Ebola and iron ore price put London Mining on life support


The first significant mining company victim of West Africa’s ebola epidemic is on life support and like most of the human victims has little chance of survival. London Mining, which operates the Marampa iron ore mine in ebola-stricken Sierra Leone has had to call in the administrators – a task being handled by Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) and the chances of finding a buyer who will actually cough up any significant money for the debt-ridden corporate entity are seen as virtually non-existent. While it is not the ebola epidemic itself that has been the main factor in the company’s almost certain demise, but the dramatic fall in iron ore prices, ebola has been, in effect, the final straw adding to costs and restricting potential investment interest from third parties.

London Mining started production at its Marampa mine in December 2011 and in 2013 produced 3.4 million wet tonnes of sinter concentrate. It expanded production capacity to 5.4 million tonne/year in 2013, and had been planning to increase it further to 6.5 million tonne/year. Marampa has a mineral resource of over 1 billion tonnes of iron ore including a Probable Reserve of 539million tonnes grading 31.1% Fe, sufficient for over 40 years of mine life. It employs around 1,500 people and is a significant contributor to the Sierra Leone economy.

Ebola and iron ore price put London Mining on life support The company has also completed bankable feasibility studies outlining plans for a further 20 million tonne/year of iron ore production by developing mines in Greenland and Saudi Arabia, but the figures have been thrpown into doubt given the collapse in iron ore prices..

But London Mining was already on the downward path before the ebola outbreak struck its host country and exacerbated the situation, although no-one at the mine site appears to have fallen victim to the disease. Mining and upgrading 31% tenor iron ore to compete with those like Rio Tinto, Vale and BHP who can dig the stuff out of the ground at around 60% just became less and less economic as iron ore prices slumped. The company’s share price on London’s AIM market fell from comfortably over £4 in April 2011, down to around 4 pence and now trading is suspended.

The company had been trying to find an investor to plug a financing gap which meant it had been running out of money to maintain operations. Indeed only a week ago the company’s CEO, Graeme Hossie commented that there was little or no value remaining in the company’s shares.

Ebola and iron ore price put London Mining on life support

Now it is down to the PwC administrators to try and salvage something from the wreckage. According to an announcement confirming the appointment of administrators, Russel Downs, joint administrator and PwC partner said “The collapse in iron ore prices and the resulting impacts on this business have been very dramatic and our focus is to ensure that a buyer is found for the Marampa Mine operations given it is such an important part of the Sierra Leone economy. We are liaising with key stakeholders and asking for a short window of forbearance as we look to conclude a transaction.”

In a parallel announcement, Hossey commented “Since first entering Sierra Leone in 2005, London Mining has established substantial operations at Marampa having brought back commercial mining and related economic activity to the region after 40 years. I salute all our employees for their dedication and contribution in creating what is now an important part of Sierra Leone’s economy and ongoing development. I also applaud them for the ongoing leadership role our team has played within the private sector in Sierra Leone in helping address the challenges of the current Ebola crisis. The Marampa mine retains excellent fundamentals and it is our sincere wish for it to find the appropriate financial support to continue operating over the longer term.”

Ebola and iron ore price put London Mining on life support

Thus talks are ongoing to try and at least salvage the Sierra Leone mine although companies will be nervous about sending executives to view operations in the ebola-stricken nation. India’s Jindal steel is thought to be involved in negotiations as it is one of the mine’s major customers.

It seems, though, there is only one potential strategic investor left in discussions with the company and there is no confirmation that it is, or is not, Jindal. But whoever it is it is clear that it is only interested in the mining assets and not in keeping London Mining as a going concern.

Increasing Collaboration and Productivity through Unified Communications


The essential goal of communication is to break down barriers. Whether it’s through a phone call, instant messaging or even social media, breaking down barriers is essential. In today’s society, we want to be able to communicate anytime, from anyplace, from any device. This is even more important with business communication. Better communication with your customers means a better customer experience, ultimately increasing your bottom line. Unified Communications (UC) takes our ability to communicate effectively to the next level and can substantially increase productivity. Here are a couple of ways Unified Communications can increase collaboration and productivity in your workplace:Increasing Collaboration

The mobility of a business line

Have you ever been expecting an important business phone call? A phone call that’s so important that you cannot leave your desk until you get it no matter what the circumstances are? These types of situations can cause stress in employees, reducing morale and decreasing productivity. Unified Communications gives you the flexibility to move about your office, attend off-site appointments with clients, travel anywhere or simply just have your business phone with you at all times on your mobile device.

