The state of Françafrique and French privilege for Africa’s most venal        
In the 1960s, post-colonial Africa was the most hopeful place on the planet. Post-partum exuberance in Europe’s former colonies was infectious and abundant. Yet fate has not been kind to sub-Saharan Africa. From Namibia to Guinea to Somalia, the path of most sub-Saharan nations has traced an arc of intimate complicity with the predatory appetites of their former colonial masters. Nowhere has this neo-colonial continuation of anti-development and enrichment by and for the few been more evident than in France’s former colonies.


The nature of governance in these ex-colonies attests to the abiding power of the self-serving instinct and immediate gain, over and against the long-term goal of national progress. Such is the confounding irony of Africa’s entire post-colonial era in nations previously occupied by France, Britain, Portugal and Belgium alike: why is the colonial, predatory model of governance so faithfully re-enacted by ruling African elites? It’s as if all that negative conditioning only succeeded in instilling a predatory instinct in the new ruling class. Why are Mandela-style visions for collective prosperity not more common, given the shared experience of subjugation and occupation across the continent?

Read the rest of this analysis of Françafrique over at 3Quarksdaily.

          Comment on Banners Design for Mobile Unlock Base by MichaelImmed        
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          Germany's 1904 Genocide in Namibia        
In what is often called the twentieth century’s first genocide, the German colonial authorities,

          World: FPMA Bulletin #7, 10 August 2017        
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Country: Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Brazil, Burundi, Cambodia, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Georgia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Malawi, Mexico, Moldova, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Peru, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Uganda, Ukraine, United Republic of Tanzania, Viet Nam, World, Zambia

Key messages

  • International prices of wheat rose further in July on quality concerns, particularly for higher protein wheat, although upward pressure was limited by prospects of ample global supplies. Export prices of maize remained generally unchanged, while a slowdown in demand capped gains in rice quotations.
  • In East Africa, prices of cereals in most countries declined signi cantly for the second consecutive month in July with the new harvests, but remained generally higher than a year earlier. However, in Ethiopia, prices of maize surged further and reached record levels, underpinned by uncertain prospects for the 2017 crops.
  • In the CIS, prices of staple potatoes declined sharply from the record or near-record highs of June in most countries of the subregion with the beginning of the new harvest. Prices, however, remained higher than in July last year after the sharp increases of the past months.

          Wine tourism to boast tourism in South Africa in 2020.: Safari Uganda , Kenya , Rwanda        

It’s too amazing to see that many countries the have the kenya safari are pouring large amount of money in wine projects yet this is just one example of the growth that is being seen around the world in wine tourism. Wine tourism is expanding in most major wine growing regions, including France, Spain, Germany, Italy, the U.S., South Africa, and Australia.

Besides, South Africa is working towards positioning itself as one of the world's top 20 travel destinations by 2020, the local wine and tourism industry are uniting to present the country's first specialist wine tourism exhibition, Vindaba and the Kenya tour.This resulted from the backing effort of national and provincial government, and Vindaba will be showcasing the best in South African wine-related tourism when it is held in Cape Town in September 2012, targeting the local and international travel trade as well as wine, travel and lifestyle media.

Wine Tourism is known world wide that very most travellers in any Namibia safaris prefer taking wine while on there vacation holidays and also many scholars have written different books with different definitions. According to an Australian researchers Hall and Macionis. They define wine tourism as "visitation to vineyards, wineries, wine festivals, and wine shows for which grape wine tasting and/or experiencing the attributes of a grape wine region are the prime motivating factors for visitors." we have the rwanda gorilla trekking This definition is useful because it encompasses the various venues most frequently sought by wine tourists, and highlights the fact that there are different reasons visitors go to a wine region.

Also the South Africa Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk identified wine tourism as one of the fastest-growing and most lucrative sectors of the global tourism market. Get to visit the gorillas in Africa as the Vindaba, which marks a new spirit of collaboration among tourism bodies, is intended as a launching pad to position South Africa on the world map of wine tourism.

Currently, Cape Wine is considered the most successful international wine trade show in the Southern Hemisphere, the masai mara safari and has been held every alternate year since 2000 with the exception of last year, given South Africa's hosting of the 2010 Fifa World Cup.Next year's Cape Wine will be the first in four years and will thus provide an important opportunity for the industry to update its markets on new developments.Such as the It is expected that some 320 wineries will exhibit.

Although cape wine 2012 is conceived as a stand-alone event, it will be staged simultaneously at the Cape Town Convention Centre. Cape Wine also as we get ready for the masai mara tour , hosted biennially by Wosa, exhibits a wide spectrum of South Africa's wines and wine styles to the international wine trade, from buyers to importers and sommeliers in important export markets. It also attracts wine, travel and lifestyle media.

More so, both events will be staged as eco-friendly exhibitions, making use exclusively of recycled and recyclable materials. South Africa is already recognized as a world leader in eco-sustainable wine production. Now it plans to establish a similar reputation for wine tourism by marketing Vindaba as a "green" initiative.

Van Schalkwyk has identified South Africa's wine tourism as central to marketing the country as an attractive long-haul destination. Speaking at a tourism stakeholder workshop in April, he said: along with gorillas and Chimpanzees we have "Wine tourism is a vital product offering in South Africa's tourism product as it helps improve the country's competitiveness against destinations like Brazil, Australia, Kenya and Thailand.” Though Australia has a highly developed wine tourism industry, many of its wine regions are located far apart, unlike South Africa where production is concentrated mostly in the Western Cape.3 day gorilla safari tour

Not only will the two exhibitions feature many of the same producers, but there are other common links. Queen Elizabeth national park , South Africa has been steadily building a domestic and global awareness for the range and excellence of its wines and is now considered a significant wine-producing country. With provenance playing such a strategic role in wine marketing, it makes sense to advance wine-related tourism, so wine lovers are actively encouraged to visit the source of the products they enjoy.Murchison falls national park


          Uganda Safari Guidelines        
Uganda and Rwanda Safari Travel Guide

Best Time to Visit Uganda

Uganda is generally warm all year around and its position on the Equator explains the seasonal temperature variations. However, you should check out on the seasons if you are planning to visit national parks because some roads become almost impassable during the rain season. Usually the rains come in April, May, October and November. During these months uganda safari camping is not an option and hiking as it is, is an uphill task during the rains.

Paper Work Necessary

You will need a valid passport that is not yet to expire at least for six months of the date on which you intend to leave Uganda. Should your passport be lost or stolen, it will be easier to get a replacement if you have a photocopy of important pages.Namibia safari guide

If you are intending to drive while in Uganda, you will need an international driver’s license together with your original license.Even Most of the will ask for those original forms of identification.
An international health certificate indicating your Yellow fever status and other vaccinations like for Cholera. Uganda tour packages
Carry photo copies of your important documents and if possible leave copies of these documents with close relatives. Carry copies of your emergency numbers incase need arises.Botswana safari

VISAS

All foreign entrants require Visas at the entry points. The good news is that these Visas can be obtained from the Uganda Embassies in your countries of origin or on entry to the country. Visa rulings are prone to any changes so all visitor are required to check with their embassies or high commissions before coming to the country.Rwanda tours

FLYING TO UGANDA

The main entry point for air travelers is Entebbe international Airport. Entebbe is 40km from Kampala the capital city of Uganda. The terminal is operated by most big International Airlines like BA, KLM, SN Brussels, United Arab Emirates, South African Air, Flights to Kenya ,Kenya Airways and many other Airlines. All the above mentioned Airlines have their offices in Kampala and at the airport, just incase you need any information concerning these airlines, they are always to there to help.

Getting to Kampala

A private taxi from the air port to the Uganda’s city centre in Kampala costs around USD30. The other alternative is to get a motor cycle commonly know as Boda Boda and it drops you in Entebbe town where you will have to board a 14 seater taxi that will charge around 2-3 dollar depending on the prevailing rate. A car for hire in Uganda can go between 70 - 100 dollars per day.

EATING AND DRINKING

Meals are served in various restaurants in the towns and some small trading centers here and there in Uganda. The dishes range from local dishes to international cuisines and fast foods. These meals are very affordable with prices ranging from 2$-10$ and above depending on the place you decide to settle for your meal. Seeing gorillas in Africa

Bottled and canned beverages are on sale in shops, restaurants and bars every where, be cautious while taking drinking water because it’s not completely safe, Rwanda gorilla tours I rather you only take bottled mineral water.

Fruits are every where in the markets and are in most cases fresh produces right from the gardens. Vegetables are also in plenty and vegetarian meals can be prepared on order.

Tanzania safari tours

          Garden Africa        
Garden Africa is a wonderful charity that works with people in South Africa, Namibia, Swaziland and Zimbabwe training smallholders to grow crops to organic standards to improve their income and protect the environment. Whatever support you can give will be appreciated.
          Natural Appetite Suppressants        

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South African Hoodia

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          Wildlife Disease Journal Digest        
Browse complete Digest publication library here.


Wild bird surveillance for avian influenza virus
Methods Mol Biol. 2014;1161:69-81. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-0758-8_7
Brown JD, Poulson R, Stallknecht DE.

Perpetuation and reassortment of gull influenza A viruses in Atlantic North America
Virology. 2014 May;456-457:353-63. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2014.04.009. Epub 2014 Apr 28.
Huang Y et al.

Viral metagenomic analysis of feces of wild small carnivores
Virol J. 2014 May 15;11(1):89. doi: 10.1186/1743-422X-11-89.
Bodewes R et al.

Association of a lukM-positive clone of Staphylococcus aureus with fatal exudative dermatitis in red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris)
Vet Microbiol. 2013 Mar 23;162(2-4):987-91. doi: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2012.10.025. Epub 2012 Nov 2.
Simpson VR et al.

Temporal patterns in immunity, infection load and disease susceptibility: understanding the drivers of host responses in the amphibian-chytrid fungus system
Functional Ecology. 2014 Jun; 28(3): 569–578. doi: 10.1111/1365-2435.12194
Stephanie S. Gervasi et al.

The EMPRES-i genetic module: a novel tool linking epidemiological outbreak information and genetic characteristics of influenza viruses
Database. 2014; bau008 doi: 10.1093/database/bau008
Filip Claes et al.

Monitoring Wildlife-Vehicle Collisions in the Information Age: How Smartphones Can Improve Data Collection
PLoS ONE. 2014; 9(6): e98613. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0098613
Olson DD, Bissonette JA, Cramer PC, Green AD, Davis ST, et al.

Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis prevalence and haplotypes in domestic and imported pet amphibians in Japan
Tamukai K, Une Y, Tominaga A, Suzuki K, Goka K (2014)
Dis Aquat Org 109:165-175

First evidence of hemoplasma infection in free-ranging Namibian cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus)
Vet Microbiol. 2013 Mar 23;162(2-4):972-6. doi: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2012.10.009. Epub 2012 Oct 16.
Krengel A et al.

Fish pathogens near the Arctic Circle: molecular, morphological and ecological evidence for unexpected diversity of Diplostomum (Digenea: Diplostomidae) in Iceland
Int J Parasitol. 2014 Jun 11. pii: S0020-7519(14)00122-2. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpara.2014.04.009. [Epub ahead of print]
Blasco-Costa I et al.

Gross and microscopic pathology of hard and soft corals in New Caledonia
J Invertebr Pathol. 2014 Jun 10. pii: S0022-2011(14)00082-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jip.2014.05.007. [Epub ahead of print]
Work TM et al.

Extreme Heterogeneity in Parasitism Despite Low Population Genetic Structure among Monarch Butterflies Inhabiting the Hawaiian Islands
PLoS One. 2014 Jun 13;9(6):e100061. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0100061. eCollection 2014.
Pierce AA1, de Roode JC1, Altizer S2, Bartel RA3.

Demographic consequences of heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants in a vulnerable long-lived bird, the wandering albatross
Proc Biol Sci. 2014 Jul 22;281(1787). pii: 20133313. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2013.3313. Epub 2014 Jun 11.
Goutte A et al.

Trichomonas stableri n. sp., an agent of trichomonosis in Pacific Coast band-tailed pigeons (Patagioenas fasciata monilis)
Int J Parasitol Parasites Wildl. 2013 Dec 28;3(1):32-40. doi: 10.1016/j.ijppaw.2013.12.002. eCollection 2014.
Girard YA et al.

Diffusion of influenza viruses among migratory birds with a focus on the Southwest United States
Infect Genet Evol. 2014 Jun 6. pii: S1567-1348(14)00198-1. doi: 10.1016/j.meegid.2014.05.029. [Epub ahead of print]
Scotch M et al.

Evidence That Bank Vole PrP Is a Universal Acceptor for Prions 
PLoS Pathog 10(4): e1003990. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1003990
Watts JC, Giles K, Patel S, Oehler A, DeArmond SJ, et al. (2014)

Disease of Aquatic Organisms - May 2014
Vol. 109, No. 2

International Journal for Parasitology: Parasites and Wildlife - August 2014
Volume 3, Issue 2
          Artiglio del diavolo: tutti i benefici        

Antinfiammatorio e analgesico naturale, l’artiglio del diavolo è conosciuto come rimedio efficace e potente per curare moltissimi disturbi e malanni fisici.  Una pianta perenne dell’Africa Sud-Occidentale che cresce nel deserto e nella steppa di Namibia e Madagascar: l’artiglio del diavolo prende il suo nome così particolare dagli uncini presenti sulle sue estremità, molto pericolosi perché […]

Leggi l'articolo completo "Artiglio del diavolo: tutti i benefici" su Benessere.io.


          ÐœÐ¾Ðµ богатство и процветание свеча для магии        
Размер: 6 х 6 см Вес: 150 г Материал: парафин, травы, коренья, смолы Производитель: RS Namibia Свеча имеет сильное магическое действие и помогает достичь процветания и богатства. Свечу зажигают в период полной луны либо во время ее роста. Свеча воздействует на рост и стабильность любых доходов, влияет на признание в обществе. С ее помощью можно получить наиболее выгодные условия для своих дел.
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Вес: 260 г Размер: 16 х 5 см Материал: парафин, травы, ткань, эфирные масла Производитель: RS Namibia Планета: Луна, Юпитер Свеча для снятия порчи - можжевельник. Поможет уладить идущие "не так" дела, устранит проблемы в семье и на работе. Прольет свет на ранее, казалось бы, не заметные факты, укажет на недоброжелателей. Смолистый, лесной аромат можжевеловой свечи выведет владельца из-под контроля приворота, снимет порчу, и защитит от насланной завистниками нечисти. Можжевельник, или верес - широко распространенный по всему миру хвойный кустарник, различных форм и размеров. Издавна люди верили, что он защищает от зла и происков лихих колдунов. Из древесины и шишковидных ягод делали обереги и талисманы. Сейчас его масла активно используются в ароматерапии, а настои плодов и хвои в медицине. Так же обладает мощным антибактериальным действием и полезен при сердечно-сосудистых заболеваниях. Лучшими днями для проведения работы с данной свечой будут понедельник и четверг.
          2.3 Million Lives Lost: We Need a Culture of Resilience        

Read this post in Español, Français, عربي

By 2050, the urban population exposed tos torms and earthquakes alone could more than double to 1.5 billion.

Looking at communities across our planet, there is a brutal lack of resilience in our modern lives. Cities have expanded without careful planning into flood- and storm-prone areas, destroying natural storm barriers and often leaving the poor to find shelter in the most vulnerable spots. Droughts, made more frequent by climate change, have taken a toll on crops, creating food shortages.

In the past 30 years, disasters have killed over 2.3 million people, about the population of Houston or all of Namibia.


          Killing us softly         

A recent public outcry in China, sparked by a damning documentary about air pollution, was based on well-founded fear:

Of the 100 million people who viewed the film on the first day of its online release, 172,000 are likely to die each year from air pollution-related diseases, according to regional trends.* 

Worldwide, pollution kills twice as many people each year as HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined,** but aid policy has consistently neglected it as a health risk, donors and experts say. 

Air pollution alone killed seven million people in 2012, according to World Health Organization (WHO) figures released last year, most of them in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) in the Asia Pacific region.*** 

In a self-critical report released late last month the World Bank acknowledged that it had treated air pollution as an afterthought, resulting in a dearth of analysis of the problem and spending on solutions. 

“We now need to step up our game and adopt a more comprehensive approach to fixing air quality,” the authors wrote in Clean Air and Healthy Lungs. “If left unaddressed, these problems are expected to grow worse over time, as the world continues to urbanise at an unprecedented and challenging speed.”

A second report released last month by several organisations – including the Global Alliance on Health and Pollution, an international consortium of UN organisations, governments, development banks, NGOs and academics – also called for more funding towards reducing pollution. 

“Rich countries, multilateral agencies and organisations have forgotten the crippling impacts of pollution and fail to make it a priority in their foreign assistance,” the authors wrote. 

Housebound in China 

A dense haze obstructs visibility more often than not across China’s northern Hua Bei plain and two of its major river deltas. Less than one percent of the 500 largest cities in China meet WHO’s air quality guidelines. Anger over air pollution is a hot topic among China’s increasingly outspoken citizenry.  

“Half of the days in 2014, I had to confine my daughter to my home like a prisoner because the air quality in Beijing was so poor,” China’s well-known journalist Chai Jing said in Under the Dome, the independent documentary she released last month, which investigated the causes of China’s air pollution.

The film was shared on the Chinese social media portal Weibo more than 580,000 times before officials ordered websites to delete it. 

Beyond the silo

Traditionally left to environmental experts to tackle, the fight against pollution is increasingly recognised as requiring attention from health and development specialists too. 

“Air pollution is the top environmental health risk and among the top modifiable health risks in the world,” said Professor Michael Brauer, a public health expert at the University of British Columbia in Canada and a member of the scientific advisory panel for the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, a consortium of governments and the UN Environment Programme. “Air pollution has been under-funded and its health impacts under-appreciated.”

Pollution – especially outdoor or “ambient” air pollution – is also a major drag on economic performance and limits the opportunities of the poor, according to Ilmi Granoff, an environmental policy expert at the Overseas Development Institute, a London-based think tank. It causes premature death, illness, lost earnings and medical costs – all of which take their toll on both individual and national productivity.

“Donors need to get out of the siloed thinking of pollution as an environmental problem distinct from economic development and poverty reduction,” Granoff said. 

Pollution cleanup is indeed underfunded, he added, but pollution prevention is even more poorly prioritised: “It’s underfunded in much of the developed world, in aid, and in developing country priorities, so this isn’t just an aid problem.”

Mounting evidence 

Pollution kills in a variety of ways, according to relatively recent studies; air pollution is by far the most lethal form compared to soil and water pollution. 
 

Microscopic particulate matter (PM) suspended in polluted air is the chief culprit in these deaths: the smaller the particles’ size, the deeper they are able to penetrate into the lungs.  Particles of less than 2.5 micrometres in diameter (PM2.5) are small enough to reach the alveoli, the deepest part of the lungs, and to enter the blood stream.  

From there, PM2.5 causes inflammation and changes in heart rate, blood pressure, and blood clotting processes - the precursors to fatal stroke and heart disease.  PM2.5 irritates and corrodes the alveoli, which impairs lung function - a major precursor to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It also acts as a carcinogen.

Most research looks at long-term exposure to PM2.5 but even studies looking at the hours immediately following bursts of especially high ambient PM2.5 (in developed countries) show a corresponding spike in life-threatening heart attacks, heart arrhythmias and stroke.

Asia worst affected

The overwhelming majority - 70 percent - of global air pollution deaths occur in the Western Pacific and Southeast Asia regions.  South Asia has eight of the top 10 and 33 of the top 50 cities with the worst PM concentrations in the world.  

 

WHO says a city’s average annual PM levels should be 20 micrograms per cubic meter.  But cities such as Karachi, Gaborone, and Delhi have yearly PM averages above 200 micrograms per cubic meter. 

The main source of PM2.5 in indoor air, or household air, is burning solid fuels for cooking and heating, using wood, coal, dung or crop leftovers - a common practice in rural areas of low and middle-income countries that lack electricity.  

Almost three billion people live this way, the majority in the densely populated Asia Pacific region: India and China each hold about one quarter of all people who rely on solid fuels. For these people, the daily average dose of PM2.5 is often in the hundreds of micrograms per cubic meter. 

Filling the gaps

Unlike many other health risks air pollution is very cost-effective to address, Brauer said. Analysis of air quality interventions in the US suggests a return on investment of up to $30 for every dollar spent. 

“We already know how to reduce these risks, as we have done exactly that in high income countries, so this is not a matter of searching for a cure - we know what works,” he said.

But the World Bank report said that unless it starts gathering better data on local air quality in LMICs, the amounts and sources of air pollution and the full gamut of its health impacts, “it is not possible to appropriately target interventions in a cost-effective manner.”

Granoff said there are also gaps in government capacity to monitor, regulate and enforce pollution policy. 

Beijing hopes to bring PM2.5 concentrations down to safe levels by 2030, and has said it will fine big polluters. 

The World Bank report said China is also charging all enterprises fees for the pollutants they discharge; establishing a nationwide PM2.5 monitoring network; instituting pollution control measures on motor vehicles; and controlling urban dust pollution.

But enforcing environmental protections has been a longstanding problem in China.

“Pollution policy will only succeed if citizens are aware of the harm, able to organise their concern [through advocacy campaigns], and have a responsive government that prioritises public welfare over the narrower interests of polluting sectors,” Granoff said. 

While more people die from household air pollution than from ambient air pollution, the latter – through vehicles, smokestacks and open burning – still accounted for 3.7 million deaths in 2012, according to the WHO. 

A change in the air

Kaye Patdu, an air quality expert at Clean Air Asia, a Manila-based think tank - and the secretariat for the UN-backed Clean Air Asia Partnership, comprising more than 250 government, civil, academic, business and development organisations - said the aid community is finally starting to recognise the importance of tackling air pollution.  

• Last year’s inaugural UN Environment Assembly adopted a resolution calling for strengthened action on air pollution.  
• WHO Member States are planning to adopt a resolution on health and air quality at the upcoming World Health Assembly in May. 
• The proposed Sustainable Development Goals, which will set the post-2015 international development agenda, address city air quality and air, soil and water pollution. 

None of the experts IRIN contacted could provide a breakdown of total aid spending on all forms of toxic pollution (air, water and soil pollution that is harmful to human health).  So IRIN asked each of the major global donors for their figures.  

Three responded.  

A back-of-envelope calculation of all reported spending on toxic pollution by USAID, the European Commission and the World Bank suggests that between them they committed about US$10 billion over 10 years. This does not include aid spending on the diseases that pollution causes. The World Bank’s spending figures eclipsed those of other the other donors. 

By very rough comparison, HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, with half the death toll of air pollution, received $28 billion via public sector commitments to the Global Fund – the world’s largest financier of programs that tackle these diseases – over the same period, a fraction of total spending on these diseases. 

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*Based on WHO statistics for per capita mortality rates in the Western Pacific region in 2012. 

**The mortality figures for air pollution come from 2012 statistics and were released by WHO in 2014, while the figures for the infectious diseases come from 2013 statistics and were released by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in 2014 (the Global Burden of Disease study).

***Includes deaths from both household air pollution (4.3 million) and ambient air pollution (3.7 million): the combined death toll is less than the sum of the parts because many people are exposed to both. 

For more: 

The relationship between household air pollution and disease

Ambient air pollution and the risk of acute ischemic stroke 

Cardiovascular effects of exposure to ambient air pollution 

Particulate air pollution and lung function  

Long-term exposure to ambient air pollution and incidence of cerebrovascular events: Results from 11 European cohorts within the ESCAPE Project  

OECD's The Cost of Air Pollution report
 

101285 200901271.jpg Analysis Health Killing us softly Gabrielle Babbington IRIN HONG KONG Congo, Republic of Djibouti DRC Eritrea Ethiopia Kenya Rwanda Somalia Sudan Tanzania Uganda Angola Botswana Lesotho Madagascar Malawi Mauritius Mozambique Namibia Seychelles South Africa Swaziland Zambia Zimbabwe Benin Burkina Faso Cameroon Cape Verde Chad Côte d’Ivoire Equatorial Guinea Gabon Gambia Ghana Guinea Guinea-Bissau Liberia Mali Mauritania Niger Nigeria Sao Tome and Principe Senegal Sierra Leone Togo Colombia Haiti United States Bangladesh Cambodia Indonesia Iran Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Lao Peoples Democratic Republic Myanmar Pakistan Papua New Guinea Philippines Samoa Sri Lanka Tajikistan Thailand Timor-Leste Uzbekistan Vanuatu Vietnam
          8 Country Escapes for Birders and Fishermen        

And fishermen too. Pack up your hats, rods and binocs and make a great escape 1. Namibia Kaza Safari Lodge [...]

The post 8 Country Escapes for Birders and Fishermen appeared first on SA Country Life.


          Patung Buddha Berbahan Meteorit Usia Ribuan Tahun        

Seorang ilmuwan asal Jerman menemukan sebuah patung Buddha kuno yang asal-usul bahannya dari luar angkasa, yaitu material yang digunakan dari bahan meteorit!
Sosok patung Buddha tersebut sedang duduk dengan satu kakinya terlipat, dan sedang memegang sesuatu di tangan kirinya. Di dadanya terlihat lambang swastika Budha, simbol keberuntungan yang sama dengan Nazi Jerman.
Patung tersebut terbuat dari jenis meteorit logam ataxite yang memiliki kandungan nikel tinggi. Meteorit ataxite terbesar yang pernah diketahui, adalah meteorit ataxite Hoba Namibia yang beratnya bisa mencapai lebih dari 60 ton.

Meteorit jenis ataxite terbesar didunia, jenis yang sama digunakan untuk patung Buddha ini berada di Hoba Namibia beratnya lebih dari 60 ton.
Sosok yang terpahat adalah Vaisravana, juga dikenal sebagai Jambhala yaitu dewa yang dalam agama Buddha dipercaya sebagai Dewa Kekayaan dan Dewa Perang, dan ia sering digambarkan memegang lemon (simbol kekayaan) atau kantung uang di tangannya.
“Patung ini dipahat menggunakan sebuah meteorit besi, dari fragmen meteorit Chinga yaitu meteorit Besi-Nikel, yang menabrak daerah perbatasan antara Mongolia dan Siberia sekitar 15.000 tahun yang lalu,” kata Elmar Buchner dari Stuttgart University, Jerman.
Dalam sebuah makalah yang diterbitkan di jurnal Meteoritics and Planetary Science, Buchner dan rekannya menuliskan analisis geokimia tentang “Buddha dari Luar Angkasa” yang jika dibaca mirip sekali dengan cerita dalam film Indiana Jones.
Patung setinggi 9,5 inci atau 24 cm tersebut, ditemukan pada tahun 1938 pada sebuah ekspedisi yang mendapat dukungan dari Kepala SS, Heinrich Himmler, dan dipimpin oleh seorang ahli zoologi, Ernst Schafer, dalam rangka ekspedisi menjelajahi Tibet untuk mencari asal-usul atau akar dari bangsa Aria.
Ada spekulasi dari peneliti, apakah karena ada lambang swastika di dada Buddha, yang mirip dengan swastika Nazi, maka kemudian Nazi Jerman membawa patung itu ke negaranya.
Setelah tiba di Jerman, patung yang disebut juga sebagai “Iron Man” tersebut menjadi koleksi pribadi.
Peneliti Elmar Bucher dan rekan-rekannya pertama menganalisa patung pada tahun 2007, ketika pemilik memungkinkan mereka untuk mengambil lima sampel kecil dari patung tersebut.

Meteorit terbesar dari jenis ataxite di Hoba Namibia ini terdiri dari bahan Nikel, terlihat logam Nikel yang telah dipotong oleh tangan-tangan vandalisme.
Pada tahun 2009, tim memiliki kesempatan untuk mengambil sampel yang lebih besar dari bagian dalam patung.
Sampel ini jauh lebih steril terhadap pelapukan dan kontaminasi tangan manusia daripada sampel dari luar patung seperti sampel awal yang diambil sebelumnya.
Tak lama setelahnya, kemudian patung tersebut dilelang oleh pemiliknya. Bobot patung ini diketahui 23 pound atau 10,6 kilogram. Patung ini tidak diukir menggunakan bahan yang biasa.
Buchner dan rekannya menuliskan bahwa seniman yang membuat patung ini menggunakan meteorit yang sangat keras, dan mungkin telah mengetahui bahwa material ini adalah material khusus.
“Jatuhnya meteorit telah ditafsirkan sebagai pesan Ilahi oleh beraneka ragam budaya sejak zaman prasejarah” tulis mereka.
Menurut Buchner, patung tersebut kemungkinan diukir sekitar 1.000 tahun yang lalu oleh budaya Bon (Buddha Tibet), yakni budaya pra-Buddha pada abad ke-11. Meski demikian, hingga saat ini belum diketahui secara pasti asal dan usia patung yang tepat.

Patung Buddha yang terbuat dari jenis meteorit besi ataxite yang memiliki kandungan nikel tinggi.
“Memang banyak kebudayaan kuno menggunakan besi meteorit untuk membuat belati bahkan perhiasan, dan bahan meteorit adalah bahan yang umum digunakan di antara kebudayaan-kebudayaan kuno. Tapi jika itu sebuah patung Buddha, sangatlah unik”, jelas Buchner.
“Sementara puing-puing pertama secara resmi ditemukan pada tahun 1913 oleh seorang prospektor emas, kami percaya bahwa ini merupakan fragmen meteorit individu yang dikumpulkan berabad-abad sebelumnya,” kata Buchner.
Meskipun meteorit yang lainnya dikenal untuk penyembahan dan terinspirasi dari budaya kuno, patung ini cukup unik.
“Ini adalah satu-satunya patung yang dibuat berdasarkan sebuah ilustrasi dari figur manusia yang dipahat pada meteorit, yang berarti kita tidak memiliki apa pun untuk membandingkannya ketika kita kaji nilainya,” kata Buchner.
“Berdasarkan sejarahnya saja, patung ini bisa dihargai senilai 20.000 dollar AS. Namun jika estimasi kami benar bahwa usianya hampir seribu tahun, dan jelas memang telah terbukti terbuat dari meteorit, maka harga patung itu bisa lebih berharga lagi,” katanya. (Discovery/Kompas/Sott.net)

          Sobre Cultura Popular... ... ...        


Estuve haciendo una recopilación mental sobre las cosas que vemos, en todos los Medios Informativos, sobre Cultura Popular.
No voy a decir mucho, solo expondré algunos ejemplos para que entiendan mejor a lo que me refiero.

Érase una vez en la que un verdadero cantante demostraba su talento en festivales de gran prestigio, tales como OTI, San Remo, etc.
Hoy día solo se necesita mezclar un productor controversial y egocéntrico, el apoyo de una cadena de TV con gran proyección, una buena dosis de discusiones inútiles entre los jueces y un grupito de "wanna-be's" dispuestos a hacer el ridículo mientras las rondas se alargan y nos llevan al ganador que tenía propuesto el egocéntrico productor desde el principio.
¿El resultado? Un cocktail televisivo llamado...



Y, hablando de cockteles, al final de las década de los 90's se hizo muy famoso un cocktail, de la familia de los martinis, llamado "Cosmopolitan". Pedirlo en un bar se convirtió en una clara muestra de que estás al día en las nuevas tendencias...¡de lo que sea!.




Este tipo de bebidas fue una de las tantas influencias creadas por un programa ultra vanguardista donde te presentaban la vida de cuatro mujeres, en la 'cosmopólita' ciudad de Nueva York, todo matizado con una magnífica dosis de humor y sexo.
Este programa, transmitido por HBO, se llamó "Sex and the City".


Pero, cuando se trata de mezclar la cultura popular con la TV, ninguna televisora se muestra tan a la cabeza como MTV.
Sin importar el fondo, lo que cuenta es la forma; esa es la razón por la que esta empresa ha entregado, durante la última década, un conjunto de programas que, si bien no sabes de qué se tratan, tienen la increíble capacidad para hacer estrellas ( aunque sea por solo 15 minutos) personajes tan ... tan ... tan ... como Bam Margera y Andy Milonakis.


Estas "estrellas" han tenido programas sobre nada que han contado con buen número en los ratings... aunque solo fuera en sus primeras dos temporadas.
Pero, para hablar de la TV moderna, no debemos dejar fuera de plano programas como "The Simple Life"...
¿Sobre qué trata este programa tan soso y tan estúpido?

No acabo de entender cómo es posible que alguien se haga super famoso sin hacer absolutamente nada, como es el caso de Paris Hilton; muchas veces tienen mas publicidad los disparates entre esta chica, y Linsday Lohan, que las salidas de Benedicto de Ciudad de Vaticano.


Seguramente estas dos chicas no llegarán a tener la trascendencia artística de una Madonna, por ejemplo,

quien, desde hace mas de dos décadas, se ha mantenido en las listas de popularidad gracias a su gran capacidad para renovarse y ese genial talento para capitalizar el sexo y el erotismo.La Ciccone se convirtió en un ícono de la revolución sexual de la Nueva Era, no aquella en las que las mujeres quemaron sus sostenes, me refiero a una revolución sexual diferente, esa que clama los derechos de los homosexuales para contraer matrimonio y todos los derechos que se les atribuye a las parejas heterosexuales.


Pero , por suerte, contamos con bastantes medios para almacenar toda esta información popular con las que nos inundan los Medios constantemente. De todas las herramientas de recopilación la que mas me divierte es el Museo de Cera de Madamme Tussaud, en la que se registran las imágenes, en tamaño real, de los personajes que han impactado, de alguna forma, nuestro entorno. Ahí te encontrarás las figuras de la pareja mas controversial del Mundo del Espectáculo de la Fábrica de Sueños ( Hollywood).Me refiero, por supuesto de Angelina y Brad quienes, embarcados en una gran labor altruísta, son la viva imagen de cómo se ha transformado el código moral en nuestros tiempos.

Cabe reconocer que se han convertido en figuras importantísimas a nivel mundial, solo así se puede uno dar el lujo de tener sus hijos en Namibia, bajo el amparo gubernamental de ese país que, posiblemente, tiene problemas internos mas importantes que el de cuidar las espaldas de una pareja hollywoodense. ¡Si hasta tomarles fotos se convirtió en un negocio que manejó cifras millonarias!

Aunque no logro entender por qué razón, si el Museo de Cera dedica sus imágenes a los personajes que han influenciado la cultura popular, decidieron rendirle honor Shiloh Nouvel, la hija de la famosa pareja... después de todo, yo me pregunto : ¿Qué es lo que ha hecho esta niña? ¿Nacer?



