Posts related to 4. International
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17 November 2015 - It’s not IS we should fight against – it’s obscurantism
After having published a post yesterday (No more bombs) arguing that the West won’t win peace by dropping more bombs and should instead fight against inequality and injustice, Chris, a follower of Making Sense of Things on Facebook asked if we had “any advice for what people should do to counter [the Islamic State]? Or should it just be allowed to continue? They won’t allow a diplomatic solution, as they believe any negotiation is sacrilegious, let alone voting?” This question is very relevant indeed. How can we negotiate with IS if we can’t even talk with them?
I understand that throwing 20 bombs at the Islamic State, like the French warplanes reportedly did two days after the Paris attacks, sounds the right thing to do. It feels good, we get … Read the rest
16 November 2015 - No more bombs
I now live in Australia but I’m French. I’ve lived several years in Paris where many of my friends and family members still live. Two of the attacks occurred in the same street where by my best friend lives. His partner’s sister was enjoying drinks with her friends in one of the restaurants were so many people got killed on this tragic Friday the 13th. Luckily she survived.I was touched by the outpour of solidarity I have received, my warmest thanks to you all. I read lots of articles and watched heaps of media about the Paris attacks. Yet, I started quite rapidly to feel uncomfortable at the world’s focus on this latest wave of terrorist attacks. I’ve lived and worked in countries where such violence is a daily fact of life, including in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Kenya and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. … Read the rest
25 July 2014 - Galápagos Islands: remarkable yet preoccupying
We enjoyed last Christmas on the Galapagos Islands, giving ourselves the soulful gift of connecting with nature. We felt incredibly blessed to be in such a unique place on this remarkable planet of ours as animals approached us unguarded, unafraid of humans and as curious about us as we were of them. We wondered at the unique giant tortoises, tame sea lions and abundant bird life.
Our visit was bitter sweet though, as we noticed the effects of tourism and the swell in population on the islands. We wondered if we should really be there, contributing in that way. Locals profess that tourism funds conservation and research but I couldn’t help feel that there would be greater conservation if we didn’t go there at all. My heart felt burdened as I contemplated the magnitude of destruction humans have unleashed on this planet, even in protected areas like this.
People flock … Read the rest
03 April 2014 - Bolivian Story: Felipe Ballon
I have known Felipe Ballon since very soon after our arrival in La Paz but most of my time was spent with him in his car! Felipe is the taxi-driver hired by the NGO I used to work with, so we would frequently spend the hour long trip to/from the airport discussing Bolivia and its intriguing contradictions. As a taxi-driver I particularly enjoyed his punctuality – even when he had to pick me up from the airport at 3 am – and as a friend I enjoyed learning from him as he shared his perspectives on Bolivian society. So, Carly and I were really happy when he accepted to spend a couple of hours with a good coffee to do this interview. Pacena/os, you will learn lots about the intricacies and politics of public transport in La Paz! 🙂
Can you please tell us who you are?
I was born … Read the rest
29 January 2014 - Bolivian Story: Pablo Antelo
One day, whilst volunteering at vegan restaurant, Red Monkey, I met Pablo Antelo. He had been asked to help out in the kitchen for the day since the chef/owner of Red Monkey was a little tied up with welcoming his baby girl into the world. That day I was so surprised and happy to see this young man, laid back but enthusiastic, never idle, taking initiative and working hard. He impressed me. I loved his attitude.
