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.
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.
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.
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 !