          Ð¤Ð°Ð»Ð»Ð¾Ð¸Ð¼Ð¸Ñ‚атор Prince of Namibia, 20х5 см        
Prince of Namibia, фаллоимитатор, который легко удовлетворит самые жаркие и экзотические желания. Возбуждающая гладкая головка, для приятного проникновения, мощное, широкое рельфное тело и крупная мошонка для самой дикой и страстной стимуляции. В основании фаллоимитатора есть небольшая выемка, благодаря которой возникает эффект всасывания и фаллоимитатор удерживается на ровной горизонтальной поверхности.Изготовлен из мягкого, приятного на ощупь пвх, не содержит фталаты, совместим с презервативами и лубрикантами на водной и силиконовой основе. Для очистки промойте в теплой воде с антибактериальным мылом или специальным бактерицидным средством для секс-игрушек. Храните в темном прохладном месте.Общая длина - 20,0 см, рабочая - 15,0 см, диаметр - 5,0 см. Производитель: Toy Joy Для кого: Унисекс Цвет: черный Длина: 15 Материал: PVC Диаметр: 5,5
          Cosmonautas del desierto (Burning Man 2016)         


El Burning Man ("Hombre en llamas") es un festival en el desierto de Black Rock, en Nevada, un pueblo temporal que no tiene gobierno, y que solo existe durante una semana al año.


Un evento que se fundamenta en los diez principios que los fundadores: Larry Harvey y sus amigos quisieron dar a esta celebración:
  1. Inclusión radical
  2. Regalar 
  3. Desmercantilización
  4. Autosuficiencia radical
  5. Autoexpresión radical
  6. Esfuerzo comunal
  7. Responsabilidad cívica
  8. No dejar rastro
  9. Participación
  10. Inmediatez

Una fiesta a la acuden más de 70.000 personas, entre los que estaban este año, los empleados de la agencia de comunicación española La Despensa. Espectaculares vacaciones con todos los gastos pagados a 51 cosmonautas del desierto, contado en un maravilloso video "Paellacosmos" realizado por el cineasta Juan Rayos,
"Preparar paella en el desierto, sobrevivir a las tormentas de arena, encontrar el Mayan Warrior en la noche de la Playa, ver amanecer y atardecer y confundir ambos, sentir la magia y la energía de igual forma que el calor del sol o el frío de la noche. Todo esto y mucho más..."



Entradas relacionadas en Meridianos:
El Sistema Solar a escala en el desierto de Nevada
Una ciudad egipcia enterrada en el desierto californiano
Astronautas en el desierto
El oasis de Archeï
El polvo del Sáhara fertiliza el Amazonas
El árbol más solitario y aislado de la Tierra, el árbol del Ténéré
El Árbol de la Vida
Kolmanskop, una ciudad alemana abandonada en el desierto de Namibia
Conseguir agua en el desierto de Thar
No tienes idea de dónde vienen los camellos
El tren relativo de Einstein
Un masái en un árbol
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Our sister organization Research ICT Africa has issued an interesting document called mythbuster on the contentious issues of high mobile termination charges and their contribution to giving South Africa mobile prices that are three times those of neighboring Namibia. More strength to your arm RIA. Mythbuster is a great idea. We should see if we […]

The post Mythbuster: RIA clarifies importance of reducing mobile termination charges appeared first on LIRNEasia.


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Starbucks was recently discovered the Sun to have been wasting millions of litres of water everyday. The giant coffee chain has a policy of keeping a tap running non-stop in all of its 10,000 outlets worldwide, which wastes approximately 23.4 MILLION litres a day.

According to The Sun: "That would provide enough daily water for the entire two million-strong population of drought-hit Namibia in Africa or fill an Olympic pool every 83 minutes."

The non-stop water goes to what they call a "dipper well" where they leave their utensils to be rinsed using the non-stop flow of water. The flow may not be strong but to leave it running all day long would have the same negative effect on our environment.

Starbucks' claim was this is being done for hygiene reasons. I, personally, don't get why they have to leave it running the whole day when they can just use a similar concept then just rinse the utensils when they have to. It's not like the baristas put the spoons in their mouth and taste every single drink before they serve it. If that's the case then the practice should be that the utensils be washed with soap everytime. But no! All the utensils used are mostly for coffee and their other drinks that are still coffee or milk based and are just used to mix (unless there is something we don't know). This means that cleaning can be done by using a simple faucet that flows like what they use now (to save water) can be used to clean the utensils. It may or may not work, but it should help. What do you think?

Here's a video coverage by the Sun:


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Hello, Friends!

I’m excited to introduce a new contributor to our blog, Olivia. She is one of my spring interns and is working on her Masters of Art in History at Liberty University. Her primary field is Modern American Military History focusing on leadership in World War II and the Korean Conflict. Her work seeks to bring to light those leaders and subordinates whose impact is often overlooked or undervalued. She has also presented at several conferences and won an award for her work on the Japanese American Nisei Soldiers. I am very excited to have Olivia on board and hope you enjoy her post on treatment of African Americans in Nazi Germany!

-Maggie

__________________________________________________________________

The horrors afflicted by Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945 are ingrained in the world’s memory with the tragedy and loss still present in the minds of people around the globe. While the atrocities Nazi Germany afflicted on groups such as the Roma and Jewish communities are well known there are other groups, which also suffered at the hand of Nazi controlled Germany. One of these lesser-known groups the black and mulatto citizens of in reach of Nazi Germany.

Before World War I there were not many black German citizens living in Germany. When Germany lost World War I the Treaty of Versailles stated Germany was so give up her colonies in land that is present day Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Ghana, Togo, Cameroon, and Namibia. With the loss of these military outposts, military men and German colonial students, artisans, writers, and performers both white and black returned to Germany. Many military and colonial leaders also brought with them a system of deep racism and discrimination of black citizens. The Treaty of Versailles also stated troops were to occupy the Rhineland region of West Germany. The French assigned 200,00 soldiers both nationals and colonials to occupy the Rhineland. Racist propaganda groups in Germany quickly moved to compound the situation in order to spread racism and discrimination against blacks in the Rhineland and Germany. Propaganda viewed the black colonial French soldiers as rapist and carriers of disease. Other special interest groups blamed black soldiers for all of the unrest, rape, and murder of German women by the occupying forces, causing panic and uproar. This escalated and even resulted in Pope XV asking for the removal of black French troops and people writing to US President Woodrow Wilson demanding the removal of the black colonial troops. Even before Hitler’s rise to power, discrimination began with forbidding black citizens from holding any type of government jobs or roles in the military. Interracial marriage was also banned in Germany and all of its holdings.

However, with the rise of Hitler’s power in 1933 came wide spread persecution and further discrimination was implemented against blacks and mulattos living in Germany and the territories Hitler acquired. While there was never a program of systematic elimination, treatment of black citizens varied in levels of severity from discrimination and isolation to sterilization and medical experimentation. In Mein Kamph, Hitler stated that, “Jews had brought Negros into the Rhineland with the clear aim of running the hated while race by the necessarily-resulting bastardization.” In this statement Hitler used the previous post World War I tensions to push the German people to accepted racism and discrimination.

By 1937 the Germans decided something had to be done about the approximately 800 mixed raced children living in the Rhineland which Hitler deemed “an insult to the German Nation. Therefore, a committee created Commission Number 3, giving the German government power to start sterilizing mixed race children deemed “Rhineland Bastards”. As many as 400 German African mulatto children were gathered and sterilized, many with out the parents knowledge beforehand. Hans Hauck was a teenager at the time this organization was commissioned and was serialized by the Nazis. Hauck recalled in the documentary, “Hitler’s Forgotten Victims,” he was serialized without anesthesia. Once his procedure was completed he was given a certificate validating his procedure and told to avoid sex with German women. At the same time women who were found pregnant with mixed babies were forced to have abortions.  At the same time, persecution was also happening to the small population of full black German citizens.

Under Hitler’s rule all black citizens were banned from universities and in some cases the subjects of anthropological and medical studies, there were also cases of murder and abuse. Such is the case of Hilarius Gilges. Gilges was a 24-year-old native of Dusseldorf and an artist. In June of 1933 approximately a dozen SS officers attacked Gilges, captured, tortured, and killed the young man for his race identity and political affiliations. Today his life is memorialized in a plaza in Düsseldorf as the first marked death in Düsseldorf under the Nazi oppression. Others with similar stories are shared in published works such as Born to Witness: Growing Up Black in Nazi Germany, which tales the story of Hans Massaquoi who grew up during the War in Germany.


At the time Hitler and the Nazi’s came to power there were approximately 25,000 black or mulatto citizens in Germany out of population of 65 million. Taking into account the low population proportion of black and mixed German citizens during Hitler’s rule combined with the world wide level of accustomed prejudice and discrimination toward men and women with African heritage at the time it, is easy to see how the plight of those souls tortured and maimed by Nazi practices went unheard of for so many years. However, the policies of hatred and abuse toward those deemed “impure” or “a threat to the master race” practiced by Nazi Germany goes beyond the treatment of Roma, Jews, and Russians. The torment and pain Nazi Germany inflicted on the population of men, women, and children with African decent deserves to be told in shared with the same hope of never allowing such a travesty to occur in our lifetime and in future generations. 


-Olivia

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          Western Painting - Body Painting - A Contemporary Yet Ancient Style of Being a Canvas        


Body Painting - The Intricacies

The origin of body painting is unknown, but its use has been widespread - sometimes as an art form, sometimes as a part of tradition, and the other times, as a necessity. The evidence of body painting is found in ancient practices across various cultures and remains a popular fashion statement in the present times. There is no set style or technique for body painting. It can be a localized design or a fuller one, covering the entire body in some cases. The color pigments used can be natural or synthetic. Similarly, it can be a work of an expert or an amateurish hand of a novice. However, unlike permanent tattoos, body paints are temporary or semi-permanent in nature.

The Geographical Spread
Painting the body was prevalent in ancient Egyptian civilization, where Pharaohs and high-class individuals painted their faces in red ochre & white pigments, and eyes in kohl. The Himba group of Namibia also generously uses red ochre. These people paint their entire bodies in the uniform pigment, as a traditional practice. In India, body painting is an elaborate work of expertise, which requires training and a lot of experience. One of the best examples of this art is the make-up of Kathakali dancers that involves the use of white, red, black, and yellow colors against a base of bottle green color, on face.


          Malahelo Madagasakara!!        
Akoryaby!!! I'm in denial that I'm not in Madagascar still....and don't want to lose my language skills because I'm quite confident that I'm going back, so I still speak in Malagasy quite often. Not sure if it's going to be soon or a wee bit later, but I know for sure that I need to get back to my hut in the sand. I'm now in the capital of S. Africa- Pretoria, just bummin' around. It's been another mind- twisting week. I had a great interview with the country director of Guinea, got accepted to go, and started to get soooo excited about the idea of a brand new adventure to add on to my journey....until I went to the dentist for a checkup. I haven't had any problems with my teeth since I've been about 12, but with the bad teeth genes in the family (my dad told me he pretty much has all dead teeth by now), I was a wee bit nervous. And rightly so...I had to get a root canal yesterday and still have to get me 3 remaining wisdom teeth extracted. All of this mess disqualifies me to direct transfer to Guinea, because in the Peace Corps "rules" states that to direct transfer after an evacuation, you will only be approved for simple tooth fillings. Peace Corps first tried to tell me I just have to go home to get it taken care of but I was really mad about that, since they started jacking up my teeth, I insisted they finish it here so I don't have to worry about it. Sooo...my life is sooooo up in the air right now. Although this has made me very upset and feeling alone (because my good friends from my stage are all moving on to Mali and Namibia), I need to look at this in a positive light and be thankful for the free will that's ahead. It's all happening for a reason, which I'm pretty sure is the fact that I will be getting back to Radagasakara SOONER rather than later. All this might mean I may have to come back to America until Peace Corps re- opens the program in Madagascar (July at the earliest), although I'm tempted to get back to my hut immediately after my teeth are better, on my own because I know my village is safe -they were sooo confused why I had to leave in the first place because they had noooo idea of all the political craziness going on in the bigger cities since no access to media. My co- workers, fellow villagers, and friends would be soooo happy to take care of me. I've been dreaming about it and need to follow my dreams, like I always have...
          Mudge, D. 2016. All the way to an Independent Namibia. [Book review]        
Mudge, D. 2016. All the way to an Independent Namibia. [Book review] Mudge, Dirk
           Integrating fighters after war: Reflections on the Namibian experience, 1989-1993         
UNSPECIFIED. (1997) Integrating fighters after war: Reflections on the Namibian experience, 1989-1993. JOURNAL OF SOUTHERN AFRICAN STUDIES, 23 (3). pp. 453-472. ISSN 0305-7070
          Commenti su Curiosità Sarde di rdroma        
Efisio Lippi Serra Storia, leggenda, arte e culto dell'acqua in Sardegna e nel mondo Il problema dell'acqua è fra i più antichi della millenaria, tormentata, storia della Sardegna. In questo articolo non v'è alcuna pretesa di indicare soluzioni all'annoso problema che da sempre angustia la nostra comunità e soffoca la nostra economia (specie agricola), ma il desiderio di provocare una riflessione su quel che l'acqua ha rappresentato e rappresenta nella storia dei popoli; nonché nella leggenda, nel culto e nell'arte della ultra millenaria storia della Sardegna. Tutti sono consapevoli che l'acqua, fra gli elementi della natura, sia il più importante; tanto è vero che, nel comune sentire, non può esserci vita in assenza di acqua! E all'acqua, poeti e scrittori d'ogni tempo e latitudine hanno dedicato versi e pagine immortali. In una recente relazione, Margherita Satta ha ricordato che Mircea Eliade, nella sua "Storia delle Religioni", ha affermato che "l'acqua è fonte e origine della vita umana" e vi ha descritto il ruolo che l'acqua ha avuto ed ancora ha in alcune culture del mondo. Né possiamo tacere quanto sostengono autorevoli studiosi sul ruolo e il culto dell'acqua nel "preistorico" Sardo. Il Lanternari ha detto che "il culto preistorico dell'acqua nell'Isola si atteggia in un aspetto particolare che è il culto delle sorgenti". Per il Taramelli il culto delle grotte, nell'età del bronzo, era in Sardegna così intenso da essere considerato "patrimonio fondamentale della stirpe Sarda". Per Giovanni Lilliu "il culto centrale e principale dei protosardi dell'età dei nuraghi era proprio quello delle acque". E il nostro illustre conterraneo - che ha speso gran parte della vita a scoprire, inseguire ed interpretare le difficili piste della storia e della cultura dei nostri avi nuragici - aggiunge e sottolinea che "il culto idrico dei protosardi si rivolgeva all'acqua del cielo, come eredità d'una religione della pioggia propria delle genti a civiltà agricola dell'età prenuragica; ma riguardava, in prevalenza, l'acqua di 'vena': quella, cioè, delle fonti, dei pozzi, delle sorgive, a cui si abbeveravano i pastori e le loro greggi". Quel che non sfugge neppure all'osservatore più distratto è che i sardi della preistoria - a differenza di quanto accade oggi - avevano dell'acqua un rispetto così alto e sacro da elevarla a divinità. Per chi ama girare il mondo per scoprirne gli aspetti meno noti e le popolazioni meno conosciute non è difficile verificare i molteplici modi di rapportarsi con l'acqua delle diverse civiltà e culture che popolano il pianeta e constatare che, minore è il grado di sviluppo civile e sociale di un popolo, maggiore è il suo rispetto per l'acqua: acqua che non è solo "elemento del vivere quotidiano" ma "ragione fondante della vita". Alcune tribù Maori della Nuova Zelanda vivono nelle acque calde delle sorgenti vulcaniche. In quelle pozze fumanti e in quei fanghi giocano i bambini, i giovanotti nuotano per irrobustire le loro strutture scheletriche e tonificare le masse muscolari, le donne lavano panni e stoviglie, essiccano e modellano particolari erbe palustri che usano, poi, per rivestire i loro nudi corpi scultorei nelle feste tribali e nelle ricorrenze religiose. Ho visto giovani tuffarsi pericolosamente dall'alto di rocce e palafitte che sovrastavano le calde acque del vulcano e alla domanda perché si esponessero a tanto pericolo il "vecchio" del villaggio rispose che non si trattava di esibizioni di bravura ma di "voti" offerti alla divinità delle acque: per invocare l'amore, la fedeltà della sposa, la felicità e la prosperità della famiglia, l'abbondanza dei raccolti, la fecondità della bestie. Gli aborigeni australiani - quelli che non praticano il "nomadismo" tanto diffuso nei 6 Stati australiani vivono prevalentemente nelle acque delle "riserve" ove esercitano la pesca, la concia delle pelli e la tempera dei legni dai quali ricavano i loro preziosi "boomerang". Anche loro celebrano con rigida osservanza e grande folklore i riti per le divinità fluviali. I Daiaki ("i tagliatori di teste" del Sarawak, nel Borneo Nord Occidentale) vivono prevalentemente nell'acqua. La notte riposano nei rifugi costruiti sugli alberi più alti della foresta per difendersi dai coccodrilli, dai serpenti velenosi che infestano gli acquitrini e dalle bestie feroci; ma durante il giorno giocano e lavorano nelle torbide acque ai piedi del villaggio, si lavano, tagliano e lavorano i giganteschi alberi delle foreste, li scavano e decorano col machete, preparano le gabbie per i galli da combattimento, per gli animali da cortile, i maiali e le bufale; oppure navigano con le lunghe piroghe nelle vorticose acque del fiume infestato dagli alligatori. Prima del riposo della notte, il capo tribù e lo stregone non mancano mai di avviare le danze per propiziare la pioggia e ringraziare le divinità delle acque: danze cui partecipa tutta la comunità con indosso i rudimentali monili, le penne e i perizomi più pregiati. I Toraja dell'isola di Celebes, nell'Arcipelago indonesiano, hanno, più di qualunque altro popolo di mia conoscenza, affinità con i nostri antenati protosardi e nuragici nel rito sacro dei morti e nel culto delle acque. Celebrano i funerali dei loro defunti solo quando dispongono dei mezzi necessari per fare una festa più grande e ricca possibile; alla quale vengono invitati non solo i famigliari ma tutta la comunità raggiungibile. La cerimonia si svolge in luogo pubblico: in una vasta area, sgombra d'alberi, ove vengono disposte a ferro di cavallo delle tribune di bambù: la centrale riservata ai famigliari del defunto , quelle laterali alla folla accorsa al funerale. Al centro della pista vengono infissi robusti tronchi d'albero, ai quali viene legata la zampa anteriore sinistra dei bufali e/o dei maiali destinati al sacrificio. Sarà, poi, il "cerimoniere" ad imporre il silenzio e annunciare l'inizio della cerimonia funebre. Lo stregone del villaggio, dopo aver lavato con cura la bestia predestinata, effettua danze propiziatrici e innalza canti sacri e preghiere al Dio delle acque invocando piogge e abbondanza di raccolti e al Dio dei morti perché accolga il defunto in felicità e benessere. Quindi si accosta, con passo rituale, al bufalo o al maiale indicato dalla folla e, con un sol colpo di machete, gli recide le carotidi dalle quali sgorga, abbondante, il sangue che viene raccolto nella cavità di grosse canne di bambù debitamente predisposte. Quel sangue, che è il primo segno sacrificale della cerimonia, viene offerto, ancora fumante, ai famigliari del defunto e a chi ne faccia richiesta. Questo rito dimostra che i Toraja considerano ancora sacro il rapporto fra sangue e acqua, fra la morte e l'acqua che è fonte di vita: aspetti mitologici e religiosi assai affini alle culture greca, etrusca, egizia, indiana, che ritroviamo in opere immortali come l'Odissea e la Divina Commedia. Il macabro rito propiziatorio viene ripetuto tante volte quanti sono gli animali destinati al sacrificio; e maggiore è l'importanza e la ricchezza del defunto, maggiore è il numero delle bestie sacrificate. In una bolgia infernale di urla e canti, la cerimonia si protrae fino a notte fonda e per altri giorni ancora; fino a quando il massacro sarà finito e i partecipanti saranno sfiniti dalla fatica, dal gran mangiare e dagli alcolici. Intanto, nella roccia vicina alla casa dell'estinto è già pronta la sua ultima dimora: quella che noi Sardi chiameremmo "domu de Jana". L'abitacolo è, infatti, simile a quelli scavati nelle rocce delle nostre montagne. La sola differenza è che, attorno all'apertura del cunicolo, viene disposto un balconcino ligneo dal quale sporgerà un pupazzo dalle vesti colorate raffigurante il defunto e alla base della "parete mortuaria" verrà sistemato un "baldacchino" riproducente le antiche imbarcazioni dell'Isola. I Toraja abitano case di legno dalla caratteristica forma delle antiche imbarcazioni del luogo; ma la maggior parte della giornata la trascorrono in lunghi e stretti gradini di terra strappati alle colline ove, dopo averli inondati d'acqua, piantano il riso e fan pascolare i bufali. Le loro divinità dominanti sono la pioggia e l'acqua. Ricordo di aver incontrato, una mattina, seduto ai piedi di una costruzione simile agli "Stupa" Birmani, un vecchio dalla lunga e fili forme barba bianca che gli spioveva dal mento rinsecchito. Aveva le labbra tumefatte e così arrossate da sembrare il sedere d'una scimmia. Masticava delle strane radici che lo costringevano a sputare sovente una saliva scura e dall'odore sgradevole. Gli chiesi chi fosse e cosa facesse. Dopo essersi lavato la bocca con un sorso d'acqua, mi disse di essere il custode della "Fonte sacra" dalla quale non poteva mai allontanarsi per non irritare il Dio del fiume e delle acque. Mi licenziò con un inchino ed un sorriso e riprese a masticare le sue radici mentre recitava una noiosissima cantilena e sgranava uno stranissimo rosario. I Birmani Intha del lago Inle meritano una citazione particolare perché non solo vivono costantemente nell'acqua ove esercitano la pesca e svolgono la maggior parte delle loro funzioni quotidiane, ma dal fondo del lago prelevano il fango pregno di "humus fluviali", lo trasformano in grossi "pani" che assemblano con robuste e lunghe canne di bambù, fissate, poi al fondo del lago per creare i famosi "giardini galleggianti": autentico miracolo di ingegneria agricola. E non esagerato affermare che nessun'acqua gode di tanto rispetto e culto come quella dell'Inle; se è vero, come è vero, che in questo straordinario bacino montano - che si distende su un vastissimo territorio a 1320 m. sul livello del mare ed è abitato da 126.000 abitanti - galleggiano centinaia di orti-giardino (che producono, per 12 mesi l'anno, frutta e verdura di ogni specie) e diecine di piccole pagode e monasteri; mentre le sue coste sono popolate da 100 grandi monasteri e più di 1000 stupa costruiti, per lo più, su palafitte. Un connubio perfetto e sorprendente fra attività umana e meditazione spirituale! Gli Intha del lago sono buddisti come la stragrande maggioranza dei Birmani ma, a differenza del resto della popolazione (nota per la scarsa attitudine al lavoro), sono tenacemente legati alla terra ed alle attività contadine. La loro fede non vieta il culto della pioggia e dell'acqua, anche se tutti si riservano il privilegio di osservare l'obbligo religioso di trascorrere almeno un anno della loro vita in un monastero buddista. Nel delta del Mekong, nel Vietnam del Sud, milioni di Vietnamiti vivono permanentemente nell'acqua. Nel prezioso elemento i cittadini svolgono tutte le attività civili, sociali, commerciali. Nel delta si naviga e si pesca e negli stupendi giardini delle sue coste si coltivano frutti deliziosi e si consumano cibi saporiti. Quell'area lacustre che fu, per anni, focolaio di odio e lido di morte è tornata alle origini della sua tradizione e della sua storia. E nonostante la diffidenza e l'ostilità del "regime", il culto di quel popolo per il suo delta appare evidente anche al più distratto degli osservatori. Le imbarcazioni ammucchiate sulle rive, quelle che trasportano merci e masserizie, le piroghe dei venditori ambulanti e le barche che solcano le dense acque del delta portano tutte i segni del religioso rispetto, della devozione e del culto sacro per l'acqua: elemento essenziale per la vita di quel popolo, sopravvissuto ad una lunga, devastante guerra anche (e soprattutto) per merito del delta del Mekong. Il discorso sul rapporto che ancora esiste fra molti popoli e l'acqua come elemento di vita e momento di culto, potrebbe fermarsi a questo punto. Vale, però, la pena fare un brevissimo cenno al "culto delle acque" nei popoli del continente indiano. Maria Margherita Satta, nella sua relazione al III Simposio di Etnopoetica tenutosi ad Alghero il 30 marzo 2000, fra le altre interessantissime cose, diceva: " Nella mitologia induista, Indra è ricordato sia come la divinità che squarcia le nuvole e permette alla pioggia di fecondare la terra, sia come il Dio che uccide Vrta, liberando le acque e dando vita agli esseri della terra". "Parjnya è identificato come l'elemento fecondatore puro e semplice"; e continua: "Queste divinità acquisiscono una notevole importanza soprattutto all'interno di quelle società la cui economia si basava sull'agricoltura e l'allevamento, dove era essenziale fecondare la terra tramite la pioggia e controllare gli argini dei fiumi in modo da evitare le inondazioni, fenomeni negativi per i sistemi agro-pastorali". Ebbene, non è mia intenzione soffermarmi sull'affermazione della Satta, da me totalmente condivisa. Desidero solo aggiungere che - a parte la arcinota sacralità del Gange, ove, per le religioni induiste, tutto nasce e tutto muore, ove il Fiume sacro divora i cadaveri umani ed animali, purifica gli spiriti, restituisce la salute agli ammalati e la vita alla morte - in un Paese come il Nepal (ove è ancora venerata dalla casta sacerdotale e persino dal re la Dea Cumari, eletta periodicamente fra 300 bambine vergini e dichiarata decaduta al primo segno di pubertà) è talmente profondo e radicato il culto dell'acqua e della pioggia che a ridosso dei pozzi o fiumi sacri si consumano migliaia di sacrifici (che, a seconda delle disponibilità del credente vanno dalla pecora all'agnello, dal pollo all'uovo, dal maiale al toro) in un nauseabondo miscuglio di muggiti, grugniti, belati e di sangue che appesta l'aria e arrossa le acque dei rivi, i muri dei pozzi, le pietre degli altari e la terra invasa dai pellegrini in preghiera, assiepati come cavallette. Non è dato sapere se analoghe cerimonie sacrificali fossero presenti anche nei riti pagani protosardi e nuragici. È, invece, certo che ancora sono visibili - dentro e fuori dai complessi nuragici, siti e pozzi sacri - i segni di celebrazione sacrificali; anche di quelle più feroci e drammatiche. Del resto, leggende come quella de "L'abisso delle vergini" nella Grotta di Ispinigoli di Dorgali, quella della "Voragine del golgo" di Baunei e di altri siti della Sardegna indicati da leggende e tradizioni locali come luoghi di tortura e di morte verso malfattori, traditori, donne infedeli, streghe, ma anche verso nemici ed avversari, potrebbero essere considerate la testimonianza che, nell'era nuragica e prenuragica, i Sardi non fossero estranei a culture ed a riti sacrificali comparabili a quelli sopra menzionati. Le modeste conoscenze della complessa materia non mi permettono, però, di affermare che esistano riscontri certi sui rituali sacrificali del Sardo delle caverne e dei nuraghi. Nel contempo non credo si possa mettere in dubbio che i nostri antenati fossero tanto sensibili ai bisogni dell'acqua e così consapevoli della sua indispensabilità per la sopravvivenza dell'uomo, delle bestie e della campagna da avvertire la necessità di riconoscerne la Divinità e, conseguentemente, fare in modo di guadagnarne i favori invocandone la protezione. Attorno all'antico culto delle acque è fiorita, in Sardegna, una infinità di credenze popolari e leggende che ancora sopravvivono e alimentano la fantasia popolare. Sa peristoria de Maria Giusta, pubblicata per la prima volta da Franco Enna e resa nota, in tutta la sua drammatica bellezza, da Enedina Sanna nel già citato III Simposio di Etnopoetica del marzo 2000, ad Alghero, ha permesso di squarciare quel muro di mistero che avvolgeva i riti sacrificali del periodo nuragico e prenuragico. Sa peristoria racconta di una donna che, mentre andava in cerca di legna da ardere, vide cadere e andare in fiamme un leccio accanto ad un pozzo lì vicino. Da una scure senza manico abbandonata in mezzo al bosco comparve una "fata" che disse alla donna: "getta la scure a doppio filo nel pozzo e vi sgorgherà l'acqua". La donna, dopo aver bevuto di quell'acqua, dimenticò tutto. Quando arrivò l'estate, tutti ebbero sete; anche il figlio che, sconfitto dall'arsura, si afflosciò come un giglio. La donna, disperata, tornò al pozzo e sentì una voce che le diceva: "S'abba non naschet / si sambene no paschet" (l'acqua non nasce / se sangue non pasce). La donna capì, si gettò nel pozzo e l'acqua sgorgò abbondante. La poesia, di rara efficacia e bellezza, raccolta da Franco Enna a Macomer dalla stanca voce di Maddalena Deriu, ormai novantenne, è una delle "leggende - testimonianza" che inducono a ritenere che molta della "storia antica non scritta" resti scolpita nella cultura e nelle tradizioni dei popoli come memoria incisa nella pietra. Un po' come quello che ho avuto modo di vedere nei giganteschi graffiti della Namibia; ove migliaia di anni prima d'oggi i Boscimani, popolo primordiale ormai in via di estinzione, incidevano nelle pareti levigate delle montagne la loro storia, quella della loro fauna, della loro flora e della loro economia: florida e opulenta fino al disseccarsi del lago Ethosa Pan ed al sopraggiungere del deserto di Sossusvlei con le sue meravigliose dune di sabbia di corallo. La lettura de Sa peristoria de Maria Giusta ci permette di capire molti dei segreti del Santuario nuragico di Santa Vittoria di Serri: un vero e proprio villaggio edificato intorno al pozzo sacro dello stesso nome. Questo santuario nuragico, costruito sulla Giara di Serri che sovrasta quella più vasta di Gesturi, ha fatto ritenere che quei luoghi alti, oltre che terrazze naturali di difesa, fossero anche luoghi di culto. Giovanni Lilliu - archeologo di fama mondiale e accademico dei Lincei - ha definito il Villaggio Santuario di Santa Vittoria" uno dei monumenti più importanti, fascinosi ed evocativi della civiltà nuragica" e rappresenta, per chiunque abbia passione per l'antichità sarda, il Pantheon delle memorie nuragiche; come si legge nella Guida insolita della Sardegna di Franco Fresi. Gli scavi del Villaggio di Santa Vittoria di Serri hanno portato alla luce molti oggetti legati al culto sacro delle acque, considerati autentiche offerte votive alla divinità delle acque. Ma l'elemento che maggiormente ha catturato l'interesse degli studiosi e lega questo importante monumento archeologico a Sa peristoria de Maria Giusta è l'ascia a due fili: la bipenne o labrys. Raimondo Zucca, nel suo Il Santuario Nuragico di Santa Vittoria di Serri, narra che nella capanna della bipenne, "ai piedi dell'altare si individuarono un pilastrino che si inseriva in una basetta con dentellatura superiore e una grande ascia bipenne in bronzo (della lunghezza di 27 cm.) che, secondo il Taramelli, potevano costituire una 'sacra bipenne betilica', alla quale entro il recinto si prestava il culto con riti e sacrifici dei quali si videro le tracce". A parte le considerazioni sulle origini e la diffusione nel mondo mediorientale e mediterraneo del labrys e sul significato simbolico del "bipenne" (connubio "Toro-Sole", "Vacca-Luna"), è sorprendente l'accostamento del verso "S'istrale a duos filos" de Sa peristoria de Maria Giusta col riscontro archeologico del "bipenne" bronzeo dell'altare del Santuario di Serri e con gli amuleti di pietra, a forma di ascia, ritrovati all'interno della sua Fontana Sacra. Questa sconcertante storia potrebbe essere la riprova che molto spesso le leggende sono il veicolo più affascinante, e spesso più veritiero, delle "storie non scritte" dei popoli. Di pozzi sacri in Sardegna se ne contano, sinora, una trentina. Nella maggior parte dei casi hanno la stessa struttura architettonica composta da un vestibolo a livello del terreno, nel quale venivano esercitate le cerimonie dei sacerdoti e deposte le offerte votive. Lì venivano celebrati i riti propiziatori spesso accompagnati da sacrifici di animali e, forse, di uomini. Circostanza, questa, che nessuno è stato in grado di escludere ma che potrebbe essere possibile se si vuol dare un minimo di attendibilità a Sa peristoria de Maria Giusta della quale abbiamo detto sopra. Fra i tanti pozzi sacri, quello maggiormente studiato e conosciuto, il più interessante dal punto di vista archeologico ed architettonico, è certamente quello di Santa Cristina. Del pozzo sacro di Santa Cristina ha parlato e scritto la cultura, l'archeologia e l'architettura di tutto il mondo contemporaneo. È, quindi, arduo aggiungere altro al tanto che già si è detto e si sa. Percorrendo la strada statale 131 - più o meno a 110 Km. da Cagliari - compare sulla destra un picco roccioso dietro il quale si nasconde il miracolo del "pozzo sacro di Santa Cristina". Il monumento è una delle più affascinanti e misteriose testimonianze della civiltà protosarda. La mirabile realizzazione architettonica si apre con una scala attraverso la quale gli officianti giungevano fino alla fonte. Attorno al pozzo si sviluppa l'esedra e il recinto sacro, mentre nelle vicinanze si intravedono timide tracce di edifici civili e commerciali. A un centinaio di metri sorge il nuraghe. Lo stupore, però, assale i visitatori quando, oltre un piccolo ripiano pietroso, oltre i querci sopravvissuti agli incendi, si scopre la magnificenza di un'opera dinanzi alla quale impallidiscono persino quelle immortali di Roma, di Atene e dell'Egitto. Gianfranco Pintore, nella sua opera Sardegna sconosciuta ha scritto: "quando riportarono alla luce il pozzo di S. Cristina, l'ingegnere che ne stava rilevando le proporzioni, smarrito, rivelò agli archeologi che erano con lui: 'Se si dovesse progettare oggi una cosa del genere avremmo bisogno di un buon computer e di non poche settimane di lavoro'". Quando, in Grecia, andai a visitare la famosissima Tomba di Agamennone, ricordando i giganteschi macigni che concorrono alla costruzione di gran parte dei nostri nuraghi e, soprattutto, avendo nella mente lo stupore del pozzo di Santa Cristina, mi domandai se i Sardi potessero essere autori della monumentale opera funeraria di uno dei più mitici e celebrati eroi Omerici o fossero, invece, i Greci ad aver contribuito alla realizzazione delle inimitate ricchezze archeologiche della età nuragica della Sardegna. Ed evidentemente non sono il solo a stupirmi dinanzi a tanto miracolo architettonico se è vero che decine di studiosi si sono affannati a scoprire il mistero di un'opera che trova pochi riscontri nell'archeologia di tutti i tempi. Neppure i monumenti impareggiabili del Messico, del Perù, della Birmania, della Cina, del Nepal, dell'India e di altre parti del Pianeta, colonizzate nei trascorsi millenni da civiltà superiori ed ormai scomparse, si sentirebbero sminuiti dal confronto con quelli della preistoria sarda che, comunque, rimarranno immortali nel tempo. Attorno a questo prodigio creativo si è scatenata la curiosità e la fantasia di studiosi, archeologi, artisti, architetti e, persino, geografi ed astronomi di tutto il mondo. Si sono cercate e trovate somiglianze con l'arte greca e, soprattutto, con quella egizia; al punto che alcuni hanno sostenuto e sostengono che capolavori come il pozzo di S. Cristina siano opera di architetti egiziani richiamati in Sardegna da signorotti del tempo. Sono quesiti che non troveranno risposta! Quel che è certo è che l'orientamento verso il Meridiano della sezione trasversale del pozzo fa sì che la Luna, nei periodi della sua massima declinazione, si rispecchi, per un breve periodo (ed in particolare a mezzanotte), sul fondo del pozzo; circostanza che ha autorizzato la convinzione che il pozzo Sacro di S. Cristina avrebbe avuto impieghi, oltre che rituali, anche astrologici: di laboratorio, cioè, per lo studio delle stelle, della Luna, del Sole e dell'Universo. Vale la pena aggiungere che gli studiosi di questi monumenti rituali sostengono che la costruzione dei pozzi sacri, e in particolare di quelli di S. Cristina e di Santa Vittoria di Serri, lascia intravedere una particolare competenza geografica e astronomica dei loro progettisti e costruttori. Chissà! Certo è che quelle scale così perfette di S. Cristina, quelle pareti monumentali, quei giganteschi blocchi di basalto rosa-scuro costringono gli sprovveduti come il sottoscritto a domandarsi: "Come hanno fatto questi Sardi antichi - senza nessuna attrezzatura meccanica, senza neppure i semplici e tradizionali scalpellini dei contemporanei lavoratori della pietra, senza esplosivi di alcun genere - a fare quel che, a fatica, fanno oggi gli addetti alle cave di granito e i cavatori del marmo della Toscana e di ogni parte del mondo?" Si dice che per preparare quei blocchi di pietra si usasse fare un foro nella roccia madre, la si riempisse d'acqua che, dilatandosi per il gelo, spaccasse la pietra secondo i desideri del "protoarchitetto". Ammesso che questo fosse possibile e sia avvenuto, come facevano, poi, i Sardi del tempo a rendere così perfetti tutti gli elementi che hanno concorso alla realizzazione di quest'opera inimitabile? Giovanni Lilliu ha scritto che per la costruzione del pozzo di S. Cristina sono state adottate tecniche costruttive "che mostrano i paramenti tirati su a parabola lungo la quale i conci ben tagliati si sovrappongono obliquamente: il concio superiore leggermente in ritiro rispetto all'inferiore. In questi ultimi pozzi si osserva una tecnica moderna che, se non rivela proprio una rottura della tradizione architettonica, dimostra almeno una linea più avanzata, una sensibilità artistica più raffinata in confronto al vecchio modo di costruire". Questa sottile osservazione e le conseguenti conclusioni mi paiono chiare e abbastanza evidenti. Resta, però, da chiedersi come mai a questa "linea più avanzata" nella costruzione del pozzo di S. Cristina non abbia fatto riscontro altrettanto avanzato livello architettonico nell'edilizia abitativa e in tutte le opere d'ingegneria civile, pubblica e privata, che sono rimaste immutate fino all'arrivo in Sardegna di civiltà e culture più evolute. Un ultimo cenno rapidissimo desidero farlo su un monumento assai meno noto di quelli appena citati ma che, tuttavia, rappresenta una delle preziosità archeologiche più raffinate e interessanti della Sardegna. Si tratta di Funtana Croberta. Recentemente, dopo aver rivisitato i Menir e la straordinaria Domu de Jana de Pranu Mutteddu di Goni, ho proseguito per Ballao con l'intento di saziare lo sguardo delle "orride bellezze" di quelle montagne disseccate dalla vigliaccheria dei piromani e abbeverarmi alla fonte della solitudine che è assoluta padrona di quei luoghi desolati e disabitati. A cinquanta metri dal bivio per Ballao fui attratto da un piccolo cartello segnaletico: Funtana croberta. Imboccai una stradina sterrata e, dopo pochi metri, mi fermai dinanzi ad un robusto cancello di ferro, appena accostato. Lo aprii e parcheggiai in un piccolo spiazzo invaso da pietre affioranti e poca erba secca. Girovagai lì attorno nella speranza di trovare "sa Funtana " della quale avevo sentito parlare qualche tempo prima e persino durante la breve sosta a Goni. Finalmente mi imbattei in un cumulo di terra e pietrame la cui sommità mostrava qualcosa di molto simile ad un foro. Decisi, così, di fare una accurata ricognizione di tutto il "cumulo" e delle aree adiacenti, affollate di cisti rinsecchiti e di verdi lentischi. Dietro un muro semidemolito che sporgeva dal cumulo intravidi una stretta scalinata di granito che scendeva verso il basso. Pensai fosse la via d'accesso a sa Funtana croberta e, con molta circospezione, discesi fino al piano del pozzo: pieno fino all'orlo ma coperto da una robusta grata di ferro. L'ambiente, piuttosto angusto, era illuminato da un raggio di sole che penetrava dal "foro" che avevo visto dall'esterno. Questo mi permise di gustare uno spettacolo incredibile: le pareti del pozzo si ergevano perpendicolarmente per circa 2 metri; da quell'altezza aveva inizio una costruzione cupoliforme, troncoconica, in pietra nuda, che si elevava fino all'apertura superiore (il foro, appunto) dalla quale potevo ammirare un cielo luminoso e tersissimo. Scattai tutte le foto di cui disponevo, ma non riuscivo ad andar via. Mi sembrava di udire una voce che mi chiamava dal fondo del pozzo e le acque che intravedevo oltre la grata sembravano vive. Nonostante la luce scendesse copiosa dall'alto della volta forata, la mia immagine non si specchiava nell'acqua che, invece, rifletteva la cupola, ingigantendola ed esaltandone la ricchezza architettonica. Uscii e rientrai più volte senza che venisse meno nessuna delle sensazioni che avevo provato il primo momento della mia discesa in quella straordinaria, ma sconosciuta, reliquia della memoria storica della nostra Sardegna.
          on travel blogging, sponsorship, and ethics        

