on the drawing board
“If you can’t afford to pay your interns then you can’t afford to have them” (Anna Winston on BD)
This article in BD shows what I really like about working in the UK. It would be great if Ordem dos Arquitectos (and various portuguese architects) learned something from it
Este artigo do BD ilustra porque é que eu gosto de trabalhar no Reino Unido. Seria bom que a OA e vários arquitectos em Portugal o lessem.
Something that is very different from back home relates to people’s approach to charity. While in Portugal you have a few public fundraising for the main charities – which have specific dates throughout the year – most of the time is pretty much to each individual to do their bit for charities. Most people I know actually support a few charities by yearly donations or tax donations, but they don’t tell. In fact, is not common at all advertising it as people will see it as showing off rather than helping.
In the UK is the exact opposite. When it comes to public fundraising, almost every week you can find in your nearest tube people with a “bucket” (it reminds me of the ones I had at the beach), most of the time dressed in unusual outfits (chicken costume anyone?) asking for support to a specific charity. If you are not from here you may think it is a scam, as some of the charities even have funny names (and the chicken outfit doesn’t help) but it is not a scam and the outfits are mainly to catch your eye.
Besides this public fundraising, it is not unusual to attend events where silent auctions are being run or where, to take part, you pay more than the usual fee as the money will go to charity. These tend to be organized by big companies and are always quite fun to attend.
And then there are the “I’m doing something for charity” fundraisings, where the something can be anything from taking part in the marathon to skydiving. This type of fundraising I have never seen before, and I even thought it was a bit weird, a bit of showing off. Why are you advertising you are doing something, why not just give the money? This were my thoughts until I met a girl a few years ago that was sleeping one night on the street outside Kings Cross station to fundraise for a charity that helps homeless people. When she mentioned how much she raised, I realised that on her own she would only be able to give a small percentage of the total raised, but by asking friends, family and colleagues for sponsorship she could get more. And she did spend the night outside the station, but she was too scared to sleep.
I am now one of those people doing something for charity, as I will be taking part in the “Race for Life” from Cancer Research UK. I am very happy that I have almost reached my fundraising goal, as it feels like a commitment. And all the support I got so far also means that I cannot give up. And in a way you realise that, in this particular case, besides the fundraising their goal is to get you more active, as that helps reducing several medical problems. Is not as if by running you don’t get anything, but by changing a bit your lifestyle to incorporate activity you are improving your health in a general way. In the end, you are also doing it for yourself.
Next week is the London marathon. Probably one of the largest fundraising events in the UK, as most people, if not all, are running for a cause. Have a sneak peak at it if you have a chance and you will even find those crazy chicken outfits in the race. At first, as a foreigner, you may think they are a bit weird and crazy but then you realise that you actually remember them among the entire crowd of runners (and you may even remember the charity name they are wearing).
|Como já vem sendo hábito, podem ver as fotografias aqui. Para quem tem paciencia, é continuar a ler para saber como foi a nossa viagem.A caminho da Indonésia fizemos uma pausa de 10 horas em Singapura, onde aproveitámos para reencontrar família e ver as vistas. Saímos de Londres com neve e, umas horas depois, estávamos a aterrar em mais de 30 graus e qualquer coisa como 80% de humidade. Foi um choque um bocado grande mas ainda assim deu para ver que Singapura parece saída da TV. Um sítio limpo e organizado, onde toda a gente sorri. Um pouco plastificado demais se compararmos com a confusao típica de outros países Asiáticos que já visitei, especialmente porque a maioria dos edifícios tem menos de 20 anos.
De Singapura seguimos para Bali, onde alugámos uma casa para os primeiros dias e daí fomos explorar o interior de Bali, visitar templos e comer pato fumado (o prato tradicional). Os edifícios tradicionais de Bali sao extremamente interessantes e tenho pena de nao ter podido visitar um dos pátios tradicionais. Mas a verdade é que sem conhecer os moradores, tem-se a sensacao de estar a entrar em propriedade privada. Os templos hindus de Bali sao uma mistura de pátio Chines, ornamento Indiano e pintura Tailandesa. Pelo que percebi, era época de um festival e todas as ruas estavam decoradas e muitos templos estavam em festa. Terminámos o dia num templo em cima duma falésia onde um macaco quase atacou o Sun por uma macaroca de milho assada na brasa.
