7 bitaites sábado, 12 de setembro de 2009

(English version of Pablo Neruda's poem "Who dies?" can be found here)

Morre lentamente quem não viaja, quem não lê,
quem não ouve música, quem não encontra
graça em si mesmo.
Morre lentamente quem destroi o seu amor-próprio,
quem não deixa ajudar.
Morre lentamente quem se transforma
em escravo do hábito,
repetindo todos os dias os mesmos trajectos, quem
não muda de marca, não se arrisca a vestir um nova cor ou
não conversa com quem não conhece.
Morre lentamente quem faz da televisão o seu guru.
Morre lentamente quem evita uma paixão,
quem prefere o negro
sobre o branco e os pontos sobre os "is"
em detrimento de um redemoinho de emoções justamente
as que resgatam o brilho dos olhos, sorrisos dos bocejos, corações aos tropeços e sentimentos.
Morre lentamente quem não vira a mesa quando está feliz
com o seu trabalho, quem não arrisca o certo
pelo incerto para ir atrás de um sonho, quem não se permite
pelo menos uma vez na vida fugir dos conselhos sensatos.
Morre lentamente, quem passa os dias
queixando-se da sua má sorte ou da chuva incessante.
Morre lentamente, quem abandona
um projecto antes de iniciá-lo,
não pergunta sobre um assunto que desconhece ou não responde quando lhe indagam sobre algo que sabe.

Evitemos a morte em doses suaves, recordando sempre
que estar vivo exige um esforço muito maior
que o simples facto de respirar.
somente a perseverança fará que conquistemos
um estágio esplêndido de felicidade.
Pablo Neruda

0 bitaites

Early 2007 I decided to go to East Timor to work as a Computer Engineering teacher in the National University for one semester. I was leaving to the other side of the world, I would be living in a very different time zone (9 hours of difference between Portugal and Timor!) and I was very excited to learn about the first country of the millennium, which used to be a Portuguese colony. Once again, I decided to create a new blog to easily share some stories about my new experience with family and friends despite the physical distance.

I named it CouldIHaveBeen.blog.com and it was simply about sarita - me! - in timor lorosa'e - which is the name of the country in tétum, the local language, meaning both East Timor and Timor of the Rising Sun. I remember creating the blog and sending an email to all my friends, family and former colleagues from the company where I was working, saying "here's where you can find me!".


Now that I am reading parts of it again, I realize that I am a blogger especially because I have always enjoyed writing a lot. I carry a notebook and a pen with me since I can remember. My second blog was a kind of a diary that I could share with my dearest friends that were very faraway from me.

Through a literary approach complemented with pictures and quoting poems, I would describe my day to day activities while reflecting on the impact that such culture was having in my own way of perceiving life.

Back then, as I checked the statistics I could see that it was also calling the attention of new visitors who were probably interested in East Timor situation, which is not very disseminated. I was thrilled to arrive home and check my mailbox seeing that people were actually reading me and commenting my thoughts.

Nevertheless this blog ended with a tragical event. I had a big car accident in the mountains of East Timor and I had to come back home sooner than I expected. It was a very tough year for me and I had no will to write more than complaining about it, so I decided to stop.

A few months later, however, a new blog (this one!!) would come as a therapy. But once again, that's a new story, on a different blog, coming in a different post :)

--

This post is an open letter to my mentee Hawah Abdul, a Kenyan activist who is taking part of an educational program in Copenhagen, Denmark called Global Change.

She works for a non-governmental organization called Centre for Conflict Resolution(CCR-Kenya), together with the Youths in promoting peaceful coexistence amongst diverse communities, mainly capacity building, advocacy, and community mobilization. She says that most of their targets are the pastoralists who normally conflict over pasture and water which results from the Climate Changes in Kenya. Hawah expects the Global Change course to help her carry out her duties more effectively including campaigns and advocacy.

A new collaboration between MS ActionAid / Global Change and the Global Voices Online, which I'm part of, has lead to the creation of a mentor-project. That's where I come in. I will be Hawah's blogging-mentor until mid-October, and I hope that we through the coming weeks will have a chance to engage in some interesting dialogues on everything relating to blogging.

1 bitaites quarta-feira, 9 de setembro de 2009

I have been thinking about this blogging thing and how and why I got into it...

Once again, I sit in front of the computer, I log in my blogger account. But this time a different question arises: when did this all start? I am surprised to come accross my first blog, which was created exactly 3 years ago, at the bottom of the Blogger administration panel. Funny that I had already forgotten about this blog!