Increasing Collaboration

Unified Communications solutions typically have mobile applications, tablet applications or desktop applications for laptops that allow you to log-in with your business line. These are over-the-top (OTT) applications similar to email/Facebook/etc. that present you with a dialing pad, contact integration, visual voicemail and more. This mobility allows you to take calls from clients anywhere, and allows you to still focus on doing your job effectively. There is no more being restricted to your desk. For me, personally, the mobility of my business line has allowed me to be more flexibility than ever before in the ever-changing environment of a high-paced office.

Collaboration through IM, file sharing and video conferencing

Collaboration is an integral part of a successful team. Whether you’re a startup or part of a large enterprise, UC gives you the ability to be a part of a productive environment through collaboration. Imagine if you were able to communicate by instant messaging with your team members, wherever you are. Imagine if you were able to share files with your team members instantaneously wherever you are. Imagine if you were able to have a high-definition video conference with your team, regardless of location, and regardless if they are on a mobile application, laptop or desktop PC. Sure, you may be able to get these options through multiple avenues, but a good Unified Communications solution will give you all of these options on one platform.

Increasing Collaboration

Giving employees access to these forms of communication will allow your business to run smoothly, allow your employees to be more efficient, increase your overall productivity, and enable better collaboration. Unified Communications solutions may be a fairly new to the game, but giving your workforce the tools and resources to communicate it a way that best suits their needs will pay big dividends down the road.

Santorum’s Google Bomb – A Lesson In Digital Crisis 101


What do businesses and brands have to learn from the Santorum/Savage “Google Problem”? Unwanted search results will always be alive online, and it takes an active approach to keep them managed as much as possible. With the right tactics, it’s possible to minimize reputational threats, but simply complaining about them will not find a resolution.

(Author’s note, this post is not meant to advocate for one political party or any single politician vs. another.)

Without getting into the frothy details (which you can find out about through the article links that follow in this post), Rick Santorum has become a high profile example of a common problem for many brands, businesses, and business leaders dealing with unfavorable search results that stray WAY off-message. Essentially, the candidate is dealing with a competitive attack page aimed at undermining his campaign and throwing a wrench in his own messaging.

Santorum’s Google Bomb – A Lesson In Digital Crisis 101

What Santorum has NOT been doing over the past 8 years of the existence of columnist Dan Savage’s rogue page, is deal with it by creating more relevant content and employing even basic SEO tactics. Instead he has protested to Google (no word if he has also complained to Bing) to remove the page in question from its search rankings. But while Google often gets requests of this nature, it stands by the algorithms placing links in appropriate order.

What Santorum’s team SHOULD be doing is employing digital and web strategies, creating more relevant links that push down the ranking of Savage’s site. Content in the form of newer blogs, websites, and especially videos (they get ranked ahead of traditional page links) that engage with his followers will rise to the top of searches. New material, along with search engine optimization techniques could redirect eyeballs to Santorum’s official and supportive pages. As of now, he’s been (as Danny Sullivan of searchengineland.com puts it) “playing hide and seek” with search engines.

According to Slate.com, the Dan Savage site has about 6 times more incoming links than Santorum’s official site. And while inbound links are not the sole measure of page rank, the lack of effort to compete on that front illustrates the larger issue. Putting your head in the sand won’t make the problem go away, and by even slowly chipping away with basic tactics it is possible to make things more manageable.

A side note on this story is how other groups that are digital-savvy have taken advantage of the situation, with services like Reputation.com as well as political rivals placing ads on the Savage page. Seeing where attention is being drawn online, and connecting with a message that aligns with viewers’ likely angle of interest, these third parties recognize the power of targeted connections.

As the campaign season continues, it will be interesting to see the path that Santorum and his team takes. A Synegrated approach in applying digital tactics along with reputation management communications can go a long way, and provides a lesson for anyone dealing with off-brand or competitive web material.