De Bali seguimos para Flores e passámos os dias seguintes em Kanawa, uma pequena ilha rodeada de corais com 20 cabanas na praia. A ilha nao tem água fresca nem agricultura, portanto tudo é trazido de barco diariamente e só há electricidade 3 horas por dia, o que implica um certo racionamento e bom senso. Com tudo isto, acabámos por ter um horário de galinha e muitas sestas depois de almoco, quebradas apenas pelo passarito que insistia em cantar mesmo ao lado da minha cabeca.
Com os corais e águas transparentes, snorkel (quem souber a palavra portuguesa é favor dizer) é a actividade mais provável. Apesar da ideia ser boa e de me dizerem que já tinha visto o Nemo, eu nao gostei nada da experiencia de ouvir a minha respiracao debaixo de água.
Na manha seguinte fomos até aos mangues, onde nos disseram que havia tubaroes bebé. Eu vi logo dos tipos de alforreca diferente e decidi ficar a apanhar sol. No entanto, quando decidi ir dar um mergulho rápido nem queria acreditar. Ali mesmo ao pé de mim estava um tubarao com pouco mais de meio metro. Fui a correr buscar a máscara para tentar ver melhor mas quando voltei ele tinha desaparecido. Decidi entao juntar-me ‘a familia nos mangues onde estavam 10 tubaroes de pontas negras bebé em água que me dava pelas canelas. Foi fantástico ver aqueles tubaroes todos, e compensou as picadas de alforrecas com que todos viemos para casa.
Fomos depois passar um dia de barco, com a primeira paragem em Rinca para ver os dragoes de Komodo que habitam a ilha. Ainda estávamos no barco quando doi guardas florestais se aproximaram e apresentaram como os nossos acompanhantes na ilha. Descobrimos que umas semanas antes um guarda tinha sido atacado e que poderiamos apenas fazer o circuito mais pequeno. Comecámos entao a nossa caminhada de uma hora ao pé da cozinha do parque onde nos deparámos imediatamente com 5 dragoes adultos. Pelo que nos explicaram, os dragoes cheiram a comida e aproximam-se na esperanca de ser alimentados. Apesar de nunca ninguém lhes dar comida eles veem sempre, especialmente quando o prato do dia é peixe ou carne (parece que nao sao dados aos vegetais). Os dragoes sao assustadores, especialmente quando se ve um a caminhar na nossa direccao com cara de poucos amigos e só depois percebemos que ele estava a tentar afastar outro dragao. Durante a caminhada no parque vimos apenas mais um búfalo e um dragao jovem, escondido debaixo de uma árvore ‘a espera de presa. ‘A saída encontrei uma Espanhola cheia de medo a perguntar se era seguro. “Sim, desde que nao te afastes dos guardas”, que mais lhe podia dizer? Ainda estou para saber se ela foi ou nao…
O resto do dia foi passado a fazer snorkel na ilha de Penga e no mar alto a ver mantas. Tendo em conta o meu desconforto com a máscara optei por ficar no barco onde vi as mantas a passar por baixo (a outra desculpa é que só havia 5 máscaras para 6 pessoas). Fiquei contente de saber que todos eles acabaram de maos dadas dentro de água tal era o medo.
Ao fim do dia fomos ver um grupo de morcegos a comecar o dia e, no regresso a Kanawa com uma lua cheia tao grande que nao se viam estrelas consegui ver os corais debaixo do barco. Isto apenas por uns segundos até ouvir um berro e o barco parar. Parece que o capitao se desorientou e estávamos em risco de perder o motor. Gracas a uma longa cana de bambu e o meu foco da loja da libra lá voltámos a Kanawa a tempo de jantar uma pizza (o gerente da ilha é italiano).