I told him about my friends who were opening a wine bar, called Hallwright’s, which would be showcasing Bolivian produce. I explained that they had asked me to make some products for their platters like dips, gluten free crackers and chutneys – things I usually make at home that they had enjoyed. I asked him if he’d like to help me, eventually making it his business since I would be leaving Bolivia … Read the rest
14 January 2014 - Fascinating wildlife in the Pampas, Bolivia
Back in July 2013 we stepped off our very small (capacity of 12) Amazonas plane onto a dusty rustic runway and into the warm, thick, humid air of the tropics with our friends, Edouard and Laeticia – a mere 45 minute flight from La Paz but seemingly another world. The plane had landed at Rurrenabaque, a town just on the edge of the Amazon basin and the gateway to The Pampas. A few hours in the back of a truck and then another few hours journey in a low, long, wooden boat through muddy waters filled with caiman, the banks lined with capybaras and the trees overflowing with monkeys, we arrived at a rustic eco lodge of elevated wooden walkways by the river.
We spent 3 days at the lodge, each day exploring different parts of the Yacuma river and surrounding area. Small bats fluttered in and out of our … Read the rest
01 April 2013 - Reconnecting at the Lazy Dog Inn in Peru
When we arrive at the Lazy Dog Inn near Huaraz in Peru, we feel like we are coming home. Not only do Diana and Wayne run the eco-lodge like their family home welcoming guests, but for us, the way the way they run the property and engage with the neighbouring communities is exactly as we would like our home to be. Following is a little video we have made to share some of our photos with you this unique place; it’s our first time creating such a video, so feedback is welcome… we hope you also enjoy the jazz! We provide more information and pictures about the Lazy Dog Inn beneath the video.
When arriving, we were first stunned by the surrounding Cordillera Blanca mountain range, then welcomed by four friendly dogs and given a hot beverage in a comfortable homely lounge-room by the fire place. We soon felt we … Read the rest
29 August 2012 - Back on line… we have now settled in Bolivia!
It’s been a long time, hey?
Well, Carly and I have had many (nice!) changes in our life lately… We are actually writing this post from La Paz, in Bolivia, where we’ve moved in to our new home. So after more than two years of living from a couple of backpacks, we’ve now settled down for few years… These last two years have been beautiful though, and certainly worth every penny! Spending time with family and friends, building cob houses and natural building in Southern France, volunteering in a farm in Palestine, learning permaculture in Jordan, working in Yemen, Haiti and Central America, hang gliding in Grenoble, celebrating a friend’s wedding in Honfleur, hiking and camping around Switzerland… We feel so grateful for this amazing year and all the incredible people we have met along the way :).
“Great, you may say, but why settling down in Bolivia?”.
Bolivia is … Read the rest
19 November 2011 - Aquaponics – eFISHient food production in Palestine
Aquaponics in the West Bank
During our stay at Bustan Qaraaqa in Palestine, we have been lucky enough to volunteer one day a week with Phil and Lorena from Byspokes on aquaponic systems (their website is where the following information comes from). Aquaponics is a combination of aquaculture, which is growing fish in water, with hydroponics, which is growing plants in a liquid. Since they arrived in the West Bank in July 2010 they have been researching, developing and trialing the FIRST EVER aquaponic system constructed behind the Wall!
They have been developing integrated aquaculture/irrigation systems and aquaponic systems to enhance food security in rural areas of Palestine, where as much as 44% of the population are chronically food insecure. In general, water and space for agriculture here are in short supply, and this is nowhere more apparent than in high density urban areas such as refugee camps. … Read the rest
26 October 2011 - The politics of olive harvesting in Palestine
We are currently staying at Bustan Qaraaqa in Palestine and just happen to be here during olive harvest season… we are also here during an interesting time because of the Shalit Deal, where Israel swaps one Israeli soldier for 1027 imprisoned Palestinians… so, how do we link olives with the Shalit Deal??
Well, ironically, the olive leaf is a symbol of abundance, glory, wisdom, fertility, pureness and peace… but here people are oppressed, getting their olive groves and rain water cisterns destroyed by Israel as the natural water resources are monopolised (on average Israelis have access to 4 times as much water as Palestinians). People’s ability to sustain themselves is being taken away from them. In the past every self respecting family in Palestine would produce their own olive oil but now many are shifting to buy their oil as access to their land is taken away and their trees … Read the rest