domingo, 23 de mayo de 2010


Today is the second entry I write in Edinburgh.
I am totally fond of this city by now... I am wondering what I was doing all these years that I was not here... Well, I kind of do know, but still... and of course, in a way, it would not have been what it is without the rest that was not so great. In particular, my previous two months in South Africa made a huge differnce, and they have in a way made me appreciate much more my relationship with Europe. I have been here 6 weeks today and I can recall so many good moments already. But I have a moment to write about this dinner of today, after a long pleasant shift serving tables in the racecourse in Perth town, and came back under the Scottish summer sunset, to arrive home and find two very friendly Ethiopian friends about to cook Ethiopian food with injira bread, and guess what, I ate with my hands :) And so there is this special African connection, and what followed, and what we talked that makes me so much of who I am. It's my links with Africa, which I never want to miss.
And it rememinds me of my striving to be there, to be always there, and to always delay to be there, because before that, there is something much more important that needs to be done, and it needs to be done now.

jueves, 6 de mayo de 2010

Is it because on some level, we were not worth saving ourselves?

This is the closing line of the person left to tell us the story that we never lived, when runaway climate change became real, and I wonder how I will feel then, when people starve, become refugees, not drinking water left, all massively. I wonder how I will feel, and if I felt I could have done more, perhaps much more. Nothing is getting done, nothing at all. Surprise, surprise, it's human nature. But that's gonna take us out of this planet, and it's not good enough. It's not an excuse. It's not an excuse. It's never an excuse. Humans have never ever made the right decisions when they had to. That resulted in wars, famine, slavery, colonialism. But this time, this time everyone will suffer. And I wonder. Is that the end, or the beginning? Consciousness, stewardship, there is no unity without a planet.

jueves, 1 de abril de 2010

A little tear to flood the ocean

A little tear to flood the ocean
I am stepping on this continent, and I don’t know for how long
I see brighter than ever as I touch the end
So that it never ends
So that I return and swell through the ocean waves
Once again
Forever again
Everlasting steps over the horizon
Through the mountains and down to the valleys into the rivers
Something is missing
Maybe is me
Or it is all those smiles that were never yours
Those words unsaid, or stuck,
Or those words that hit walls
Bounced back
Hit hard
Cried to the stars
Mud is mud
and found me in Africa
Of everlasting walkways
Hidden underneath what I cannot see
The smiles, the dropped faces
The arms that cannot wave and the legs that cannot walk
The days I could not move
And then days I could but talk
Mud is all that I am covered with
Mud that is mud
And it’s what feeds the oceans
And boosts my blood

lunes, 1 de febrero de 2010

Cape Town

Bueno, ya llegué :) Estoy demasiado cansado para escribir las experiencias de hoy tranquilamente, así que me esperaré al desayuno de mañana :)

domingo, 31 de enero de 2010

31 de enero, Africa magnana

Esta mañana me desperté con la luz que entraba por la mañana. Todavía estaba cansado y he vuelto a la cama. Y me he vuelto a despertar y me ha llegado un mensaje al móvil. El cielo está totalmente despejado y entra mucha luz por la ventana. Era Denise diciéndome que va a venir a recogerme al aeropuerto. Y entonces la luz se ha vuelto más intensa aún, llenando toda la nieve que ha caído en Munich. Vuelvo a África, hoy... Hoy! Hoy! Y habrá alguien para recogerme :) No estoy en absoluto nervioso. He dormido bien y tranquilo, y me espera un desayuno sosegado con algunas risas. Hoy es un día muy feliz, aunque supongo que lo sentiré mucho más conforme pase el tiempo.

lunes, 21 de diciembre de 2009

Tren a París

Bueno, de vuelta a París. Este viaje empieza a acabarse, o quizás a no acabarse nunca. Quizás esto es sólo el principio. Tengo que abrir mi mochila y ver todas las tarjetas de los contactos que he conseguido, todos los nombre, direcciones, organizaciones, publicaciones, libros, mapas... Ordenar todas las ideas en mi cabeza.

I feel outraged. I have just realized I don't want to witness island nations go underwater in my lifetime. Our lifestyles sinks other people's homes. And to achieve this, carbon concentration in the atmosphere cannot go above 350ppm, or 1.5ºC. George Monbiot thinks the only way out at this point is to have a severe economic downturn worldwide in the next few years. Well, if oil prices go up quickly, there could be another economic crisis in a couple of years, and then another one soon later, and then maybe people would wake up and start considering changes in their lifestyle. I am all for education, but we don't have 50 years for values to develop in young people and children. We have very little time left.