I created "Elas é que sabem!" (something like "it's the girls who know!") in 2006, with a mission in mind: to promote weekly sports activities among ladies. Back then I had a full time and very consuming job as a web projects manager at seara.com. I felt an increasing need to move, run, dance, play, walk, etc in order to relief stress. I thought that a blog would be a perfect tool to spread the word and engage my friends into physical activities, so I started blogging once a week making appointments for the next activity.

At first my idea was to keep the whole initiative as engaging as it gets in a sequence of several different sports. I thought that if I would create a blog, it would be a perfect tool of communication between a group of lady-friends who would suggest/vote/confirm sports encounters such as "Wednesday running by the sea at 7pm" or "Sunday playing volleyball at the beach at 10am" etc.

Nevertheless, the initial group decided to play soccer on the first "meeting" and all the 8 of us enjoyed playing it so much that we never used the blog to make an appointment for a different sport.

It was a huge success, as one month after we had 3 teams of 5 girls playing soccer twice a week; five months after we had 4 teams of 6 girls; and some of them, 3 years after, still play soccer every week! It was also a great fun to do it, as we sometimes posted joking pictures and "game reviews" and the girls would start strongly discussing the results and the failures!


Eventually what happened was that there was no more need to use the blog for planning as the timetable evolved to something quite "sacred": soccer on Tuesdays and Sundays at 7pm.

By one hand, I felt a bit frustrated when the activity in the blog started to slow down. However, I am 100% sure now that if back then I would have kept my persistance on reviewing games, posting funny pictures, creating contents for the girls, the blog could still be alive & kicking in 2009.

A few months after "Elas é que sabem!" was launched, I quit my job and headed over to a new adventure in the other side of the world: East Timor.

But that's a different story, about a different blog, coming in a different post :)

--

This post is an open letter to my mentee Hawah Abdul, a Kenyan activist who is taking part of an educational program in Copenhagen, Denmark called Global Change. A new collaboration between MS ActionAid / Global Change and the Global Voices Online, which I'm part of, has lead to the creation of a mentor-project. That's where I come in. I will be Hawah's blogging-mentor for the next six weeks, and I hope that we through the coming weeks will have a chance to engage in some interesting dialogues on everything relating to blogging.

[PS - As the technology keeps evolving, nowadays I would definitely use "Events" on Facebook to promote something like my first blog! What do you think: let's do some sports?!]

3 bitaites quarta-feira, 2 de setembro de 2009








Felenko Yefe - Momo Wandel Soumah

Não quero ver Setembro chegar, não quero.
Nada de calos nem poeira na sola dos pés, ou verniz vermelho na ponta dos dedos.
De repente fica frio, e já se veste mais um casaco, e outro, camadas que nos afastam de nós.
E longe vão os dias de sol na portada, e desvios do buraco da lagarta na maçã, trincando carneiros contados, cercando a dita, sem pudor mas com cautela, em noites de brisa quente, madrugadas de vento que sacode cortinas. Transparentes, luminosas.

Aquela frase que se repete pela ânsia dos pôres-do-sol contados e luz ténue no horizonte povoado. Talvez seja por ter nascido no magusto, pelo cabelo ter sido sempre da cor do Outono - mesmo naquela altura em que o pintei de mercurocromo e havia reflexos vermelhos e esverdeados - there's something about the fall, falling down on me.

Os chinelos dão lugar a botas com lã quente.
Já não me embrulho numa lipa leve para sentir o conforto do trabalho em casa - abraço-me de cobertores, aquecedores, incensos e música.
Saio à rua, pulsos arrepiados, e cheira a castanhas.
No Verão há quem não queira acabar de ler o livro - histórias demasiado boas, coisas que se demoram. Chegando Setembro, sei que dou por mim embrenhada, fechada lutando numa mesa e quadros, à minha volta que "Eu amo o Longe e a Miragem, / Amo os abismos, as torrentes, os desertos… ". Ficar a ver isto acontecer, é uma espécie de sina, ou aceitar uma missão.
Vejo, Setembro entrou, de mansinho, porque hoje já é dia 3.

De boas-vindas, indómita a vontade de escrever, te, uma carta.
É que sempre insisti fazê-lo. Mesmo em anos de silêncio escrito, em papel, que destinatários foram outros. Tipo cuidar de flores, tivera eu um bonsai, sempre voam envelopes, colagens, espirais azuis, mas nunca mais tomate vermelho, Matisse.

 

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