Anupma wrote to me this morning. She arrived back from the Mara and took a flight to Zanzibar in order to spend more of her “limited time” there. As a photojournalist she’d been asked to submit a story but had no idea of what was about to unfold.
“..it was insane here .. couldnt stop crying at the beach and it really hit me hard that I was the only “international media” (.. till the very end when 2 AFP photographers arrived) and the only one at the Maisara grounds .. I will be back to Africa. I feel I can be of more use here than anywhere else. I am off to Dar [es Salaam] by the ferry in an hour .. just been uploading, downloading, editing. writing, and watching this tragic event unfold.“
Anupma’s graphic album is here. Please view at your discretion.
Then came news from Lamu. The attack was too organised and well planned for it to have been anything but ransom-oriented. The fact the raid went ahead though when so many bodies were being pulled out of the sea further down the coast is just ……
Then came news from Nairobi where a pipeline spilled fuel into an open drain in the slum areas which was sparked by a cigarette innocently being thrown in.
As I type this Hurricane Katia’s tail is whipping through our Yorkshire dale, loudly and violently, while I read through the smallprint on the travel insurance policy I just took out. It could scare you enough NOT to travel!! But – no matter what life throws at you – hurricanes – man-made catastrophe – corruption – crime – they all pale in comparison to the power of altruism. Travelling the world carries risks like many other activities, but it also brings with it perspective, understanding and tolerance of cultures beyond our everyday life. Running the charity via my laptop, sat in an armchair, at home, I don’t normally get to experience things firsthand but Travel2Change, partnering with us, were kind enough to grant me that wish. Obrigada !
So right now I’m going through checklists and making preparations to lessen risks andwhat-ifs and before long I’ll be packed and on the plane, able to relax and enjoy the journey half way across the planet to Rio de Janeiro and then onto the smaller city of Belém on the banks of the Amazon estuary, northern Brazil, the capital of the state of Pará. This is the entrance gate to the Amazon, on the Pará River, part of the greater Amazon River system. View Map
Here the plan is to attend an educational workshop that aims to bring sustainable agro-ecological techniques to the riverside communities of Combú Island, increasing agricultural productivity with low environmental impact. Residents of the idyllic Ilha do Maracujá “Isle of Passion Fruit” and Parrot Island will also be in attendance.
A “Hanging Garden” will be constructed in a joint effort with community residents and we will also be assisting construction activities with local tradespeople to put in windows and a new bathroom in the Combú Centre. We have also begun collaborating with Brazil’sFundação Amazonas Sustentável who promote sustainable conservation and improvement of quality of life to communities living and using these protected areas in the Amazon.
I look forward to simply breathing in the air and taking in the humid atmosphere of nature truly at its finest. I also look forward to discussing how Brazil’s women have managed to reduce the entire country’s fertility rate – themselves – and how that GirlPower can be passed onto Kenyan women – infact women all across Africa and India and other developing countries – to do the same – easing their hardship and improving their lives and that of their communities. I look forward to dressing up, attending concerts with Diego and his family and friends, at least trying to match the elegance of the Brazilian women! I look forward to the food but overall I look forward to gaining the experience, taking photographs and videos and being able to share all that with you.