Shape of Things to Come

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Protecting landscapes isn’t a novel idea. An appreciation for spectacular views and aesthetically special places drove the creation of the first national parks in Australia and many other parts of the world, long before we starting talking about things like biodiversity values and ecosystem services. In Australia we’ve protected these places by preventing their habitation or exploitation for anything more than tourism, but you can’t do that in a place like Peru… Read More

So what’s it like being an environmental volunteer in the developing world? I can only answer as to my experiences here in Peru, but the same things hold true in many other places. For me, this year has brought a lot of big challenges beyond just from being a long way from home and working in a foreign language and culture. The toughest stuff has been the reality of my work: good… Read More

Hello! This is a really quick post to say that I’m alive and well-ish, after being floored for a week by a rather nasty sinus infection. My respiratory system really dislikes the cool, humid Lima winters, especially the way the humidity traps the serious air pollution and deposits it all over the inside of my lungs. Mmmm! So I’m pleased to say that I’m getting away from it for ten days, heading… Read More

Head north out of Lima to the town of Huaral, in the valley of the river Chancay. Turn east and follow the river valley through the desert plains and into the foothills of the mighty Andes, passing the irrigated fields and orchards that help to feed the mega-city. Drive by ancient mud-brick temples crumbling back into dust, by rural villages nestled into bends in the river…

Last week I passed the half-way point of my project here in Lima, so it seems a good time to reflect on the six months that have been and to consider what the rest of my year here may bring. It hasn’t been easy. Really: under-statement. As some of my posts have documented, I’m struggling with the day-to-day reality of life here, as well as with the bigger issues of environmental management… Read More

This planet, this remarkable pale blue dot, is our one and only home. There is no nobler cause than to take care of it, to work towards a greener, fairer, cleaner future. Let’s create the kind of world we want to live in: every day, every choice counts. This is our home and we all can shape it.  

This time last year I was in Cusco, where I stumbled on a street parade of traditional dancers after my Spanish lessons one day. The colour and costumes and friendliness of the people delighted me as I raced around with naught but my phone, trying to capture it all. These are the photos I took that day, as I skurried around behind-the-scenes, phone in hand, talking to the performers and trying to… Read More

Long ago, almost lost to the mists of memory, I went on magical journey to a far away land… Ok, so it was only in December, but it feels like it was eons ago, and it really was pretty magical. I climbed onto a bus one night in Lima and found myself the next morning in another world. One where it was raining; and cold. As I stepped sleepily off the bus and… Read More

I have been up in the sierra on field work. It was an interesting and somewhat dramatic trip, for various reasons, and has left me with a lot to think about. We came back yesterday: 8 hours on the bus between Huancayo and Lima. It was the first time I’ve made the trip up through the western side of the Andes in daylight. I’ve always been on the overnight buses previously. This… Read More

Grafitti in Lima

So here I sit in a specialist coffee chop, tucked away underground, at Larcomar, the boutique brand outdoor mall on the edge of the sea cliffs of Miraflores. Larcomar is a celebration of rampant capitalism: it is consumerism taken to extremes, where international brands and local high-end stores cater to tourists and wealthy Peruvians in a bubble so detached from the reality of this developing world country. Larcomar is consumerism packaged as… Read More