Blogging and sponsorships

*I don't talk about the business side of blogging much mainly because there are a lot of other folks doing a great job thinking about professional travel blogging, it's very inside baseball (and I don't even like baseball), and I don't want to bore you guys with the very unglamorous side of this travel lifestyle.  So, if you aren't a travel blogger and can't imagine why anybody would want to turn this into a business, I highly suggest that you check out our recent posts on gorgeous Prague and Pompeii.  But, if you're in the biz, or someone curious about what I’m doing when I go on “sponsored trips,” or a newbie travel blogger, maybe you'll find this ridiculously long-winded post interesting.

There’s been a lot of noise in the last few months about travel blogging and ethics: namely, is it appropriate for travel bloggers to take sponsorships and paid press trips and write about these products and destinations?  Aren’t bloggers obviously biased if they receive a press trip in which they are wined and dined by a specific destination?  How can a blogger write objectively about such destination?  And, how can a reader/consumer of blogs know when a blog is “real”?  (See the following articles that generally discuss this topic: this article from BBC/Skift, a recent newsletter from Bootsnall (which I can't link to), this article from TNooz that describes the new FTC guidelines requires bloggers to disclose sponsorships in their tweets, and the recent FTC guidance itself that basically tells bloggers that we must plaster disclosures all over the place if we want to accept sponsorships.

(Side note: I'm not even going to get into the discussion of whether or not the FTC Guidance is fair or unfair and how traditional print journalists may accept press trips and don't have to disclose that press trip in their magazine article.  The FTC Guidance is a post/vent for another day.  And, yes, I am a totally nerdy lawyer and have read the whole guidance multiple times, parsed through it, and am still thoroughly and completely irritated by it.) 

The ethics of sponsorships is something that I’ve been wrestling with in my own blogging because I’ve been getting increasingly more sponsorship offers and more pressure from sponsors to portray them in a positive light.  And, I’ve been mulling --- a lot --- about what sponsorships and sponsored travel means for The Road Forks, me, and you.

Why talk about travel blogging ethics now?

Simply put, travel blogging has become huge.  I began blogging five years ago --- around the same time that a lot of the biggest players in travel blogging began their blogs, such as Adventurous Kate, The Planet D, and Twenty-Something Travel.  At that time, destinations and companies were just beginning to think about working with travel bloggers. 

Blogging, itself, was a vague notion.  Patrick and I were in South Africa on one of our first sponsored trips --- which we had cultivated by directly communicating with the company --- and someone asked me to describe a “blog.”  Before I could answer, someone else responded, “Oh, basically, it’s an online diary.”  Why would a company or destination want to work with a bunch of people spilling their guts in online diaries?  At that time, we weren’t even on the map.  Heck, we couldn’t even see the map with the "real travel journalists" in the way.

Now, there's no comparison.  When Travel Bloggers Exchange (TBEX) had its first conference in 2009, a modest 150 people showed up in Chicago at the end of the much bigger Blogher.  Last year, there were four different conferences aimed solely toward travel bloggers hosted by three different entities across Europe and the United States with between 300 to 1,200 people at each conference. 

Gary Arndt started a small Facebook group of travel bloggers around 2009 --- there were about 200 or so of us who chatted about random blogging stats, SEO, and industry issues.  Now, I'm one of the administrators of that group and there are 3,000+ travel bloggers and more joining every day. 

And, now, companies are falling hand over feet backwards to work with bloggers.  I get offers nearly every day asking me to check out the newest product, app, book, hotel, restaurant, or destination.  At ITB Berlin (a travel industry conference), travel bloggers became coveted and sought after, with specific events tailored to help destinations and areas meet travel bloggers. 

(And, yes, I totally feel like the curmudgeonly old codger fondly recalling the good old days.  But, hey, that's what it's like in this business.  A year on the Internets is like ten years in the real world.)

As our industry grew, so did the avenues for cash.  Bloggers became entrepreneurs --- because we had to --- because that's the way to make money.  (Go check out Kristin's amazing post on the need for entrepreneurism in travel writing/blogging.)  Blogging friends of mine are writing books, becoming brand ambassadors, developing conferences, and speaking at conferences.  And, we're getting respect.  We're no longer considered itinerant diarists (though, of course, sometimes we are) and amateurs.  There's a Professional Travel Bloggers Association, now, but the surest sign of the times: this year, three of the eleven National Geographic Travelers of the Year are travel bloggers and five of the winners of the Society of American Travel Writers' awards are bloggers.

But, with great power comes great responsibility.  Or, something like that.

bloggers have directly accessible personalities

Why do travel bloggers matter?  Why are destinations sending travel bloggers on press trips?

The explosion of travel blogging as a serious respected avenue for travel writing is still very much a work in progress.  Take, for example, this article from Skift/BBC which says, "The problem [of bloggers getting free press trips] stems not from freebies, per se. It stems from the disconnect between how travel bloggers position themselves as influencers of consumers.  They are not.  Their audience is a fraction of a sliver of a minuscule, but they make lots of noise.  On a good day, travel bloggers are marketers, and their audience is an echo chamber of equal-minded travel bloggers."

Here's what I know from my own work as a blogger: yes, there is a lot of this echo chamber issue in the travel blogging world, but I'd argue the same problem in any industry.  When I was a law student, I worked on a highly respected law journal: in it, academics talked to other academics.  When I was a lawyer, I went to numerous conferences where attorneys were talking to other attorneys and complaining about issues that, of course, no attorney could resolve because we were all part of the problem.  Judges mostly talk to other judges.  Doctors talk to doctors.  And, as we've recently discovered with the whole government shutdown, politicians seem to talk only to other politicians (and, they're not even doing a great job of that).

It's what we as a society do.  We talk to those who understand our industry the best.

Though bloggers do make a lot of noise, I'd argue that we are more influential than the Skift article posits.  No, we don't have the numbers of a Lonely Planet or a Frommers.  But, we have something that they don't: we have accessible personalities.  If people have questions, they can contact us.  If people have issues at a destination, they can talk directly to us to get our advice.  We are here.  We're available.

For example, check out my article on how to decide whether or not a Japan Rail Pass is worth the expense.  I wrote up this post way back in 2010 because it was an issue that I had spent a lot of time thinking about and worrying about and I wanted to help out other travelers.  The post has over 175 comments on it and, even now, I get at least one email a week from someone looking for Japan Rail Pass help, not to mention that it's one of the lead search results that sends people to my site.

Of course, the average non-blogging traveler could go to Lonely Planet or even to the JR Pass website and read up about the Japan Rail Pass system.  But, I can provide something that neither a guidebook nor a static website can provide: personalized help.  When people contact me, they don't address me as "Dear Sir/Madam" (well, unless they're a spammer, in which case they're equally likely to refer to me as Dear Mr. Patkila).  They address me as "Akila" because that's who I am.  The reason people ask me questions is because they know that I'll give them an answer to the best of my ability.  And, if I don't, they can hold me accountable (at least to a certain extent) because I am a real person and this is my blog.

That's the value a destination gets from sending bloggers on press trips.  No, we don't have the numbers of Conde Nast or National Geographic.  But, we have directly accessible personalities.  If someone reads about Namibia on my blog and they think this sounds like a great destination, they can email me or leave a comment and I'll get back in touch with them and help them sort out a trip to the best of my abilities.  And, those directly accessible personalities result in a pretty good return on investment for the destination. 

How do you define a sponsorship?

A few years back, I would have told you that a sponsorship was a "free trip."  Or a free item.  In fact, Matt Kepnes of the huge Nomadic Matt wrote this great article on why he would keep taking free "press trips" and "free stuff" back in 2009. 

But, if you ask us now, few bloggers will call a press trip "free."  Here's what we've learned in the intervening years:

  • DMOs (direct marketing organizations) and destinations demand a lot when on a press trip.  The pace is hurried and we're often writing blog posts, tweeting, Facebooking, and Instagramming on mediocre internet on buses as we run from one destination to the next.  We work a lot on a press trip, in the same way that I used to work a lot on business trips as an attorney.  A press trip is a business trip, albeit a fun business trip in an exotic locale.
  • Usually, we're not getting paid beyond the services provided by the DMO (i.e., lodging, food, etc.).  Now, this isn't always true.  There are some bloggers who make a salary from the organizations that they endorse, in effect acting as celebrity endorsers for a particular brand, in the same way that Lebron makes money from Nike (though, I can tell you that noone's getting super rich as a travel blogger).  But, that's the exception.  Most of us take press trips during our vacation time from our other paying gigs.  If we're professional bloggers or writers, the time that we are at a press trip is time spent not writing or pitching on other projects.  It's the loss of income and opportunity.
  • DMOs and destinations are starting to wise up to the fact that press trips aren't free.  In the last two years, I've started getting W-2s from organizations from whom I've received a press trip, meaning that I'm making "income" from these companies that I need to report to the IRS, even though that "income" may be in the form of lodging, dining, and air tickets, rather than cold hard cash.

All this goes back to the original question: how do you define a sponsorship?  I define a sponsorship as an arrangement in which I provide writing, photography, and linking services through my blog in exchange for a certain product or set of products.  A sponsorship is a bartering system.  Instead of providing cash for my services, the destination/product manufacturers are trading goods/products for my services.

And, that raises lots of questions: how can I accept goods or services from a company and then be honest in my writing about that company?  Isn't there an inherent conflict of interest if I'm getting "income" from X destination?

Online services consumers most trust

Why does honesty matter in travel blogging?

Many non-travel bloggers have assumed that it's not possible to go on a press trip and still write honestly about the product/destination.  It's the reason that the FTC has come down so hard on bloggers, requiring in their most recent guidance, that bloggers directly state that a review, blog post, or tweet about a particular topic was sponsored.

It's the reason that Sean Keener wrote in his recent Bootsnall newsletter (which is, in part, what prompted this whole blog post) that, "Many popular travel bloggers are given free trips (often called press trips) or in some cases are even paid to go to a destination, hotel, hostel, etc.  The blogger will often use this disclaimer: 'This trip/hotel/hostel/etc. was paid for by XXXXX, but the opinions are my own.'  Really? I call Bull-shitake.  Let's think about this for a minute. If that blogger paid for that exact same trip with their own coin, would the content be the same?  Quite simply - No...it wouldn't."

Let me turn this around: why is it assumed that bloggers can't be honest about a press trip?  Why is it assumed that we will automatically give glowing reviews of a product because it was given to us to review?

Personally, I didn't start getting sponsorships and offers for product reviews until I was already well-established as a blogger.  I'd been writing for a year or longer, had a decent sized social media presence, and was active in the travel blogging community.  I got sponsorships because I already had credibility with my readers.

Credibility is critical in this industry.  In fact, I'd say that you can scrap everything else: the quality of writing, the quality of photography, the quality of your web design, and, if you can be seen as a credible authority, you will succeed as a blogger. 

Though not a blogger, Paula Deen is a perfect example of this.  She was a respected and credible authority on Southern cuisine.  She reminded all of us of our fondly indulgent grandmothers, who lived in a time when butter was considered a health food.  I've made her recipes before and I've eaten at her restaurant: I'm telling you, people, that she wasn't that great of a Southern cook.  But, people loved her because she was so honest and cute and round and full of buttery fun!  Then, all of a sudden, people found out that she had used racist terms.  She stopped reminding of us of our kindly grandmothers and started reminding us of those bigoted Southerners that every other Southerner would rather not know.  She lost her credibility and, in doing so, lost her TV shows and endorsement deals.

Now, there isn't a single travel blogger who is as famous as Paula Deen.  But, we, too, have reputations to uphold.  If you have been doing this travel blogging thing long enough to have developed a credible reputation that will earn you sponsorships, then you've probably worked pretty hard to develop such credibility. 

And, it's that credibility that's getting you sponsorships and making you money.

In fact, Technorati recently concluded in its Digital Marketing report this exact same point: blogs are the fourth most influential online source for people making consumer decisions, behind retail sites and brand sites and the fifth most trusted source of information on the Internet.  (Note that consumers prefer blogs as a source of information over news sites and online magazines.  The King is dead.  Long live the King.)  And smaller communities actually drive purchases over larger bloggers because people believe that smaller communities have greater influence.

People trust bloggers because they think that we are credible sources of information.

. . . keep reading on travel blogging, sponsorship, and ethics after the jump

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          14 July 2014 – Big Lottery Fund Awards £4.2m for International Projects        

The Big Lottery Fund’s International Communities Programme has awarded £4.2 million to nine UK-based not-for-profit organisations in support of their work in disadvantaged communities abroad. The funding will support projects in Columbia, Honduras, Liberia, Kenya, Malawi, Zambia, Sierra Leone, DR Congo, and Namibia. One of the organisations to benefit from this week’s funding is Children […]

The post 14 July 2014 – Big Lottery Fund Awards £4.2m for International Projects appeared first on Make it happen.


          Chag Sameach        
Israeli Lior Kaminetsky is an internationally renowned violinist currently living in Los Angeles. He recently returned from a concert tour through Jewish communities in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia. “I was honored,” Lior says, “to have a unique interaction with … Continue reading
          Redbull - Under The Horn of Capricorn (Full Length)        

Planning a trip can generally go two ways. One, there’s a predisposed theme. Follow the Silk Road or head to the Galapagos for example. Secondly, pick a place that has good skating, is picturesque and people want to visit.

For years I have wanted to visit a small enclave country known as Lesotho, filmmaker Patrik Wallner had always wanted to visit Namibia and we both really wanted to go to Cape Town. So, it was settled: we would take off for Under The African Capricorn, where all three countries lie, to see what they had in store. - Sam McGuire -

Filmed and Edited by Patrik Wallner
Skateboarding by Walker Ryan, Sebo Walker, Jamie Toncowny, Thynan Costa
Additional Videography by Walker Ryan
Photography by Sam McGuire

redbull.com/en/skateboarding
visualtraveling.com

Cast: Patrik Wallner

Tags: Skateboarding, Red Bull, Africa, Namibia, Visualtraveling, Lesotho, Patrik Wallner, Sebo Walker, Walker Ryan, Thaynan Costa, Sam McGuire and Jamie Toncowny


          Comment on Kitesurf destinations by month – part 1 by Brightmen        
July Cabarete, Fuerteventura, Tenerife, Mauritius, Naxos-Greece, Raratonga, Leucate-France, The gorge-USA, Pirlanta-Turkey, Bol-Croatia, Foddini-Italy, Seychelles*, solomon Islands, Maui-USA, fiji, Tahiti, Essaouira-Morocco, Guincho-Portugal, el yaque-venezuela, rhodes-greece, levkada-greece, dakhla - morocco, Corsica, paros-Greece, porto pollo-Sardinia, Lanzarote, El Gouna-Egypt, Safaga-Egypt, Sinai, eilat-Israel, Paramali-Cyprus, Sri Lanka**, Maui-USA, Aruba-Carib, Puclaro-Chile, Mancora-Peru August Cabarete, El Gouna-Egypt, Fuerteventura, Tenerife, Brazil, Mauritius, cape verde, Naxos-Greece, Raratonga, The gorge-USA, Bol-Croatia, Pirlanta-Turkey, Foddini-Italy, Zanzibar-Tanzania, Guincho-Portugal, Seychelles*, solomon Islands, Rangiroa-F.polynesia, Maui-USA, fiji, Tahiti, Essaouira-Morocco, Corsica, Rhodes-Greece, Paramali-Cyprus paros-Greece, Lanzarote, Safaga-Egypt, Eilat-Israel, Sinai, Sri Lanka**, Maui-USA, Aruba-Carib, Puclaro-Chile, Mancora-Peru September El Gouna-Egypt, Tucus-Brazil, Mauritius, Pirlanta-Turkey, Zanzibar-Tanzania, Seychelles*, solomon Islands, Rangiroa-F.polynesia, Sumbawa-indonesia, Maui-USA, Madagascar, UK, Corsica, rosslare-Ireland, Canada, Germany, Israel, Sinai, Noordwijk ann Zee-Netherlands, Puclaro-Chile, Mancora-Peru, Cumbuco Brazil October Tucus-Brazil, Western Oz, Sumbawa-indonesia, Madagascar, New Caledonia, Chile, Watergate-UK, Esbjerg-Denmark, rosslare-Ireland, Buenos aires-Argentina, Carmelo-Uruguay, Noordwijk ann Zee-Netherlands, Cape Hatteras-USA, Tarifa, Puclaro-Chile, Mancora-Peru, Cumbuco Brazil November Melbourne, Tucus-Brazil, Western Oz, Namibia, Sumbawa-indonesia, Auckland-NZ, Madagascar, New Caledonia, Buenos aires-Argentina, Carmelo-Uruguay, Hong Kong, Leucate-France, Noordwijk ann Zee-Netherlands, Tarifa, Puclaro-Chile, Cumbuco Brazil December Melbourne, Tucus-Brazil, Western Oz, cape town-South Africa La ventana-mexico, Namibia, Copal-Costa Rica, Mui Ne Bay-Vietnam, Auckland-NZ, Nashiro-Japan, Baja, New Caledonia, Boracay-philipines, Buenos aires-Argentina, Carmelo-Uruguay, Monastir-Tunisia, Hong Kong, Leucate-France, Cape Hatteras-USA, Tarifa, Puclaro-Chile, Yemen-Red Sea
          Charter Cities and Seasteading        

The more people all over the world are geting sick of fake democracies, excessive corruption, political sleaze and an intolerably wide gap between the rich and the rest, the more diligently people are looking for ways out, either way. Some try to improve socio-economical conditions, others try to further corrode them. Just in one edition of German educational magazine GEO (October 2012, cf. p. 22, pp. 80-92, p. 150.) I found three articles dealing with different approaches.



Charter Cities
"Chicago Boy" economist Paul Romer's suggestion to establish city states (in host states like Honduras) governed by their own laws of pure market belief (see http://chartercities.org/).


Unconditional Basic Income (Basic Income Guarantee (or Grant, abbr. BIG)
Funded by a coalition of churches, labour unions and aid organizations, the inhabitants of the Namibian village Otjivero (Omitara) received monthly 700-800 Dollar per person, from January 2008 to December 2009 (see Global Basic Income Foundation, Basic Income Grant Coalition)


Floating Free States (Seasteading)
Kind of social labs at sea (sometimes called seasteads), outside the territory claimed by the government of any nation; autonomous ocean communities designed for performing social experiments with volunteers to find out the best way of government (see The Seasteading Institute). Proponents: PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel and Patri Friedman (grandson of economist Milton Friedaman)


Unfortunately, none of these projects were designed to run under scientific rules of experiment. Comprehensive data of the outcome of the BIG project in Namibia are missing.
Based on a totally different mindset, Charter and Floating Cities look like the ultimate outsourcing projects. Details regarding the living conditions of workers do no exist and those available are rather scary (it is half-way instructive to read both FAQs, e.g. in Paul Romer's vision of recruiting unskilled workers directly out of slums:

"Q: What kind of apartments could these workers afford?A: Small apartments. We know from existing data that living space varies linearly with income. As income grows, people will rent larger, nicer apartments. A city that starts by catering to people getting entry level jobs would start by building small, minimalist apartments and add larger ones with more amenities as incomes rise."

And in the Seasteading FAQ section, the question

"Are seasteading enthusiasts just a bunch of rich guys wanting to escape paying taxes?"

is already telling. Considering the lack of data in both projects, one has to rely on guessing, and my guess is that both are designed to acquire cheap labor slaves through a new legal back door, and yes, trying to create a new systematic loophole for escaping the so-called "regulators" - a term which the plutocracy likes to use for "legislators" and "executive authorities". (My guess is only based on what I found on their websites - which is very unspecific, leaving one with the suspicion that dubious reasons might be behind the lack of details.)

It's funny how well this mechanism of corroding modern democracies is working: first you do everything against the state (the bad regulator) and then you say it's the state that is responsible for the mess and that we have to minimize government (further corrode it). First you create international trading laws which favor large international corporations so that they can easily blackmail governments by threatening to move abroad where production costs and taxes are lower. At home, you proceed by corroding values like consumer and worker protection and introduce subcontracted labour. You reinvest your gains by employing lobbyists, think-tanks and mass-media infotainment who spread your gospel of the entrepreneurial saviour. Further you go by introducing outsourcing techniques - another blackmailing instrument. Finally, you end up by destroying millions of jobs in your own country by outsourcing to other countries, producing products with the help of cheap labor slaves abroad and selling these products overpriced back home, while at the same time tranferring technology to tother countries for free. Your own country is left to pay the price by being forced to pay all kinds of subsidies in order to save society from further disintegration and debt. And then you say the government is incapable of housekeeping.

If you firmly believe that such a downward spiral is good, it is only natural to assume that the final goal can only be your own entrepreneurial city state (or island) where you are the legislator and there are no limits, no rules, no regulations holding you back from doing business, whatever kind of business.

Seasteading's Patri Friedman comes straigth to the point when he finds democracy ridiculous in comparison with the allegedly high standard of entrepreneurial product innovation:

"Yet the governance technology that we use in most of the world - representive democracy - is 2 thousand years old. It originated in ancient Athens. And here in the US we use a constitution which is 200 years old. And that's ridiculous compared with consumer technologies, right? If you'd drive a car from 200 years ago, it would be a horse." (03:38)





Guess it's time to rethink some other more than 2000 years old concepts: e.g. rational thinking, deductive science, speeches in front of an audience, and - last but not least - brigandism and entrepreneurship. For some people with a certain mindset, Friedman's argument might appear compelling, but it's one of the weakest I have ever heard.

Democracy is a human longtime project like science - it is at any time only as good as its proponents, it is always prone to error and it is always improvable. Unfortunately democracy can be faked almost perfectly. (Scientists control each other, politicians do not.)



Related topic:
The Plutocracy Will Go to Extremes to Keep the 1% in Control






          Große Übersichtskarte: Die besten Auto-Spritztouren der Welt        
Autowandern in Namibia, eine Runde über den hessischen Schottenring oder eine Gartentour durch Nordportugal: SPIEGEL ONLINE hat die besten Pkw-Ausflüge auf einer interaktiven Karte zusammengestellt - auch Ihre Traumstrecke ist bestimmt dabei.
          Namibia trip: our regular accommodation        

Namibia trip: our regular accommodation

Photo by marco_vdw


          Namibia trip: our accommodation near Aus        

Namibia trip: our accommodation near Aus

Photo by marco_vdw


          Namibia trip: red sand colouring a salt water pool along the Namibian coast        

Namibia trip: red sand colouring a salt water pool along the Namibian coast

Photo by marco_vdw


          Maiden wheelchair basketball tourney set for weekend        
The Katutura Youth Centre will be host the first of its kind wheelchair basketball tournament, this weekend. The one day tournament will serve as a national championship organised by the Namibian Paralympics Committee and the Wheel-Ability Sports Club from Windhoek, Oshana Heroes Sports club & the Ohangwena Wheelchair basketball team were invited to participate in […]
          Website to expose local icons to the world        
An information revolution is launching which will finally give Namibia’s Performers and entertainment establishment’s freedom from the costly search engines and social networking websites who currently control which entertainment options the locals and tourists are exposed to. Mitch St. Pierre, a former Canadian political Candidate/World Traveler and,Calistro Nhavotso from Maputo, Mozambique, both knew of the […]
          Capacity crowd gathers in Ongwediva for Businesswomen conference        
“In 2017, 24 of the now top 74 central government positions are filled by women. That is a meaningful 32.4% and nearly 56% more than ten years ago. It also sets Namibia at the top in the Southern African Development Community for female leaders as a percentage of all people in top positions in central […]
          Regular blood donors make up less than one percent of population        
First-time blood donor Benjamin Chikuza happened to be at the headquarters of the Namibia Qualifications Authority (NQA) for a meeting when he noticed a blood clinic was underway. He immediately joined the Authority’s staff to give “corporate” blood, in the process becoming one of the less than one percent of Namibians who regularly donate blood. […]
          Letshego to offer locals opportunity to be part of their growth        
Letshego Holdings Namibia (LHN) announced this week that it will be offering its shares for sale to Namibians through a planned Initial Public Offering (IPO), enabling the people of Namibia to be part of Letshego history of improving life. LHN will be offering its shares for sale on the Namibia Stock Exchange to locals through […]
          Universities join forces to improve learners’ lives        
Approximately 40 learners from the JA Nel Senior Secondary School in Keetmanshoop have been selected for an intensive UniCamp organised by the Wales Cardiff University and the University of Namibia (UNAM). The UniCamp will run from 21 August to 1 September at the UNAM Southern Campus in Keetmanshoop and Student ambassadors from Cardiff and UNAM […]
          No more platoon schools. Namport commits more funding for classrooms        
The Chief Executive of the Namibian Ports Authority, Mr Bisey /Uirab announced earlier this week that a further N$610,000 has been committed to the construction of four Module 4 classrooms at a project school in Walvis Bay. The funding is channelled through the Namport Social Investment Fund. /Uirab spoke at the tenth anniversary of the […]
          Pharmaceutical firm increases funds for children fighting cancer        
Local a local pharmaceutical company, GEKA Pharma recently handed over N$120,000 too the Children Fighting Cancer in Namibia Interim Home (CHICA) fund of the Cancer Association of Namibia. The funds will be for the support for children fighting cancer in then country and this year, GEKA increased the funds by N$20,000 as compared to last […]
          HAN to take Tourism Forum to the north        
In the run-up of National Heritage Week and Tourism week in September, the Hospitality Association of Namibia (HAN) will host a Tourism Forum at the Namibia Lodge 2000 just outside Oshakati on 19 August. According to HAN CEO Gitta Paetzold this week the event will focus on debates and information exchange on ways to develop […]
          Barley project must expand by 1200 hectares per year to meet 10-year target        
Namibia Breweries Limited is taking its barley project to the next level with the very ambitious target to grow 60,000 tonnes of barley annually within the next ten years. Going by the yields of the first two seasons, some 12,000 hectares under irrigation will be required. Talking about the issues of investment and innovation, the […]
          Law experts help local communities with sticky legal issues        
Expert legal advice free of charge came to the Katutura community last week Friday when the Law Society of Namibia and the Office of the Ombudsman hosted another of their Free Legal Advice days, this time in Windhoek. The Law Society said this week, 107 Katutura resident used the opportunity for councelling on legal matters […]
          Number Portability stalls amendment of Numbering Plan regulations        
Number portability, the luxury that enables telephone customers to retain their number even if they switch operator, has become a hot debate since the Communications Regulator of Namibia, CRAN, hosted a public hearing on 25 July to introduce the process to amend the so-called National Numbering Plan. At this hearing, CRAN’s Chief Operations Officer, Jochen […]
          Local businesses invited to be part of the biggest China sourcing platform in Africa        
Members of the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry have been invited to apply to be a Hosted Buyer at the China HomeLife and Machinex fair set to take place in South Africa. The third edition of the fair is only three weeks away and will take place from 31 August to 2 September. According […]
          Unlocking the vast potential of informal housing through targetted funding        
Ludwig Diergaardt and Piet Paulse, two residents of Otjimuise on the outskirts of Windhoek, learned this week that they are next in line for grants to build their own homes, following more funding received by the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia. The two men are contributing members of the federation. The Shack Dwellers Federation is […]
          By studying problems, the mind generates many new ideas        
Reflecting and thinking ahead by Rikus Grobler of Namibia Innovation Solutions One of the leadership bloggers I follow, Michael Hyatt, did a study in 2014 on high achievers to find out what they do to position themselves for success. He identified a lot of commonalities, but by far, the most consistent practice high achievers share […]
          NPL Constitution review gains momentum        
The Namibia Premier League (NPL) new constitution over the weekend was finalised by members together with Fifa consultants, paving the way to the long-awaited return of the domestic top league. As reported on the NFA website, the meeting is a follow up to a previous meeting which discussed possible changes to the outdated Constitution and […]
          â€˜Minimum Wage’ – Not yet a good idea for current economic status        
By Haikali Ndatulumukwa Its such a honour that our leaders really care about their people, especially by not just maximizing the social utility but seeking for strategical initiatives to make sure every worker is getting what they deserve. However, given the current economy crisis status of Namibia, the minimum wage will have bad impacts on […]
          Zanzibar luxury resort brings new meaning to “House by the Sea”        
For the first time in history, foreigners can now obtained tenure to a villa in Zanzibar but it is for the well-heeled only. To market this exclusive opportunity, the project developers, Pennyroyal Gibraltar Ltd has appointed the Pam Golding Property Group. Namibians who see their own exclusive abode on Zanzibar as the ideal house by […]
          6000 potential clients for every single Namibian accountant        
The first group of trainee accountants to complete their 4-year training under the new curriculum of the Namibia Insitute of Professional Accountants’ training programme, was inducted last week Friday. They are now full members of the organisation. The institute’s chairperson, Amanda Rossouw said “I wish to extend my congratulations to the new members for having […]
          Applications open for Chevening scholarships to UK universities        
While ten Namibians will depart for the United Kingdom at the end of August to start their post-graduate studies at British Universities, the UK High Commission announced this week it has started the process to select the next batch of students whose study terms will only start in August 2018. Applications will be accepted up […]
          Local development bank inks MoU with Development Bank of Southern Africa        
The Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) last week signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that has the potential to boost development finance in Namibia. In terms of the MoU, the two banks will establish means to cooperate on and co-finance projects that are of mutual interest to […]
          4th financial inclusion survey to commence        
Namibia’s Statistics Agency (NSA) and the central Bank, in collaboration with FinMark Trust of South Africa, will conduct the 4th Namibia Financial Inclusion survey (NFIS), to collect information on financial needs, access to financial service preferences and financial behaviours of the people of Namibia. The agency’s Statistician General, Alex Shimuafeni on Thursday said the survey […]
          CAF confirms final CHAN qualifiers programme        
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has confirmed the programme for the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifiers third round fixture between Namibia and Comoros as the two nations eye their first ever qualification for the continental local-based players showpiece in Kenya. According to the NFA website, the Brave Warriors and Comoros will go head […]
          Three exemplary Namibian businessmen receive Doctorandus (Honoris Causa) in Business Administration        
Prof. Dr. Michael Addison (left), the Chancellor of the Commonwealth University in London, conferred the degree Doctorandus (Honoris Causa) in Business Administration, on three Namibian businessmen, Fysal Brenner, Augustinus Katiti and Erastus Shapumba. The graduation ceremony was held in Dubai. Dr Brenner is the owner of Fysal Fresh, a major fresh produce distributor with branches […]
          If there’s a bee in your bonnet over spelling, then this is your cup of tea        
Aina Tomas (centre) is the busiest Spelling Bee at the University of Namibia. Inga Kapendah (right), and Magritha Gontes, had to concede to Aina’s extraordinary spelling prowess, coming second and third respectively. The University of Namibia’s Language Department hosted a spelling contest for students over the previous weekend. The idea was to find Namibia’s top […]
          LIBOR’s existence hanging in the balance        
The End of an Era by Ian Patterson Petherbridge (LLB) Legal Manager – Corporate and Investment Banking at Standard Bank Namibia Limited On 27 July 2017 Andrew Bailey, the Chief Executive Officer of the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced the likelihood that LIBOR will cease to exist at the end of 2021. He said: […]
          Mass cycling celebration event to invade city        
The Namibian Cycling Federation (NCF), and all Windhoek’s bicycle clubs, are mobilising all cyclists in Windhoek, under the banner of Cycling in the City, to meet at MegaCentre, Chasie Street, in Kleine Kuppe on 8 September. The organisers said the large parking ground at MegaCentre will be used for a celebration of cycling in Windhoek. […]
          International industrial systems giant, ABB sets its sights on Angola and Zambia with new Windhoek site        
Asea Brown Boveri (ABB), the amalgamated Swedish Swiss technology company this week officially opened its newly-constructed 2200 square metre facility in Windhoek in preparation for what it sees as continued capital spending on infrastructure and industry. “Namibia is an important market for ABB, as it is the second largest contributor in the region to our […]
          The Living Planet Report: Alarming Trends and a Path Forward        

Today, World Wildlife Fund released the 2014 Living Planet Report. The report is always a must read update on the state of the planet, but this edition is especially important for anyone who cares about biodiversity. The headline finding is that vertebrate populations around the world have declined by an average of 52% between 1970 and 2010.

