Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Joyful moments ...

I hadn't yet looked at the very few photographs I had taken over Christmas and the New Year, once there was an impending medical result we were waiting for then that somehow set the tone during those festivities, whether we wanted to or not, but as I was looking through those yesterday realised that despite the circumstances there were some joyful moments both at my mother's and Carina's.
Cats in both households seem to be the ones who apparently didn't "care"...



Monday, 26 January 2015

On Forbidden lessons in a Kabul guesthouse by Suraya Sadeed

As a young adolescent and particularly when I was living in a boarding school of nuns I studied at we were often handed books on Missions in Africa and other war-torn countries and whenever I read those and what some of the women and men who were on those missions had to go through to either bring comfort or whichever was necessary I used to feel tremendously inspired by what they were doing but also encouraged to do something similar one day and devote my life to others in an unconditional way.
I ended up doing or attempting to do none of that until my eldest daughter unexpectedely passed way and I felt an undescribable urge to overcome a certain inner emptiness (how can something void be so painful) her untimely death brought about ... and I am in no way saying I was not happy with what I still had - all of those around me. The more I read about people who make a difference in people's lives the more I realise that there are quite a few, whose "spiritual journeys" are tied to loss and the need to get through what can be described as painful mourning processes and overcome those in a positive way - as if losing can be transformed into giving ...
"I needed to go to a land of pain and learn how people survived their losses - and by doing so I might learn how to deal with my own trauma dna mend my own hurt" - is what the author of this incredible book said to herself following the loss of her loving husband and upon having embarked on a risky journey to her homeland, Afghanistan, where she ended up making a huge difference in people's lives, especially ones of young adolescent women.


I can't help feeling now that I have finished reading the book that despite the fact that project I have launched in Cape Verde is not comparable to the one Suraya Sadeed is committed to in her homeland, and even if the conditions are totally different there are common aspects, particularly the one which has to do with them both having been launched following loss,  the loss of a beloved one.

"Sadeed's story is gripping and deeply inspirational. The book is a testament to the power of determination, advocating battling extremism with education and investing in human resources as opposed to military actions."


Sunday, 25 January 2015

Bristol (Day 3 afternoon and Day 4 morning) - Clifton Suspension Bridge and on the way to the airport - The 17th and 18th of January 2015

It started raining as we left the ferry and it looked as if it might get worse at any moment, so we headed back to the hotel area to decided on what we would be doing next, though we had in mind to go up to the Clifton area to be able to get (at least) a glimpse of the Clifton suspension bridge.

It did get worse but we still hopped onto a bus that dropped us off at Victoria square from where we made our way through the Clifton village, having had to shelter ourselves twice (in two Oxfam shops, where we ended up buying a few things) before we reached the bridge.
I don't know if it was because it was rather dark or because I had set too high expectations but Clifton bridge fell under my expectations. We didn't make it to the Observatory hill due to the pouring rain and as I was beginning to get uncomfortable with it it stopped abruptly while we were walking down towards Hotwells.

Though it felt as if we were in the outskirts of nowhere we still managed to come across some interesting street paintings before we reached the bookshop close to the hotel area where we bought some more books and CDs.

Despite the fact that most people we had spoken to before going on the Bristol trip seemed to have found nothing special in the city and had strongly advised us to fly somewhere else instead we did enjoy the city and actually fell for it. Had we had more time and we would have done a lot more, particularly because there were some churches we had wanted to visit, which we didn't and an area we missed entirely.

We had to be at the airport by midday so (calmly) made our way to the bus station to get on the bus that would take us there not without taking one last picture of the inspiring statue of Burke (wish our members of Parliament felt the same way ...).


Saturday, 24 January 2015

Bristol (Day 3 - early afternoon) - On the way to Spike island - along Spike island's shore - The 17th of January 2015

We made our way back to the hotel area before having decided to venture onto the Spike island. The weather seemed to be changing but despite being a lot chillier than it was early in the morning it hadn't started to rain as it had been forecast.

We walked up to the vicinity of Oporto Quay, where we had to get on a small ferry boat (with space for about 8 to 9 people) that would take us across on what ended up being a two minute ride.
We then walked along its shore overlooking Hotwells, whose colourful house looked quite nice from the distance. Although there seemed to be nothing rather special  on the island we somehow felt the cool maritime breeze had made a difference in our quite inner city oriented weekend and we ended up enjoying the two hour walk. 

Right before getting back onto the ferry we unexpectedly sighted one of the most recent Banksy paintings (his version of the well known Vermeer's painting), which we had missed on our arrival to the island and that alone added something special to our "adventure".


Bristol (Day 3 - early morning cont.) - Street Art on Quay Street - The 17th of January 2015

We walked towards the city centre, more precisely along the Quay street so as to photograph some of the street Art paintings we hadn't been able to photograph the previous day because it was already too dark. Some of them were huge because of having been done for the "See no Evil", whilst some of the others were either used to conceal works in progress on the streets or were themselves concealed in tunnels.

Nick Walker's monumental mural from "See no evil".

El Mac's piece from "See no evil".

Mural painting by the Spanish artist Azyz.