over at a coffee van and grabbed some tissues and cleaned up as best we could. We knew we had to get her home, but the problem with the highway to Beirut is that there aren't many places to turn around. We had to keep driving and driving until finally there was an off ramp. We pulled over again to let her out for some fresh air, and then she really, really didn't want to get back in the car. I don't know exactly how heavy she is, but I'm guessing about 15-20 kilos...i.e. enough for me to have to make a rest stop in carrying her back to the car!!

We got her home without any further incident, and cleaned up the car. After all that excitement, Maia was happy to curl up in her bed, so Ingebjorg and I headed out to get a bite to eat. The cafe/restaurant, Ginger's, had the following placemats:

Who knew Aerosmith lyrics could be so poetic? While devouring a pretty good pizza, the stereo played Mmm Bop...always interesting music choices in Tripoli!!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Wigging out

In case it's not immediately obvious, there was a wig party on Friday night...







Thursday, February 4, 2010

My new best friend

I made a new friend last night. Her name is Maia, and her parents Oli and Sara are very proud to have brought her home on the weekend.
She's a lovely, docile dog, who loves chin scratches and ear rubs.

Guess who #1 dog sitter is going to be??

(And how awesome is my bright orange cardi!!)

Another one for the books

There's one Asian restaurant in Tripoli, conveniently located near our office. Since the weather was so atrocious today, we decided to test out their delivery service. I collected the orders and asked for a delivery...the conversation went something like this.
"Can I have your name ma'am?"
"Carly"
"Kali?"
"CARLY"
"K-A-L-I?"
"Sure, ok"
"And can I have your name?"
"Carly"
"Sorry, your other name"
"Sheehan"
"Can you spell that?"
"S-H-E-E-H-A-N"
"S-H-E-E-S-A-N?"
"Sure, ok."

Sheesan, appropriate for a Japanese restaurant...

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

It's 6:42am















and my camera (/photography skills) doesn't quite capture the beauty of this sunrise...

Update: at about 7:15 the rain started...sigh, it's turned into a miserable day.

Stirring it up

What a productive afternoon! After going to the pool, and attempting to teach Loai how to swim and breathe at the same time (which I successfully managed with Yassmin the other day) I swam 26 laps, and left the pool in a great mood. This was soon dashed while waiting for a taxi, with all the boys cruising past, turning on their high beams in my eyes (it was just dusk) and honking and whistling at me. Grrrrrrr.

I stopped by the butcher, and we managed to establish that he didn't have any chicken breasts, just burger patties and fried chicken, so I got some beef instead. I then called into the green grocer across the street and paid 1000 pounds (less than a dollar) for a bag of vegies! This was all quickly whipped up in a stir fry for three (our wok is woefully small).













Voila!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Closed Zone

Check out the very short animated clip, Clozed Zone, depicting the daily struggle in Gaza.

Yassmin's Yummy Stuffed Zuchinni

Yassmin has decided to improve her cooking (not that I think she needs to) and has been trying out some Palestinian delights on a few willing guinea pigs every Sunday night. Last night was no exception, and I had to share the recipe for kousa mehshi with you. It's not an exact science, having been handed down from her mum, so if you do try it out, be prepared to play around with it a bit, or do a google search for other, more exact recipes.

Scoop out the insides of the zuchinni with a special digging tool. If you don't have one of these, well good luck to you. As an appetiser, perhaps 2 normal size zuchinni per person (we only get little fat ones here). 
To make the filling:
Combine 2.5 cups of normal rice
a good handful of parsley 
a small amount of minced beef (maybe 100g) or leave out for vegetarians
finely chop 1 onion, tomato and some garlic cloves
a smattering of black pepper, cumin, cinnamon and salt

 
Stuff the hollowed out zuchinnis about half way with the mixture, making sure not to pack it in too tight (you have to allow the rice room to expand. Using the end of the zuchinni you first chopped off, stuff that into the top to keep the mixture safe and sound.
To make the yoghurt sauce:
We used 750mL of Ayran (here's a link on how to make it) and about 500mL of water (Considering we made 36 small zuchinnis and another saucepan with cabbage, you probably won't need this much). Firstly, add the water to a saucepan with 1 teaspoon of corn starch, and allow it to dissolve. Add in the yoghurt. Bring it to the boil and add some salt and corriander, and then turn the heat down. While that simmers for a minute or two, arrange your zuchinnis in a saucepan, packing them in tightly.

Pour the yoghurt mix over you zuchinnis and get a saucepan lid or plate that's smaller than the pan you're using to place on top of the zuchinni to keep the little guys from floating around. 
 
Cook for approx 30-45 mins or until the zuchinni is soft and squishy. Spoon the gloopy yoghurt mixture onto the zuchinni and serve.
Delicious!!

We also made some more with cabbage leaves using the same mixtures. Remove the cabbage leaves and rinse, then place in boiling water for a couple of minutes until the hard, bottom part of the leaf is bendy. Chop that out and slice the leaf in two, and then place a small amount of mixture in the middle of the leaf. Roll it up tightly, and again, make sure to leave room at the ends for the rice to expand. Follow the same steps as above and serve with lemon juice.