Friday, July 25, 2014

Brazilian dreams

When I was a kid I was kinda scared to dream because even when the dreams were... nice, I felt like I was transported to places… endlessly... brought to the end of the universe, my universe, I guess, and invariably put in front of a black hole: Who am I? Why am I here, What for?
Those were not really nightmares but really deep questions on the essence of life, way to deep for a child.
Sometimes I even had the feeling I was having awakened sleep experiences, feeling like I was flying… to the boarder of… life and … death.
I could not really identify these as extra body experiences but it sure scared me.

Later on, I guess wet dreams, and female fantasies brought some lightness to my nightlife!

Way later, philosophy mixed to personal development and therapy experiences brought those dreaming times back to the front line! As tools, this time, to better understand my psyche, my unconscious worlds…myself...

Dreams are not always telling you what you want to hear or see, just what you need to… what your unconscious wants to talk to you about!

And yes it is a blessing to dream, to remember your dreams and get to follow the messages your mind, your soul are whispering during your sleep. And yet so little is know about them that is dangerous to analyse too much!

Well… sometimes those are not real whispers… like when all those terrifying images of my friends butchered in feb 2007 in Rio were coming back in waves in my mind… to the point of not wanting to close my eyes anymore!!!

Sleepless nights or long insomnias when I got back to Brazil in may this year!

But those dreams as well were still coming to tell me something…
that maybe it was time to grieve and move on.
Move on to other dreams or just simply to carry on dreaming….with the innocence of a child!

Dreaming that work can be done with kids of the street, in favelas in Rio or elsewhere in the world…
Like the amazing kids of Moro do Alemao who learned a few words of English and repeated them by singing, playing football, enjoying fruits, playing ukulele in less than an hour.
See video:
So here I am, again in Brazil, 12 years later, with a lot less idealism but still loads of dreams: dreams of participating to making a better world, of getting that amazing idea that would change everything…
Me first!!!… let me change first, start to trust, myself, others, start to love what I do, choose what I love, where I want to live, surrounding myself with people that inspire me, that I can build a space of serenity with…

And get those nightmares out of my head!

And they do… go away .... in the end.

Replacing hands full of blood, my friends’ heads chopped

… by those beautiful smiles of innocent and yet already damaged kids!

SO YES, here I am, again, not allowing time to dream or just to think, analyse too much, to wander in space and time … at least not to day dream… just trying to further set an SE on alternative education,

to plan this PILOT of waste management at the boarder of Bolivia and Brazil: Corumba, Puerto Suarez and Puerto Quijiro.

Dreaming as a vision, dreaming as a way to share ideas, new societal interactions, shift in economical paradigms…

Shift in my mind, my soul, my way to trust, to love… myself… and them!

Alternative education and the project of Uke’N’Learn started in Rio with one private session followed by the kids session in Morro Do Alemao, which was such a success that it inspired us to go further: other group sessions in SP, even single ones of some strange outcomes (the guy comparing the session to prostitution, his needs to see the tits before buying… negotiating the facial price after bragging the whole time about his luxurious holidays in France!!!; funny how those wealthy people in SP seem to me, ruthlessly stingy, negotiating everything, even their own pleasure!).

So here we go, Uke’N’ Learn seems to rock n roll now:
Private sessions
1 session in Morro do Alemao in Rio
1 session in Capao Redondo in SP
A full week and 4 sessions in Morro da Fuba in Rio with Terr'Ativa

And more and more that feeling that there is something substantial there, that this could be ‘the’ idea, the SE… and we are going for it with Elena and some friends.

Another dream that I have been pursuing here is my research project on Waste… my PhD started in India and which I would love to transfer here in Brazil.
Well some steps and great encounters have been made with USP, with UFRJ…
Lets see where it can lead?

In any case people are really interested by the topics of decentralisation and small scale community oriented solutions.
And that feels like a good start in a few weeks!
So I put my brain and soul fully into the concept and possible implementation of that project in Bolivia at the boarder with Brazil: connection of 3 cities: Puerto Suarez, Puerto Quirijo, and Corumba.

A beautiful project at the heart of a poor local community, in a very poor boarder city (with its loads of drugs, drug smuggling and heavy prostitution...), in one of the poorest countries in the world:

2,867.64 USD
as compared to other neighbours
6,659.81 USD ‎(2013)
14,414.75 USD ‎(2013)
14,760.20 USD ‎(2013)
One month to shape a strategy and start… to implement simple ideas, simple solutions…
That can only be better than the round of consultants that have only sucked municipality budgets lately without any delivery and implementation aspects.
But what a challenge!
How to bound, to convince, to build teams, to shape flows, to get places to compost, to stock, to repair, to connect to the market of recycling, to create flows of revenus, to change waste into cash… in 1 month!!!

Dreams of building a life here, of finding my place, in front of the sea…starting from what I love, where I want to live and build a life around it!

And not the contrary like I have been doing my entire life quite unsuccessfully I must confess!