Ao fim de 3 dias de praia mudámos de ares para Ende, no interior de Flores, de onde partimos para uma viagem de carro de dois dias e milhoes de curvas com o Sandhy e a sua aparelhagem que ocupava a mala da carinha toda (os nossos sacos iam amarrados ao tejadilho).
A primeira paragem foi no vulcao de Kelimutu, que tem tres crateras com lagoas de cores diferentes. Conta a lenda que as almas dos mortos de flores vao para os lagos, e é por isso que eles mudam de cor. Quando lá fomos um lago era azul, outro turquesa e outro vermelho escuro.
O resto da viagem foi com paragens numa praias de areia vulcanica com pedras azuis, numa aldeia tradicional com casas de babmu e telhados de colmo, um banho em águas termais e preparacoes para a Páscoa.
Conhecemos pessoas extremamente simpáticas que fumavam cigarros com especiarias e que ao nos conhecerem entoavam cancoes de filmes indianos ou mostravam o seu conhecimento de futebol portugues.
Quanto ao alojamento, foi sempre em sítios simples mas imaculados. Comemos panquecas de fruta e café forte ao pequeno almoco e Masakan Padang ao almoco e jantar. Ao longo da estrada faziamos pausas para comer Bakso e ao fim do dia um pouco de Arak acelarava o descanso.
Apesar de todas as viagens de barco e as curvas e contracurvas da viagem de carro consegui nao enjoar a viagem toda. Isto foi um recorde!
|As usual, you can jump straight to the photos by clicking here. But if you want to know our adventures keep reading.On the way to Indonesia, we had a 10 hour stopover in Singapore, where we met some family and walked around for a bit. Leaving London with snow and waking up some hours later to 30 degrees and high humidity was quite a shock. Singapore seems like a place out of TV, where everyone seems happy and everything is clean and orderly. To me, it lacks the olfactory chaos of other Asian countries I had been to as well as history. As you walk around you see that most buildings are less than 20 years old…
We flew to Bali from Singapore where we rented a house for the first days. We spent a day exploring the interior of Bali – visiting temples and eating smoked duck, which is the local delicacy.
Bali buildings are extremely interesting and I would have loved to be able to visit the courtyards, but without knowing any locals, it would feel like trespassing. The temples – Hindu – have specific dress codes and rules for visitors. The temple styles are a mix of a Chinese courtyard, South Indian detailing and Thai painting. I understood from our driver that there was a local harvest festival underway with all the streets decorated and some temples had big ceremonies going on. We ended the day at a sea temple where a monkey almost assaulted Sun for the grilled corn he had just bought.
We flew to Flores from Bali and spent the next few days on Kanawa Island – a small island surrounded by coral reefs with 20-or-so beach huts where you can spend the night. Everything on this island is supplied by boat, from food and vegetables to fresh water, so the facilities you have are quite limited and 3 days without cell phone coverage actually felt pretty good. Given this and the warm weather, we naturally shifted our schedules to early sleep and early rise, with long naps in the afternoon only disturbed by a small but loud bird that insisted on visiting the hammock where I was resting.
So, what do you do on a place like this? Snorkel! It was my first experience with a transparent sea, where you can see everything. While the idea of seeing the aquatic life in the corals sounded good, I soon learned that being able to hear my breathing through the snorkel was quite scary. I had to go in and out of the water a few times and still wasn’t feeling comfortable (although everyone insisted that there were some really nice fish next to the pier and even “Nemo” was there).
The next morning we headed to the mangroves where we were told there were some baby sharks. I decided that getting some tan was better, especially after spotting two different types of jellyfish in the water, and just stayed on the beach. Some minutes later, and with them all gone behind the mangroves I decided to go for a quick dip and I could not believe my eyes. There, one foot away from me was a baby shark swimming! I ran back to grab the goggles but it was gone. I then joined the rest of the family in the mangroves where they found, in water less than a foot deep and hidden from predators, ten baby blacktip reef sharks. It was amazing and worth the painful jellyfish stings.