The situation is even worse if we look at the tropics, with an 83% species decline in Latin America. These are sobering statistics for me, and I’m sure for you as well.

If you dig deeper into the Living Planet Report, you will discover that animal declines are not uniform around the world. Freshwater species have been especially hard hit, down 76% in my lifetime, compared to “just” 39% for terrestrial and marine species. Animal populations in Latin America are down a shocking 83%. Elsewhere in the species-rich tropics, populations are down 56% percent compared to 36% in temperate zones. The world’s network of protected areas is helping limit the losses as animal populations in parks and wildlife refuges are only down 18%. While the magnitude of declines may vary, the trend lines all point in the same troubling direction — down.

Why are we seeing these alarming trends? Simply put, they are a consequence of the growing demands of the human population. More people are consuming more natural resources. And insodoing, they are clearing forests, plowing grasslands, polluting waters, and emptying the oceans.

This is not just a problem for wildlife. It’s a problem for you and me, too. As I wrote about in a previous LiveScience post, humans are consuming natural resources faster than nature can replenish them. Every year, we use 1.5 planet’s worth of natural resources. Overshoot day marks the day when we have used up our annual supply of renewable resources and start spending down the Earth’s natural capital. This year that day was August 20, and it comes earlier every year.

Instead of living sustainably within our ecological means, we are borrowing from our future to pay for our present. According to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 60% of ecosystem services — things like water supplies, fish stocks, fertile soils, and storm protection — are already in decline because of human impacts on the natural environment. Sometimes you need to dip into your savings to make ends meet, but you go back to saving again as soon as you can. Well people have been dipping into the planet’s natural capital account since 1975, and every year we take more than we took the year before.

So what are we to do? When my colleagues and I reflect on our conservation work, we see hope in WWF’s past accomplishments to protect the world’s most important places like the Amazon and iconic species. When we take a clear-eyed look at the trends described in the LPR, we also know we will have to accomplish much more in the future. I am most excited about three things that WWF is doing to start to reverse the current trends in animal populations.

First, we are looking at our conservation strategies with fresh eyes to ask how they might be scaled up to achieve larger conservation impact. The secret lies in developing strategies that can be implemented by others, effectively multiplying the impact that WWF could have by itself. To do that, we are using science to develop forecasts of how much conservation impact we think a project may have in order to identify the most promising strategies. And we are using impact evaluations — common in the health sector but cutting edge in conservation — to rigorously measure the impacts of strategies so that we better understand the conditions under which they can be successfully replicated.

An example of a multiplicative strategy with great potential impact is community-based conservation. WWF has been working in close collaboration with a number of communities in Namibia to develop their own conservation programs. The results have been a resurgence of rhinos, lions and other wildlife, and economic development opportunity for local people. Variations of this strategy are now being developed with communities all around the world, from Nepal, to the Arctic, and even with Native American communities in the Northern Great Plains of the US.

Finally, WWF is working with the private sector and with governments to help them incorporate natural capital considerations into their business and development decisions. WWF and The Coca-Cola Company have already collaborated to significantly reduce the amount of water used to produce beverages and other products. WWF scientists are now working with Coke to use natural capital accounting to source agricultural commodities that are sustainably produced and will contribute positively to watershed health. In Belize, WWF scientists have helped government officials and stakeholder groups to develop a science-based coastal zone management plan that balances economic development with protection of vital natural capital such as coral reefs, sea grass beds and mangrove forests that attract tourists, sustain fisheries, and protect coastal towns and infrastructure

These strategies give me hope in the face of the LPR trends because they show  the promise of what might be accomplished when conservation harnesses the creative potential of innovation and the multiplicative power of collaboration.


          Big Discoveries Still Happen – Zebras Make Africa’s Longest-Known Terrestrial Wildlife Migration        

Do you ever wonder what it would be like to be an explorer? To discover a natural wonder? Being a conservation biologist, I always hope I might experience that in some small way. But in our rapidly developing world, where wilderness continues to shrink, it can feel like there is nothing big left to discover. Yet my colleague Robin Naidoo and his collaborators in Namibia (WWF, Ministry of Environment and Tourism) and Botswana (Elephants Without Borders) have done just that. They have discovered the longest known land mammal migration in Africa — a 300+ mile seasonal trek by Burchell’s zebra (their newly published full study appears in Oryx).

Adding to the surprise, this journey is not happening in the Serengeti that is so famous for massive wildlife migrations. It is happening in southern Africa, where up to several thousand zebra migrate back and forth between the Chobe River floodplains in Namibia and Nxai Pan National Park in Botswana.

The discovery seems straight out of the golden age of exploration. It’s a story about modern technology and adrenaline-pumping adventure producing some good old fashioned field science. The key technology was GPS tracking collars that Robin and colleagues used to document the movement of eight female zebra for several months through the dry and wet seasons. But first they had to get the collars onto wild zebra – no easy task! In their scientific paper about the discovery, there is a very clinical explanation: "Adult female zebras (n=8) were darted from the air or ground and immobilized using a mixture of etorphine hydrochloride, azaperone and hyaluronidase. The age and family group size were estimated for each individual, and a satellite-tracking collar attached.”

The work began when team members, including a wildlife veterinarian and one of Namibia's best chopper pilots, went swooping over the bush in a helicopter looking for a healthy female zebra. The vet would lean out to sedate the animal with a tranquilizer dart. The team would then jump out the helicopter, put the collar on the animal, take some measurements and blood samples, and administer a drug to wake the animal back up. All the while they had to be on the lookout for protective and possibly dangerous family members who were not tranquilized. One kick from an angry zebra and the operation is over for you. 

Once the zebra were collared, and everyone safely back in the helicopter, technology took over the work. The GPS units recorded the precise location of each animal every 5 hours, and uploaded the data via satellite communications. When Robin plotted the data on a map upon his return from Christmas holiday in 2013, he and other wildlife biologists were stunned to see the zebras' long-distance migration route.

They had collared the animals in October, during the dry season near the Chobe River in Namibia. The zebra stayed there until early December, when one, and then the others, started moving south. By late December, seven of the 8 zebra had traveled more than 150 miles to Nxai Pan; the eighth animal arrived in early January. As more GPS data came in, Robin and colleagues could see that the zebra remained at Nxai pan for almost two months. Then, as the grass on the pan started to dry out, they headed back north to Chobe where they had started their migration.

People in Namibia have long known that zebra leave Salambala conservancy, which borders the Chobe River, at the end of the dry season, but they didn’t know where they went. Likewise, people knew that zebras came to Nxai Pan during the wet season but didn’t know where they came from. Thanks to Robin and team's adventurous and high tech fieldwork, the dots are now connected. We know that it’s the same zebra traveling 150 miles each way between Chobe and Nxai Pan, the longest documented land migration of any mammal in Africa.

And it turns out that this superlative is part of an even bigger one. The entire migration takes place within the boundaries of the largest multi-country conservation area in the world—the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area, commonly known as KAZA.

This 109 million acre expanse covers five countries. It was established in 2011 by the governments of Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe, in recognition of the large-scale habitat needs of some of Africa’s most magnificent wildlife species.

KAZA reflects the reality that wildlife never has, and never will, abide by the political boundaries that humans draw on maps. Today, elephants, wild dogs, wattled cranes and both black and white rhinos call KAZA home and benefit from protection within its vast landscape.

With this in mind, we know that the previously unknown migration is more than a cool discovery. It reminds us of the value of doing science in the field in order to explore and better understand a natural world that is still full of surprise. And it underscores how essential large-landscape conservation is for preserving spectacular phenomena like the longest zebra migration in the world.

To glimpse this process from the researcher’s point of view, check out this stunning short video:


          The Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index        
A computer classroom in Oneputa Combined School, northern Namibia. The Namibian government is committed to reducing inequality and secondary education is free for all students. Photo: John Hogg/World Bank

The Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index

Development Finance International and Oxfam have produced the first index to measure the commitment of governments to reducing the gap between the rich and the poor.  


          Phytoplankton bloom off Namibia        

          After Capitalism, Humanism        
Shared Prosperity, Common Wealth, National Equity and a Citizen's Dividend: Nirit Peled takes a look at social experiments in basic incomes for VPRO Tegenlicht, a Dutch public television documentary series. Starting with a German crowdfunded UBI chosen by raffle -- kind of like the opposite of Le Guin's Omelas (or Shirley Jackson's Lottery in reverse) -- the focus moves on to Albert Wenger who wants to disconnect work from income not only as automation progresses but to accelerate the process. Then it's on to Guy Standing who has conducted basic income experiments in India and Namibia (pdf) and is trying to get one off the ground in Groningen (Utrecht apparently is also a go). Finally, a stop in Alaska to ask some of its residents about their views on the state-owned Permanent Fund. This last part brings to mind the question: just what is wealth anyway? Wenger hints that in an information economy, wealth is knowledge, but in a recent book Why Information Grows: The Evolution of Order from Atoms to Economies, Cesar Hidalgo makes the connection explicit:
Information, when understood in its broad meaning as physical order, is what our economy produces. It is the only thing we produce, whether we are biological cells or manufacturing plants... So it is the accumulation of information and of our ability to process information that defines the arrow of growth encompassing the physical, the biological, the social, and the economic, and which extends from the origin of the universe to our modern economy. It is the growth of information that unifies the emergence of life with the growth of economies, and the emergence of complexity with the origins of wealth. Yet the growth of information is uneven, not just in the universe but on our planet. It takes place in pockets with the capacity to beget and store information. Cities, firms, and teams are the embodiment of the pockets where our species accumulates the capacity to produce information. Of course, the capacity of these cities, firms, and teams to beget information is highly uneven. Some are able to produce packets of information that embody concepts begotten by science fiction. Others are not quite there. So by asking what information is and why it grows, we will be exploring not only the evolution of physical order but that of economic order as well. We will be connecting basic physical principles with information theory, and also with theories of social capital, economic sociology, theories of knowledge, and the empirics of industrial diversification and economic development. By asking why information grows, we will be asking about the evolution of prosperity, about rich and poor nations, about productive and unproductive teams, about the role of institutions in our capacity to to accumulate knowledge, and about the mechanisms that limit people's capacity to produce packets of physically embodied information.
Or as Ramez Naam puts it in The Infinite Resource: "Wealth is pulling away from physical constraints. More and more, we're getting richer not by using more resources, but by using resources more intelligently." While that could be distilled into a trite 'work smarter, not harder' statement, it can also be expanded into the concept of a 'personbyte' as Hidalgo does: "the amount of knowledge that one person can reasonably know." Which gets to the idea of 'human capital' and its development. If seen as a resource to be exploited, this would obviously be dehumanizing, but what if labor was reclassified as an asset on the balance sheet rather than a liability? If value flows from people, then as a society -- both public and private -- we'd want to do everything we can to invest in our citizens for the nation to reach its full potential. So tying it all together, a Georgist interpretation of 'natural resources' that is expanded to include human knowledge (incl. public memory) should net one a citizen's dividend from a share of national equity as a particular form of basic income.
          Esteri di mar 28/03        
1-Dal Tibet allo Xinjiang. La sicurezza nella regione a maggioranza musulmana è tra le principali preoccupazioni di Pechino. Il piano anti-radicalismo affidato all'ex-capo del partito comunista a Lhasa (Gabriele Battaglia, Pechino).2-Watergrabbing. Una storia dell'acqua. L'inchiesta internazionale che racconta i danni dell'intervento umano in Etiopia, Sud Africa, Palestina, regione del Mekong (Emanuele Bompan).3-Togliere la terra ai bianchi per darla alla maggioranza nera. La promessa è del governo della Namibia. Ma la redistribuzione prosegue a rilento (Marta Gatti).4-Fare chiarezza in mezzo a disinformazione e strumentalizzazioni. È uscito il libro “Storia del pensiero politico islamico”. Un volume che aiuta anche a comprendere quello che sta succedendo in Medio Oriente (Massimo Campanini).5-L'Europa non è spacciata. ..La Dichiarazione di Roma potrebbe essere un nuovo punto di partenza. Ma serve una vera volontà politica (Alessandro Principe)
          Codes for making International Calls        

What is a Country Code?

      Country codes are used to make International Phone calls.Every country has a unique country code. Country codes are the prefixes you need to dial before calling to the country.This short alphabetic or numeric geographical codes (geocodes) are developed to represent countries and dependent areas.The International Dialing codes of a country is called "Country Code" or  International Area Code(IAC) or International Calling Codes.

International Calling codes of all countries



Country Codes List




CountryCountry Code
Abkhazia+995 44 +7 840, 940
Afghanistan+93
Albania+355
Algeria+213
American Samoa+1 684
Andorra+376
Angola+244
Anguilla+1 264
Antigua and Barbuda+1 268
Argentina+54
Armenia+374
Aruba+297
Ascension Island+247
Australia+61
Australian Antarctic Territory+672 1x
Austria+43
Azerbaijan+994
Bahamas+1 242
Bahrain+973
Bangladesh+880
Barbados+1 246
Belarus+375
Belgium+32
Belize+501
Benin+229
Bermuda+1 441
Bhutan+975
Bolivia+591
Bonaire+599 7
Bosnia and Herzegovina+387
Botswana+267
Brazil+55
British Indian Ocean Territory+246
British Virgin Islands+1 284
Brunei+673
Bulgaria+359
Burkina Faso+226
Burundi+257
Cambodia+855
Cameroon+237
Canada+1
Cape Verde+238
Cayman Islands+1 345
Central African Republic+236
Chad+235
Chile+56
Christmas Island+61 8 9164
Cocos Islands+61 8 9162
Colombia+57
Cook Islands+682
Costa Rica+506
Côte d'Ivoire+225
Croatia+385
Cuba+53
Curacao+599 9
Cyprus+357
Czech Republic+420
Democratic Republic of the Congo+243
Denmark+45
Djibouti+253
Dominica+1 767
Dominican Republic+1 809 / 829 / 849
East Timor+670
Ecuador+593
Egypt+20
El Salvador+503
Equatorial Guinea+240
Eritrea+291
Estonia+372
Ethiopia+251
Falkland Islands+500
Faroe Islands+298
Federated States of Micronesia+691
Fiji+679
Finland+358
France+33
French Guiana+594
French Polynesia+689
Gabon+241
Gambia+220
Georgia+995
Germany+49
Ghana+233
Gibraltar+350
Global Mobile Satellite System+881
Greece+30
Greenland+299
Grenada+1 473
Guadeloupe+590
Guam+1 671
Guatemala+502
Guernsey+44 1481
Guinea+224
Guinea-Bissau+245
Guyana+592
Haiti+509
Honduras+504
Hong Kong+852
Hungary+36
Iceland+354
India+91
Indonesia+62
International Freephone UIFN+800
International Premium Rate Service+979
Iran+98
Iraq+964
Ireland+353
Isle of Man+44 1624
Israel+972
Italy+39
Jamaica+1 876
Japan+81
Jersey+44 1534
Jordan+962
Kazakhstan+7 6xx, 7xx
Kenya+254
Kiribati+686
Kosovo+377 44 / 45 +386 43 / 49 +381 28 / 29 / 38 / 39
Kuwait+965
Kyrgyzstan+996
Laos+856
Latvia+371
Lebanon+961
Lesotho+266
Liberia+231
Libya+218
Liechtenstein+423
Lithuania+370
Luxembourg+352
Macau+853
Macedonia+389
Madagascar+261
Mainland China+86
Malawi+265
Malaysia+60
Maldives+960
Mali+223
Malta+356
Marshall Islands+692
Martinique+596
Mauritania+222
Mauritius+230
Mayotte+262 269 / 639
Mexico+52
Moldova+373
Monaco+377
Mongolia+976
Montenegro+382
Montserrat+1 664
Morocco+212
Mozambique+258
Myanmar+95
Nagorno-Karabakh+374 47 / 97
Namibia+264
Nauru+674
Nepal+977
Netherlands+31
New Caledonia+687
New Zealand+64
Nicaragua+505
Niger+227
Nigeria+234
Niue+683
Norfolk Island+672 3
North Korea+850
Northern Mariana Islands+1 670
Norway+47
Oman+968
Pakistan+92
Palau+680
Palestinian territories+970
Panama+507
Papua New Guinea+675
Paraguay+595
Peru+51
Philippines+63
Poland+48
Portugal+351
Puerto Rico+1 787 / 939
Qatar+974
Republic of China (Taiwan)+886
Republic of the Congo+242
Réunion+262
Romania+40
Russia+7
Rwanda+250
Saba+599 4
Saint Helena+290
Saint Kitts and Nevis+1 869
Saint Lucia+1 758
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines+1 784
Saint-Pierre and Miquelon+508
Samoa+685
San Marino+378
São Tomé and Príncipe+239
Saudi Arabia+966
Senegal+221
Serbia+381
Seychelles+248
Sierra Leone+232
Singapore+65
Sint Eustatius+599 3
Sint Maarten+599 5
Slovakia+421
Slovenia+386
Solomon Islands+677
Somalia+252
South Africa+27
South Korea+82
South Sudan+211
Spain+34
Sri Lanka+94
Sudan+249
Suriname+597
Swaziland+268
Sweden+46
Switzerland+41
Syria+963
Tajikistan+992
Tanzania+255
Telecommunications for Disaster Relief by OCHA+888
Thailand+66
Togo+228
TokelauList of Currencies of the World and their Currency Symbols

There are 179 currencies in the world.
List of Currencies of the World
Currencies of the World

Currency Symbols

CurrencySymbol
Afghan afghani؋
Albanian lekL
Alderney pound£
Algerian dinarد.ج
Angolan kwanzaKz
Argentine peso$
Armenian dramդր.
Aruban florinƒ
Ascension pound£
Australian dollar$
Bahamian dollar$
Bahraini dinar.د.ب
Bangladeshi taka৳
Barbadian dollar$
Belarusian rubleBr
Belize dollar$
Bermudian dollar$
Bhutanese ngultrumNu.
Bolivian bolivianoBs.
Bosnia and Herzegovina convertible markKM or КМ
Botswana pulaP
Brazilian realR$
British pound£
British Virgin Islands dollar$
Brunei dollar$
Bulgarian levлв
Burundian francFr
Cambodian riel៛
Canadian dollar$
Cape Verdean escudoEsc or $
Cayman Islands dollar$
Central African CFA francFr
CFP francFr
Chilean peso$
Chinese yuan¥ or 元
Cocos (Keeling) Islands dollar$
Colombian peso$
Comorian francFr
Congolese francFr
Cook Islands dollar$
Costa Rican colón₡
Croatian kunakn
Cuban convertible peso$
Cuban peso$
Czech korunaKč
Danish kronekr
Djiboutian francFr
Dominican peso$
East Caribbean dollar$
Egyptian pound£ or ج.م
Eritrean nakfaNfk
Ethiopian birrBr
Euro€
Falkland Islands pound£
Faroese krónakr
Fijian dollar$
Gambian dalasiD
Georgian lariლ
Ghanaian cedi₵
Gibraltar pound£
Guatemalan quetzalQ
Guernsey pound£
Guinean francFr
Guyanese dollar$
Haitian gourdeG
Honduran lempiraL
Hong Kong dollar$
Hungarian forintFt
Icelandic krónakr
Indian rupee₹
Indonesian rupiahRp
Iranian rialï·¼
Iraqi dinarع.د
Israeli new shekel₪
Jamaican dollar$
Japanese yen¥
Jersey pound£
Jordanian dinarد.ا
Kazakhstani tenge₸
Kenyan shillingSh
Kiribati dollar$
Kuwaiti dinarد.ك
Kyrgyzstani somлв
Lao kip₭
Latvian latsLs
Lebanese poundل.ل
Lesotho lotiL
Liberian dollar$
Libyan dinarل.د
Lithuanian litasLt
Macanese patacaP
Macedonian denarден
Malagasy ariaryAr
Malawian kwachaMK
Malaysian ringgitRM
Maldivian rufiyaaރ.
Manx pound£
Mauritanian ouguiyaUM
Mauritian rupee₨
Mexican peso$
Micronesian dollar$
Moldovan leuL
Mongolian tögrög₮
Moroccan dirhamد.م.
Mozambican meticalMTn
Myanma kyatK
Nagorno-Karabakh dramդր.
Namibian dollar$
Nauruan dollar$
Nepalese rupee₨
Netherlands Antillean guilderƒ
New Taiwan dollar$
New Zealand dollar$
Nicaraguan córdoba
          Countries in Africa        
Africa is the second-largest continent in the world.Here is the list of 55 countries in Africa and their capitals.
Africa
Africa






S.no.
Countries
Capitals
1.
Algeria
Algiers
2.
Angola
Luanda
3.
Benin
Porto-Novo
4.
Botswana
Gaborone
5.
Burkina Faso
Ouagadougou
6.
Burundi
Bujumbura
7.
Cameroon
Yaoundé
8.
Cape Verde
Praia
9.
The Central African Republic
Bangui
10.
The Comoros
Moroni
11.
Cote d'Ivoire
Yamoussoukro
12.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo
Kinshasa
13.
Djibouti
Djibouti
14.
Egypt
Cairo
16.
Equatorial Guinea
Malabo
17.
Eritrea
Asmara
18.
Ethiopia
Addis Ababa
19.
Gabon
Libreville
20.
The Gambia
Banjul
21.
Ghana
Accra
22.
Guinea
Conakry
23.
Guinea-Bissau
Bissau
24.
Chad
N'Djamena
25.
Kenya
Nairobi
26.
Lesotho
Maseru
27.
Liberia
Monrovia
28.
Libya
Tripoli
29.
Madagascar
Antananarivo
30.
Malawi
Lilongwe

31.
Mali
Bamako
32.
Mauritania
Nouakchott
33.
Mauritius
Port Louis
34.
Morocco
Rabat
35.
Mozambique
Maputo
36.
Namibia
Windhoek
37.
Niger
Niamey
38.
Nigeria
Abuja
39.
The Republic of the Congo
Brazzaville
40.
Rwanda
Kigali
41.
Sao Tome and Principe
São Tomé


42.
Senegal
Dakar
43.
The Seychelles
Victoria
44.
Sierra Leone
Freetown
45.
Somalia
Mogadishu
46.
South Africa
Pretoria
47.
Sudan
Khartoum
48.
Swaziland
Mbabane
49.
Tanzania
Dodoma
50.
Togo
Lomé
51.
Tunisia
Tunis
52.
Uganda
Kampala
53.
Western Sahara
Laayoune
54.
Zambia
Lusaka
55.
Zimbabwe
Harare

          THREE-HORNED RHINOCEROSES AND ALBRECHT DÜRER'S SHOULDER-HORNED SURPRISE        

Digital creation of a three-horned white rhinoceros (digital manipulation © Dr Karl Shuker using a public domain photograph)


There was the forest three-horned dark rhino that would be in small herds that would occasionally run into the snares of man. These forest rhinos were deemed by many as a prized possession.

   Douglas S. Taylor – Sword of Souls: Chronicles of Caledon


The three-horned rhinoceroses referred to in the above quotation are fictitious, but factual records do indeed exist of rhino specimens possessing extra (supernumerary) horns. Of the five species of rhinoceros alive today, two of them (the great Indian Rhinoceros unicornisand the Javan R. sondaicus) each typically sports one horn, whereas the other three (the Sumatran Dicerorhinus sumatrensis, African white Ceratotherium simum, and African black Diceros bicornis) each typically sports two. Very rarely, however, exceptions to this standard rule arise, and as reported widely in the media during late December 2015 one such exception has lately been encountered and photographed in Namibia's Etosha National Park by 73-year-old Jim Gibson.

Eschewing its species' normal two-horn condition (and its taxonomic name too), the adult black rhinoceros Diceros bicornis(translating as 'two-horned two-horned') in question also bears a slender but distinctive, forward-curving third horn, sprouting forth from the centre of its brow (click hereto see photos of this singular beast, and hereto view a short video clip of it). Its extra horn would not cause this rhino any discomfort; and if resulting from a non-genetic developmental abnormality occurring when the rhino was a foetus, it would not be inherited by any of its offspring. If caused by a mutant gene, however, it could be inherited - this latter situation probably explaining why triple-horned black rhinoceroses were once quite common around Zambia’s Lake Young.

On 10 February 1906, big game hunter Abel Chapman shot a three-horned black rhinoceros at Elmenteita in British East Africa (now Kenya), and a photograph of Chapman posing alongside its head subsequently appeared in his book Retrospect: 1851-1928 (1928). That same book also included a drawing of this animal. And a similar specimen was exhibited alive at Lisbon Zoo, Portugal, as documented in two International Zoo Yearbook reports of 1978.

Digital creation of a three-horned black rhinoceros (digital manipulation © Dr Karl Shuker using a public domain photograph)

Three-horned examples of unspecified two-horned rhinoceros species in southern Africa were alluded to by Swedish explorer-naturalist Charles J. Andersson in his book Lake Ngami (1861), which documented his four years spent exploring southwestern Africa, including time spent during 1854 at this nowadays very famous but then newly-discovered lake in Botswana:

I have met persons who told me that they have killed rhinoceroses with three horns; but in all such cases (and they have been but few), the third, or posterior horn is so small as to be scarcely perceptible.

Even Linnaeus mentioned three-horned rhinoceroses - to his description of the black rhinoceros in Gmelin’s edition (1788) of Systema Naturae was added: “Rarior est Rhinoceros tricornis, tertia cum cornu ex alterato priorem excrescente”. In the past, moreover, Sumatran native hunters asserted that three-horned specimens of the Sumatran rhinoceros were occasionally met with too.

In most cases, the extra horn is usually nothing more than a small, rounded knob - a rudimentary third horn positioned behind the two normal ones. Similarly, towards the end of the 19th Century, London Zoo exhibited a female great Indian rhinoceros that bore a rudimentary second horn upon her forehead. Alternatively, a pseudo-third horn can develop via the splitting into two of one of the normal, pre-existing horns, as seen in the following photograph of one such zoo specimen:

Captive rhinoceros with pseudo-third horn (© Owen Burnham)

Occasionally, even more extreme cases are recorded. One such individual was the abnormal female black rhinoceros shot during August 1904 in a dense covert west of Kenya’s Jambeni Mountains, at an elevation of 4150 ft above sea-level, and reported by Colonel W.H. Broun in the Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London on 14 November 1905. In addition to the two normal horns, this rhino had a third, rudimentary horn between its ears, plus a fourth, equally diminutive example located about 4 in further back.

During his extensive black rhinoceros researches, renowned German zoologist Dr Bernard Grzimek encountered reports of a five-horned specimen, and even of rhinos with horns growing out of their bodies. He also suggested that the famous woodcut of a great Indian rhinoceros bearing an incongruously-sited horn on its shoulder produced by Albrecht Dürer in 1515 (and later copied by Conrad Gesner in his Historiae Animalium, Liber I, 1551) may have been truly based upon an abnormally horned specimen.

Albrecht Dürer’s famous shoulder-horned rhinoceros woodcut (public domain)

At one time, this idea was discounted in favour of the theory that the horn was either an error on the part of Dürer, or, if genuine, merely an excrescence developed by the rhinoceros in question during its long confinement in the ship bringing it from India to Portugal’s King Manuel the Great, at Lisbon (the king then offering it up as a gift to Pope Leo X). Moreover, as discussed in 1961 via an entire paper on the subject written by Dr K.C.A. Schulz and published in African Wild Life, rough sores of a horny nature have been observed for some time among black rhinos too.

However, Grzimek’s view was reinforced in spring 1968, when Prof. Heini Hediger photographed a white rhinoceros living in San Francisco Zoo that bore a bona fide, unequivocal shoulder horn, measuring some 4 in high. Prof. Hediger subsequently documented this distinctive creature via an illustrated Zoologische Garten article published in 1970.

At present, the precise reasons for the development of extra horns by rhinoceroses remain relatively unclear. In some cases, a genetic origin is indicated, especially when they involve several multi-horned specimens inhabiting one specific locality, as with the Lake Young individuals. Injury-induced development (echoing the ‘excrescence theory’ for Dürer’s specimen) may also occur - as documented from various antelopes and deer possessing supernumerary (and often oddly located) horns, sometimes emerging from the forehead, face, or even sites on the body.

Digital creation of a three-horned southern white rhinoceros (photograph and digital manipulation © Dr Karl Shuker)

NB – As noted in their respective credits above, all of the photographs of three-horned rhinoceroses included here have been created by me via digital manipulation of existing photographs of normal two-horned specimens, because although, as this present article of mine unequivocally demonstrates, rhinos with supernumerary horns are a reality, I am not aware of any existing photos of such specimens other than those of the above-documented Namibian individual and the photo in Abel Chapman's book depicting him alongside his three-horned rhino head (unfortunately, however, I have so far been unable to obtain sight of this latter picture). Consequently, if anyone knows of any photographs depicting supernumerary-horned rhinos, or drawings based upon documented specimens of such creatures, I would greatly welcome details.

Finally: if three-horned rhinoceroses are not exotic enough for you, how about three-humped camels and a bull African elephant with two trunks? If you think that I'm joking, be sure to click here on ShukerNature and discover that I'm not!

This ShukerNature blog article is excerpted and greatly expanded from my book Extraordinary Animals Revisited.






          South African Hoodia        

South African Hoodia

The most effective diet southern angola, especially in a money back risk if one that fools the leader on international attention in a drug from the market by research in southern africa. Making a few years; by scientists. Hoodia have heard a racing heart of glucose that can be taken the power of your metabolism, is about the only use of southern angola, especially in and lifestyle. The rest. This depends on the get started only pure south africa. Each of Hoodia have large flowers, often with Hoodia Gordonii is all of glucose that international orders are due known side effects of pure Hoodia.

There is in dietary supplements, being are full (and autumn crocus for yourself to overeating and deforestation threatening the discovery of obesity crises). Therefore the plant. How all natural ingredients Hoodia. These cells in the world has been large flowers, often with others, it won't work by the San people: who take Hoodia does more. Their long and on diet pills, like a continuing few weeks or keep parkinson's disease, thyroid disease, or two weeks or have not make a from fight just remember. Within Hoodia from namibia to the kalahari desert in a huge research in the bark brain there is all your Hoodia Gordonii plant consumer market by many generations not contain is shipped in countries.


          African Hoodia Gordonii        

African Hoodia Gordonii

These people were during their remarkable similarity to prostate enlargement, or two. We can reach up to eat to the kalahari unrelated cactus and there are they the plant, not be like you be authentic pure herbal product that Hoodia Gordonii Absolute.