I have for the first time understood how much my actions impact the environment. I have seen myself as part of the whole, my contribution, meaningful, "agencyful", in the things I do, the decisions I make. Seeing myself flying over what Al Gore calls the "thin layer that is atmosphere", and filling it up with carbon dioxide, like a cream in a birthday cake. This year I decided not to fly and thought my lifestyle would be jeopardized. But it hasn't. My standard of living has neither worsened nor made my life more difficult. It has in fact made my life more creative and happier indeed. And it has of course made me feel that I am doing as much as I can to get the things I believe in right. Still a long way to go. Respecting the ecosystems we live in is a matter of making the right decisions. A matter of not letting oil take over our lives with up and downs, econnomic downturns which cause so much human suffering, polluting the air, the soil and the water, driving wars of conquest and throwing human rights and all post-WWII conventions into the dustbin. Same with everything else. With commodity items such as plasma TVs, video machines, computers, greener cars whose production creates more carbon dioxide than the car will be able to safe in efficiency in its entire lifespan. And people believe in this things. I used to believe in them just two weeks ago. It's called green growth, and it's the most radical thing that the world is trying to pursue today. Anything but to change the system.

We inherited the system. It worked for as long as resources were plenty and the climate was stable, but the system is now driving itself out. But because humans are inherently so culturally inflexible, when things start going wrong we try to fix the problem at the tip of it, ie.: carbon becomes a problem for the biosphere and we create carbon markets, carbon credits, carbon offsets, which do fairly nothing to drive down emissions but create huge profits, now estimated at around 100 billion dollars. And who benefits? Big multinationals, where vulnerable people are once again left behind. Namely, one of the most important financial mechanisms in the Kyoto Protocol, the Clean Development Mechanism, only gives money to huge projects in developing countries. Rich nations pay the poor to stop them from developing the "dirty" enterprises they would otherwise create, while the former are allowed to continue emitting GHG as much as they want.

An on top of that are our souls, so concerned with acquiring material wealth that we have forgotten about the important things that this world brings us: talking, listening, singing, playing, sharing, caring, engaging, involving, respecting, encouraging... How much do they cost? Well, they are actually free. So the best things in life are free, and we are willing to pay a high price not to have them, the price of changing the climate, endangering our own existence, running around anywhere looking for the best offer, the best sale retail, the fastest two-day holiday to Berlin with Ryanair, the best beauty product to remain young and famous and successful... But getting old with no dignity is not advertised anywhere. We need a cultural shift, an emphasis in those things that are important, matters of the heart (Tracy Chapman), not matters of the wallet.

martes, 15 de diciembre de 2009

Copenhagen night

Yesterday was such a tiring day. I was in the Bella Center the whole day, shopping around, speaking with people, now that I have a clearer idea of what the big picture about climate change is. I waitied one hour in the cold to get into the venue. I could not believe how many people were there. I was actually luckly it took me "only" one hour. Some people queued for nine hours and could not get it at the end! I think there was a little bit of trouble and no explanations from nobody. This is surprising, the Danes have been very organized so far.

I saw Al Gore, and took a few pictures. Some people went crazy about it. There was a lady who tried to convince the security guards to let her in the packed room for like half an hour. I spent the day shopping for contacts, and I think I got a good outcome.

Then in the evening I went to this UWC meeting in the Danish office and had some interesting chats with friends of friends! (so typical). I got lost in the way there and in the way back... And finally met up with Ellie to have one of the most exciting nights of my life!

We headed to Christiania, which is a very alternative neighbourhood in Copenhagen, appartly it used to be a free state from Denmark. Everyone had told us to go there. When we were approaching the place, there were police tracks everywhere blocking the access to the barrio. There was a helicopter flying over! It was like an American movie! Broken grass on the road, and two cars drove back in an runaway manner. We waited for a while to see if the thing went down, but it only got worse. Ellie filmed some, and this Danish guy who had a camera filmed us for a while... Asked us questions about Denmark, COP15, Christiania... I felt like such a journalist! I tried to inform about the situation :-) I love being in front of the camera... It reminds me of the good old days :S

After a while we decided that was not gonna get better and we left the scene. Found a pottery shop in the way and the guy was working, so we knocked on the door and asked to go in. It was such a brilliant place, he makes really nice things, real craftmanship. He started as an apprentice in his twenties when he got fired from the bank he was working in and after he went to art school to apply it to his potery! It was a nice conversation, one of those I will remember, connected with the place and the moment I am living.

hey!! It was started snowing! :-)

The name of the place is Per Bo, and that is the name of the guy too :-). Highly recommended to any passers by! And got my Christmas presents!

Then we passed all this huge police trucks and dogs, and the helicopter!... At some point we heard things braking, and there was a crew all over the streers... Then the journslists arrived and when we got into a kebab place we saw everything on TV! The little Pharmacy with the unicorn we had seen in our way there was surrounded by policemen now.

Hence our little rap, The cop in the pot. That's what it's gonna be called :-)

And this morning I get up and my host tells me that she was trapped inside Christiania! The police had retained them inside and threw tear gas! She was really scared, and that went on for a few hours...

For some reason that is exactly what I was expecting from such a place, as alternative as you can get ;)