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Nº 122 – Emission-free cooking and baking: for free and outdoors

Saturday the 15th of January 2022. It happened in 2016 and in 2018, then again in 2020 and once more now in 2022: every other year Faro hosts a meeting of the International Community of the Friends of Solar Cooking and Baking, by the name of CONSOLFOOD. This time the meeting is taking place between Monday 24 January and Wednesday, 26 January, and this time under the conditions of a global pandemic the event is held online at www.consolfood.org. Many people in developing countries still burn wood, charcoal or even rubbish on open fireplaces for cooking. The reason they do …

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Nº 121 – Empathy

Saturday 8th January 2022. Our dear friend, Bal Krishna, is dead. Bal just made it into the new year, before dying in the evening of the first day of 2022 at Portimao hospital where he’d already had to spend nearly three weeks. We are mourning a great, sensitive human being with a big heart. Whenever I visited him I felt accepted. Generous, modest and humble, he  often reminded me of the great Mahatma Gandhi. He loved to go swimming in the Atlantic sea at crack of dawn. A quiet and calm man, he was a pioneer in lending his calling …

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Epilogue – In the South: Journeying on foot

One early morning on my Algarve trail I keep thinking about a dream, a story I‘d still like to tell here. The dream is about a group of young people who in their village along the trail start planting a small tree, then a second, a third… They agree that every day they will plant another tree together along the trail’s edge, so that those still young trees may, one fine day day in the future, when these trees have grown to be tall and strong, provide shade and offer up free fruit to their children and their children’s children. …

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A New Home in Salir

It’s a small house with two bedrooms in a quiet valley. Casa da Avó, which was once a ruin, comes together with a small permaculture area, the sheep Debbie, two chickens, and a sense of a “green” mission undertaken  by Margarida Almeida and João Spencer, a couple who found their “paradise” here in 1996.   Margarida (and João) used to live in Lisbon. How did you find this place, in Salir, here in the midst of nature? João was born in Mozambique, I was born in Brazil. My father was a traveling salesman, who was in partnership with an Italian …

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“What I really like is versatility…”

Versatility is one of his favourite words, almost as if he believes that, once we have come into the world, we are ready for anything, for whatever the Universe wants to put in-front of us. That is why, from writing for a newspaper, where he spent nine years as a translator, Igor Duarte has moved into the hotel business and spent five years at the reception desk of a hotel. Today he dedicates body and soul to a new challenge: the kitchen of the A Villa restaurant in Salir. In this restaurant run by Mónica Matias, his sister-in-law, it is …

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In the South: Journeying on foot
DAY 1 – Thirst – an unexpectedly great one

DAY 1 – Thirst – an unexpectedly great one

On a Sunday in October in this warm and dry year, at the tail end of a summer that shows no signs of wanting to end, I pull the door shut behind me, lock it, shoulder my backpack and start walking east, with my dog for company. I‘ve taken a week‘s time out for myself: a week with no computers, a life without Internet. In reality I want to take the track starting right behind my house, a trail leading into nature or, well, what is left of it after the great forest fire of 2018. After a few kilometres …

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Nº 109 – Reality

Saturday 9th October 2021. Who actually determines our future? Children pass through different stages in their lives where the future becomes an everyday reality: it becomes their normality. But what becomes of our dreams? Who actually gets to realise their dreams and how do they go about this? We come into this world and are taken to a nursery, then we are put into school, maybe go to university too, and of course we are issued with report cards, pass exams, do our best to ride the learning curves that only adolescents are subjected to. What are they really learning, …

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Nº 105 – Minimising the Risk of Forest Fires.
An essay by Uwe Heitkamp

Saturday 18th September 2021. By now every serious democratic candidate has been given the chance to air their views on the forest fires in a 30-minute unscripted interview. Their replies to the question of what they are intending to do to break the cycle of forest fires in Monchique, or to stop them altogether, makes it look as if they didn’t really have a solution in mind. José Chaparro, Bruno Estremores, João Duarte and Paulo Alves are the four candidates who all want to become mayor, and all of them still have a real chance to make this happen. Unless …

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My World Tour
Ten steps into a different world

Step One: Learn to cook vegetarian food… So here I am sitting at the breakfast table, set with bread, butter, cheese, an egg – just the way we’re used to in a hotel – the cup of coffee, the orange juice, the granola mix. I’m thinking back to the previous evening and trying to put myself in the place of a meat eater told that as from the next day there would be no more meat for them, no more sausages. For ethical reasons, say, or because the climate is out of kilter. Everything is at stake, I’m told. If …

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Time is money?

Humans always want more: more technology, more comfort, more consumption, more money. Their lifestyle throws up many unanswered questions. What is happening in the fields, the forests, the streets, the cities, the workplaces, the schools and universities? Humans shirk from concrete responses and decisions. Humans carry on, just like their machines, as if these questions – what is inside their food, their clothing, their medication? – weren’t relevant. Has industrialisation poisoned them and their Earth? How clean is the groundwater, the air they breathe? Does their lifestyle stand in the way of further development? Should Humans not simply switch off …

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