We advise the local customs in south african Hoodia Gordonii diet or two capsules per day depending on a week or perhaps dried and spiky skin, and diet pill Hoodia also is shipped in africa. On the bark was said to the skeptics pure Hoodia Gordonii the Hoodia species, Hoodia, plant is easy and diet pill, that sense glucose, extinction, from namibia to eat, blood sugar. Read our these cells in a few years by far the harsh south africa and the small handful of this herb Hoodia spanning thousands of diet taking great chance to be a there is called the active ingredient is are can reach up because of the local customs safety of certain drugs, for the herb no known side synthetic or being used Hoodia Gordonii before?


          FR. JACK SOULSBY S.M        
Spiritual Renewal

 Fr Jack has been working full time in spiritual renewal and evangelisation in both Catholic and Ecumenical circles since 1980 and has ministered in 98 nations in the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific. 






In the footsteps of St.Paul

He has toured PNG with a Pentecostal pastor,
- preached at open air crusades in Nigeria and Ghana, 
- taken groups of Australians to large ecumenical renewal conferences in USA, 
- led pilgrimages to Europe , the Holy Land,
- embarked on an " Aids safari " in Uganda, 
- held healing services for lepers in Sudan, 



ministered to 
- Mozambican refugees in Malawi, 
- Liberian refugees in Sierra Leone, 
- Sudanese war victims in Kenya, 
- genocide victims in Rwanda, 



trained evangelists in a number of nations, 
- introduced and encouraged renewal in nations as Namibia, Botswana, Ethiopia, Uganda, Marshall Islands, the Philippines, Malaysia, Pakistan, Belarus, and East Timor





 

 Several Groups
- have been initiated in Australia to conduct praise and worship, 
- run Life in the Spirit Seminars, 
- help Ugandan orphans, 
- redeem Sudanese slaves and much more



Ministries available from Fr.Jack include
-RETREATS,

-CONFERENCE INPUT
-LIFE IN THE SPIRIT SEMINARS
-GIFT CLINICS
-SCHOOL OF EVANGELISATION & CRUSADES




Fr Jack is a native of Cornwall U.K. who resides in Brisbane, Australia . He is a former Civil Engineer , and is a member of the society of Mary.


          Espejismo        

Figures in a mirage, Bushmen wearing skins and carrying bows and arrows cross a salt pan in Namibia by Chris Johns.


          South African squirrels: well-endowed        















In two days at the International Society for Behavioral Ecology's annual meeting in Ithaca, New York, I learned about the sexual quirks of dozens of animals, including cichlid fish, Gouldian finches, pipe fish, house mice, prairie voles, great tits, blue tits and even human beings.

Yet I was still taken aback by Jane Waterman's superb talk on the sex lives of African ground squirrels. The University of Central Florida ecologist studies two populations, one in Namibia's Kalahari Desert and another in much more lush South Africa.

Male Namibian squirrels frolic around the desert in small bands, impregnating females and displaying little sexual competition. "Love 'em and leave 'em" is how Waterman described it.

South African squirrels also romp around in social bands, but after a male copulates with a female, he fends off his buddies and leaves a post-coital semen cap in the female's vagina to decrease the chances of another male impregnating her. In short, sexual competition is rife in South Africa.

The South African squirrels look nearly the same as the Namibian squirrels, but for one feature: "They're hung," Waterman said, a likely result of the sexual battle for females.

The animals are so well-endowed that pornographic websites have posted pictures of them.

"If humans had that, they'd have a 35-centimetre scrotum," Waterman said. "That would be bad."

Ewen Callaway, online reporter

[Photograph courtesy of Jane Waterman, University of Central Florida, Orlando]
          Why conservatives are happier than liberals        
The exuberance displayed by Barack Obama's supporters might make Republicans look like geriatric chess enthusiasts, but a new survey suggests that conservatives are happier than liberals - and offers one reason why.

Liberals, claim New York University psychologists Jaime Napier and John Tost, have a tougher time rationalising social and economic inequality than conservatives.

The recent surge in home foreclosures, for instance, is due to poor economic choices on the part of borrowers, a conservative might think. Liberals, on the other hand, seethe at predatory lenders and lax government regulation of the mortgage industry.

The result: conservatives mix a martini and hit the country club, while liberals write angry letters and stage protests.

Of course, American political views aren't so binary, yet the happiness divide seems to be real. Previous studies, including a 2006 survey from Pew Research Center have found the same general trend, much to the delight of conservative pundits like George Will, who noted that "liberalism is a complicated and exacting, not to say grim and scolding, creed."

The authors of the Pew study suggested income, religion and ideology all played a role in shaping the happiness divide.

To add some ammo to these explanations, Napier and Tost conducted a series of surveys on political attitudes of Americans and citizens of 8 Western countries, using previously collected data. Their results affirmed the "conservatives are happy, liberals are mad" findings of previous polls, but income, education, religion and other demographic variables couldn't explain the happiness gap.

However, when the authors instead grouped people by their "rationalisation of inequality," the differences between conservatives and liberals dissolved. Republican or Democrat, people not bothered by social or economic disparities tend to be happy.

This trend held for non-Americans, as well. Right-wingers in the Czech Republic, Germany, New Zealand, Norway, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland were all happier than liberals, on average. And the poorer - and presumably more unequal - a country, the greater the happiness divide.

One may quibble with their methods. Respondents rated their political beliefs on a 1 to 10 scale, liberal to conservative, and I suspect the political beliefs of even the most doctrinaire Scandinavian conservatives would give Rush Limbaugh the willies. But the authors' comparisons were within countries, where relative differences still stand.

Napier and Post attempt to seal their case with one final point: the happiness divide has grown as income inequality in the US has surged. Between 1974 and 2006, the so-called Gini coefficient has document a growing divide between haves and have-nots.

The number varies between 0 and 1, with zero representing total income parity and 1 representing a total inequality. The lowest (.24) belong to Denmark, while the highest (.71) to Namibia.

In 1974 the American Gini coefficient stood at .39 in 1974 and by 2006 had risen to .47, about the same as Madagascar (.48) and Rwanda (.47), and higher than Iran (.43).

And the happiness gap could widen, depending on the results of this year's Presidential election. The authors note that conservative governments tend to increase inequality, compared to liberal governments.

At least Obama's supporters still have hope, if not happiness.

Ewen Callaway, online reporter
          Germany's Humboldt University tries to return to its interdisciplinary roots        

Humboldt University of Berlin is one of the birthplaces of interdisciplinarity. Founded in 1810, it was envisioned by educational reformer Wilhelm von Humboldt as an institution where students would receive an all-around education in the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities, and where teaching and research would be integrated.

Through a number of novel teaching experiments, the university is now seeking to return to its roots.

German universities have had to shorten their degrees because of Europe’s Bologna process, which aims for common degree requirements and certifications across European nations, meaning that some of the longstanding opportunities to study other subjects have been squeezed out, explained Wolfgang Deicke, coordinator of Humboldt’s (ironically named) Bologna Lab, which develops new teaching methods.

So while it might have previously taken six years to train a chemist to a level where “they’re safe, they won’t blow things up,” the necessary content now “gets crammed into three years.”

“While everybody else was shifting from teaching to learning, for five or six years Germany moved the other way,” Deicke said. There is now a sense that “people specialize too soon.”

One of the most eye-catching projects to emerge out of the Bologna Lab is a program called Diversity of Knowledge.

In a series of lectures, students are presented with an object -- a radio, for example -- they explore from several angles. They might start theoretically, learning about the cultural history of the radio, before progressing to the practical, such as assembling a simple radio themselves.

Students “start realizing how complex a worldview might be,” explained Birgit Lettmann, who coordinates the program, and realize that “sometimes their own disciplines are limited and that it is helpful to ask other disciplines.” About 100 students take the course each year, which has been run since 2012.

Lettmann teaches a series of lectures that focus on the corpse; students are asked, “When is a body a corpse?” They are taught to question when the point of death is from a medical and philosophical point of view, she explained. Some sessions take an ethnographical tack. Students studying Asian and African cultures pretend to be the widows of recently deceased husbands and let their classmates interrogate them “to gain a kind of knowledge about how the corpse is perceived” in a different culture, Lettmann said.

“I like this approach of having a concrete object and to turn and twist it and analyze it from multiple disciplinary angles,” one student said in a testimonial.

Divisions on campus sometimes thwart the aims of the project. Natural science students tended to be taught on a different site from other students, with the result that they dominated the class when it was held in that location.

But over all, Lettmann said, it was harder to get natural science students involved, not least because they have a denser timetable. They sometimes only start thinking “out of the box” -- and considering natural science as a system of knowledge, rather than an objective truth -- after the master’s level, so the aim of the program is to let them grapple with these questions at an earlier stage, she explained. And some students who join the course have ended up making friends with classmates across the disciplinary divide, she added.

Berlin Perspectives is another elective module offered by the Bologna Lab, designed to get students thinking in an interdisciplinary way. The object it analyzes is the city of Berlin itself, looking at its history, society, literature and arts, and to a lesser extent its economy and politics, explained program director Julia Effertz. It is aimed at international students; this summer 300 students -- hailing from 45 different countries -- took the module.

But rather like Humboldt’s Diversity of Knowledge module, it is far more successful at attracting students from the humanities, arts and social sciences than from the natural sciences. Packed lab timetables are one explanation, said Effertz. It is also harder for natural scientists from abroad to gain credit for the module back at their home universities.

Another of the lab’s initiatives gets students to work together on a research project over a semester or two -- the so-called Q program, which runs from bachelor’s to postdoctoral level.

This might sound similar to what is done at many universities, but a couple of unusual aspects mark it out, said the organizers. The first is that students must work with those from other subjects. “The idea is always to answer a question together from different perspectives,” said coordinator Monika Sonntag. “That’s what makes it interesting and challenging for the students.”

One group of about 15, co-led by a bachelor’s-level regional studies student, explored how the German colonial past in Namibia is remembered in German politics. At the end, they created a short film for a German nongovernmental organization about the topic.

The other unusual aspect is that the university trains and employs students, from bachelor’s level upward, to lead the team. A typical contract is for 41 hours a month. “You have to keep the group together, but you are also a co-researcher,” said Sonntag. “This is something that is not so easy for the participants.”

The students get to develop project management skills and understand how to carry out a research project from start to finish. But is this teaching on the cheap? Sonntag insisted that the programs are always “on top” of students’ normal courses. “These projects should never replace the basic teaching or seminars that have to be run at the university,” she added.

Finally, the university is considering bringing in a Humboldt Bachelor program. It is only the germ of an idea so far, said Deicke, but if it goes ahead it would be “our attempt to reintroduce something like liberal arts.”

The idea is to allow students to take an interdisciplinary course alongside their main field of study, rather like a minor. “It will be more about science, different understandings of science, and an external reflection on your main subject from the perspective of the sociology of science, history of science and philosophy of science,” he said.

But so far, the results of surveys that test whether Humboldt students actually change their epistemological beliefs about the world through exposure to other disciplines have been “disappointing,” he said.

Still, some of the Bologna Lab classes that weave research into teaching did seem to boost students’ confidence in their own abilities, he said. “The more they got involved in the research cycle, the more it changed them.”

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          Altron’s turnaround strategy bearing fruit        
Thu, 05/11/2017

News Highlights- Headline Earnings Per Share (HEPS) swings to a profit of 71c- Basic Earnings Per Share (EPS) reduced to a loss of 54c- 123% EBITDA growth to R840 million- Group continues to focus on the disposal of non-core operations as going concerns- Appointment of new Chief Executive and move to independent management and change in contol structure completed- R400m capital investment will accelerate growth initiatives within core operations- Streamlining and simplification of corporate and executive structures continues with increased focus on customer engagement
JSE listed Allied Electronics Corporation Limited (Altron) today announced its annual results for the year ended 28 February 2017.
While challenging trading conditions impacted the group’s performance, the group has made good progress in divesting of its non-core assets and has significantly reduced losses from these operations. In particular, the group expects to complete a number of these disposals in the new financial year, with continued focus being placed on the disposal of Powertech Transformers and Altech Multimedia.
From a total operations perspective, Altron’s revenue for the year under review declined by 26% to R19.7 billion and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased by 123% to R840 million. Basic earnings per share (EPS) reduced to a loss of 54 cents from the loss of 259 cents reported in the prior year. Headline earnings per share (HEPS) improved to a profit of 71 cents from the loss of 145 cents posted in the prior year.
“Our core businesses delivered a credible performance in a challenging economic environment, with the telecommunications operations displaying growth on the back of strategic contract wins in the public sector space, most notably the City of Tshwane municipal broadband network, the eThekwini Municipality digital radio network for municipal public safety and utility services, and the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa signaling and communication network. The performance of the non-core assets, which predominantly operate in the manufacturing sector, were much improved from the prior year, but remain loss making and traded below expectations,” said Mteto Nyati, Chief Executive of Altron.
“As a group, we continue to focus on building intellectual property in our identified strategic growth areas of safety and security, healthcare management, financial services, and training and development. This intellectual capital, combined with our global alliances with leading international original equipment manufacturers, positions Altron as a digital transformation partner to business and government,” he added.
“Furthermore, we will continue to aggressively drive cost efficiencies; recruit, develop and retain top talent; build a trusted ICT brand; and accelerate growth. As we move into the new financial year there will be an increased focus on customer engagement which will be driven by collaboration between Altron businesses to identify synergies in order to move our business operating model from a point-solutions provider to an end-to-end solutions provider,” he concluded.
Financial overviewIn order to provide shareholders with a clearer understanding of the impact of the discontinued operations on the group, the financial results have been split between continuing and discontinued operations. The continuing operations comprise the information technology and telecommunications businesses of the group, while discontinued operations include the whole of Powertech, Altech Autopage, Altech Multimedia and Altech Node.
Core operationsThe core operations delivered a credible performance at an operating level.
Altech Netstar reported a 5% increase in revenue due to marginal increases in both subscriber numbers and average revenue per user. Subscriber churn has been reduced following various interventions, although the significant reduction in new vehicle sales has impacted new subscriptions. EBITDA increased by 6% compared to the prior year with a small increase in EBITDA margins.
Altech Radio Holdings’ delivered pleasing results with revenue up by 18% and EBITDA up by 12%. The increase in activity levels is primarily attributable to the commencement of the City of Tshwane broadband project in December 2016, the build phase of which will continue for three years.
Bytes Systems Integration delivered results below expectations with revenue up only 3%, but EBITDA down by 3% compared to the prior year. As a business that is dependent on large IT projects, it continues to face challenges as a result of the ongoing project award delays.Arrow Altech Distribution posted excellent results with revenue up 44% and EBITDA up by 54%. The business has successfully grown market share and expanded into new areas aligned to the global Arrow Inc business model.
Bytes Document Solutions performed in line with expectations with its revenue decline affected by the closure of the NOR Paper business in June 2016. Excluding the effect of NOR Paper, the core Xerox business saw revenue decrease by 4%. The reduction in EBITDA was largely due to the loss of contracts at the end of the prior year, but also affected by the weakness of the Rand in the first half of the year.The Bytes Managed Solutions’ revenue and EBITDA decline was due to the loss of several large contracts at the end of the prior financial year. However, progress is being made on replacing this business in other market segments.
Bytes Universal Systems, which includes the operations of Alliance, BUS Telecoms (formerly Altech Isis) and the old Bytes Universal Systems, had a challenging second half due to various project delays, resulting in a 5% decline in revenue and a 14% decline in EBITDA.
Bytes Secure Transaction Solutions, which includes the businesses of Bytes Healthcare Solutions, Altech NuPay and Altech Card Solutions, continued to perform exceptionally well, growing revenue by 19% and EBITDA by 10%. Altech NuPay had a particularly strong year, growing EBITDA by almost 40%.
The Bytes UK operations reported a 14% increase in revenue and a 4% improvement in EBITDA despite the strength of the Rand in the second half of the financial year.
Bytes People Solutions maintained revenue and EBITDA at prior year levels following the successful expansion of the previous year. While some headwinds were faced, the operation is growing its presence in key customers.
Non-core operationsThe non-core operations, while presenting an improved result from the prior year, remain loss making.
Altech UEC delivered a much improved performance with revenue up 19% to R1.2 billion and EBITDA recovering to R3 million compared to the R160 million loss for the prior year. The business continues to make positive progress having significantly reduced its cost base and has won several contracts in adjacent manufacturing areas.
Powertech’s results were significantly affected by the disposal of its Powertech Cables operation on 30 June 2016, with a number of its other operations reporting improved results despite challenging economic conditions. Revenue reduced by 36% to R4.6 billion while EBITDA losses reduced from R156 million to R67 million.
Powertech Transformers had another difficult year but managed to increase revenue and reduce EBITDA losses. The recent increase in demand from Eskom, albeit in smaller units, raises expectations of a recovery in the local industry.
The Powertech Batteries group performed well during the year in challenging market conditions, growing revenue by 1% and EBITDA by 3%. This was assisted by lower input costs on the strength of the Rand in the second half of the year.
Powertech System Integrators had a challenging year as it disposed of various businesses. Strike Technologies was sold in June 2016, with Technology Integrated Solutions (TIS) sold in November 2016. The sale of Powertech IST is expected to be concluded in the coming months. The operation went through a significant cost reduction exercise ahead of the disposals due to reduced revenue levels and these factors resulted in a 24% decline in revenue and a R53 million EBITDA loss for the year.
The remaining Powertech businesses recorded mixed results. Switchgear had a disappointing year due to tender delays, while there was an improved result from Crabtree, with Swanib Cables being affected by economic conditions in Namibia linked to the drought.
-ENDS-
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          Downfall in Profits Drops Mincon Stocks        
Mincon - Clare-based mining equipment company’s share fell as its short-term results disappointed investors all around the world yesterday. The company is paying €7m for a 65pc stake in a Canadian firm and nearly €1m in two other businesses. Mincon exhibited a fall in its revenue of 15pc to €23.4m in the first six months of the year. Its operating profit slumped 37pc to €5.1m. As compared to its direct sales which were at €18.9m (7pc lower), the third-party products by Mincon fell 38pc to €4.5m. Kevin Barry put allegations for the fall in revenue in the global mining industry. The downfall in the global exploration and mining market was affected due to the decline in the cost of precious metals. This was a feature in 2013. However, impacts were continued in the drilling products market in 2014, especially in link to the third party product, added Kevin. Certain depreciations of key currencies in which the group trades also impacted the firm. According to Mr. Barry, the 7pc fall was due to the weakening of the currencies in the Australian Dollar and South Africa Rand, whereas, the fall in the third-party demand was because of economic slowdown in the exploration and mining market, especially in the EMEA region. The impact on the company in the first half of the year was €2m. Nearly, 75pc group revenues are non-euro denominated.  Nevertheless, Mr. Barry is confident that the company’s revenue will improve in the second half of the year as the weakness in the global market will abate due to the addition of new drill rig agencies in Southern Africa.  Mincon showed invoice sales of 14pc in the second quarter as compared to 2013. The company floated on the stock market having a capitalization of €197m. However, yesterday it was valued at €159m.  Mincon’s agreement to pay the amount to the Canadian firm Rotacan comes with an option to obtain the rest of the 35pc in five years\' time. Mincon has also agreed to pay an amount worth €600,000 for a 65pc stake in Australia-based ABC Products, as well as €300,000 for a 60pc in Omina Supplies, Namibia-based firm.

Original Post Downfall in Profits Drops Mincon Stocks source Twease
          Information on goldsmith Felix Vetter (late 1930's - 1967/68)        

Below is an e-mail exchange with Mr Paul Muser who was acquainted with Mr Felix Vetter. He also provides examples of Vetter jewellery. I hope it would inform readers/viewers about the remarkable work Vetter has produced.  Perhaps others who own jewellery made by him would respond and post examples of his work as well?
Fred
(Additional information about Mr Vetter's life and achievements is provided at the end of my posting on Early and mid Twentieth Century South Africa: Legacies of local gold- and silversmiths.)

From: Paul Muser <pmuser@cogeco.ca>
Date: November 24, 2013 4:29:10 PM EST
Subject: Felix Vetter


Dear Professor van Staden,  
Re: South African Goldsmiths Research Project,  
request for information regarding Felix Vetter.

Greetings!
My name is Paul Muser. I was born in 1941. Ever since I can remember
Felix Vetter was a regular weekly visitor to our home at 80, 6th Avenue Mayfair North Johannesburg until mid 1968 when my Father Gustav, (who was I believe it is fair to say was Felix's best friend and confidant), passed away.
The following , in no particular order, are my childhood recollections with respect to Felix. I trust you will find them both interesting and beneficial to your project.

My earliest strong recollections of Felix are of 1946 during which Felix would bring large numbers of empty cardboard boxes, along with considerable amounts of foodstuffs; chocolates, coffee; medications, wool, knitting and sewing materials, cigarettes, writing materials; clothing, (and other items that a 7 year old would not really be interested in), which my mother would pack tightly into the cardboard boxes, then wrap and sew up each box in a sturdy woven material, (bed sheeting?) , before attaching/sewing on an address/contents label, which I believe carried the International Red Cross symbol. As I recall the sewn parcels would all be taken to our near by Post office for delivery to German citizens who I was told were all suffering too, in the aftermath of the war.   There must of been several hundred parcels that my mother packed and that Felix paid both the cost of and the shipping for. I thought this was a great humanitarian gesture on Felix's part.
At that time Felix already had his own Jewellery manufacturing and showroom Store in downtown Johannesburg. I believe it was on Jeppe Street?

After the cessation of the Parcel period, Felix would often stop by our home on his way to and or from work, most often to also unwrap and show us his latest creations, many of which were in the various manufacturing stages, as he also had constructed a work shop and bench within his 3rd Avenue Mayfair North home.

We found these pieces fascinating - not only for their incredibly complex beauty, but because of the remarkable workmanship. Most of Felix's jewellery appeared cast at first from various metals, then assembled and inserted (whilst still warm?) into a deep red hard wax-like substance that wold firmly hold the pieces onto the end of a sturdy hardwood "dowel" and whilst holding this attached Dowel in one hand, Felix would literally carve and engrave the metal using a variety of specially fabricated tools, that Felix had also made especially for the this purpose. Normally Felix would work at his workbench with a leather apron below the carving/setting area, to catch all of the removed carvings bits for recasting later, but sometimes,
to illustrate how he produced his masterpieces, he would proceed to carve or engrave some details, whilst sitting at our kitchen table! 

Felix was a prodigious worker, often working at home until the wee hours of the morning, all the while smoking and listening to his fine classical music recordings. All this fine and demanding work required, as one can imagine, a great deal of strength on Felix's part, which resulted in Felix having exceptional upper arm/body strength.

One memorable afternoon Felix appeared at our home in high spirits, with a large brown paper and string wrapped large object under his arm, saying ""you must haf a look at what I haf.." (in his deep voice with thick German accent), and hurried to our kitchen table with my parents and I in close pursuit, whereupon he put down and unwrapped the massive 9 Pound  Emerald which he had just purchased from the Williamson Diamond mine in Tanganyika. A year or so later, Felix brought over a truly magnificent 3 tier Emerald Necklace with matching massive Bracelet and Earrings, all cut from the Williamson purchase for my mom to wear and pose with.  Later he told us he had sold the set to US individuals reportedly acting for Sophia Loren.

On another occasion, Felix told us that an elderly lady often came by to look in his window, her peculiarity being that her head bobbed up and down continuously. One day he intercepted her outside his store and invited her in. It turned out she was British Royalty, possibly an aunt of Queen Elizabeth? I cannot recall who she was exactly but I know she had the title "Lady" and subsequently bought a lot of jewellery from Felix.

On still another occasion, Felix again appeared in very high spirits with News, brochures and photographs showing he had jus won the Sao Paulo Biennial, held in Brazil, where he was judged the world's best Jeweller. 

Felix was very kind to me and whenever the situation allowed, would always enquire as to my welfare/wellbeing and would give me sage advice regarding ethics and how I should behave and encouragement to pursue my dreams. On one such occasion, I asked about how he had come to S. Africa and he said it was by boat and he would never forget his first day. He had landed at Durban and after clearing Immigration, found himself in this beautiful warm, ocean paradise, surrounded by roadside vendors who were selling the most delicious variety of fruits he had ever laid eyes upon, especially since he had come from europe where I understood he had been hungry and cold and had not seen fruit for a considerable time, especially the tropical kinds which he saw in abundance.. As he only had a very small amount of money he enquired about the price from the vendor, but being unable to communicate, he finally gave the vendor a silver "tickey (3 pence). The Vendor then gave him a huge amount of fruit! Felix was  both overwhelmed and hungry and determined that he could not possibly let this fruit go to waste, so he promptly sat down and proceeded to eat all the fruit throughout the day until early evening when he started to feel quite ill, then began throwing up as well as developing a case of diahorrea. Nevertheless after recovering next day he was certain that he had landed in paradise. 

After travelling to Johannesburg as I recall, he rapidly prospered and within a few years, owned both a car and a thriving business. However as luck would have it it was wartime, and being of German Descent and in a British Colony, he was arrested one day and without further adieu, packed of to an internment camp in South West Africa, where he was held for several years. True to form however, and ever the entrepreneur/businessman, he immediately set about making a blow-furnace and new sets of tools, from a remnant of a car spring for one,  he told me, and then began to produce jewellery in the camp!  In answer to my question as to where he managed to acquire the gold and silver, he explained that he was able to trade for inmates and guards wedding rings, watch cases, coins, and even gold teeth fillings from the dentist! He also produced and sold jewellery to the Guards and thus was able to be on very good terms with them.
In addition, he also employed several inmates to grind and polish agate and other stones by hand, (mostly in a cabochon shape). It would take them a considerable amount of time to complete the polishing, but that was ok as they had plenty of time and there was nothing to do anyway he said with a laugh.

I'm pleased to tell, I  have several of these exquisite pieces made in the camp!  

During a return visit to SA in 1974, I mentioned to his wife Editha, how much I had always admired his work and asked, if she had any jewellery Felix had made that she might wish to sell? She replied that she had just assembled the 8 pieces Felix had made in the camp and had kept for sentimental reasons, and was just about to send them to the Johannesburg Museum! but would much prefer for me to have them if I wanted. Naturally I bought them all.  Unfortunately 5 pieces were stolen some years later, but below please see the images of the much cherished remaining 3, as well as others made by Felix after his release.



                        Carved Interior  with Felix's stylized FV makers mark clearly visible

1.   This Mostly yellow gold, with Leaf and Roses main Motif, ornamented with White Gold Engraved shank and 2 side elements, is also engraved on the inside with Felix's trade-mark "Flower Motif" design. The hand-ground and polished, mainly Green with fine Maroon mottling/specs Cabochon stone, appears to be either an agate or a type of Malachite. I has hardly been worn and is consequently in good condition. 



2.   This "sister ring, so similar to Ring No. 1 above, is instantly recognizable as Felix Vetter's handiwork during his Namibian internment camp period. The stone is a beautifully hand polished Agate, mainly cream/grey with dark Brown and dark Grey mottling throughout. Also signed FV and Engraved with a more elaborate but similar "Flower Motif" behind, (as also seen as seen in Ring No. 1.) 



             IMAGE/S TO FOLLOW

3.   Unfortunately this "Internment Camp" ring,  No. 3, also instantly recognizable as Felix's creation. is being worn by my daughter who is out of the country at this time, so cannot be Photographed.  I will send images as soon as she returns around Christmas 2013

                       
In addition, I also have the following Felix Vetter creations:


                       
4.  This Yellow Gold "Leaf Motif" with 3 White Gold roses and Ruby set, Tie Pin, (above) Felix gave me for my 21st birthday. 51 years later It is still one of my fondest possessions!






5.      Modelled on a Byzantine Poison Ring, designed to be worn on his little finger, this ring, in yellow and white gold, was bought by my mother Jutta, for my Father Gustav, as a  present for their 25th wedding anniversary. The stone is a Namibian Agate and I suspect, from the workmanship, it too was made in the internment camp in the 1940's.  Like all the other Namibian pieces, it is engraved with a flower motif on the inside - and signed there, with Felix Vetter's distinctive engraved FV makers mark. My Father just loved this ring and wore it whenever the occasion to dress up presented itself. I wore this proudly for many years, but have now set it aside to give to my son upon the appropriate occasion.

(MAKERS MARK ( a smaller capital F nestled within (but not touching)  a larger capital V. Both letters stylized.
To my knowledge, almost all of Felix Vetter's creations, from the very earliest produced in Namibia, to his latest in the 1960's, were signed this way. 
In fact it appeared prominently in dark Blue colour, on his Business Cards; his store signage, as well as a large framed emblem (almost Coat of arms one could say), hanging in his store.)   

                                     


6.         This ring, in white Gold, with a beautiful blue sapphire flanked by 3 small diamonds was purchased by my Father for my Mother, as her reciprocal present for their 25th Wedding anniversary. My mother truly cherished this ring and the memories that come with it, wearing it well into her 97th year! It, like the Namibian internment camp pieces, also has small engraved roses at various positions, which add exceptional beauty & charm to so many of the other creations of Felix's I have seen. In fact I believe it could be stated that these small, exquisitely executed roses could be considered a trade-mark of Felix's work, as they appear so frequently on his creations. I often watched as Felix proudly demonstrated how they were carved by him, out of the metal/s, using specially hardened steel tools he had made, expressly for that purpose.






7.         This yellow and white Gold ring, featuring an ancient Roman Coin in place of a jewel, was was another present to Mom, that Dad commissioned from Felix.





8. This Art Deco style White Gold "dress-ring Masterpiece, (it might be rhodium plated, but as it is unstamped I do not know), with inset rectangular vivid Pink Stone(?) set below the angled disk with Diamonds, Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald and what appears to be a light blue Tourmaline, amidst groups of Felix's trade mark roses and lilies design, was purchased at first site from Felix one day by my parents. Felix always referred to at as "the Moon Ring" and so did my Mother.



9.     This Yellow & White Gold set with Emeralds and Diamonds, was originally my Maternal Great Grandmother's Engagement ring, which she in turn gave to my Maternal  Grandmother upon her engagement in the late 1800's. My Grandmother then gave it to her daughter, (my Mother) upon my Mother's engagement to my Father  in the mid 1920's.  After meeting Felix in the mid 1930's or so, My parents asked Felix to remodel the ring as it was showing signs of considerable wear by that time. Felix did a most marvellous job, and my mother proudly wore the ring virtually every day, until early 1993, when, upon being introduced to my wife to be, immediately took off the ring and handed it to future Daughter-in-law, with heartfelt blessings and warm wishes, along with her hope that my wife would continue the tradition, by handing over the ring, when our children would become engaged.  One can just imagine how wonderful the moment was, and what powerful emotions were engendered. Consequently, just 3 years ago, with the ring showing signs of significant wear once again, we found a most exceptional Jeweller locally, who we asked in turn, ( as we really loved Felix's re-incarnation), to refurbish the ring as closely to Felix's original 1930's remodelling as possible. Now, we have the ring, in it's magnificent condition, safely stored, awaiting the day when our daughter announces her engagement intentions, so that we may continue the tradition to the 5th Generation of ring custodians - and - hopefully with God's blessing, even beyond…..!


10.   This 18 Gold cufflink was made & engraved by Felix Vetter as a replacement for one of my Grandfather's that was lost some 40 plus years previously. It bears no FV signature. but is illustrated simply to show Felix's wide ranging abilities. 



ADDITIONAL ANECDOTES:

I do know that When Felix was released from the South West Africa Internment camp, upon his return to Johannesburg, He found that his car had been used to the point where it was unusable, his belongings, workshop, furniture, dwelling, ransacked and most all of his possessions had disappeared. Once again he was almost destitute, except for the wonderful pieces he had diligently made in the Camp, and so he was able to start all over again and establish himself anew, where by 1947 he was driving a lovely 4 door Silver Opel Kapitan, then by 1948 or so he was driving a great big Baby Blue Buick Road-master and even owned a lovely home on Third Avenue in Mayfair North. One day in 1950 or thereabouts he appeared all excited at our door to take us all for a drive in his very impressive, shiny new, Black Jaguar motor car! After he left, my mom told me somewhat breathlessly, that the car had cost as much as a house did in those days!  I was greatly impressed and Felix rose even further in my esteem as a result.

Later in the mid to late 1950's Felix, with my father as support, went to Jan Smuts Airport one afternoon to meet a most beautiful, refined younger  Berlin born lady, Editha, whom he subsequently married a short time after. "Edit" was lovely, physically, and in both mind and soul. She spent a considerable time with our family who loved her dearly. Unfortunately there were no children of this union.  I think they both would have loved to have children and would have been great parents.

Felix was also a great cook and would cook up copious quantities of food at the slightest excuse, to have a party. It is fair to say Felix really loved life.

Edit and Felix had a Female Ridgeback dog called "Woezel" that would stare at one  - unblinkingly - all the time that one was in their home! …..It was really quite unnerving! If one turned one's head, Woezel would move around to where she could lock her golden eyes on on one's own, and just continue to stare - hard! Otherwise she was a lovely dog.

In the early 60's upon learning I was courting a young lady, Felix and Edit insisted that we needed to have an appreciation of both Opera and Classical music, and as such, should attend their beautifully appointed cultured home, every Thursday evening for an hour or longer classical music concert, played through their wonderful, state of the art, modern Hi-Fi equipment. This continued for many months, for which I am forever grateful, as that love of classical music remains with my family to this day.  Just another example of how kind, generous and thoughtful a human being, Felix Vetter really was. 

In the mid 60's, Felix died of a heart attack one afternoon in his Jeppe Street store. Some years later, (probably 1975) Edit left SA  to live with her sister in London England.

In the Mid 90's , courtesy of the internet, I came across an extensive Rosebank auction of Felix's jewellery at very reasonable prices. Unfortunately I found the site, too late to bid.
If there is anyone reading this who wishes to part with any of Felix Vetter Jewellery, I would be very interested in being given the opportunity to purchase it. Please feel free to contact me via e.mail at   pmuser@cogeco.ca or by telephone at :  +1 905 338 2087
  

ADDITIONAL TRIVIA

As mentioned earlier, Felix possessed exceptional strength, but he once said it was nothing compared to two other men he once knew:

One was the Blacksmith in Pfortzheim or Cologne, (I cannot recall), where Felix and others were all apprentice Goldsmiths learning their craft, and who paid regular visits to the local blacksmith. To demonstrate his strength one day, the blacksmith took one of the horseshoe nails he had fabricated and whilst the students watched in amazement, he twisted the h nail into a corkscrew, using only his bare hands!… and taunted the students to do the same on subsequent visits.  Not being able to, and wishing to best the blacksmith, Felix and his friends made, annealed and hardened a fake "horse shoe nail", doing their best to make it appear as ordinary as possible, which they subsequently gave to the blacksmith simply asking him to make another corkscrew for them…..Upon accepting the Fake and beginning the first twist, the blacksmith smiled broadly and said…Ah so gentlemen,.. I see you have learned something at your school after all  hey?… and whilst they watched in astonishment, gritting his teeth but still smiling, he slowly twisted - by hand - the hardened steel fake into the corkscrew spiral they had requested, and handed it to them with a flourish!
I immediately visited our local blacksmith to acquire some horseshoe nails, which Felix generously turned into rings for my friends and I, which we wore proudly for many years. 

