Friday, November 30, 2007

Thy oster - this keyboard doesnt have the letter after o so youll have to imgine the word i was trying to sell, i didnt sell that word wrong either

There is a new website that one of the volunteers here has created for the park, check it out

Its chilly here, a certain cartoon penquin would do quite well. Not cold like an NYC winter cold, but after strolling along in shorts and a t shirt on your troical island for aos long, even a little bit of a chill seems like chillier weather than it really is. We have been getting bombarded wiht food galor, from canceled site visits and from friendly vizinhus, and now that the corn season is upon us, we have been getting lots of ears of corn, because, behold, people grew more corn then they can use. It isnt Jersey sweet corn, and really, can anything compare wiht something from NJ, but its decent enough.

Our first eco club, Os Jovens unidos do Eco Clube, will have our first action this 5th by cleaning the two schools in Tarrafal. If you are in the nieghborhood, sto by for all the cleaning fun. And we have been contacted by students in Vila that they want an eco club all of thier own too, so thigns are looking good.

Just a quick little udate here, Ill get another one out in a week or two.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

23 Skidoo

Very slowly, move your eyes to the right…slowly. What you behold is one of the newest modern wonders of the world. To quote Quinness: This is the finest piece of craftsmanship, the most brilliant display of human intelligence, the single most beautiful object that expresses so much more than what the viewer sees at first, that to include it as part of the world records would dwarf all other records and render our services moot. End quote. I naturally am humbled, yet agree. I feel like its a dishonor calling it a poster, but this poster not only displays for children the rates of decomposition of common items in their lives, but expresses the inner desires of all mankind to join hands together to create a more hospitable world for all creatures. I said I wouldn’t cry…

Anywho, life has been humming along here quite nicely. It is still relatively warm during the days, but the nights have started to get a bit cooler which is nice as sometimes I forget that’s its normally winter. The sun rises and sets pretty much the same time too, around 6:30 ish. As evidenced above, I have been working with Community Development on making presentations for the environmental education aspect of their work. So far, I have made and given a presentation about eco clubs, and we are moving forward with that today actually, having a meeting for the students interested, well see what happens. Lixo is a big deal here, so hopefully it goes over well. I plan on making a contest for kids to collect these little plastic bags that are everywhere because the lojas sell frescina, little frozen treats that all the kids buy, and then throw the bags on the ground. So were gonna make a contest collecting them and then make soccer balls out of them. Next on my mighty list of presentations is global warming, which is most definitely affecting these little islands, sustainable living, which will be hard because by default most people live pretty sustainable, and more to come.

On the eco tourism front I have been doing more work in the EIA for the park, and gave a little presentation for the staff here about what it is, why we have to do it, and how we do it. The next step is to actually do it, and me thinks this will most likely be the hardest step.

For the past two weeks, we had a little War of Food going on. Nightly, one of two neighbors were coming to our house and giving us food. Mostly the food consisted of catxupa, or arroz ma fava inglesia, with the occasion batata or bobra. All good stuff, but we had a hard time eating it all before the next shipment arrived. Naturally, we wanted tot hank them, so we made some food for them. I made my world famous biscuits and sugar cookies, and Nate made his banana bread and cake. They liked it all.. and more food came. All the food would not, and really is not, a problem if we didn’t already have a bunch of vegetables sitting around starting to go bad. Lo, we have finally caught up and there has been a little lull in the food action. Speaking of food, we are going to have our own little Thanksgiving. Not sure whats being made, but I know there will be some mashed potatoes, biscuits ala me and sugar cookies ala me, some cake, and as always happens at there affairs, some type of meat.

And now, onto a little description of one aspect of life here, what do people do here for fun. If you are a child, and by that I men a young boy because girls do most of the work, you do one of several activities Play futebol, throw rocks at things or each other, chase one another around, build little toys cars out of empty montega containers, or if lucky, ride a bicycle. Little girls do house work and if lucky have some time to play with other little girls. Jovens do similar things as the little kids do, just with more vigor I suppose. They also do more work for the family such as harvest animal feed, or panhga, get fire wood, or manda depending on the time of year. Elder men will sometimes play futebol, but most often have to do the hard labor of collecting firewood, manda, getting animal feed. But they are rewarded with lots of time to rest in the shade and passea the day away.

The women aren’t as lucky as they have the bulk of housework to do, which includes cooking the meals, cleaning the house, washing the laundry [which can take a lot of time if you have a lot of clothes, doing it by hand is vigorous] along with helping in the fields. And women do not have the luxury of enjoying a cold brew after work as it is culturally frowned upon for women to drink in public.

Many people have small tv sets which run off antennas, and perhaps by many I mean a few. But lots of people who have tvs will watch the news and novellas each night, on Thursday nights is wide world of sports, and I think on Sunday afternoons that show English movies. The biggest thing to watch, naturally, are futebol games.

Most of the people know in Cachaço do not have a typical 9 -5 paying job, as those types of jobs are very scarce here. Most people rely on remittances sent home from family living and working abroad, and tend their farms and live their daily lives. I think everyone grows a lot of their own food which supplements them for part of the year. 90% of the food consumed in the country is imported as they can not grow enough for themselves. They main crops as I have mentioned before are corn, batata inglesia and batata doce, bobra and fava. There was little rain this year and as a result the crop yield is small, people have been saying that there is little corn this year. It should have been ready by now, but we have to wait more.

Well, I think that’s all for now. As always I welcome comments or suggestions and for people to send me stuff, like cliff bars or other vegan stuff. You would probably be as surprised as I was to learn that there isn’t a huge markets for vegan products here. Huh.

PS: I couldnt load the picture of my poster.