Here’s A Quick Guide to Online Reputation Management

Santorum’s Google Bomb – A Lesson In Digital Crisis 101
Have a social crisis plan in place

Just as any brand should have a crisis communications plan ready for traditional media, there should also be a complementary guide for social media.

Monitor your brand online

Set up Google alerts based on your company/brand name and keywords so that you are aware of online mentions.

Start blogging and commenting

Begin with one blog, but keep in mind that by creating and managing multiple blogs on different topics you will be able to link between them. Network with and comment on other blogs that are similar to yours.

Keep your social network presence up to date

Search engines favor more recent content, and sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are just the tip of the iceberg.

Curate your social networks

Be aware of choosing quality over content in regards to your friends and connections, as they may reflect back on your brand.

Ask for inaccurate information to be corrected or removed

As opposed to an intentional online attack, if someone inadvertently writes or says something misleading or off base about you, politely ask them to correct the mistake or take the content down.

How do you monitor and track your online reputation?

What additional best practice recommendation to the list?

Beachfront Hotels With Kids’ Swimming Pools in Florida


It seems like every family in America plans a Floridian vacation at some point. When the Florida summer heat becomes too stifling, adults have plenty of options for cooling off. But what are some hotels that allow kids to cool off in an appropriately sized swimming pool? Here are a few beachfront hotels in Florida that provide kids’ swimming pools.

Wyndham Vacation Resorts in Panama City Beach

This high-rise beachfront resort has spacious one- and two-bedroom suites with a full kitchen and washer/dryer. Guests also have a view of the Gulf of Mexico from their balcony and can take a walk on the white sandy beach. The hotel has a no-smoking policy and offers security services, and children can swim in the outdoor kids’ pool located near the bigger pool.

Wyndham Vacation resorts in Panama City Beach
14700 Front Beach Road
Panama City Beach, FL 32413
(850) 636-8200

Palm Plaza Hotel in Daytona Beach

All the rooms at the Palm Plaza Hotel in Daytona Beach have front row views of the Atlantic Ocean, private balconies, and room safes to stash valuables. Fishing and golfing packages are available, and guests can use the game room, laundry service, snack bar and heated pool, while kids can play in the outdoor kids’ swimming pool and enjoy other recreational activities. It’s only an hour from Cape Canaveral, Sea World and Disney World.

Palm Plaza Hotel in Daytona Beach
3301 S Atlantic Ave
Daytona Beach Shores, FL 32118
(386) 767-1711

Wyndham Palm-Aire

The Wyndham Palm-Aire resort is a gated community located approximately 15 minutes outside of Fort Lauderdale. It has 24-hour security. Its spacious one- and two-bedroom condos come with king-sized beds, sleeper sofas, washers and dryers, bathrooms with Jacuzzis, cable television, full kitchens and private balconies. Children can swim in the outdoor kids’ pool and enjoy special activity programs designed just for kids.

Wyndham Palm-Aire
2601 Palm-Aire Drive North
Pompano Beach, FL 33069
(954) 972-3300

Doubletree Hotel Cocoa Beach Oceanfront

Located along the white sandy beaches of Cocoa Beach, the Doubletree Hotel is just a few minutes away from the Kennedy Space Center on Florida’s Space Coast. The hotel features 148 guest rooms and suites with a view of the Atlantic Ocean, free wireless Internet access, refrigerators and microwaves. Guests also enjoy private access to the oceanfront hotel’s beach and a heated outdoor pool with a kids’ swimming pool located nearby.

Doubletree Hotel Cocoa Beach Oceanfront
2080 N. Atlantic Avenue
Cocoa Beach, Florida 32931
(321) 783-9222

Wyndham Royal Vista

The Wyndham Royal Vista hotel sits right on the beach. Guest accommodations include a fully equipped kitchen, washer/dryer, whirlpool tub, balcony and separate living area. However, not every unit provides an ocean or coastal view. Adults can swim in either of the two outdoor swimming pools, while children can use the kids’ swimming pool or the playground.

Wyndham Royal Vista
1110 South Ocean Boulevard
Pompano Beach, FL 33062
(954) 233-7500

Now You Can Get Best Lamborghini Rental At Your Fingertips


It is not every day that people get to travel by a Lamborghini to work or to a family function or even to school. Imagine getting off a Lamborghini when you are reaching your office. Not only will this make a positive impression on your colleagues, you will also be respected at work. This is the power that a Lamborghini has and you can now rent a lamborghini to work almost on a daily basis. The best lamborghini hire for prom are truly affordable and you will not hesitate twice before hiring a Lamborghini the next time you want to get to work.

