Influxes

It’s week 5 into our placement and I’ve learnt a number of things about this place. The most important is that as soon as you forget about bugs, that is when you will put your shorts on and you’ll feel that dreaded tickle of eight fat legs dancing on your body…that literally just happened to me before I started writing this. Oh and my very Buddhist views have gone out of the window, back in the U.K I used to demand all spiders to be removed, but alive. Now I batter them to death with my walking boot (which is now half solid cement due to construction) and grind them into my dirt floor. Moral of the story, always shake out your clothes and tuck in your mozzy net.

Anyway, onto the main topic of this blog…

With the environment being the main topic running through this 10 week placement in El Bram, I’m guessing you’re interested in knowing how much climate change is here. Knowing my fair share about Environmental Science and climate change, you get used to which aspects of the subject have been studied at length and which need more attention and research. It is important that all possible consequences and mitigation of climate change are researched, before they occur. This is a topic which I personally have not heard about and believe needs research.

 

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As soon as you enter the community, there is obviously an abundance of caterpillars, butterflies and moths (below). Swarms of the insects can be found around the streets of the village and the farms which are owned and worked on by the inhabitants. However, none of the volunteers know anything about how the infestations come into being; all people that were interviewed about this topic stated nothing is known about this and that it “definitely needs to be researched”.

 

During the interviews, people gave their opinions as to what they believe causes this. Billy believes that plagues are influenced by the climate and monoculture farming. Whereas Chloe thinks that the lack of humans around the area, and the use of pesticides are contributing factors. Pesticides definitely will influence the population of insects which are attracted to crops that are grown here: beans and corn.

Another factor to consider about this topic is whether plagues occur in certain regions or all over the globe. For the reason that we only get wifi here once a week (if we are lucky and not ill) people’s thoughts on the matter were recorded. All of which were logical explanations which may be true. However there has been a bit of debate about whether they can be found all over the globe or not, Billy stated that plagues occur in “loads of different places around the globe” because different climate influence different biodiversity. On the other hand Tomi alleged that it only occurs “where there are plants” because where there is an abundance of food for whichever creature, the animals will come.

Hassan also believes that plagues occur all over the globe, but for different reasons. In rural parts of Nicaragua he believes “pesticides causes influxes of certain insects, because surely some pesticides have different effects on different bugs”, whereas in U.K “plagues must occur because of the differences in weather” for example, flying ants in the summer.

According to the locals of El Bram, there is a different plague every year. In the past couple of years El Bram has been infested with grasshoppers and white flies. When the Christian was interviewed he did not have any idea as to why these influxes of certain insects occur, however he is aware of research into the plagues because pesticide companies promote research into them. He also believes that plagues are only found in certain regions, he explains that the city gets fumigated often due to the amount of people there, whereas rural parts not so much so they become infested.

Loads of different, but all relevant and intellectual points about this topic. However it is annoying not being able to Google the answer whenever I want, but then I would have nothing to write about.

 

To explore, to volunteer.

Hello everyone!

I have always been eager to explore the world, change it for the better, and learn about other cultures. The ICS organisation Progressio is making my dream start to turn into reality!

I will hopefully be volunteering for 3 months in Nicaragua, Central America for 3 months alongside national and British volunteers. I will be supporting environmental projects, supporting women and the LGBT+ community and generally improve the livelihood of the citizens. During my stay I will be living with a host family, so I will be experiencing the culture fully including it’s food, language, and many poisonous and venomous creatures…oh and freshwater sharks.

This will not be a holiday for me! I will be working on projects daily, and I am not looking forward to the heat and humidity (I’m a white Brit who’s used to the cold). But the end result will be so rewarding and worth the effort!

I am hoping to post updates to here about my volunteering journey, and also my fundraising. For my fundraising I need to get £800 before I depart, without these donations I cannot go, if anybody has money to spare please donate to my JustGiving page, it will be appreciated dearly! (info below). For my first fundraising torture event, I will be “Living Below the Line” which consists of living on £5 over 5 days, this is in order to show how poverty effects people and also how committed I am to the cause.

I am hoping to take my camera with me and share images of the beautiful country I may get to visit, so look forward to that! Also, if you have had any international volunteering experience/advice I would love to hear it.

