Manganese and snow.

One of my most pleasant daily  rituals  takes place each morning when I draw back   the curtains,  do a sweep  of the back fields for signs of animal life,  take a moment to enjoy the light conditions  and then the  all important weighing up of the weather.  Today I lingered longer than usual  to enjoy  the  light covering  of snow and its transforming beauty. Opening the  front curtains  revealed a quite  different view and perspective as  slow moving  vehicles  struggled with the  slight incline out of the village.

It reminded me of  how little control we have over  the effects of the weather;  for us  in Chipping it is merely  inconvenient but for a farmer in the North East Brazil the lack of rain and subsequent drought  is at the  top of the  list of ‘push factors’ attributed to the causes of rural depopulation.

Ironic when you remember that the North East sits on one of the largest aquifer in the world.   During  July we visited  the North East of Brazil and  saw the deprivation  caused by  drought.  But we also saw  an  interesting trial at the volunteer house where David one of the trustees with a background in water supply had devised a softening  process to remove  manganese from a local water supply and render it  fit to drink.

This trial is still going on and it would be great to talk with others who might be interested in sharing information and working together on a solution.

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Pacification: Brazilian Style

On Saturday morning  I waited  for the computer to warm up  and   enjoyed  the tranquillity and the views across  open  fields and woodland to the fells beyond and  was unprepared for Beth’s  report..

…yesterday when I came to the project, I noted that the community Fallet (flavella next to us) was completely silent and deserted. Not even the dogs barked! I thought the kids would not come to the project. The monitors called me saying they would not come to our meeting in the morning because the police were nearby. But later, roughly half of the children came to the project…

The police  are pursuing a programme called  “Pacification”.  Which in simple terms means that the police go into the  slums  with guns blazing  to battle it out with the drug dealers.

It is  sobering to realise that during our visit in July we met and got to know many of the  innocent adults and children that are  caught up  in the  violence.  But at the same time it is  inspirational to read of Beth’s  belief in people and her hope for the future.  It would be good to show Beth that people far away care about  her and the community.

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Cycle Marathon Total

Exceptional is the word  we are using to describe the level of support and sponsorship that  the ‘ Cycle Marathon ‘  attracted.    £1500.00 has now been transferred across  to the ‘Living & Learning’ project; money needed to pay overdue  staff salaries.

Thank you to all our  sponsors and supporters.

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Laptop reaches Helen.

The computer destined for Martin in Christino Castro was spotted waiting  patiently  for a bus to Kensington.  On arrival at the convent of the Assumption Sisters,  it was passed to Helen Granger who  co-ordinates the lay volunteer programme. It will continue its onward journey with Helen  and  should be in Martin’s possession  later this week.            We wish them both a restful and uneventful journey !

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