Driving to work on a daily basis can be quite a headache and half the stress that you get is because of driving to work and driving back home every day. You can now get rid of the stress by taking away the driving part and ensuring that you reach home comfortably and reach work comfortably as well. This can happen with the help of the right Lamborghini service. When you hire the right lamborghini service you get the best drivers that are on offer and you will be able to get the best experience of a lifetime.

If your son is to get to football practice and you are not available to drive and your wife is also busy you can just book a lamborghini and ensure that your son gets to school on time. If your daughter needs to get to from prom on time you can even ensure that she gets the best Lamborghini service to take her to the prom. This will not only ensure that you take care of her safety but she can also arrive in style and make her friends jealous.

In today’s world it is very important to trust and this is something that you cannot do with an unknown driver. With the right rental service you will be able to get the best drivers because all of these drivers have been checked and there are the background checks done. This way you can make sure that your family reaches their destination on time and you will not have to keep checking on them. Lamborghini rental services also have a GPS tracker so you can always see where they are heading and how long before they reach their destination. If there are any unknown stops you can always call up the driver or the car rental service company and check what the stop was made for. Usually there are no suspicious activities that come up when you hire the best Lamborghini rental service.

This is because these companies want to service you time and again and they will not mess up with their services. When you book a Lamborghini from these companies each and every time they will ensure that you get the best service and even if you book it for the first time they will ensure that you get the best service. This is because they don’t differentiate between any of their customers.

Obama’s “Bulk Data Collection” Two Step


Last week the USA Freedom Act passed the U.S. Senate and it requires the collection of meta data to be terminated. For example, if someone in New York places a call to somebody in Germany and uses the term “bomb” that conversation could get flagged to compare the numbers and locations involved to see if there is a pattern that might relate to other data that could indicate terrorist activity.

There is not somebody sitting in a room listening to the conversations of Americans. Not only would that be illegal but it would be impossible. However the issue has become a hot topic amongst Liberals and Libertrians (many Conservative view it as a tool to fight terrorism) and thus the USA Freedom Act was passed.Obama

President Obama, however, has asked for a six month extension on the collection of meta data which a new plan is developed:

  • The Obama administration has asked a secret surveillance court to ignore a federal court that found bulk surveillance illegal and to once again grant the National Security Agency the power to collect the phone records of millions of Americans for six months.
  • The legal request, filed nearly four hours after Barack Obama vowed to sign a new law banning precisely the bulk collection he asks the secret court to approve, also suggests that the administration may not necessarily comply with any potential court order demanding that the collection stop.
  • Justice Department national security chief John A Carlin cited a six-month transition period provided in the USA Freedom Act – passed by the Senate last week to ban the bulk collection – as a reason to permit an “orderly transition” of the NSA’s domestic dragnet. Carlin did not address whether the transition clause of the Freedom Act still applies now that a congressional deadlock meant the program shut down on 31 May.


This is a very different reaction from President Obama than many of his supporters would have expected.

Here’s Obama back in 2007:

  • “I will provide our intelligence and law enforcement agencies with the tools they need to track and take out the terrorists without undermining our Constitution and our freedom. That means no more illegal wiretapping of American citizens. No more national security letters to spy on citizens who are not suspected of a crime. No more tracking citizens who do nothing more than protest a misguided war. No more ignoring the law when it is inconvenient,” Obama said in 2007, adding that “the FISA court works.”Obama
  • Again critiquing “the Bush administration’s initial policy on warrantless wiretaps because it crossed the line between protecting our national security and eroding the civil liberties of American citizens,” Obama promised to “update the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to provide greater oversight and accountability to the congressional intelligence committees to prevent future threats to the rule of law.”
  • The biggest issue is not that Obama’s views on the matter have changed since he’s been president it’s that he hasn’t admitted that the rhetoric he used to help get elected – and attack the Bush presidency and the national security of this country – was misguided.

Obama’s supporters like to cast the Republicans as lawless but who has done a 180 and became what he decried?

