The Great Green Wall

It has come to my attention something I had no idea it existed.

It is called the African Great Green Wall. Basically, more than 10 nations in Africa have come together in planting this huge forest that will stop the growth of the Sahara, making the limits available for people to actually live in without suffering from the harshness of the desert.

Originally, it was meant to involve the planting of a 15 km wide transcontinental forest belt running from Dakar to Djibouti.

Can you imagine? A gigantic wall made of trees and forestation? This means farming, restoration of habitats and creation of new ones. It would protect the current water resources that are so scarce due to the desertification of the area…. The co-operation between nations… it really is something to be looked at. 

The countries involved are:

Burkina Faso, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan and Cha – all Sahelo-Saharan states

You are more than welcome to read more about it here: 

http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2011/feb/25/great-green-wall-sahel-desertification

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Green_Wall

 

I want this to happen!

Claudia

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Still on a sour note…

I have read a pretty good article about depression in The Guardian today.

In my family there are people who, unfortunately, touched by this illness. On the upside, no, I do not really understand it, as it is not my disease. I do not carry the heavy burden, but I have seen it and what it does to people. Sadly, it transforms you into this person that can no longer see the good in them. They see no reason to leave the bed. They don’t see how much we miss them, only how much pain they are causing us. I have seen it in my mother, in my aunts and uncles, in my friends…..

Depression has become an ordinary word nowadays. There is a difference between feeling sad or powerless for a few hours or days – sometimes weeks! – to be actually depressed. This does not go away. It is subdued by medication, yes. It can be hidden behind smiles and loud talking. But it is there. And in the moments when your thoughts are with yourself, they just aren’t good. 

Anyway, here are some of the bits I have liked:

“However, despite the tremendous amount of love and admiration for Williams being expressed pretty much everywhere right now, there are still those who can’t seem to resist the opportunity to criticise, as they do these days whenever a celebrated or successful person commits suicide. You may have come across this yourself; people who refer to the suicide as “selfish”. People will utter/post phrases such as “to do that to your family is just selfish”, or “to commit suicide when you’ve got so much going for you is pure selfishness”, or variations thereof.

If you are such a person who has expressed these views or similar for whatever reason, here’s why you’re wrong, or at the very least misinformed, and could be doing more harm in the long run(…)”

“(…) Depression is a genuine debilitating condition, and being in “a bit of a funk” isn’t. The fact that mental illness doesn’t receive the same sympathy/acknowledgement as physical illness is often referenced, and it’s a valid point. If you haven’t had it, you don’t have the right to dismiss those who have/do(…)”

You can read the whole article here: www.theguardian.com/science/brain-flapping/2014/aug/12/robin-williams-suicide-and-depression-are-not-selfish

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Please stay safe. Happy thoughts your way and don’t despair. If listening is all we can do, then by God, we will!

Love,

Claudia

 

 

 

O Captain, My Captain

2014 has not been an easy year for my fellow celebrities.

No, this year already three people (well, there were many others, but to each their own) that I looked upon have passed away.

The one on everybody’s heart and mind today is, off course Robin Williams. There are two movies that I will always carry in my heart: ‘Good morning Vietnam’ and ‘The Dead Poets Society’.

I know, I know, he was mainly a comedian and a family movies actor, but I have, by far, watched more times Good Morning Vietnam, than all the other comedies together.

Another one was one of my favourite writers: Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I liked his books so much I have a few in Spanish, even though my Spanish is basically Portuguese with an accent.

Lastly: Philip Seymour Hoffman. I was so unbelievably sad when I heard about his passing. His movies, his acting, for me they are precious.

What strikes me the most is, every time an actor or musician or writer dies I think: wow, they will not live forever. I mean, I know that, and I know their work will be around for us to see, but people are actually going to pass away. I got to start paying attention to all these new people!!!

Anyway, I have attached pictures of people that I like and have perished this year.

Stay well, stay loved.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Philip Seymour Hoffman

Robin Williams

Tommy Ramone

Harold Ramis

Claudia

Has it really been this long?

Apparently yes. I was just checking and my last post was in November.  November!
So, let me apologise in advance because I can feel it is going to be one of those posts where I ramble and ramble and loose my point,  but hey, a writing space is a free space, right?
So, if today you are waiting to read about some awesome trip I have made, I’m sorry, but you will be disappointed.

As it has almost been a year – time really goes fast once you realise the world is happening – I will do a small review of what has happened so far.
It all started when my laptop caught on fire and, apart from my phone, I was cut from the online world. Yup, you try and write a post from  your phone….
Anyway,  during all this time I did not fly home for Christmas and work instead.  Again. Had my first serious New Year’s eve. Cocktails, a show and work the next day. Did not enjoy that.
Flew to Portugal. My (now) boyfriend came to visit Porto and fell I  love with it and a I fell even more in love with him. Saw my friends. Hugged my family.  Walked Wrinkle and reminded her she is my baby. Took her to the beach and let the fisherman feed her and pet her – maybe I should specify she is a dog and not a person, ah!
While I might have gained love, I did loose my gallbladder and three 1.5mm stones. But all okay now. All healthy and able to eat!

Moved out of  my house. Moved in to another house with him. Went with him to Ireland. Drove around all week. I had been to Ireland before. But hit the tourist spots – Dublin,  County Wicklow….
Not this time though. Republic of Ireland all the way. County Wexford, Waterford,  all south of Ireland. And it was beautiful.
I will make a separate post dedicated to it.

Was told ‘I love you’ for the first time and it actually meant something to me. Told him I loved him too.
Went to the London Transport Museum. Went to the Royal Airforce Museum. Cried about Gaza.  Bought a bycicle and I’m still waiting for it to arrive.
Went to Greenwich Park. Stood between two time zones. Got myself a tablet and ditched my Ipad.
Decided to start writing again. And now here I am. Trying out this mobile device. Trying to fit a whole year in mere sentences so not to bore you.

This year was a big year. A lot of changes. Lifestyle changes. Maybe professional changes ahead as well. It has been challenging. Fun. And even though I am kind of on a hype due to this new found love and all, I could not be more thankful for all that has happened. The good and the bad. I feel like the last three years have been the more challenging and the biggest personal and professional changes have all happened at once and I am doing my best to cope with all of it. So far, in the grand scheme of things, I am proud. I am happy. I feel like I have been – and maybe still am- in he’ll,  but it has been a journey with a lot of important milestones and pit stops for recovery and battery charging. And for that, I am thankful.

I hope all of you have had a great year since I was last here. I hope you have travelled and listened to good music. I hope you have told some one you love them. I hope someone loved you. I hope you had good food. I hope your health is fine and, if it’s not, hang in there. I hope you still sticking to your hobbies ( whatever they are) and most of all, I hope you have laughed.

Love,
Claudia
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