Monday, July 21, 2014

From Paris to Venezia, from Les Mines to U Ferrara, in 3 weeks!

Well sometimes you don't have a choice...
things crumble, get pilled up... and this is how I got from a week of classes in Paris in Institut Les Mines Telecom to 4 days of workshop and classes focusing on waste management in Ferrara, a nice little italian town north of Bologna.
From teaching Supply Chain Management to very smart students from all around the world (with their own drawings of bikinis!!!) to papers presentation in a workshop on Waste Management and North/South divide in Italy.

And of course I was not going to skip what was in the middle: A few days in Paris, to rediscover by velib...

A day in Bordeaux to see friends and borrow the mighty BMW R1100, a few days in Biarritz to rest, to swim, sleep and eat well... and the adventure was on: Toulouse, Carcasonne, an evening with Martine and Freddy, singing, dressing up in Brazilian carnival...near Montpellier... then the amazing lavender fields of south Lavandou, especially from Apt to Aix... 

What a dream to ride that big BMW motorbike from one lavender field to another... that was her dream, box ticked!

Then Cannes and the realisation that driving such a motorbike everyday is really exhausting... so lets go by car...

Italy: a night in Cinquo Terre to start up with, then Parma, Bologna, just on time at 1pm for the start of the workshop on Waste Management and the divide North/ South which I was there for at the University of Ferrara:

Managing waste as a resource: economic and policy perspectives in international domains

After a few days of stress and presentations some relaxing times along the cost, in the amazing Venezia...

even though it seems to me more like a Disneyland of the 19th century than a real living city now.

The magic, the romance is still there at every corner, especially if you meet Carlos and Julia who invite you to visit the best pasteries in Venice and sit at sunset time to have a Sprezzi!

 We did not even find the "pont des soupirs' no need for the usual tourist traps...

We found so many bridges to sing on, together with our friends... to enjoy the typical ice creams...

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Terra Corsa!

I remember when we were crossing from Marseilles (mainland, le “continent”) to Bastia by boat; my father was always waking up early, like an internal clock, which would drag him to the main deck, nose in the air, checking, smelling any sign of his island...the maqui, marjolaine… or to catch the first rays of sun uncovering the piece of rock, at the time where the blue of the sea dies on the mountains in graded shades.

Well it is a bit the way I felt when coming down the plane ramp, landing in Ajacciu, in the town of Napoleon, on the land of my ancestors.

I had not been back in Corsica for the past 11 years and the last time was to accompany the soul of my beloved grandmother.
This time I was there for an eminent gathering around New Institutional Economics PhD papers and research, with renowned economists and shapers of future economical models, from the best universities and research centres in the world, MIT, Harvard…all meeting in a tiny Corsican village called Carghese by the sea.

I must admit that when I applied for this academic event I was more attracted to coming back to my roots than an ardent desire to take this NIE topic, I had discovered a few months ago as part of compulsory classes for my PhD, further.

Yet the perspective of a week of exchanges, brainstorms with some of the top thinkers of new economic trends was as well quite exciting, combined with the stunning setting of a Corsican shore, a private beach… pristine waters… and a very charming little village.
Definitely worth the 10 to 14 hours a day of prep upon arrival (finishing my paper presentation on Indian institutional influences on waste management policies) … arrival from Paris at 1am, getting up at 5am to polish a few slides… and some further readings for the session …. just to pretend I was understanding something!

The first days were really tough though, just coming back from Brazil, another conference on Social Impact.
But once again worth all my efforts, not really for some of the arrogant MIT/Harvard professor lecturing but more for the global emulation of my peers and some like me non-economists and very interesting diversity.
Interactions with other researchers in other fields, broadening the questioning process, the willingness to go further, or sometimes to get more focuses.
A week of hard work, quite pivotal in many ways… with the luxury of daily swims even if the water was still cold, great Corsican food…and an ending music gig with Pedro at the piano, my inseparable ukulele, all singing.

The Micheline (little local train) from Ajacciu to Bastia was another unique discovery of Corsica from inside, 4 hours of slow commute between the two major towns of the island, slowly going up and down mountains in between, stunning.

Arrival just before Bastia and the very kind welcome of my cousin.
A few days alone in the family house where my father and grandfather were born! A few centuries old, all in stones of the village, that village were most of the people are members of the family, were a street is named after my great uncle.
Alone in that big old house, speaking to ghosts has been sweet and relaxing.
Yet another uncle decided to pass away… so once again mourning and church times. Yet another opportunity bond again and meet with family.  And the most beautiful Dio Vi Salvi Regina I ever heard, in the packed little church of Olmeta Di Tida. Some feelings of “Il Padrino” and some unmistakable Scorcese ambiance.

At the end of the week my parents and close cousins arrived to burry the ashes of an aunt in the family vault.
Two burials and an international conference… to feel the power of roots… of a “Terra”

Through its amazing landscapes, its smells, its food, sounds of donkeys and “wild” horses… just as well as some of the most amazing voices… feeling of belonging by blood, by a strong history… and all the above senses…