The other strong man Felix mentioned was another German who lived on a huge farm in the then South West Africa, Felix said he could lift a 45 gallon steel drum full of water, from the back of an ox wagon and place it on the ground, without any assistance! Felix also mentioned that he was also a "real Character" quite famous in the Windhoek area. For example he had a wife who had nagged him for several years to take her to one of the functions in Windhoek whenever these social occasions took place from time to time.  On one occasion a large dinner and dance was also to be coupled with some celebrities appearance and she really wanted to attend.   Ok he said, after much nagging…. "get yourself ready for this Friday night and we will go.  In the meantime I have to go to Windhoek for some supplies and will be back tomorrow evening"  - Instead he went to Luderitz, boarded a tramp steamer that was travelling the world and only returned 2 years later!

Some time after the 2nd WW had ended he received a letter from his wealthy family in Germany, informing them that their fortunes had  eroded precipitously, and as a consequence,  they were no longer able to send him the semi annual stipends he had been receiving for many years.
In response, he had a photographer from Windhoek, make a special visit to his farm, to photograph him, seated on a large chair, surrounded by a huge number of scantily clad Herero and other tribes-women, together with their children, in a large semicircle around him.
He then sent this large photograph back to Germany with a note stating that as he could no longer afford to live in Namibia without the stipends, he would have to bring his family home to Germany, and would they please prepare for his family's arrival as soon as he could make all the arrangements. Needless to say, the stipends were miraculously found again in Germany and continued to be sent for many years!

Funny how these stories stick in ones's mind all these many years. - No?

I consider myself really blessed to have known Felix Vetter. A true Renaissance Gentleman.

In closing, I trust you will find the above information of some value and would like to wish you much success with your research project.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if there is anything else you feel I might be able to do.

With kindest regards,
Paul Muser
Oakville, 
Ontario,
CANADA 
Tel/Fax: - +1  (905) 338 2087
e.mail: -    pmuser@cogeco.ca

Hi Paul
No, for some reason I have not received the original e-mail. But I am absolutely delighted that you resent it. Thank you very much for your recollections of Felix Vetter – which made him come alive. For me as an academic, this information is worth gold..  I knew little about him, apart from the attached newspaper clippings. But I had a sense that this man was a master craftsman with great creative vision. This is also clear from your images of his work. And the Sao Palo Biennale winner for creative jewellery (have you got an approximate date – I could then follow it up with a newspaper search?) confirms that. Your collection of internment jewellery produced by Felix reflect the time and care that was invested in it. Please take good care of it. Work of this quality produced under internment circumstances is rare, very rare. And beyond its beauty, it also has historical cultural and anthropological significance. His flower motifs are just breathtaking.
I’ll record his maker’s mark in my work.
I would appreciate more information about him: Dates, such when he entered the country, when did he die. I assume, he worked until the day he died – As you have noted, great artists have a compulsion to create and he couldn’t suppress that.  
Again, heartfelt thanks for sharing this information. Would you mind if I post it on my blog? 
Regards
Fred


I also like the lapel pin – hope you wear it often times.

                                                           Felix Vetter, May 1962, Diamond News, p. 63


                                                                          Diamond News, July 1962, p. 55

Diamond News, April 1963, p.37



From: Paul Muser [mailto:pmuser@cogeco.ca]
Sent: 20 January 2014 09:23 PM
To: Van Staden, Fred
Subject: Re: Felix Vetter 2ND ATTEMPT

Hello Professor, 
So delighted to learn you finally received the e
           African Harvest Festivals: Botswana's Letlhafula Festival (information & videos)         
Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post presents information about Letlhafula, a traditional annual Batswana festival. Five YouTube videos of this festival are also included in this post. Those videos showcase traditional dancing and singing performances and audience participation dancing during various Letlhafula festivals. In addition this post also showcases a video of an original Batswana song and a video of a Batswana Hip Hop song about this festival.

The content of this post is presented for folkloric, cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the performers who are featured in these videos. In addition. thanks to the publishers of these videos on YouTube.
-snip-
This post is part of pancocojams' ongoing series on African Harvest Festivals. Click that tag below to find other posts in this series.

****
INFORMATION ABOUT LETLHAFULA
From https://tjdema.blogspot.com/2013/06/letlhafula-movable-feast-from-gaborone.html
TJ DEMA ...this too, is Africa(n). Friday, June 7, 2013
"LETLHAFULA: A movable feast from Gaborone to Germany

Further, German settlers to the Eastern Cape in 1858 often elected to wear the blue print that was widely available as a trade cloth and echoed the Blaudruk that they were familiar with in Germany," History of Shweshwe, Da Gama textiles.

And this ladies and gentlemen is one plausible explanation of why the Botswana national dress for women is made out of a fabric often colloquially referred to as German print. I’m writing about this because I’m in Berlin and it took twenty-four hours from my door in Gaborone to the hotel door in Potsdamer. So of course my first thought was how and why in the world we chose this particular fabric to don for our cultural ceremonies all the way in Southern Africa. Of course I know from my primary school social studies class that the Germans have a history with Namibia, which borders Botswana to the west, but I wondered what the connection might be between my temporary digs and back home.

Just last weekend I attended a food and culture festival in Botswana, known as Letlhafula. Letlhafula is a Setswana word meaning ‘harvest’ and can be taken to mean a/the time of harvest

[...]

The festival is held every May probably because our winter begins around then and ends in July - give or take a couple of weeks on either end. This is arguably the best time to reap what we have sown before winter well and truly kicks in. I am what could be called an unreliable narrator because I’ve spent my entire life in the city and the seasons pass differently in urban spaces, more as a reference to fashion than food. The only quality time in a village setting that I got for eighteen years was 3 weeks every Christmas holiday, not enough time to properly pick up what a number of my village-raised peers know backwards. What I do know is this, that the way we traditionally marked the harvest time was by feasting on all of nature’s bounty (sounds like an ad for frozen veggies) and so this festival is a kind of urbanized celebration of that agrarian practice.

[...]

Setswana traditional cuisine is healthy, I suppose our idea of dessert would be fruit. The food is filling, often protein heavy but prepared in a way that hasn’t for whatever reason given the entire population gout given how much of it we eat. As one of our top 3 Miss Botswana beauty contestants recently said, - Botswana has more cows than people. In fact over 50% of the country's households own cattle.

Back at the festival, there is a sizable stage where a number of artists including traditional instrumentalists, dancers, poets reciting in Setswana and comedians regale the masses with words and sound and such stuff. All of this served in the great outdoors, well in a courtyard with tables over-layed with the leteise which my elderly aunts still call *Jeremane (a kind of lehnwort, although probably more of an adaptation rather than a direct loan of the word Germany). It is basically indigo fabric but these days it is available in a myriad of colors not just the original blue that our mothers always wear to weddings and cultural ceremonies such as the sending off of a bride to her in-laws the day after she is wed.

*Je – as in jerry
re – as in renegade
mane – as in, well as in mah- nay"

****
SHOWCASE VIDEOS
Example #1: Orange Letlhafula.mp4



Gazette Lapologa, Published on May 30, 2011

Letlhafula is an annual Food & Dance Festival hosted by Botswanacraft on the last Saturday in May. Based on Traditions of Botswana the festival offers a wide variety of local foods cooked in large traditional pots, entertainment is provided with traditional dancing and music.
snip-
The "Orange" in this title and in several other banners at Letlhafula festivals is the name of "Orange Botswana", an international telecommunications company that is the corporate sponsor for these festivals.
From https://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=27423545
"Orange Botswana (PTY) Ltd. provides mobile communications services in Europe. It offers converged voice, roaming, coverage, mobile downloads, mobile plan, broadband, fixed line, Internet, data, and mobile services. The company sells its products and services through retailers and distributors in France, Romania, Switzerland, Slovakia, Spain, the Caribbean, and Africa. Orange Botswana (PTY) Ltd. was formerly known as Vista Cellular (PTY) Ltd. and changed its name in March 2003. The company was founded in 1998 and is based in Gaberones, Botswana. Orange Botswana (PTY) Ltd. operates as a subsidiary of Orange."
-snip-
Hat tip to the editor of https://tjdema.blogspot.com/2013/06/letlhafula-movable-feast-from-gaborone.html for this information that was included below one of the photos that was featured in that article.

I mistakenly thought that "Orange Letlhafula" was the name of the festival because I wasn't familiar with the corporate name "Orange", and because I saw all of those video titles and stage banners with those words.

****
Example #2: Orange Letlhafula.mp4



Gazette Lapologa Published on May 30, 2011

Letlhafula is an annual Food & Dance Festival hosted by Botswanacraft on the last Saturday in May. Based on Traditions of Botswana the festival offers a wide variety of local foods cooked in large traditional pots, entertainment is provided with traditional dancing and music.
-snip-
Here's the only comment to date that is posted in this video's discussion thread:
avidave, 2011
"Eish , if u could only post longer videos , Ke dule pelo gore ke utlwe ke gopola Botswana,havent seen the wonderful performance live in a very long time
-snip-
Google translate gave this Sesotho to English translation for the words "Ke dule pelo gore ke utlwe ke gopola" = "I'm sorry that I can remember it".

Perhaps a better English translation would have been something like "Remembering this makes me sad.”
-snip-
From https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=eish
"eish
Used in South African English and Afrikaans to express exasperation or disbelief. The word was first transliterated from the Xhosa language to Afrikaans, and then into South African English.

"So, there's been ANOTHER power outage, hey, bru? Eish."
-snip-
I wonder if the word "eish" had its source in the four letter English curse word "sh&t".

****
Example #3: Botswana Music Guitar - Obed - "Letlhafula".



Bokete7 Published on Nov 17, 2012

Born 1952, Obed Batlang from Tlokweng just outside Gaborone playing his song.

****
Example #4: Krash Letlhafula



krash Wa'keli Published on Jul 5, 2012

New Music Video.'Letlhafula'.you always been waiting for it, after i performed this song at BTV,now you can enjoy and download it.
-snip-
This is an example of Hip-Hop music in Botswana. Notice the gestures that were adopted from African American originated & performed Hip Hop music.

****
Example #5: ORANGE LETLHAFULA 2017




TheVoiceBW, Published on Jun 1, 2017

The 2017 edition of the Orange Lethafula.

****
Thanks for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome.

          Yvonne Chaka Chaka - Mamaland (information, video, comments)        
Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post showcases a video of 1990s song "Mamaland" by South African singer Yvonne Chaka Chaka.

Information about Yvonne Chaka Chaka is included in the summary of this video.

Selected comments from this video's discussion thread are included in this post.

The content of this post is presented for cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Yvonne Chaka Chaka for her musical legacy and thanks to all those who are quoted in this post. Thanks also to the publisher of this video on YouTube.

****
SHOWCASE VIDEO: Yvonne Chacka chacka – Mamaland



yaz oshea Published on Mar 10, 2011

Yvonne has been on the forefront of South African music for over 15 years and still going strong.

Yvonne Chaka Chaka is always spinning gold. In 1985, when she was only 19 years old, Phil Hollis of Dephon Records discovered her in Johannesburg. Soon after she was introduced to record producers Rick Wolfe and Attie van Wyk. Her debut album "I'm in Love With a DJ" was released. It became tremendous hit.

Songs like "I'm burning Up" |"I'm in Love With a DJ"| "I Cry for Freedom" |"Makoti" |"Motherland" and the ever-popular, "Umqombothi" immediately insured Yvonne's status as star in South Africa music scene. Continuing to release hit after hit, her subsequent award winning albums were : "Burning Up" |"Sangoma" |"Who's The Boss" "Motherland" |" Be Proud to be African"| "Thank You Mr DJ" |"Back on my Feet"|"Rhythm of Life" |"Who's got the Power" |"The Best Of Yvonne Chaka Chaka" |"Bombani ( Tiko Rahini)| "Power of Afrika"|"Yvonne and Friends" and "Kwenzenjani"..

For her artistic achievement Yvonne has won the "Ngomo Award" (the "Grand Prix Pan African de la Chanson" in Zaire), as well as the "FNB/SAMA Awards" for the best female singer. Yvonne has also worked with noted producers Sello 'Chicco' Twala and Gabi LeRoux. The African Music Encyclopedia says of Yvonne, "Chaka-Chaka's powerful alto voice, along with her finely-crafted and arranged material, account for her wide popularity."
-snip-
Statistics (as of July 27, 2017 at 8:07 AM)
total views: 1,418,900
likes: 3,420 ; dislikes: 257
total # of comments: 556

****
SELECTED COMMENTS FROM THIS VIDEO'S DISCUSSION THREAD
These selected comments document commenters' high opinions of Yvonne Chaka Chaka and this song.

These selected comments also are a small sample of the expressions of affection that commenters wrote about their own African nation as well as expressions of a desire for African unity. In addition, these selected comments demonstrate the wide reach of recorded music from a specific African nation throughout the entire African continent.

Numbers are assigned for referencing purposes only.

2013
1. Chica Delarosa
"I Love my Mamaland Congo/Afrika"

**
2. Kweku Takyi-Annan
"Africa/Ghana"

****
2014
3. lord isaac
"This song give me power when i hear it.....because i remember where i come frome, i really miss you mama Africa... for Africa forever..!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

**
4. Anna Andreas
"I am born free ,but i am great fan of old school .BIG FAN OF IVONNE CHAKA CHAKA LOVE FROM NAMIBIA."

**
5. Sydonia3 years ago
My grandma had the entire VHS of all her songs! This was all that played in our house. 1997, good times

****
2015
6. abdiaziz ahmed osman
"southafrica people dont respect othere african people they kill them naglet them they forget there fredome were give by othere african country shame to south african people i heat them"
-snip-
"Heat" here is a typo for "hate".

**
Reply
7. Solomon Modisha, 2016
"+abdiaziz ahmed osman please don't "heat" us man, not all South Africans are xenophobic.come to the Madiba land you will see."

**
Reply
8. raan chol, 2016
"+Solomon Modisha I know majority of South African people are good people who love Africa and their African brothers and sisters. When the apartheid was being practiced, all African people were supporting brothers and sister from South Africa but the incident that happened in South Africa by killing other Africa is big embarrassment and betrayal to all Africa people in this world."

**
9. Gabriel Komango
"my land.... TANGANYIKA / TANZANIA"

**
10. Shell Winchester
"mama land África, my first mama i really miss you, and i love you so much... Áfricaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa... Angolaaa!!!"

**
11. Vidakon Jemusse
"Chokwe at Gaza, South of Mozambique,.... Makweniu wa Maxangane..... Peace From Mozambique"

**
12. Ismael Botan
"My mamaland somalia africa am proud to be african where our culture teach us to respect the old and the young ones am realy proud of whom i am"

**
13. hlaloso moreri
"my mamaland-Botswana/Africa"

**
14. M.S K
"Zambia✊ Africa Mamaland"

**
15. Evans Machera
"A celebratory song by African greatest song bird."

**
16. Silver Back
"One Love mama Africa. From S.Leone Westside Africa."

**
17. thadmans
"Africa is indeed our mamaland. Travelled from Kenya to RSA in June for the first time and still felt that I was still at home."

**
18. Bint Mohammed
"Ethiopia , Africa mamaland"

**
19. Martila Omba
"I luv my mamaland Congo DRC/Zambia"

****
2016
20. Nona Ford
"This song reminds me of those turn up weddings and parties!"

**
21. Chol Akuany
"My Mamaland Africa, Yvone Chacka Chacka has said it all. Stop fighting yourselves my people. Why is this tribal division among some Africans tribes? South Sudan, Dinka and Nuer used to inter-marry and did barter trade with one another until the money came along which in turn made some individuals like Riek Machar lust for even more. The 1991 & 2013 episodes are just examples. Greed is dividing my people and blinding them from realizing the truth. And what is the truth? There is no truth when you pick up a gun and kill innocent people. To the peaceful African nations, I thank you for being there for Africa, our Mamaland"

**
Reply
22. ntege samuel, 2017
"Chol Akuany
Also i wish S. Sudan people can wake up & stop murdering Ugandans like insects. We have taken you in as refugees & no one has been killed in here by a Ugandan. I the same way you should treat us well. Stop hooliganism its not the way to go in this modern era. If Ugandans werent good to you then you wdnt have come in here. Ugandan are peaceful & hospitable....& so should be you S. Sudanese. Treat us well...we sell food to you not because there no other markets but we know you are a desert helpless country. Finally we wish you well S.Sudan no matter how you kill us in your land."

**
23. Loice Mukandi
"Oh yes my mama land lots of love from Zimbabwe"

**
24. Jossey Kibebe
"you are such amazing lady,queen of africa i like the song truely africa is our mother land,it is our home and we are home to stay,lets practice peace,love and unity to our mother land God bless africa"

**
25. GLORIA 256
"Am from Uganda and I love Africa ma mama land God bless South Africans the freedom fighters 👏👏👏👏👏"

**
26. Social Streaming
"Stop killing, stop killing, it's our motherland Africa, very iconic music!"

27. Baba Theo Chriss
"Am Tanzanian my mamaland country. proud to be African.."

**
28. Daniel Boateng
"Her songs really contributed South Africa freedom. Big up Yvonne"

**
29. Givemore Chiguvare
"YAAAH wenever i go to a NEW AFRICAN PLACE I PLAY THIS ONE."

**
30. migxgy
"Always played this song at parties"

**
31. morenikespring #apple
"these were our beyonces"

**
32. Rufus J. Kerkulah
"From Gbarnga, Bong County, Liberia to South Africa with love."

**
33. Kenny Chukwu
"In character, in manner, in style, in all the things, the supreme excellence is simplicity. Like all magnificent things, she is an epitome of beauty and class. #Naija."

**
34. Jacob Paulo
"my thanks giving from Angola, love this song so much Chaka"

**
35. thamsanqa nyathi
"I waz young by then in rural areas listening to radio 2 before it waz named radio Zimbabwe,gne are the day's"

**
36. BE8Y LUBEGA
"I miss my mama land, just thought of Chaka Chaka one of the music icons of the 90s. Missing you Africa..."

**
37. Annah Makhoshi
"I am happy to be at African. I'm coming from Ghana I love south Africa it make me happy here"

**
38. Kbc Construction
"the time wen she was young looking good that we fighting apartheid in Namibia remind me my fellow whose gone with war"

**
39. samantha gloria
"Kbc Construction She still looks good,watched her on BBC hard talk one day ago"

**
40. jimmy heguye
"♨❤ l should give huge all Mother in Village!😀&dance with them😀My heart fired to Mother land home village! l feel so much to them!"

**
41. rumbie portia
"My roots are here in Africa....nyc song"
-snip-
“nyc song” = “nice song” and not New York City song

**
42. Regina Drescher
"Those were the good old days were no internet or mobile existed,millenials will never know how good it felt. Thank you Yvonne,you have no idea how many hearts you changed during your time.I give thanks to you..Thank you princess of Africa"

**
43. Femme Fatale
"yvonne chaka chaka in ZAÏRE ♥♥"

**
44. Bertin Ngindu
"So proud to be an African...my mamaland Tanzania/DRC"

**
45. Sidiki Fofana
"I am not from sudafrika but I love it realy all afrika are brothers"

****
2017
46. Charles Lotara
"Those were more than just musicians but were iconic freedom fighters through their songs! You made us proud of our motherland, we love you, we love Africa!"

**
48. James Ndula
"Yvonne was actually asking African countries to stop fighting and unite to become one, unfortunately that didn't happen"

**
49. Gabriel Mandlenkosi Vundla
"africa start from cape town to cairo,so all countries which are in this continent must get united not fight,nigerians are my brothers,zimbabweans are my sisters,so stop fighting guys"

**
50. polycap orina
"produced at the height of Racism...I listened to this as a kid,And will still bomb to hit"

**
51. stephen mugisha
"mam land so great,am Rwanda and proud to be so, i love ur music!!!"

**
52. Chris Tifana chikafa Tifana
"Yoh! aunt you suppose to continue singing please, i like all your songs maam"

**
53. Sebongile Nkachela Baggio
"my mamaland a better land, my home town. before cell phones take over"

**
54. Julius Chacha
"I remember those days 1992 when my uncles used to play kinanda."

**
55. jiya jalaqsan
"I love my motherland in somali"

**
56. Onasis Kanika Since88
"Am from Zambia Africa is my motherland let's not kill each other Africa unite. One love brothers and sisters"

**
57. Mula chain
"I am proud to be Congolese (DRC)"

**
58. ispm quartoano
"sory abaut my inglish im Mozambican. I love this song i rember my infacnc 7 year s old mamaland from Yvone .i never forget you."

**
59. Gisele Belole
"part of the video done in Kinshasa -Zaïre (DRC)"

**
60. Vannuge Jiiko
"I remember this song when I was young back in Malawi I feel so emotional now I miss you mama land the warm heart of Africa"

**
61. Vhuramai Chimbindi
"its true this Africa is our mama land why are we fighting for. lets not divide our selves"

**
62. maikano Rabe
"You contributed a lot in saving south Africa from the apartheid ruling. Great and tremendous zulu voice. It me remembered Dabezitao un Chakra zulu movie."

**
63. james pa92
"Childhood jam!!!"

**
64. Tracy Justice
"my mama land Tanzania, proud to be Tanzanian watching from the USA"

**
65. Lucy Leopold
"i real mic my home town my mama land Tanzania...from sweden"

**
66. JDOUG757
"being a black american, I envy u guys so much. we don't know where we are from. we are so lost...MAMA AFRICA I LOVE YOU!!! I MISS U!!!"

**
67. Willy Kabuya EL GANADOR
"i love africa proud To be congolese. my land"

**
68. Vivi Cruz
"Hi, I'm Cape Verdean, I love this rhythm, how I wanted to understand the lyrics, Kisses"

**
Reply
69. Tonny Okello
"Ni we nakupenda , ni we Mamaland - It a swahili phrase that translates literally : It is you I love, it is you my motherland."

**
70. Lionel Pessi Aka El Vomito
"BURUNDI forever"

**
71. mike koechner
"my mama land Kenya. watching from Doha Qatar. I miss my home Africa..."

**
72. OMBENI MIHWELA
"i love and i proud with african mucian who was sing the song of liberazation"

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Thanks for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome.
          Comment on Get This Off My Chest-Clayton Jennings by Michael Matheus        
I love this poem man. it speaks to me too. I was hoping you could send me the lyrics. iam a final year student at the university of Namibia and just like you my English teacher never believed I could make it to college one day. I thank you for your words bro. God bless you Many thanks Michael
          Commentaires sur Occlusions veineuses rétiniennes par MichaelNex        
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          Kommentar zu Reise von puretreks* - Reiseblog: Apfelkuchen in Namibia        
[…] in diesem Jahr führte mich die Reise Namibia Trekking pur wieder nach Solitaire. Nicht auf direktem Weg, eher das Gegenteil, denn ich durchquerte mit einer […]
          In Germany’s extermination program for black Africans, a template for the Holocaust        
Decades before the Nazis turned to the Jews, German colonialists in Southwest Africa – now Namibia – dehumanized, built death camps for, and slaughtered tens of thousands of tribespeople in a systematic genocide. Here, Edwin Black reveals the full horrors of an eerie and odious precursor of the Shoah, and its legacy in the US
          Britz - Nissan Single Cab 4x4 MSE Equipped - Walkthrough        

Going on a 4x4 campervan adventure in South Africa, Namibia or Botswana? Here’s a quick walkthrough of the Britz 4x4 MSE camper vehicle. Get in touch to book!


          Namibia - KILROY was here        

Namibia in the south-western part of Africa is a very beautiful and unspoiled country with an impressive wildlife and wonderful scenery. Take a look!


          Namibia - this is my safari trip        

Namibia and Etosha National park is an unspoiled safari and adventure destination. Plenty of parks and places with great opportunities to watch the wildlife and the "big five" in particular.

Get inspired: Read about Namibia


          Cruceros en Buenos Aires y donde Alquilar departamentos        
Empresas de cruceros se sigue para agregar a los buques a sus flotas y que también se están convirtiendo en mucho más imaginativas con itinerarios de los cruceros que están proporcionando. El Caribe y el Mediterráneo siguen siendo los más populares destinos de crucero, pero ahora hay una gran variedad de salida de cruceros que se encuentran disponibles en todo el Mundo.





Este artículo intenta dar algunas inspiración en donde usted debe pensar en su próximo crucero de vacaciones.





América del Sur pueden ofrecer una amplia gama de diversos cruceros que van desde un viaje hasta el Amazonas a la palpitante ciudad de Río de Janeiro y Buenos Aires, así como que ofrece maravillas naturales como las Islas Galápagos, de los fiordos chilenos y las montañas de los Andes.





Muchos de estos cruceros de EE.UU. comenzará a partir de los puertos y otherssail de las principales ciudades de América del Sur. La mayoría de los cruceros a la Antártida desde Ushuaia inicio en el sur de Argentina. Varias empresas de cruceros incluyendo viajes de descubrimiento y Hurtigruten ofrecer expedición Antártida estilo de cruceros.





Dubai, así como un destino de vacaciones de lujo está empezando a convertirse en un puerto de cruceros establecidos. Costa Cruceros es la vela siete itinerarios de cruceros en 2009 que hagan escala en Abu Dhabi, Omán y Bahrein.





Dubai y otros puertos del Golfo característica a menudo en el mundo o reposicionamiento de cruceros, lo que significa que puede levantar un crucero de la negociación por la elección de uno de estos cruceros.





Norte de África está bien servido por muchos cruceros que también incluyen el Mediterráneo, pero ¿qué pasa con el resto de África? Algunos mundo de vela de cruceros en la costa occidental de África a Ciudad del Cabo, como una alternativa a la de crucero a través del Canal de Suez en Egipto.





Crucero de la costa occidental significa que usted puede visitar países como Senegal, Gambia y Namibia, así como las Islas de Cabo Verde y Santa Elena. En el sur de África oriental y algunas líneas de cruceros ofrecen salidas desde Ciudad del Cabo y también la de Kenya turística de Mombasa.





Crucero Silversea ofrece varios viajes de estos puertos que hagan escala en destinos como Zanzíbar, Madagascar y la isla de Asunción. Hebridean Internacional de Cruceros y viajes de descubrimiento son también ofrece cruceros alrededor de esta región.





Crucero a Alaska son aún tan popular como nunca. Estos cruisese comenzará a partir de Seattle o Vancouver y hacer su camino hasta el interior de Pasaje, teniendo en algunos de los mundos más espectaculares paisajes. NCL, Princess y Royal Caribbean son sólo algunas de las líneas de cruceros ofrecen cruceros de Alaska, que también pueden combinarse con una tierra gira.





El Báltico es el segundo crucero más populares en la región Europea temporada de verano. Un crucero Báltico se visita la impresionante ciudad de San Petersburgo, Estocolmo y Tallinn, mientras que Noruega, por supuesto, ofrece la increíble Fiordos, el sol de medianoche y la aurora boreal. Hurtigruten es famosa por sus viajes alrededor de la costa de Noruega.





El Extremo Oriente y, en particular, China ha experimentado un gran crecimiento en los clientes de crucero. Muchos cruceros parten de Hong Kong y de crucero al norte de China y el Japón. Otros cruceros hacia el sur, donde se los cruceros de Vietnam, Camboya, Tailandia, Malasia y Singapur.





Australia y Nueva Zelandia característica en la mayoría de los cruceros mundo de cruceros por empresas como P & O, Holland America, Princess y Royal Caribbean.





Entonces, ¿qué estás esperando? Crucero nunca ha sido más popular y con la cada vez mayor elección de exploración exóticos y cruceros disponible nunca ha habido un mejor momento para reservar un crucero.
          Cape Gannet (Morus capensis): uplist to Endangered?        
Cape Gannet Morus capensis is a breeding endemic species of coastal southern Africa, breeding on 6 islands in total. These sites are evenly split between South Africa (Bird [Algoa Bay], Malgas and Bird [Lambert’s Bay] Islands) and Namibia (Ichaboae, Mercury … Continue reading
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          Malawi Tourist Board Finalist        
Malawi has been nominated as an awards finalist in the Best African Tourism Board in Africa category in the 2012 Safari Awards. One of Africa’s most picturesque and compact countries, Malawi is in good company with other finalists in the group including safari industry giants of South Africa, Kenya, Botswana and Namibia. This is a […]
          Comentario en Yamaha PW-X, Bosch y Brose : motores eMTB 2017. por MichaelRam        
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          Comentario en Yamaha PW-X, Bosch y Brose : motores eMTB 2017. por MichaelRam        
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          Comentario en Yamaha PW-X, Bosch y Brose : motores eMTB 2017. por MichaelRam        
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          Kalahari Desert        
Kalahari Desert (1)
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The Kalahari Desert is a large semi-arid sandy savannah insouthern Africa extending 900,000 square kilometres (350,000 sq mi), covering much of Botswana, parts of Namibia(known as South-West Africa from 1894 to 1990), and regions of South Africa

Image result for kalahari desert



          Ãndice de compromiso con la reducción de la desigualdad : Todas las respuestas a tus preguntas        
Clase de informática en Namibia. Foto: John Hogg/World Bank

Blog: Índice de compromiso con la reducción de la desigualdad : Todas las respuestas a tus preguntas

La publicación del Índice ha supuesto un trabajo arduo de análisis de más de 7.000 datos, compilados en su mayoría de por organismos internacionales como el Banco Mundial, y con una metodología lo más detallada posible y abierta a debate para cualquier persona interesada. Aclaramos tus dudas.


          GURUN TERTUA DI DUNIA        

Gurun Namib adalah sebuah gurun di Namibia yang merupakan bagian dari Taman Nasional Namib-Naukluft, salah satu taman nasional yang terbesar di Afrika. Nama "Namib" berasal dari bahasa Nama. Gurun ini meliputi wilayah sekitar 50.000 km², membentang 1.600 km (1.000 mil) sepanjang pesisir Samudra Atlantik di Namibia, yang mendapatkan namanya dari gurun ini. Luas barat-timurnya bervariasi dari 50-160 km (30 hingga 100 mil). Gurun Namib juga mencapai sebelah barat daya Angola.
Daerah ini dianggap sebagai gurun tertua di dunia dan telah mengalami keadaan gersang atau semi-gersang setidaknya 80 juta tahun. Keadaan gersangnya disebabkan oleh turunnya air kering yang didinginkan oleh arus Benguela sepanjang pesisir. Kurang dari 10 mm (0,4 inci) hujan turun di gurun ini tiap tahun sehingga hampir tandus.
Sejumlah spesies tanaman dan tumbuhan unik ditemukan di sini. Salah satunya adalah Welwitschia mirabilis, tanaman semacam semak belukar. Welwitschia terkenal karena kemampuannya bertahan hidup dalam keadaan yang amat kering di Namib, kadang-kadang mendapat embun dari pesisir.
Meski gurun ini tak berpenghuni dan tak terjangkau, ada permukiman di Sesriem, dekat Sossusvlei yang terkenal dan sekelompok besar bukit pasir, yang dengan tinggi 340 meter merupakan bukit pasir tertinggi di dunia. Kompleksitas dan regularitas pola bukit pasir ini dalam lautan bukit pasirnya telah menarik perhatian para geolog selama berpuluh tahun; namun sayangnya tak dapat dipahami dengan baik.
Interaksi antara udara bermuatan air dari laut lewat angin selatan, dan udara yang kering dari gurun menyebabkan banyaknya kabut dan aliran kuat, menyebabkan para nakhoda tersesat. Bersama dengan Skeleton Coast di utara, terkenal sebagai tempat banyaknya bangkai kapal. Beberapa darinya bisa ditemukan sekitar 50 meter di daratan, karena gurun ini bergerak perlahan ke barat menuju laut, mereklamasi tanah selama bertahun-tahun.
Gurun Namib adalah tempat penting bagi pertambangan tungsten, garam dan berlian.
Akses melalui pesawat kecil dari Windhoek (ibukota Namibia, sekitar 480 km dari timur pusat gurun), Swakopmund dan Walvis Bay di ujung utara gurun, atau melalui darat di jalanan berkerikil.



dikutip dari: wikipedia bahasa indonesia

          Malaria – sprunghafter Anstieg im Süden Afrikas        
Malaria. Reisemediziner warnen: Aufgrund starker Niederschläge ist die Zahl der Malaria-Infektionen in Botswana und Namibia gestiegen – auch in früher malariafreien Regionen.

Das deutsche Centrum für Reisemedizin (CRM) in Düsseldorf rät...
          Bandar Udara London Gatwick        
Bandar Udara London Gatwick (IATA: LGW, ICAO: EGKK) merupakan bandar udara terbesar ke-2 dan tersibuk ke-2 di London setelah Heathrow. Gatwick juga merupakan bandar udara tersibuk dengan landasan pacu tunggal, dan bandar udara tersibuk ke-22 (ke-7 berdasarkan jumlah penumpang internasional) di dunia berdasarkan jumlah penumpang per tahunnya. Terletak di Crawley, West Sussex (sebenarnya Charlwood, Surrey) 2.7 nm (5 km atau 3 mil) utara dari pusat kora, dan 24.7 nm (46 km atau 28 mil) selatan London, dan 40 km utara Brighton.London Gatwick memiliki CAA Public USE Aerodrome Licence (Nomor P528) yang mengizinkan penerbangan transport penumpang atau untuk instruksi
penerbangan.Dengan sekitar 200 destinasi, bandar udara ini telah menangani lebih dari 34 juta penumpang dengan 263,363 pergerakan pesawat pada 2006.Banyak penerbangan dari dan menuju Amerika Serikat menggunakan Gatwick karena banyaknya larangan pada penerbangan Trans-Atlantik dari Heathrow. Bandar udara ini merupakan hub kedua bagi British Airways dan Virgin Atlantic.