From Kanawa, we took a day trip to Rinca to see the Komodo dragons that inhabit the island. Still in the boat, we were greeted by two forest rangers who escorted us all the time. They explained that only the short walk path was open, as a few weeks before there had been an attack on a ranger and they had closed the other paths down. The short walk takes one hour and starts at the park kitchen, where we had the opportunity to meet five dragons at very close range. The dragons smell the food being cooked and hang around waiting to see if someone feeds them. Nobody does, but they keep coming. Funny thing is, if the chef is cooking veg food only two dragons come, but if the menu includes meat or fish more dragons approach. The dragons are quite a powerful animal and seeing one walking towards you is quite an experience (he was actually going to fight another dragon, but it looked like he was coming to get us). During the walk in the forest, we only spotted a big water buffalo and a junior dragon hiding under a tree, looking for prey. On the way out, a very scared Spanish lady asked me if it was safe. “Yes” I said, “but don’t run and stick to the rangers” I wonder if she dared going into the forest or if she froze at the kitchen.
We spent the rest of the day at another small island (Penga) for some coral reef snorkelling followed by swimming with Manta Rays. Given that I had freaked out a bit the days before, I decided not to go and remain on the boat (we also had only five masks for six of us, maybe I’ll use that version from now on). I did see some Mantas going under the boat as the sea is so transparent, and I confess I was happy to hear that the rest of the group all ended up holding hands due to general fear.
In the evening we went off to see some bats/flying foxes waking up and on the way back to Kanawa, after the sunset and only with a full moon as guide, I was looking at the sea bed when I heard a sudden shout. We were in too shallow waters on a reef and we almost lost our propeller. With a few bamboo pushes and my Poundland headtorch, the skipper managed to get us all back in time for a pizza dinner (the owner of Kanawa bungalows is Italian).
For a complete change in scenery, we headed to Ende, in the interior of Flores from where we started a 2-day-1000-curves journey westwards with Sandhy and his Play Boy vehicle equipped with a 2000W boom box. It was not only a change in scenery but in climate, as due to altitude and vegetation the weather here was much cooler, and I even considered wearing a cardigan (the beds had summer duvets!)
Kelimutu is probably the most curious volcano I have ever seen, as it has three side-by-side craters with multi coloured lakes. The locals believe that the souls of the dead go to the lakes, and that is why they have different colours and change tone regularly. When we went, there was a blue, a turquoise and a deep red lake.
The drive back along the coast also took us through a beach where the stones are blue, a traditional village with thatched roofs and bamboo construction, hot springs and Easter celebrations. We met some extremely friendly people all along the way who enjoyed clove infused cigarettes, singing Bollywood theme songs and discussing Portuguese football celebrities.
We stayed in some of the cleanest accommodation I have ever stayed in. We had fruit pancakes and very strong local coffee for breakfast, Masakan Padang for lunch and dinner, Bakso on the roadside and a sip of Arak for a nightcap. Despite all the boat journeys and endless road curves, I managed the entire trip without even feeling nauseated. This is a definite record!
I will be taking part in a Race for Life on 1st June 2013 on Regent’s Park, London.
Race for Life is a women-only event organised by Cancer Research UK, where I will jog 5km along with other women. I know 5km is not much, but goes to show that if we all give a little bit it helps towards the big goal. And that is why I would really appreciate if you could sponsor me, even if with a small amount via my fundraising page.
It means a lot to me to know that I have your support.
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Este ano vou entrar na “Corrida pela Vida” (Race for Life no original) no dia 1 de Junho de 2013 em Regent’s Park, Londres.
A Race for Life é um evento só para mulheres organizado pela Cancer Research UK – uma organizacao sem fins lucrativos que angaria fundos para investigacao oncológica – em que correrei 5km. Eu sei que 5km nao é muito, mas é o suficiente para provar que se todos dermos o nosso contributo conseguiremos alcancar grandes objectivos. E é por isso que te estou a escrever, porque gostaria que patrocinasses a minha corrida, mesmo que seja apenas com um donativo pequenino.
Fico-te muito grata pelo teu donativo, que pode ser efectuado através da minha pagina de angariacao de fundos para a corrida.