How to Explain the Democratic Collapse


Mid-term elections – especially if one person has been president for 6 years – almost always result in the ruling party taking a hammering. But this mid-term was different because not only did Democrats lose seats in both the House and Senate but they also lost governorships in key strongholds like Illinois, Maryland, and Massachusetts and states that had been counting as newly “flipped” like Colorado also went red.

And in Liberal states like Oregon ballot initiatives that one would assume would pass such as giving driver’s licenses to illegals actually went down in flames. Leftist strongholds like San Francisco didn’t disappoint by raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour and Berzerkely – I mean Berkeley – passing a soda tax.
But they were the exception, not the rule.


Republicans saw “Abortion Barbie” Wendy Davis lose her election bid – and much of the female vote – in Texas while Republicans saw the election of the first black senator in the South since Reconstruction and black Conservative Mia Love win her race in the House. Arkansas also went Republican – despite Bill Clinton’s efforts and Sandra Fluke lost her bid for election in California.

A few things happened. Republicans captured 10% of the black vote and many blacks simply stayed home.


We can’t discount the role that racism played in 2008 and 2012 – many blacks went to the polls and voted for Obama because he’s black – but we didn’t see much evidence of that this time around.

Democrats have become very lazy and pretty much campaigned on social issues which matter little when people are unemployed or struggling to pay their healthcare costs.

The GOP now controls a majority of state legislatures and governorships as well as the House of Representatives and the Senate.


President Obama, meanwhile, held a press conference where he said he didn’t care what the election results were he’d simply do what he wanted.

He hasn’t learned a damn thing mostly because he doesn’t think he was wrong he believes the voters were. This despite the fact that his supporters and party has abandoned him.
It is too early to tell whether this win marks the start of a Republican domination or whether it’s just a blip on the radar however one thing is for certain… Republicans should enjoy it before they get down to work.

Getting Married in Vegas Wedding Chapels


Las Vegas has long been known as one of the easiest places in the country to get married. All you need for a license is proof of your identity and enough cash to cover the costs. With license in hand, you can then choose from one of more than 50 chapels in the Las Vegas area. However, Las Vegas wedding chapels aren’t just for the kind of spur-of-the-moment marriage decisions that an exciting weekend in Vegas can inspire. You can make a Vegas wedding a romantic and playful start to your life together.

Things You’ll Need:

  • Proof of identity Cash
  • Proof of identity
  • Cash

Step 1

Decide when you want to have your wedding. Vegas has the fewest visitors immediately after New Years, and in July and August. If you go in those off season times, you’ll find cheaper rates throughout Las Vegas. The weather is usually comfortable in January, but you’ll be battling extreme desert heat if you visit in the summer.

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Step 2

Create your guest list well in advance so you can find a wedding chapel that seats everyone you want at your wedding. The Elvis Wedding Chapel of Las Vegas advertises itself as the largest chapel in town, seating 120 people. Of course, if you just want a handful of friends—or only the two of you—you can bypass this step.

Step 3

Book a chapel well in advance if you want a themed wedding or a package, such as a wedding that also includes limo service or an on-site reception. For a sampling of the types of themed weddings you can experience, check out the list at Viva Las Vegas Weddings. This chapel also offers more traditional wedding packages, which you’ll also find at other chapels throughout Vegas.

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Step 4

Discuss payment, including tips, when you book your wedding. If you’re just going to do a walk-in service, you may want to call a few chapels ahead of time to find out expected tip rates. Generally, the minister’s fee is included in the wedding fee, but if you want a themed wedding where the minister doubles as an actor or character, such as Elvis, you’ll need to figure in extra money for the minister. If there are additional participants—especially characters—you should plan on tipping them. An average tip is about $25.

Step 5

Head down to the Clark County Wedding Bureau at 201 Clark Ave. with your intended and your identification. To speed things up, you can fill out your license application online, print it out, and bring that along. However, if you’re there during peak travel season, expect a line. As of 2009, the cost for the wedding license is $60 and must be paid in cash.

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Step 6

Arrive at the chapel of your choice with your license, identification and payment for the wedding. If you’ve gotten a limo service, be sure to tip the driver. Prepare to enter your marriage in style!