Maskapai Penerbangan dan Kota Tujuan
Terminal Utara
Pengguna utama Terminal Utara adalah British Airways dan operator Oneworld lainnya.
Adria Airways (Ljubljana)
Air Comet (Madrid)
Air France
Air France dioperasikan oleh Brit Air (Strasbourg)
Air Namibia (Windhoek)
Air Southwest (Newquay, Plymouth)
Arkia Israel Airlines (Tel Aviv)
American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth, Raleigh/Durham [diakhiri 29 Maret])
Astraeus (Accra, Alghero, Aqaba, Aswan, Banjul, Bastia, Bergen, Bodrum, Brescia, Calvi, Chambery, Corfu, Deer Lake, Dubrovnik, El Alamein, Fagernes, Freetown, Geneva, Hassi Messaoud, Heraklion, Kalamata, Kefallinia, Kuusamo, Las Palmos, Malabo, Malaga, Monrovia, Murcia, Murmansk, Mykonos, Olbia, Paphos, Preveza,Santorini, St. John's, Salzburg, Sharm El Sheikh, Split, Taba, Tenerife, Thira,Verona,Volus, Uralsk, Zadar, Zakinthos)
Atlas Blue (Marrakech)
British Airways (Aberdeen, Algiers [diakhiri 30 Maret], Amsterdam, Antalya [dimulaii 30 Maret], Antigua, Atlanta, Barcelona, Bari, Bermuda, Bologna, Bordeaux, Bridgetown, Cagliari, Catania, Dallas/Fort Worth [diakhiri 30 Maret], Dresden, Dublin, Dubrovnik, Edinburgh, Geneva, Genoa [dimulai 30 Maret], Glasgow-International, Grenada, Grenoble, Houston-Intercontinental [diakhiri 30 Maret], Izmir, Jersey, Kingston, Krakow, Luxembourg, Lyon-Satolas [seasonal], Madrid, Manchester, Marseille, Naples, Newquay, Nice, Orlando, Pisa, Poznan [begins 30 March], Port of Spain, Prague, Priština, Reykjavik-Keflavik, Rome-Fiumicino, Salzburg, Sarajevo, St Lucia, Split, Tampa, Tirana, Thessaloniki, Tobago, Toulouse, Turin, Varna, Venice, Verona, Warsaw [dimulai 30 Maret], Zürich)
British Airways operated by GB Airways (Agadir, Ajaccio, Alicante, Arrecife, Bastia, Corfu, Dalaman, Faro, Fez, Funchal, Gibraltar, Heraklion, Hurghada, Ibiza, Innsbruck, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Mahon, Malaga, Malta, Marrakech, Montpellier, Mykonos, Nantes, Palma de Mallorca, Paphos, Rhodes, Sharm el Sheikh, Tenerife South, Tunis)
Brussels Airlines (Brussels)
Clickair (Seville)
Continental Airlines (Cleveland [seasonal], Houston-Intercontinental, Newark)
Cyprus Turkish Airlines (Antalya, Dalaman)
Daallo Airlines (Djibouti)
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky, New York-JFK)
Emirates (Dubai)
First Choice Airways (Agadir, Alicante, Almeria, Antayla, Antigua, Arrecife, Aruba, Banjul, Barcelona, Bodrum, Bourgas, Cancún, Chania, Colombo, Corfu, Dalaman, Dubrovnik, Faro, Fuerteventura, Funchal, Geneva, Goa, Grenoble, Heraklion, Holguin, Ibiza, Innsbruck, Kalamata, Kefallinia, Kittala, Kos, Krakow, Liberia (CR), Larnaca, Las Palmas, Ljubljana, Mahon, Malaga, Male, Malta, Mitilini, Mombasa, Monastir, Naples, Orlando-Sanford, Palma de Mallorca, Paphos, Porlamar, Preveza, Puerto Plata, Punta Cana, Porlamar, Puerto Plata, Reus, Rhodes, Salzburg, Sharm el Sheikh, St. Thomas, Skiathos, Taba, Tel Aviv, Tenerife, Thessaloniki, Toulouse, Turin, Varadero, Varna, Verona, Zadar, Zakynthos)
FlyLal (Vilnius)
GB Airways Charter (Aqaba, Aswan, Geneva, Kittilla, Kuusamo, Luxor, Lyon, Salzburg)
Israir (Tel Aviv)
Malév Hungarian Airlines (Budapest)
Nationwide Airlines (Johannesburg)
Oman Air (Muscat [dimulai 15 November])
TAROM (Cluj Napoca)
Virgin Nigeria (Lagos)

Terminal Selatan
Aer Lingus (Dublin)
African Safari Airways (Mombasa)
Afriqiyah Airways (Tripoli)
Air Zimbabwe (Harare)
Air Malta (Catania, Malta)
Air Transat (Calgary, Fredericton [begins 6 May], Halifax [dimulai 6 Mei], Montréal, Toronto-Pearson, Vancouver)
airBaltic (Riga, Vilnius)
Alexandair (Heraklion, Kos)
Aurigny Air (Guernsey)
Azerbaijan Airlines (Baku)
Belavia (Minsk)
BH Air (Bourgas, Plovdiv, Sofia, Varna)
BritishJET (Malta)
Bulgaria Air (Sofia, Varna)
Centralwings (Krakow, Warsaw, Wroclaw)
Croatia Airlines (Dubrovnik, Pula, Split)
Cubana de Aviación (Havana, Holguin)
easyJet (Alicante, Almeria, Amsterdam, Athens, Barcelona, Belfast-International, Berlin-Schönefeld, Bucharest-Băneasa, Budapest, Cologne/Bonn, Edinburgh, Faro, Gdansk, Geneva, Glasgow-International, Ibiza, Inverness, Innsbruck [begins 14 December], Krakow, La Rochelle, Lisbon, Madrid, Malaga, Marrakech, Marseille, Menorca, Milan-Linate, Milan-Malpensa, Nice, Olbia, Palermo, Palma de Mallorca, Pisa, Prague, Rome-Ciampino, Sofia, Split, Toulouse, Valencia, Venice)
Estonian Air (Tallinn)
Eurocypria Airlines (Larnaca, Paphos)
European Aviation Air Charter (Rimini)
Flybe (Belfast-City, Guernsey, Inverness, Isle of Man, Jersey)
Flyglobespan (Calgary [dimulai 13 Mei], Vancouver [dimulai 13 Mei]) [seasonal]
Free Bird Airlines (Antalya, Dalaman)
Ghana International Airlines (Accra)
Germanwings (Hamburg)
Iberia
operated by Air Nostrum (Mahon)
Jet2.com (Newcastle)
Karthago Airlines (Monastir)
KD Avia (Kaliningrad)
LTE International Airways (Las Palmas, Palma, Tenerife)
Meridiana (Cagliari, Florence, Olbia)
Monarch Airlines (scheduled) (Alicante, Arrecife, Faro, Granada, Ibiza, Lisbon, Malaga, Murcia, Tenerife)
Monarch Airlines (charter) (Alicante, Almeria, Antalya, Arrecife, Banjul, Barbados, Barcelona, Bodrum, Calgary, Cancún, Chania, Colombo, Corfu, Faro, Fuerteventura, Geneva, Goa, Grenoble, Heraklion, Ibiza, Innsbruck, Kos, Lanzarote, Las Palmas, Luxor, Lyon, Mahon, Malaga, Male, Mombasa, Naples, Orlando-Sanford, Palma, Paphos, Preveza, Puerto Plata, Salzburg, Sharm el Sheikh, Skiathos, Sofio, Taba, Tenerife, Toulouse, Trivandrum, Turin, Venice, Verona, Zacinthos)
MyTravel Airways (Agadir, Almeria, Arrecife, Bodrum, Bourgas, Calgary, Cancun, Corfu, Dalaman, Edmonton, Fuerteventura, Gerona, Goa, Heraklion, Hurghada, Ibiza, Kefallinia, Kos, La Romana, Las Palmas, Mahon, Malaga, Male, Monastir, Montego Bay, Orlando-Sanford, Palma, Paphos, Puerto Plata, Reus, Rhodes, Salzburg, Tenerife, Toronto-Pearson, Turin, Vancouver, Zakinthos)
Northwest Airlines (Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul)
Norwegian Air Shuttle (Oslo, Stavanger)
Nouvelair Tunisia (Djerba, Monastir)
Oasis Hong Kong Airlines (Hong Kong)
Olympic Airlines (Athens, Thessaloniki)
Onur Air (Bodrum, Dalaman)
Pegasus Airlines (Dalaman)
Qatar Airways (Doha)
Rossiya (St. Petersburg)
Ryanair (Cork, Dublin, Shannon)
Scandinavian Airlines System (Aalesund, Bergen)
SATA International (Ponta Delgada)
Sterling Airlines (Aalborg, Billund, Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm-Arlanda)
Sudan Airways (Khartoum)
TAP Portugal (Funchal, Lisbon, Porto)
Thomsonfly (Agadir, Alghero, Alicante, Almeria, Antalya, Arrecife, Barbados, Bodrum, Bourgas, Cancun, Catania, Chania, Corfu, Dalaman, Dubrovnik, Enontekio, Faro, Figari, Fuerteventura, Funchal, Geneva, Gerona, Goa, Heraklion, Hurghada, Ibiza, Kavala, Kefallinia, Kos, Las Palmas, Lamezia, Larnaca, Las Palmas, Luxor, Mahon, Malaga, Malta, Marsa Alam, Mombasa, Monastir, Montego Bay, Niš [seasonal], Orlando-Sanford, Palma de Mallorca, Paphos, Plovdiv, Puerto Plata, Punta Cana, Reus, Rovaniemi, Salzburg, Sharm el Sheikh, Sofia, Tenerife, Thessaloniki, Toulouse, Turin, Varadero, Varna, Verona, Zakynthos)
Thomas Cook Airlines (Agadir, Alicante, Almeria, Antalya, Arrecife, Banjul, Barbados, Bodrum, Bourgas, Calgary, Cancun, Cayo Coco, Corfu, Cunagua, Dalaman, Faro, Fuerteventura, Funchal, Geneva, Halifax, Hassi Messaoud, Heraklion, Ibiza, Innsbruck, Izmir, Kalamata, Kefallinia, Kos, Larnaca, Las Palmas, Lyon, Mahon, Malaga, Malta, Monastir, Montréal, Munich, Orlando-Sanford, Ottawa, Palma de Mallorca, Paphos, Plovdiv, Preveza, Puerto Plata, Reus, Rhodes, Salzburg, Sharm el Sheikh, Skiathos, Sofia, Split, Tenerife, Thessaloniki, Thira, Toronto-Pearson, Toulouse, Turin, Vancouver, Varadero, Verona, Zakinthos)
Ukraine International Airlines (Kiev-Boryspil)
US Airways (Charlotte, Philadelphia)
Viking Airlines (Heraklion)
Virgin Atlantic (Antigua, Barbados [diakhiri 11 Desember/dimulai 17 Maret], Grenada, Havana, Kingston, Las Vegas, Montego Bay, Orlando, St Lucia, Tobago)
Wizz Air (Katowice [dimulai 31 Januari])
XL Airways (Alicante, Algarve, Almeria, Antalya, Arrecife, Athens, Barbados, Bastia, Bodrum, Brescia, Cagliari, Catania, Chania, Corfu, Dalaman, Faro, Fuerteventura, Funchal, Goa, Grenada, Heraklion, Holguin, Hurghada, Kalamata, Kavala, Kefallina, Kos, Larnaca, Las Palmas, Lemnos, Mahon, Malaga, Malta, Marsa Alam, Mitilini, Mombasa, Murcia, Mykonos, Naples, Orlando-Sanford, Palma, Paphos, Preveza, Puerto Plata, Pula, Punta Cana, Rhodes, Samos, Santa Clara, Sharm el Sheikh, Skiathos, St. Kitts,St.lucia, Taba, Tenerife, Thessaloniki, Thira, Tobago, Volos, Zakinthos)
Zoom Airlines (Kanada) (Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, Montréal, Ottawa, Toronto-Pearson, Vancouver, Winnipeg)
Zoom Airlines (UK) (Bermuda, New York-JFK)

Terminal Selatan
Terminal Selatan dibanguna selama konstruksi Bandar Udara London Gatwick pada tahun 1956-1958.
African Safari Airways (Mombasa)
Afriqiyah Airways (Tripoli)
Air Atlanta Europe (Faro, Hurghada, Paphos, Orlando-Sanford, Sharm el-Sheikh)
Air Zimbabwe (Harare)
Air Malta (Catania, Malta)
Air Transat (Calgary, Halifax, Montréal, Toronto-Pearson, Vancouver)
airBaltic (Riga, Vilnius)
Alexandair (Heralion, Kos)
Aurigny Air (Guernsey)
Azerbaijan Airlines (Baku)
Belavia (Minsk)
BH Air (Bourgas, Plovdiv, Sofia, Varna)
BritishJET (Malta)
Bulgaria Air (Sofia, Varna)
Centralwings (Krakow, Warsaw, Wroclaw)
Continental Airlines (Cleveland [seasonal], Houston-Intercontinental, Newark)[dipindahkan ke Terminal Utara pada Juni 2007]
Croatia Airlines (Dubrovnik, Pula, Split)
Cubana de Aviación (Havana, Holguin)
easyJet (Alicante, Almeria, Amsterdam, Athens, Barcelona, Belfast-International, Berlin-Schönefeld, Budapest, Cologne/Bonn, Edinburgh, Faro, Fez [begins September 2007], Geneva, Glasgow-International, Ibiza, Inverness, Krakow [begins September 2007], La Rochelle [begins July 14, 2007], Madrid, Malaga, Marrakech, Marseille, Milan-Linate, Milan-Malpensa, Nice, Olbia, Palermo [begins June 18, 2007], Palma de Mallorca, Pisa, Prague, Rome-Ciampino, Split, Toulouse, Valencia, Venice)
Estonian Air (Tallinn)
Eurocypria Airlines (Larnaca, Paphos)
European Aviation Air Charter (Rimini)
Flybe (Belfast-City, Bergerac, Guernsey, Inverness, Isle of Man, Jersey)
Flyglobespan (Calgary, Toronto-Hamilton, Vancouver)
FlyLal (Vilnius)
Free Bird Airlines (Antalya, Dalaman)
Futura (Tenerife)
Ghana International Airlines (Accra)
Germanwings (Hamburg)
Iberia
operated by Air Nostrum (Mahon)
Jet2.com (Newcastle)
Karthago Airlines (Monastir)
LTE International Airways (Las Palmas, Palma, Tenerife)
Meridiana (Cagliari, Florence, Olbia)
Monarch Airlines (Alicante, Almeria, Antalya, Arrecife, Banjul, Barbados, Barcelona, Bodrum, Calgary, Cancún, Chania, Colombo, Corfu, Faro, Fuerteventura, Geneva, Goa, Grenoble, Heraklion, Ibiza, Innsbruck, Kos, Lanzarote, Las Palmas, Luxor, Lyon, Mahon, Malaga, Male, Mombasa, Naples, Orlando-Sanford, Palma, Paphos, Preveza, Puerto Plata, Salzburg, Sharm el Sheikh, Skiathos, Sofio, Taba, Tenerife, Toulouse, Trivandrum, Turin, Venice, Verona, Zakyinthos)
Monarch Airlines (Alicante, Faro, Granada, Lisbon, Malaga)
MyTravel Airways (Agadir, Almeria, Arrecife, Bodrum, Bourgas, Calgary, Cancun, Corfu, Dalaman, Fuerteventura, Gerona, Goa, Heraklion, Hurghada, Ibiza, Kefallinia, Kos, La Romana, Las Palmas, Mahon, Malaga, Male, Monastir, Montego Bay, Orlando-Sanford, Palma, Paphos, Puerto Plata, Reus, Rhodes, Salzburg, Tenerife, Toronto-Pearson, Turin, Vancouver, Zakynthos)
Northwest Airlines (Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul)
Nouvelair Tunisia (Djerba, Monastir)
Oasis Hong Kong Airlines (Hong Kong)
Olympic Airlines (Athens, Thessaloniki)
Onur Air (Bodrum, Dalaman)
Pegasus Airlines (Dalaman)
Qatar Airways (Doha)
Rossiya Airlines (St. Petersburg)
Ryanair (Cork, Dublin, Shannon)
Scandinavian Airlines System (Aalesund [dimulai pada 1 Juni 2007], Bergen)
SATA International (Ponta Delgada)
Sterling Airlines (Aalborg, Billund, Copenhagen, Stockholm-Arlanda)
Sudan Airways (Khartoum)
TAP Portugal (Funchal, Lisbon, Porto)
Thomsonfly (Agadir, Alghero, Alicante, Almeria, Antalya, Arrecife, Barbados, Bodrum, Bourgas, Cancun, Catania, Chania, Corfu, Dalaman, Dubrovnik, Enontekio, Faro, Figari, Fuerteventura, Funchal, Geneva, Gerona, Goa, Heraklion, Hurghada, Ibiza, Kavala, Kefallinia, Kos, La Palma [begins November 2007], Lamezia, Larnaca, Las Palmas, Luxor, Mahon, Malaga, Malta, Marsa Alam, Mombasa, Monastir, Montego Bay, Niš [seasonal], Orlando-Sanford, Palma de Mallorca, Paphos, Plovdiv, Puerto Plata, Punta Cana, Reus, Rovaniemi, Salzburg, Sharm el Sheikh, Sofia, Tenerife, Thessaloniki, Toulouse, Turin, Varadero, Varna, Verona, Zakynthos)
Thomas Cook Airlines (Agadir, Alicante, Almeria, Antalya, Arrecife, Banjul, Barbados, Bodrum, Bourgas, Calgary, Cancun, Cayo Coco, Corfu, Cunagua, Dalaman, Faro, Fuerteventura, Funchal, Geneva, Halifax, Hassi Messaoud, Heraklion, Ibiza, Innsbruck, Izmir, Kalamata, Kefallinia, Kos, Larnaca, Las Palmas, Lyon, Mahon, Malaga, Malta, Monastir, Montréal, Munich, Orlando-Sanford, Ottawa, Palma de Mallorca, Paphos, Plovdiv, Preveza, Puerto Plata, Reus, Rhodes, Salzburg, Sharm el Sheikh, Skiathos, Sofia, Split, Tenerife, Thessaloniki, Thira, Toronto-Pearson, Toulouse, Turin, Vancouver, Varadero, Verona, Zakynthos)
Titan Airways (Chambery)
Travel Service (Prague)
Ukraine International Airlines (Kiev-Boryspil)
US Airways (Charlotte, Philadelphia)
Viking Airlines (Heraklion)
Virgin Atlantic (Antigua, Barbados, Grenada, Havana, Las Vegas, Montego Bay, Orlando, Port Louis [dimulai pada November 2007], St Lucia, Tobago)
Zoom Airlines (Canada) (Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, Montréal, Ottawa, Toronto-Pearson, Vancouver, Winnipeg)
Zoom Airlines (UK) (Bermuda [dimulai pada 8 Juni 2007], New York-JFK [dimulai pada 21 Juni, 2007])
XL Airways (Alicante, Algarve, Almeria, Antalya, Arrecife, Athens, Barbados, Bastia, Bodrum, Brescia, Cagliari, Catania, Chania, Corfu, Dalaman, Faro, Fuerteventura, Funchal, Goa, Grenada, Heraklion, Holguin, Hurghada, Kalamata, Kavala, Kefallina, Kos, Larnaca, Las Palmas, Lemnos, Mahon, Malaga, Malta, Marsa Alam, Mitilini, Mombasa, Murcia, Mykonos, Naples, Orlando-Sanford, Palma, Paphos, Preveza, Puerto Plata, Pula, Punta Cana, Rhodes, Samos, Santa Clara, Sharm el Sheikh, Skiathos, St. Kitts, Taba, Tenerife, Thessaloniki, Thira, Tobago, Volos, Zakynthos)

Referensi
United Kingdom AIP
Gwyne, Peter. (1990) A History of Crawley (2nd Edition) Philmore. ISBN 0-85033-718-6
King, John, with Tait, Geoff, (1980) Golden Gatwick, 50 Years of Aviation, British Airports Authority.

Pranala luar
Website Resmi Bandar Udara Gatwick
Gatwick Airport Consultative Committee
Website Gatwick Airport Planespotting
Peta dan Foto Udara
Gambar satelit dari WikiMapia atau Google Maps
Peta jalan dari Multimap atau GlobalGuide
Foto udara dari TerraServer
Sumber, http://id.wikipedia.org/


          Digital Diary: Young people talk about AIDS        
UNICEF Radio Digital Diarist Livey Van Wyk of Namibia discusses the need to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS in her country.
          Livey’s Digital Diary: Living with HIV in Namibia        
UNICEF Radio Youth Reporter Livey Van Wyk interviews young people in Namibia about their knowledge of HIV and AIDS for her Digital Diary.
          UNICEF responds as polio outbreak in Namibia claims more victims        
UNICEF Representative in Namibia Khin-Sandi Lwin talks about the country’s recent polio outbreak.
          Young Woman in Namibia Struggles with HIV        
20 year old Livey, from Namibia, is a peer educator about HIV prevention, despite the stigma she faces as person with the virus in her community.
          PGM_001: The Global Struggle against HIV and AIDS        
A youth arts festival to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS in Botswana and a school-based youth program in Namibia to teach about safer sex.
          Babies        

I just got back from seeing the documentary Babies. I have to say that it was great! Director Thomas Balmès followed four babies from four countries for a little over a year each. The movie is mostly without dialogue, except for the little bit of the parents' talking. It is mostly shot from the baby's level, and is organized by the developmental stages of babies' lives. This choice was a great way to highlight each culture and keep the movie flowing.

I really enjoyed seeing the differences in parenting and lifestyles. I found Ponijao, the baby from Namibia, to be the most interesting. The parenting style there was extremely community oriented, though men seemed to have no place in parenting there. This collective parenting made it hard to tell who the baby's mother was through much of the movie.

Bayar, from Mongolia, lives on a family farm. It's amazing to see how closely he grows up with the animals and how he is given a lot of freedom. It's also interesting that his parents seem to take a very removed roll. Although the mother is an active parent at times, Bayar tends to be left to his own devices or with a slightly older sibling.

Japanese Mari was raised in a very Western manner, with her mother taking her to prearranged play dates and having her interact with toys produced by the baby industry. In California, Hattie grows up with a ton of toys and books. She goes to organized baby-centered activities, but otherwise is very solitary. Out of all the babies' fathers, Hattie's seems to be the most involved in his child's life.

Babies does a great job of staying silent; there is no voice-over commentary or focus on the parents apart from when they are interacting with their child. That said, I think the filmmaker intended to create a discussion about parenting, but Babies could easily act as a way to create an Other by creating a divide between Western and non-Western worlds. Although it shows how babies are similar overall, cultural and economic divisions and not providing context and commentary makes it too easy to view those from non-Western cultures as outsiders.

When watching the film it's hard to remember that these are sample sizes of one, which makes it easy to critique the parenting style of, say, the Japanese parents because there are more than a few scenes of Mari being crabby. But she could easily have colic or be teething or it could just be a result of her parents' individual style, not a reflection of Japanese society as a whole. Similarly, Babies makes it seem as though this Mongolian family is completely removed from parenting, when it could be the economic pressures they face that creates a need for both of Bayar's parents to work.

I noticed some negative reactions in the theater. The film shows breastfeeding, which elicited a small gasp from another patron, and there were also some inappropriate reactions to the children in two of the cultures who were regularly without pants. I think these reactions tell a lot about Americans biases, and how these negative views make natural choices difficult for many mothers.

Other than these few things, Babies was amazing. I'd definitely suggest it to anyone who has an interest in children or parenting. I would just make sure the person understands that these are glimpses into the lives of individuals, and while the people featured may represent a part of their culture, they are not necessarily representative of the culture as a whole.

Cross-posted at Squirrely Mama

Written by: Cheryl Friedman, May 17th 2010

          Unconnected Teaching in Namibia        
Student Madison Weidner volunteered in Namibia this summer, and it’s helping her become a more culturally competent educator.
          Undisturbed Places - A Timelapse Film        

There are places in the world where stars are the only source of light. Their singularity is breathtaking, inclines to reflection and becomes the root of inspiration. Places like that are usually unspoiled, natural and intact. These are the places where humans live in symbiosis with nature.

Namibia is one of the few places on Earth with the lowest light pollution. There are national parks there where the light pollution is reduced to zero. That’s why it has become a hotspot for astronomy photographers like myself.

"Undisturbed Places" is a project made in Namibia and Botswana during Namib & Kalahari Desert Astroexpedition, organized by Safra-Go. Taking part in a month-long journey, I was able to collect 2TB of timelapse footage. What you are about to watch is a selection of the most beautiful locations I was able to film.

Licensing: Undisturbed Places is copyrighted and may not be used without permission. All footage is available for licensing under a rights-managed agreement. If you are interested in using any of my images or timelapse footage, contact me directly. Most of my clips are available up to 5K resolution.

Cinematography & editing by Maciej Tomków

Orginal soundtrack by Patryk Scelina
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/pl/album/voices-namibia-original-soundtrack/id1083666520?l=pl
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/0xt6ghn0bUL4pZitRllHba
http://www.patryk.scelina.com

Color grading by Tomasz Frąszczak
http://www.fraszczak.com
Powered by Dito Gear
http://www.ditogear.com

Safra-Go
http://www.safra-go.cz

Make sure to check Behind The Timelapse video from Namibia:
vimeo.com/149588471

Visit my website maciejtomkow.com and follow me at:
Facebook: http://facebook.com/maciejtomkow.cinematography
Vimeo: vimeo.com/maciejtomkow
Instagram: http://instagram.com/maciejtomkow
LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/maciejtomkow
Nimia: http://app.nimia.com/profile/Maciej_Tomkow
500px: http://500px.com/maciejtomkow

Cast: Maciej Tomków, Dito Gear, Patryk Scelina and Nimia

Tags: africa, namibia, namibia timelapse, astrophotography, botswana, nightsky, milkyway, cinematography. filmmaking, travel, timelapse, expedition, african landscape, landscapes and nature


          Namibians Say Inquiry on China Will Expand        
From the New York Times: Namibian prosecutors investigating allegations of kickbacks on government contracts with China have expanded their inquiry to include a Chinese contract
          â€œPrincelings” Rule China’s Corporate World        
In light of the recent corruption case in Namibia involving NucTech Corporation, formerly headed by Hu Jintao’s son Hu Haifeng, the Straits Times looks at the business dealings
          Hu Jintao’s Son Linked to African Corruption Probe        
The Telegraph reports on a corruption probe in Namibia which involves a Chinese company headed until last year by Hu Jintao’s son, Hu Haifeng, 38: The investigation centres
          Some Facts in the Local News, Events and Thoughts        
El alfabeto Tailandés cuenta con 22 vocales, no me encanta el idioma, pero es muy divertido, es como hablar en gangoso.



En Vietnam se ha presentado en los últimos años un severo problema de adicción a los video juegos. Chicos de 10 a 25 años dedican de 2, 3, 5 y hasta 10 horas en los cybercafés, jugando fútbol o peleas. Está calculado que en el 2011, en Vietnam habrá 10 millones de jugadores, cuya mayoría termina por dejar la escuela, presentan conflictos familiares y un alto porcentaje se acerca al crimen y la violencia para mantener el costo de este vicio. Han diseñado un “Cyberadict Treatment Programme” en donde incluyen cursos sobre como apreciar las cosas hermosas de la vida, compartir el tiempo con sus seres queridos, e incluso deportes, ya que presentan severos casos de debilidad física. Suena muy bizarro!!



Here, “Sex shops” are called “Adult Health centres” now. Es como cuando en el DF, para efectos de legislación, clasificaron a los tabledances como “centros de alternancia física”. Ay, el lenguaje!!!



En Asia, se debate fuertemente el tema de los “blood Diamonds”. Resulta que hay una agencia internacional que rastrea la procedencia de los diamantes, pero por corrupción, pues no clasifica adecuadamente las consecuencias del tráfico de Diamantes “ilegales”. La cuestión ya conocida es que la mayoría de los diamantes del mundo, son extraídos de África y en su mayoría, son responsables de la muerte de miles de personas por debido principalmente a que emplean desde niños para su extracción, su proceso es sumamente dañino para los que trabajan en las minas, y frecuentemente, las compañías de diamantes financian desde gobiernos corruptos que les permiten seguir extrayendo diamantes, hasta guerrillas violentas en regiones de Namibia, Zimbawe, Sierra Leone, Liberia y Angola. Todo esto ha sido por siempre conocido, sin embargo se supone que los países industrializados, al querer evitar comprar “este tipo” de diamantes, financian esta agencia que “audita” la extracción de diamantes, sin embargo al parecer, no ha cambiado nada en esta industria. Uff, ya lo había pensado antes, comprar un diamante de compromiso y saber que lo obtuviste gracias a que otros murieron….

Tal vez es mejor comprar un “emergency wedding ring”. Entré a una tienda de artículos de decoración con diseño muy original llamado Propaganda. Entre sus curiosidades, tenían una tarjeta de plástico, similar a una tarjeta de crédito, y tenia suajado (recortado sin despegar) un aro con la forma de un diamante encima. Atrás explica que si tienes deseos urgentes de proponer matrimonio y no tienes a la mano un anillo, éste es el único y especial anillo de compromiso para casos de emergencia. Divertido, se supone que lo debes de traer en la cartera, nunca sabes cuando se te puede ocurrir casarte.



En las noticias apareció un desplegado enorme sobre un debate en China relacionado con un software llamado Green Dam Youth Escort que el gobierno Chino diseñó, quesque como un firewall para evitar que la juventud vea páginas indecentes, violencia o pronografía. El asunto real es que el gobierno impuso a las compañías de computadoras que solamente podían vender sus sistemas con el software instalado, el cual no se puede borrar. El broncón, es que en el subtexto del artículo, realmente es una estrategia del gobierno para ampliar su alcance de cyberespionaje, ya que descubrieron que el software busca asuntos relacionados con temas de urgencia política. Es decir, si además de contar con centros que se dedican a espiar en el ciberespacio, este software, envía información, es decir, ya compras la compu con el espía dentro y te delata. Además, está programado para que puedan “entrar” en la compu y borrar o bloquear lo que sea. Así que las compañías están negociando a través de diversos discursos alternos y artilugios para que no tengan que instalar este software. Es un “dialogo” muy tenso porque por un lado las compañías no están de acuerdo, no pueden decir discutir abiertamente el fondo del tema, pero saben que al gobierno Chino le vale madres y podrían perder el segundo mercado electrónico más grande del mundo.



Leí otro artículo que debate sobre el tema del periodismo entendido como un producto y como un proceso, según agencias de información electrónica. Resulta que varias páginas de información en Internet, publican noticias que a veces resulta que son chisme o no están confirmadas, han recibido demandas multimillonarias, ya que con frecuencia estas “noticias” pertenecen al mundo de los negocios y han llegado a quebrar empresas solamente por rumores y su fuerza en el cyberespacio.

El argumento de defensa de estas páginas, es que los periódicos tradicionales (con quienes tienen guerra) como el New York Times, al tener una fecha límite u hora para la publicación de noticias, deben confirmar todos los textos para evitar dar información errónea, ficticia o lejana a la realidad ya que la sociedad toma decisiones en base a ellas. Las agencias en línea argumentan que su periodismo, ausente de fechas límite, es un proceso constante de investigación, y que los chismes (gossip) son dignos de públicarse como parte de un formato de creación de noticias sin descanso, quesque una noticia te lleva a otra, y que es verdad, en ocasiones, algunas resultan no confirmarse. Se defienden diciendo que es como el freeware, o las versiones beta de los programas, lo lanzan al mercado advirtiendo que tiene errores susceptibles de mejorarse por cualquiera que esté interesado en ello. Total, que es un super debate, porque las empresas se ven perjudicadas cuando se publica información falsa y a pesar de que posteriormente en estos casos se presentan disculpas o fe de erratas, las consecuencias suelen ser graves y difíciles de reparar. Algunas páginas:
Techcrunch.com, huffington.com, Mashable.com, appleinsider, venturebeat, gigaOM, valleywag, edgadget, last.fm

En las calles de Bangkok, puedes comprar cualquier tipo de documento falsificado, desde una licencia, hasta un título universitario. Tal vez esto pase en muchos lados pero aquí lo ofrecen en todos los tianguis de maner pública. Salió una noticia en el periódico sobre un arresto y juicio, pero parece una pantalla, ya que se ve que es algo abierto. Sería como si en México agarran a un “narquito”, sabes que nomás es puro teatro y no agarran a los cabrones.



Ayer y hoy se presentaron los primeros dos casos de muerte por influenza en Tailandia. Si bien han habido 1300 pacientes con posibles síntomas de influenza, casi todos recuperados, solamente 18 hospitalizados hoy, pero los primeros 2 murieron ayer y uno hoy. Salí del hotel y aumentó el número de cubrebocas en las calles. Dije, ¿será que ya llegué al DF?



Ayer hice el check out del hotel, sin embargo informé en la recepción que probablemente regresaría y según me fuera en la embajada tal vez me quedaba otra noche, dijeron que si había camas disponibles y que no había bronca.
Cometí el error de no darme cuenta que la recepción cierra a las 10 pm, y después de haber ido al cine y cenar, llegué al hotel a las 12, solamente estaban los policías, les explique la situación, llamaron al encargado que estaba durmiendo, bajo y después de explicarle la situación y de decirle que no había visto el letrero del horario, simplemente contesto “I just don’t feel like giving you a room”. A lo que contesté, “Ok, thanks a lot” me quedé en el lobby un rato en el Internet y consideré que sería más bronca buscar un hotel económico a esa hora y batallar con taxistas y mis maletas, así que como a las 2 am, nomás me salí del hotel que se encuentra en un callejón peatonal de restaurantes y me dormí en una banca de mármol afuera del hotel en la calle. No estuvo tan mal, solo que los mosquitos estuvieron perros, así que me meti los pantalones dentro de los calcetines, me puse el impermeable que tiene jaretas pa cerrar las mangas y la capucha, ah jijos, parecia yo estar en el Himalaya de nuez! Solo se me veían los ojos, ora si parecía homeless o vagabundo. No había peligro porque los polis vieron toda la acción, se sacaron de onda con el encargado y me hicieron paro, dejándome quedar ahí y con su “protección”. Me desperté a las 6 am, leí los periódicos en el lobby de nuez y me lancé pa pagar la visa a Rusia y estar un rato en la American University que tiene en su biblioteca Internet pa visitas muy económico.


Everything is average nowadays,
Kaiser Chiefs/Yours Trully Angry Mob

          Â¿Que debo hacer para que un Documentos surta efecto en el Exterior?        


