Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Travel Insurance

Yesterday we were contacted by our travel insurer, HBF. They had decided what they would and wouldn't insure us for when we go on a cruise to Indonesia in January. The gal who talked to me advised that they were happy to insure me for high blood pressure (controlled with medication) and high cholesterol, also controlled, but they would not cover me for prostate cancer and Proteinuria (protein in the urine). Strange really, seeing that I had a radical prostatectomy 11 years ago and was given the all clear about five years back and the GP and a specialist have suggested no treatment for the level of protein in my urine!?

Joan got knocked back on Reynaud's Syndrome. Reynaud's is when during the cold months insufficient blood reaches the tips of the fingers making them temporarily white. A change of medication fixed that problem this year.

They didn't ask if we can walk well or likely to fall down a gangway and have to be flown home.

We watched the ABC program 4Corners last night and it reported on a NT Government initiative to have English alone taught in isolated schools in Aboriginal settlements rather than a mixture of English and indigenous languages. There were a few very dedicated teachers who had pioneered the multi-language approach and they and 4Corners seemed to suggest that the government had got it wrong and that unless the kids were taught their own language it would be lost forever.

Having taught in primary education in Papua New Guinea, I saw the use of English as the language of instruction, the only real way to reach proficiency in a short time. In PNG at the time I taught in primary schools, the parents and villagers spoke mostly their own language and so, the kids learnt their language as we learn ours...from our parents and surroundings. This is probably not the case with aboriginal kids in isolated outstations as most of their parents speak a crude form of English. Elders, could of course, run basic language lessons in the local indigenous language so that it is not lost.

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