Once a year, people of all stripes gather in a Jingletown warehouse in East Oakland to explore the treasures to be had at a huge White Elephant sale. You can find pretty much anything there. There are entire sections dedicated to art, furniture, electronics, clothes, jewelry, books, kitchen ware, and a host of other random doodads. In years past, there have even been cars and a pony for sale. You just never know what you’ll stumble upon.


The annual sale is a fundraiser quarterbacked by the Oakland Museum Women’s Board–a group of volunteers who founded a non-profit organization way back in 1955 in order to raise money for the Oakland Museum. The White Elephant sale is their only fundraiser each year, but they have raised over $19 million for the museum over the course of their esteemed history. Here’s how it works: People donate goods to the Women’s Board year-round, and then one weekend per year a huge sale takes place to sell this wide-ranging collection of items to the general public. Proceeds from every purchase go to the Oakland Museum to help pay for educational services, exhibitions, capital improvements, and more.

It’s a fine example of the age-old adage, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Only, in this case, there is secondary treasure to be had in the form of quality programming at the Oakland Museum. It’s a win-win-win!


This year the sale is March 1st and 2nd! That means, you’ve missed Saturday already and need to get your butt on down to the sale today (Sunday March 2, 2014)! Hoards of bargain hunters will be on hand to search through bed frames, lights, Christmas decorations, dining room sets, records, couches, clothes, and all sorts of bric-a-brac. To make the shopping and people watching even richer, listen to the P.A. announcer as he scolds husbands who have lost their wives, connects parents to missing children, and asks shoppers to answer their phones when family members are calling them!

Outside the Jingletown warehouse you’ll also find food stands, Girl Scout cookie slangers, and Zeva and Jeff inside the Get Goes coffee truck (Tell them we sent you). Also, don’t forget to thank the hundreds of volunteers to have helped collect, price, sell, and wrap your new treasures.


Event Logistics:

  • Sale hours are from 10am-4pm
  • The warehouse is located on the Oakland Estuary at 333 Lancaster Street, Oakland CA 94601.
  • Parking is limited, so we recommend taking the free shuttle from Fruitvale Bart or parking on the frontage road to the East Oakland side of Fruitvale Ave. and then following the abandoned train tracks back toward the warehouse.
  • Shoppers can pay for their White Elephant purchases using cash, checks with identification, debit cards and Visa, MasterCard and Discover credit cards. American Express cards are not accepted.
  • All sales are final. Items are sold “as is? and returns or exchanges are not allowed.

How to Travel Europe By Train


Traveling by train is an excellent way to see Europe. You get to see more of the country than you would if you were flying from city to city. It’s also an excellent place to meet fellow travelers. A rail pass is often the best way to travel by train. Determining which rail pass is best for you is simply a matter of coming up with a travel plan.

Step 1

Plan your journey before you arrive in Europe. Most people tend to plan their journey beforehand, but this is particularly important if you intend to travel primarily by train. Decide what countries you want to visit, how long your journey will be for and how long you plan to travel through one specific country. You will also need to decide whether you will be traveling by rail continuously, or if you will generally stay in one location for several days.

Step 2

Determine which kind of pass you require. There are two types of rail passes that you can purchase for travel in Europe. One is designed for European residents for travel throughout Europe except for the country of residence. This is the Interail pass. The other is designed for all other overseas visitors and is called the Eurail pass. Depending on where you want to travel to, passes range from a pass that covers just one country to a Global pass, which covers six or more countries. You will also need to choose between a consecutive pass, which covers several consecutive days of travel, or a flexi-pass, which is good for a certain amount of travel days within a certain period, e.g. three days of travel in a one-month period.

Step 3

Order your pass or tickets. Passes are typically 20 percent more expensive when you purchase a pass in country, so it is much cheaper to buy it beforehand.

Step 4

Check train schedules. It is an excellent idea to purchase a copy of the “Thomas Cook European Rail Timetable,” which can be found at Rail Europe offices and also at bookstores in Europe. Otherwise you will have to check timetables at the railway stations or online at the Rail Europe website. Remember that a high-speed train or an overnight train does require a reservation, which will usually cost extra.

Step 5

Validate your pass at any railway station. On your first day of travel, take your pass to the ticket office and have them activate it. You will need to bring proof that you are not a resident of that country, such as a passport.