ICS – http://www.volunteerics.org/

Progressio – http://www.progressio.org.uk/

JustGiving – https://www.justgiving.com/Bethan-Goodhead

Text Code (UK) – BUFN77 £(amount) to 70070

Holiday excitement.

Holiday time is approaching. I’m going to Lindos in Rhodes with my boyfriend on Wednesday. I’m so exited! I love going somewhere new, but most of all, I’m excited to go on the plane.

Not that I have some kind of plane spotting fetish (no offence if you do)  but I like peering out of the window, and the bits that people usually hate; taking off and landing. The only thing I don’t like is when there’s turbulence, it was terrible when I went to Zante last year, literally thought I was going to die.

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Tanning is something that just isn’t going to happen. I’m paler than pale, finding foundation is a pain in the arse, so if you have any recommendations please let me know. I don’t burn I just go red then back to white again, and my face looks like someone’s dusted pepper on my cheeks and forehead I go so freckly. As for sun protection I’ve gone a bit overboard, this is what is currently packed (baring in mind I’m only going for a week):

  1. Children’s waterproof factor 30 (Solait)
  2. Normal factor 30 (Solait)
  3. Factor 15 (Solait)
  4. Invisible dry touch factor 15 (Soltan)
  5. Scalp spray factor 15  (Malibu)
  6. Lip protection factor 30 (Soltan)
  7. Aftersun lotion (Solait)

Bit overboard I know but at the end of the day I don’t want skin cancer like my grandpa has.

Trip Advisor is an absolute GODSEND if you don’t look at tonnes of reviews before you book your hotel, find reviews of local restaurants  and sightseeing then wow. You live on the edge. I like to know exactly what to expect when it comes to my hotel to see if it’s worth my money. These are the reviews of the hotel where we’re staying, it looks pretty decent. However I never really expect anything special from Greek hotels as they are always basic but clean.

Can’t wait because we’re going over my 19th birthday, it’ll be the first time I’ve been away from home and my parents for my birthday! Going to miss seeing my parents on my birthday but hopefully all of my treats will make up for it…Dan if you’re reading take note.

I’m defiantly going to take loads of pictures of where I go and then put them on here.  Let me know if you’re going on holiday too as I’m incredibly nosey.

-BethanNicole

Great expectations.

Hot thick summer air surrounded by heavy foliage, a cathedral patterned with decorative window displays or crisp air flowing in between naked, barren trees.

We are all asked the question at some point in our lives “where would you go right now?”.

Well my friends, if I was to go anywhere right now it would be somewhere that I’ve never been before. Most people who have been asked this question usually say something that holds special memories for them, perhaps somewhere they visited a lot in childhood (mine would be Malta..I’ve been there 12 times, no thank you).

This question gets me thinking and to be honest I have no idea where I would like to go right now, I guess somewhere other than on my settee in my fluffy penguin jim jams scrolling through the internet…all I seem to do is scroll recently. A place that I’ve been thinking about wanting to travel to a lot recently is Australia, mainly because I want to try Tim Tams.

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For as long as I can remember I’ve been terrified of deep water. You know when you switch the channel on TV and its David Attenborough narrating some footage from somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, and you feel like holding your breath? Yeah I physically cannot watch anything like that. However I do really want to visit the Great Barrier Reef. There is something about knowing that a place wont be there forever that makes me want to visit it. The twisted forests of coral, teeming with wildlife of all bright and dull colours and of all shapes and sizes, glistening as the hot afternoon sun bounces off their scales. Will not be there forever. It may all be gone in 5/10 years time.

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There something about Australia’s wildlife that makes me eager to visit.. apart from the sodding bugs, they ruin it. Seriously if you live in Australia how do you cope with them? I was made to watch watched this YouTube video once, this guy had a stick and lifted this toilet seat up with it, then this massive spider jumped out from under it! IMAGINE IF THAT WAS YOUR BOTTY!

Swiftly moving back to the topic at hand. I would like to experience some of that sweet Aussie culture. What springs to my mind is sat on a piece of dried out drift wood, on cold, soft sand in the evening. Listening to the sweep of waves as the creep up and down the flat, moist shore. Laughing with my new Aussie friends or fellow travellers as we toast marshmallows on skinned twigs around a Barbie or a small fire…I’m not stereotypical at all.

Being realistic it would be me picking up every shoe and shaking it encase there was a black widow hiding inside….or checking my bed for huntsmen.

-BethanNicole