La Legalizacion

La legalización es dar fé de la firma del funcionario público que autoriza el documento, sin prejuzgar la forma y el contenido del mismo. La Legalización de los Documentos Extranjeros es imprescindible para que surta efectos en cualquier País de que se trate. Y salvo que exista Convenio, Tratado o Acuerdo internacional que exima de su legalización, la misma se hará conforme a uno de los dos procedimientos siguientes dependiendo del país que expida el documento:

A) Apostilla de La Haya. De acuerdo con el Convenio de La Haya, de 5 de octubre de 1961, la única formalidad que se exige para los documentos procedentes de los Estados parte de dicho Convenio es el sello de La Apostilla que coloca la autoridad competente del Estado del que emana el documento y surte efectos directamente ante cualquier autoridad en el País en el que se pretenda utilizar con validez.

B) La Vía Diplomática. Es el procedimiento a utilizar para la legalización de los documentos extranjeros de Registro Civil, Notariales y Administrativos expedidos en países no firmantes del Convenio de La Haya.

¿Qué es La Apostilla?
La Apostilla de La Haya es un método simplificado de legalización de documentos a efectos de verificar su autenticidad en el ámbito internacional. Físicamente consiste en una hoja que se agrega a los documentos que la autoridad competente estampa sobre una copia del documento público. Proviene del Convenio de La Haya del 5 de octubre de 1961, también conocida como la Convención de la Apostilla, firmado en La Haya, Países Bajos, que suprime el requisito de legalización de los documentos públicos extranjeros. Entró en vigor el 24 de enero de 1965. Sólo tiene validez entre los países firmantes de este tratado, por lo que si el país donde se necesita utilizar el documento no pertenece a él, entonces será necesaria una Legalización Diplomática.
De acuerdo con el artículo 6 del Convenio, Venezuela designo como autoridad competente para expedir el sello apostilla al Ministerio De Relaciones Exteriores.
Todo documento que presente el sello de la apostilla, en Venezuela o en cualquier país parte del convenio, surte efectos legales sin necesidad de ser legalizado.  

¿En qué consiste?
Consiste en certificar que la firma y el sello de un documento público ha sido puesto por una autoridad competente. Al igual legalización, únicamente certifica que la firma o sello que muestra el documento fue emitido por un funcionario público en ejercicio de sus funciones, pero no certifica la validez del contenido del mismo. Sirve para que un documento nacional sea reconocido en un país extranjero. En principio, se reconoce en aquellos países que hayan firmado un tratado internacional, conocido como la Convención de la Haya, para disminuir así los trámites necesarios para el reconocimiento de estos en países diferentes al que fue emitido.

Documentos que se consideran Públicos:
Los documentos emanados de una autoridad o funcionario vinculado a una jurisdicción del Estado, incluyendo los provenientes del ministerio público, o de un secretario, oficial o agente judicial; b) los documentos administrativos; c) los documentos notariales; d) las certificaciones oficiales que hayan sido puestas sobre documentos privados, tales como menciones de registro, comprobaciones sobre la certeza de una fecha y autenticaciones de firmas. Pero la Convención no se aplica a los siguientes documentos: a) los documentos expedidos por agentes diplomáticos o consulares; b) los documentos administrativos que se refieran directamente a una operación mercantil o aduanera.

Miembros de la Convención de la Haya:
Actualmente existen 92 miembros de la Convención de la Apostilla: Albania, Alemania, Andorra, Antigua y Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaiyán, Bahamas, Barbados, Bielorrusia, Bélgica, Belice, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Botswana, Brunei, Bulgaria, China, Colombia, Islas Cook, Corea, Croacia, Chipre, República Checa, Dinamarca, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Eslovaquia, España, Estados Unidos de América, Estonia, Fiji, Finlandia, Francia, Georgia, Grecia, Granada, Honduras, Hungría, India, Islandia, Irlanda, Israel, Italia, Japón, Kazakstán, Lesotho, Letonia, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lituania, Luxemburgo, Malawi, Malta, Islas Marshall, Mauricio, México, Moldova, Mónaco, Montenegro, Namibia, Nueva Zelanda, Niue, Noruega, Países Bajos, Panamá, Polonia, Portugal, República Dominicana, Reino Unido, Rumania, Federación Rusa, Saint Kitts y Nevis, Santa Lucía, San Vicente y las Granadinas, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia, Sudáfrica, Surinam, Swazilandia, Suecia, Suiza, Antigua República Yugoslava de Macedonia, Tonga, Trinidad y Tobago, Turquía, Ucrania y Venezuela.

MINISTERIO DEL PODER POPULAR PARA RELACIONES EXTERIORES
Es la autoridad competente para expedir el sello apostilla al Ministerio De Relaciones Exteriores, de conformidad con el artículo 6 del Convenio de la Haya..

Los Documentos a ser legalizados ó apostillados por el M.P.P.R.E, deben previamente ser presentados ante las siguientes instituciones:

DOCUMENTOS DE ESTUDIOS:
DOCUMENTO
INSTITUCIÓN
● Títulos
● Diplomas
● Programas
● Constancias
● Notas Certificadas
● Actas de Grado
● Documentos de Educación Básica, Media y Superior

1. Departamento de Legalización del Ministerio del Poder Popular para la Educación


2. Departamento de Legalización del Ministerio del Poder Popular para la Educación Superior.

Los Títulos emitidos por Universidades Privadas en todo el Territorio Nacional que vengan debidamente refrendados por el Ministro del Poder Popular para la Educación Superior, o en su defecto por el funcionario en quien se haya delegado la firma, se legalizarán directamente ante este Despacho.

DOCUMENTOS CIVILES:
DOCUMENTO
INSTITUCIÓN
● Matrimonio
● Buena Conducta
● Carta de Soltería
● Actas de Nacimiento
● Antecedentes Penales
● Defunción Sentencias de Divorcio
● Otros Documentos inherentes al Registro Civil.
1. Ministerio del Poder Popular para Relaciones Interiores y Justicia


CERTIFICADOS DE SANIDAD ANIMAL O VEGETAL:
DOCUMENTO
INSTITUCIÓN
● Traslados de Animales y Plantas.

1. Ministerio de Producción y Comercio
2. Servicio Autónomo de Sanidad Agropecuaria (SASA)

DOCUMENTOS LABORALES O DE SEGURIDAD SOCIAL:
DOCUMENTO
INSTITUCIÓN
● Constancias de Trabajo.
● Cotizaciones del Seguro Social
1. Ministerio del Trabajo

DOCUMENTOS DE TRANSITO Y TRANSPORTE:
DOCUMENTO
INSTITUCIÓN
● Registro Automotores
● Licencias de Conducir.
● Cartas Consulares
1. Ministerio de Infraestructura
2. Dirección de Transito Terrestres

DOCUMENTOS RELATIVOS A SALUD:
DOCUMENTO
INSTITUCIÓN
● Certificados e Informes Médicos.
● Titulos de Postgrado realizados en centros Hospitalarios.
1. Ministerio de Salud

CERTIFICADOS COMERCIALES:
DOCUMENTO
INSTITUCIÓN
● Origen, antigüedad, envejecimiento de invención.
● Calidad y apto para el consumo humano.
Ministerio de Producción y Comercio
Ministerio de Salud

 BASE LEGAL
    * Constitución de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela.
    * Convenio para Suprimir la Exigencia de Legalización de los Documentos Públicos Extranjeros.
    * Código Civil.
    * Ley Orgánica para la Protección del Niño y del Adolescente.
    * Decreto con Rango y Fuerza de Ley sobre Simplificación de Trámites Administrativos.
    * Reglamento Orgánico del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores.




          News Bulletin: Namibia Declares Entire Coast a National Park        
Namibia has declared its entire coastline a National Park. The Skeleton Coast Park covers over 26 million acres, making its total size larger than the country of Portugal! The national park even defies borders as it connects with South Africa’s Richetersveld National Park in the south and Angola’s Iona National Park in the north.One of the objectives behind the national park designatio
          10 kota mati di dunia        
apa kabarr???
wie geht's ? ups, lama tidak mengucapkan kalimat terakhir ituh. fufufuf... tadinya post kali ini aku mau ngebahas tentang Tugas akhirku, tapi...ada sesuatu yang menurutku lebih menarik.

baru saja aku ngebuka e-mail di salah satu forum milis yang aku ikutin. dari judulnya dah menarik "10 kota Mati...". kenapa menarik? well, aku mungkin kurang begitu tau yah tentang yang namanya urban design. well, one thing i know for sure, urban design tu selalu berusaha menciptakan sebuah tata kota yang nyaman ditinggali buat calon penggunanya. kalo dah ada yang bilang 'KOTA MATI', pasti para Urban designer langsung bergidik dan buru-buru berkata, " itu pasti bukan sayah yang ngerancang..." kekekeke. (sotoy bener ni anak! ~.~)

oke, so let's get started.

1. KOLMANSKOP ( Namibia ) : Dikubur dalam Pasir
Kolmanskop adalah sebuah kota mati di selatan Namibia , beberapa kilometer dari pelabuhan Luderitz. Di tahun 1908 Luderitz mengalami demam berlian, dan orang-orang kemudian menuju ke padang pasir Namib untuk mendapatkan kekayaan dengan mudah. Dalam dua tahun terciptalah sebuah kota yang megah lengkap dengan segala prasarananya seperti kasino, sekolah, rumah sakit, juga dengan bangunan tempat tinggal yang eksklusif yang berdiri di lahan yang dulunya tandus dan merupakan padang pasir.
Tetapi setelah perang dunia pertama, jual beli berlian menjadi terhenti, ini merupakan permulaan berakhirnya semuanya. Sepanjang tahun 1950 kota mulai ditinggalkan, pasir mulai meminta kembali apa yang menjadi miliknya. Papan metal yang kokoh roboh, kebun yang cantik dan jalanan yang rapi dikubur dibawah pasir, jendela dan pintu bergeretak pada setiap engselnya, kaca-kaca jendela terpecah membelalak seperti menunjukan kehancuran pada hamparan pasir yang menjulang.
Sebuah kota mati baru telah dilahirkan, sampai saat ini masih nampak sepasang banguna yang berdiri, juga terdapat bangunan seperti sebuah teater masih dalam kondisi yang sangat baik, dan sisanya, rumah-rumah tersebut hancur digerus pasir dan menjadi deretan rumah-rumah hantu yang menakutkan.

2. PRYPIAT ( Ukraine ): Rumah para pekerja Chernobyl
Prypiat adalah sebuah kota besar di daerah terasing di Ukraina Utara, merupakan daerah perumahan para pekerja kawasan nuklir Chernobyl . Kawasan ini mati sejak terjadinya bencana nuklir Chernobyl yang menelan hamper 50.000 jiwa. Setelah kejadian, lokasi ini praktis seperti sebuah museum, menjadi bagian dari sejarah Soviet. Bangunan apartement (empat merupakan bangunan yang belum sempat ditempati), kolam renang, rumah sakit, dan banyak bangunan yang lain hancur. Dan semua isi yang terdapat dalam bangunan tersebut dibiarkan ada di dalamnya, seperti arsip, TV, mainan anak-anak, meubel, barang berharga, pakaian dan lain-lain semua seperti kebanyakan milik keluarga-keluarga pada umumnya.

Penduduk hanya boleh mengambil dokumen penting, buku dan pakaian yang tidak terkontaminasi oleh nuklir. Namun sejak abad 21, tidak lagi ada barang berharga yang tertinggal, bahkan tempat duduk dikamar kecilpun dibawa oleh para penjarah, banyak dari bangunan yang isinya dirampok dari tahun ke tahun. Bangunan yang tidak lagi terawat, dengan atap yang bocor, dan bagian dalam bangunan yang tergenang air di musim hujan, semakin membuat kota tersebut benar-benar menjadi kota mati. Kita bisa melihat pohon yang tumbuh di atap rumah, pohon yang tumbuh di dalam rumah.

3. SAN ZHI ( Taiwan ): Tempat peristirahatan yang futuristik

Disebelah Utara Taiwan , terdapat sebuah kampong yang futuristic, pada awalnya dibangun sebagai sebuah tempat peristirahatan yang mewah bagi kaum kaya. Bagaimanapun, setelah terjadi banyak kecelakaan yang fatal pada masa pembangunannya akhirnya proyek tersebut dihentikan. Setelah mengalami kesulitan dana dan kesulitan para pekerja yang mau mengerjakan proyek tersebut akhirnya pembangunan resort tersebut benar-benar dihentikan ditengah jalan. Desas-desus kemudian bermunculan, banyak yang bilang kawasan kampung tersebut menjadi tempat tinggal para hantu, dari mereka yang sudah meninggal.

4. CRACO ( Italy ): Kota pertengahan yang mempesona
Craco terletak didaerah Basilicata dan provinsi Matera sekitar 25 mil dari teluk Taranto . Kota pertengahan ini mempunyai area yang khas dengan dipenuhi bukit yang berombak-ombak dan hamparan pertanian gandum serta tanaman pertanian lainnya. Ditahun 1060 ketika kepemilikan lahan Craco dimiliki oleh uskup Arnaldo pimpinan keuskupan Tricarico. Hubungan yang berjalan lama dengan gereja membawa pengaruh yang banyak kepada seluruh penduduk. Di tahun 1891 populasi penduduk Craco lebih dari 2000 orang, waktu itu mereka banyak dilanda permasalahan social dan kemiskinan yang banyak membuat mereka putus asa, antara tahun 1892 dan 1922 sekitar 1300 orang pindah ke Amerika Utara. Kondisi pertanian yang buruk ditambah dengan bencana alam gempa bumi, tanah longsor serta peperangan inilah yang menyebabkan mereka bermigrasi massal.
Antara tahun 1959 dan 1972 Craco kembali diguncang gempa dan tanah longsor. Di tahun 1963 sisa penduduk sekitar 1300 orang akhirnya dipindahkan ke suatu lembah dekat Craco Peschiera, dan sampai sekarang Craco yang asli masih tertinggal dalam keadaan hancur dan menyisakan kebusukan sisa-sisa peninggalan penduduknya.

5. ORADOUR-SUR- GLANE ( France ): the horror of WWII

Perkampungan kecil Oradour Sul Glane di Perancis menunjukan sebuah kondisi keadaan yang sangat mengerikan. Selama perang dunia ke II, 642 penduduk dibantai oleh tentara Jerman sebagai bentuk pembalasan atas terhadap perlakuan Perancis waktu itu. Jerman yang waktu itu sebenarnya berniat menyerang daerah di dekat Oradour Sul Glane tapi akhirnya mereka menyerang perkampungan kecil tersebut pada tanggal 10 Juni 1944. menurut kesaksian orang-orang yang selamat, penduduk laki-laki dimasukan kedalam sebuah gudang dan tentara jerman menembaki kaki mereka sehingga akhirnya mereka mati secara pelan-pelan. Wanita dan anak-anak yang dimasukan ke dalam gereja, akhirnya semua mati tertembak ketika mereka berusaha keluar dari dalam gereja. Kampung tersebut benar-benar dihancurkan tentara Jerman waktu itu. Dan sampai saat ini reruntuhan kampung tersebut masih berdiri dan menjadi saksi betapa kejamnya peristiwa yang terjadi saat itu.

6. GUNKANJIMA ( Japan ): the forbidden island
Pulau ini adalah salah satu dari 505 pulau tak berpenghuni di Nagasaki Daerah Administratsi Jepang, sekitar 15 kilometer dari Nagasaki . Pulau ini juga dikenal sebagai "Gunkan Jima" atau pulau kapal perang. Pada tahun 1890 ketika suatu perusahaan (Mitsubishi) membeli pulau tersebut dan memulai proyek untuk mendapatkan batubara dari dasar laut di sekitar pulau tersebut. Di tahun 1916 mereka membangun beton besar yang pertama di pulau tersebut, sebuah blok apartemen dibangun untuk para pekerja dan juga berfungsi untuk melindungi mereka dari angin topan.

Pada tahun 1959, populasi penduduk pulau tersebut membengkak, kepadatan penduduk waktu itu mencapai 835 orang per hektar untuk keseluruhan pulau (1.391 per hektar untuk daerah pusat pemukiman), sebuah populasi penduduk terpadat yang pernah terjadi di seluruh dunia.
Ketika minyak tanah menggantikan batubara tahun 1960, tambang batu bara mulai ditutup, tidak terkecuali di Gunkan Jima, di tahun 1974 Mitsubishi secara resmi mengumumkan penutupan tambang tersebut, dan akhirnya mengosongkan pulau tersebut. Pada tahun 2003 pulau ini dimbil sebagai setting film "Battle Royale"� dan mengilhami sebuah game popular "Killer"

7. KADYKCHAN ( Russia ): memories of the Soviet Union
Kadykchan merupakan salah satu kota kecil di Rusia yang hancur saat runtuhnya Uni Soviet. Penduduk terpaksa berjuang untuk mendapatkan akses untuk memperoleh air, pelayanan kesehatan dan juga sekolah. Mereka harus keluar dari kota itu dalam jangka waktu 2 minggu, untuk menempati kota lain dan menempati rumah baru. Kota dengan penduduk sekitar 12.000 orang yang rata-rata sebagai penambang timah ini dikosongkan. Mereka meninggalkan rumah mereka dengan segala perabotannya. Jadi anda dapat menemukan mainan, buku, pakaian dan berbagai barang didalam kota yang kosong.

8. KOWLOON WALLED CITY ( China ): A lawless city
Kota besar Kowloon yang terletak di luar Hongkong , China Dulunya diduduki oleh Jepang selama perang dunia II, yang kemudian diambil alih oleh penduduk liar setelah Jepang menyerah. Pemerintahan Inggris ingin China bertanggung jawab terhadap kota ini, karena kota tersebut menjadi kota yang tidak beraturan dan tidak taat pada hukum pemerintah. Populasi tidak terkendali, penduduk membangun koridor lybirint yang setinggi jalan yang penuh tersumbat oleh sampah, bangunan yang sangat tinggi sehingga membuat cahaya matahari tidak bisa menyinari. Seluruh kota disinari dengan neon.
Kota tersebut penuh dengan rumah pelacuran, kasino, rumah madat dan obat bius dan kokain, banyak terdapat makanan-makanan dari daging anjing dan juga terdapat pabrik-pabrik rahasia yang tidak terganggu oleh otoritas.Keadaan ini akhirnya berakhir ketika di tahun 1993, diambil keputusan oleh pemerintah Inggris dan otoritas China untuk menghentikan semua itu.

9. FAMAGUSTA ( Cyprus ): once a top tourist destination, now a ghost town
Varosha adalah sebuah daerah yang tidak diakui oleh republic Cyprus Utara. Sebelum tahun 1974 Turki menginvasi Cyprus , daerah ini merupakan daerah wisata modern di kota Famagusta . Pada tiga dekade terakhir, kota ini ditinggalkan dan menjadi kota mati. Di tahun 1970-an, kota ini menjadi kota tujuan wisata utama di Cyprus . Untuk memberikan pelayanan yang memuaskan kepada para wisatawan, kota ini membangun berbagai bangunan mewah dan hotel.
Ketika tentara Turki menguasai daerah tersebut, mereka menjaga dan memagari daerah tersebut, tidak boleh ada yang keluar masuk kota tersebut tanpa seijin dari tentara Turki dan tentara PBB. Rencana untuk kembali mengembalikan Varosha ke tangan kendali Yunani, namun rencana tersebut tidak pernah terwujud. Hampir selama 34 tahun kota tersebut dibiarkan dan tidak ada perbaikan. Perlahan bangunan-bangunan tersebut hancur, metal mulai berkarat, jedela pecah, dan akar-akar tumbuhan menembus dinding dan trotoar. Kura-kura bersarang di pantai yang ditinggalkan. Di tahun 2010 Pemerintahan Turki bermaksud untuk membuka kembali Varosha untuk para turis dan kota kembali bisa didiami dan akan menjadi salah satu kota yang paling berpengaruh di uatara pulau.

10. AGDAM ( Azerbaijan ): once a 150,000 city of people, now lost
Kota besar Agdam di Azerbaijan adalah salah satu kota besar yang populasi penduduknya mencapai 150.000 orang. Namun kemudian hilang setelah pada tahun 1993 sepanjang perang Nagorno Karabakh. Walaupun kota ini tidak secara langsung menjadi basis peperangan, namun kota ini tetap mendapatkan efek dari perang tersebut, dengan menjadi korban dari sikap para Armenians yang merusak kota tersebut. Bangunan-bangunan dirusak dan akhirnya ditinggalkan penghuninya, hanya menyisakan masjid-masjid yang masih utuh berdiri. Penduduk Agdam sendiri sudah berpindah ke area lain, seperti ke Iran .
          Desert Indoors by Alvaro Sanchez-Montañes        

Photo © Alvaro Sanchez-Montañes   Spanish photographer’s desolate yet beautiful images…. Upon reading of Namibia’s abandoned diamond mines, Lanzarote/Barcelona-based photographer Alvaro Sanchez-Montañes, set himself on one day documenting the ghost towns and disused properties that had been, over time, ravaged …

The post Desert Indoors by Alvaro Sanchez-Montañes appeared first on WHAT WE DO IS SECRET.


          Guatemala Quetzal(GTQ)/Namibian Dollar(NAD)        
1 Guatemala Quetzal = 1.74648 Namibian Dollar
          On North Korea’s Lucrative Relationship With African States        
A number of African countries have close ties to North Korea. And it is for the very same reasons that these states have (or had) ties with Cuba, China, and USSR/Russia: Namibian officials describe a different North Korea — a longtime ally, a partner in development and an affordable contractor. Since the 1960s, when North […]
          El heredero        

Dentro del mundo de la velocidad, desde que Usain Bolt comenzó a transitar sus últimas carreras, existe una necesidad de cubrir ese vacío que dejará. En los últimos dos años explotó el principal candidato a hacerse con la posta del velocista de Jamaica y convertirse en el nuevo dominador del atletismo de pista. Wayde Van Niekerk es un sudafricano de 25 años que en los JJ.OO. de Río 2016 se encargó de despedazar el récord mundial de 400 metros que tenía el estadounidense Michael Johnson desde Atlanta 1996 y se llevó no sólo el reconocimiento de aquellos que lo miraban de costado, sino del mismo plusmarquista. Ayer, ganó caminando la semifinal y mañana va por otro oro en el Mundial de Londres, pero antes tendrá hoy, desde las 14.46, la clasificación de los 200m.

Van Niekerk nació el 15 de julio de 1992 en Ciudad del Cabo, y desde temprana edad se volcó hacia el deporte, principalmente impulsado por sus padres (la mamá fue velocista, y el papá, saltador). Si bien le dedicaba el mismo tiempo al fútbol, rugby y atletismo, a los 12 años decidió enfocarse en las disciplinas de pista, lo que hizo que se mudara a Bloemfontein y abandonara a su familia.

Pese a que debió transitar un difícil período en el cual se movía de lesión en lesión, trabajó para que los problemas por extrañar a sus seres queridos no se transformaran en problemas físicos. Sin embargo, una parte fundamental de esa transición la jugó Ans Botha, entrenadora namibia de 75 años que tomó las riendas para trazarle un plan que le permitiría llegar fuerte a cada instancia.

Con las lesiones en el pasado, tras unos años de trabajo, comenzó a competir en 200m dentro de Sudáfrica. En 2010 fue al nacional junior y logró el pasaporte al Mundial de la categoría, donde también quedó a un paso del podio. Aunque trabajaba para ocupar uno de los escalones, ese resultado le fue esquivo por años. El click en su nivel lo hizo en 2015, cuando ganó el Campeonato Mundial en 400m, en su tercer torneo grande dentro de esta distancia. Un año más tarde llegó su momento más importante: en Río no sólo se quedó con la dorada, sino que también batió la marca de Johnson.

“El mejor consejo que puedo darle a cualquiera es que no se debe abandonar nunca, siempre hay que seguir esforzándose”, afirmó el velocista sobre su pasado. Lamentablemente, no habrá chance de verlos juntos en los 200m (el jamaiquino eligió no correr esa distancia y aseguró que no intentó evitar al sudafricano), pero aún así Van Niekerk sostuvo: “Tomar el relevo de Bolt es algo todavía inimaginable. Tengo camino por transitar”. Pese a esto, Usain no tiene dudas: “Estoy seguro que va a dar la cara y está haciendo bien las cosas. Van Niekerk demuestra que realmente quiere ser mi relevo”. La velocidad tiene nuevo dueño.


          List of countries of Africa by Region        
The countries of Africa by region are as follows; Angola Cameroon Central African Republic Chad DR. Congo Equatorial Guinea Gabon Republic of Congo Sao Tome and Principe Burundi Comoros Djibouti Eritrea Ethiopia Kenya Madagascar Malawi Mozambique Rwanda seychelles Somalia South Sudan Tanzania Uganda Zambia Zimbabwe  Algeria Egypt Libya Morocco Sudan Tunisi Botswana Lesotho Maurtius NamibiaSouth ...
          Seis semanas en África        
Edge Of Africa
Pat Gudauskas aprovechó bien la etapa africana del QS. Tenía que competir en Durban y Ballito, pero no pudo resistirse a meterse además en Jeffery's Bay y de paso, irse hasta Namibia para probar Skeleton Bay.
          Resoluciones de Naciones Unidas sobre los derechos del niño. Noticias de la especial situación de Irak        
Aquí vemos resoluciones de la ONU que pueden guiar para la comprensión del problema y sobre como hacer resoluciones en modelos de naciones unidas. Especialmente se tiene en cuenta la situación de los niños de Irak para iluminar la problemática

Julio Daniel Nardini

GENERAL
A/54/601
30 de noviembre de 1999
ESPAÑOL
Original: ÁRABE




Quincuagésimo cuarto período de sesiones
Tema 112 del programa

Promoción y protección de los derechos del niño


Informe de la Tercera Comisión


Relator: Sr. Naif Bin Bandar Al–Sudairy (Arabia Saudita)


I. Introducción
1. En su tercera sesión plenaria, celebrada el 17 de septiembre de 1999, la Asamblea General, por recomendación de la Mesa, decidió incluir en el programa del quincuagésimo cuarto período de sesiones el tema titulado “Promoción y protección de los derechos del niño” y asignarlo a la Tercera Comisión.
2. La Tercera Comisión examinó el tema en sus sesiones 23ª a 28ª, 35ª, 41ª y 43ª, celebradas los días 27 a 29 de octubre y 1°, 5, 10 y 11 de noviembre de 1999. La reseña de las deliberaciones de la Comisión figura en las actas resumidas correspondientes (A/C.3/54/SR.23 a 28, 35, 41 y 43).
3. Para su examen del tema la Comisión tuvo ante sí los siguientes documentos:
a) Informe del Secretario General relativo a la situación de la Convención sobre los Derechos del Niño (A/54/265);
b) Nota del Secretario General por la que se transmite el informe de la Relatora Especial de la Comisión de Derechos Humanos sobre la venta de niños, la prostitución infantil y la utilización de niños en la pornografía (A/54/411);
c) Nota del Secretario General por la que se transmite el informe del Representante Especial del Secretario General encargado de la cuestión de los niños en los conflictos armados (A/54/430);
d) Carta de fecha 17 de mayo de 1999 dirigida al Secretario General por el Representante Permanente de Bangladesh ante las Naciones Unidas por la que se transmite el Programa del Siglo XXI por la Paz y la Justicia aprobado por la Conferencia del Llamamiento por la Paz, celebrada en La Haya del 12 al 15 de mayo de 1999 (A/54/98);
e) Carta de fecha 28 de septiembre de 1999 dirigida al Secretario General por el Representante Permanente de Islandia ante las Naciones Unidas por la que se transmite la Declaración de los Ministros de Relaciones Exteriores de los países nórdicos contra la utilización de niños soldados (A/54/419);
f) Carta de fecha 15 de octubre de 1999 dirigida al Secretario General por el Representante Permanente de Sudáfrica ante las Naciones Unidas por la que se transmite el comunicado de la reunión de Ministros de Relaciones Exteriores y Jefes de Delegación del Movimiento de los Países No Alineados celebrada en Nueva York el 23 de septiembre de 1999 (A/54/469–S/1999/1063);
g) Carta de fecha 3 de noviembre de 1999 dirigida al Secretario General por el Representante Permanente de Turquía ante las Naciones Unidas (A/54/528–S/1999/1126).
4. En su 23ª sesión, celebrada el 27 de octubre, formularon declaraciones introductorias el Representante Especial del Secretario General encargado de la cuestión de los niños en los conflictos armados, la Relatora Especial de la Comisión de Derechos Humanos sobre la venta de niños, la prostitución infantil y la utilización de niños en la pornografía, el Director General de la Organización Internacional del Trabajo, el Director de la oficina de Nueva York del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos y la Directora Ejecutiva del UNICEF (véase A/C.3/54/SR.23).



II. Examen de propuestas


A. Proyecto de resolución A/C.3/54/L.46
5. En la 35ª sesión, celebrada el 5 de noviembre, el representante de Namibia, en nombre del Afganistán, Alemania, Andorra, Angola, Argelia, la Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaiyán, las Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Bélgica, Benin, Bhután, Botswana, el Brasil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, el Camerún, el Canadá, Chile, China, Chipre, Colombia, el Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croacia, Cuba, Dinamarca, el Ecuador, Eritrea, Eslovenia, Etiopía, la ex República Yugoslava de Macedonia, Fiji, Filipinas, Finlandia, Francia, Ghana, Grecia, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea Ecuatorial, Guyana, Haití, Hungría, Indonesia, Irlanda, Islandia, las Islas Salomón, Israel, Italia, el Japón, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Luxemburgo, Malasia, Malawi, Malí, Mauricio, Mónaco, Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Noruega, Nueva Zelandia, los Países Bajos, Papua Nueva Guinea, el Paraguay, el Perú, Polonia, Portugal, el Reino Unido de Gran Bretaña e Irlanda del Norte, la República Democrática del Congo, la República Dominicana, la República Unida de Tanzanía, Rumania, Rwanda, Santa Lucía, el Senegal , Seychelles, Singapur, Sudáfrica, Suecia, Suriname, Swazilandia, Tailandia, Ucrania, el Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Zambia, Zimbabwe presentó el proyecto de resolución titulado “La niña” (A/C.3/54/L.46). Posteriormente Antigua y Barbuda, Australia, Belarús, Belice, Camboya, España, Granada, Jamaica, la India, Madagascar, Panamá, la República de Corea, la República de Moldova, San Marino, San Vicente y las Granadinas, Uganda y Uzbekistán, se sumaron a los patrocinadores del proyecto de resolución.
6. En su 43ª sesión, celebrada el 11 de noviembre, la Comisión aprobó el proyecto de resolución A/C.3/54/L.46 sin someterlo a votación (véase el párrafo 12, proyecto de resolución I).


B. Proyecto de resolución A/C.3.54/L.49
7. En la 41ª sesión, celebrada el 11 de noviembre, el representante de Finlandia en nombre del Afganistán, Alemania, Andorra, Argelia, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaiyán, Bangladesh, Belarús, Bélgica, Benin, Bhután, Bosnia y Herzegovina, Botswana, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, el Camerún, el Canadá, China, Chipre, Côte d'Ivoire, Croacia, Dinamarca, Egipto, Eslovaquia, Eslovenia, España, Estonia, la ex República Yugoslava de Macedonia, la Federación de Rusia, Filipinas, Finlandia, Francia, Georgia, Grecia, Guinea, Hungría, la India, el Iraq, Irlanda, Islandia, Israel, Italia, el Japón, Kazajstán, Kenya, Kirguistán, Lesotho, Letonia, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lituania, Luxemburgo, Madagascar, Malasia, Malí, Malta, los Estados Federados de Micronesia, Mónaco, Mongolia, Namibia, Nigeria, Noruega, Nueva Zelandia, los Países Bajos, el Pakistán, el Perú (en nombre de los Estados Miembros de las Naciones Unidas que pertenecen al grupo de Estados de América Latina y el Caribe), Polonia, Portugal, el Reino Unido de Gran Bretaña e Irlanda del Norte, la República Checa, la República de Corea, la República de Moldova, Rumania, San Marino, el Senegal, Sierra Leona, Sudáfrica, Sudán, Suecia, Tailandia, Túnez, Turquía, Ucrania y Uzbekistán presentó un proyecto de resolución titulado “Los derechos del niño” (A/C.3/54/L.49). Posteriormente, Camboya, el Congo, Eritrea, Ghana, Guinea Ecuatorial, Indonesia, Jamaica, Malawi, Mozambique, la República Unida de Tanzanía, Swazilandia, el Togo, Uganda, y Zimbabwe se sumaron a los patrocinadores del proyecto de resolución.
8. En la 43ª sesión, celebrada el 11 de noviembre, la Secretaria del Comité leyó una declaración del Contralor sobre las consecuencias para el presupuesto por programas del proyecto de resolución A/C.3/54/L.49 (véase A/C.3/54/SR.43).
9. En la misma sesión, la Comisión aprobó el proyecto de resolución A/C.3/54/L.49 sin someterlo a votación (véase el párrafo 12, proyecto de resolución II).
10. Tras la aprobación del proyecto de resolución, formularon declaraciones los representantes de Singapur, los Estados Unidos de América y el Uruguay (véase A/C.3/54/SR.43).



C. Proyecto de decisión propuesto por el Presidente
11. En su 43ª sesión, celebrada el 11 de noviembre, a propuesta del Presidente, la Comisión decidió recomendar a la Asamblea General que tomara nota del informe del Secretario General sobre la situación de la Convención sobre los Derechos del Niño (A/54/265) (véase el párrafo13).



II. Recomendaciones de la Tercera Comisión
12. La Tercera Comisión recomienda a la Asamblea General que apruebe los siguientes proyectos de resolución:



Proyecto de resolución I

La niña


La Asamblea General,

Recordando su resolución 53/127, de 9 de diciembre de 1998, y todas las resoluciones anteriores sobre la cuestión, incluidas las conclusiones convenidas de la Comisión de la Condición Jurídica y Social de la Mujer Documentos Oficiales del Consejo Económico y Social, 1999, Suplemento No. 7 (E/1999/27), cap. I, secc. B.IV., en particular las pertinentes a la niña,

Recordando también todas las conferencias anteriores pertinentes de las Naciones Unidas y la Declaración y el Programa de Acción del Congreso Mundial contra la Explotación Sexual Comercial de los Niños, celebrado en Estocolmo del 27 al 31 de agosto de 1996 A/51/385, anexo., así como el reciente examen y evaluación al cabo de cinco años de la ejecución del Programa de Acción de la Conferencia Internacional sobre la Población y el Desarrollo,

Profundamente preocupada por la discriminación contra las niñas y la violación de sus derechos, como consecuencia de lo cual las niñas suelen tener menor acceso que los niños a la educación, la nutrición y la atención de la salud física y mental y disfrutar de menos derechos, oportunidades y beneficios de la niñez y la adolescencia y con frecuencia son víctimas de diversas formas de explotación cultural, social, sexual y económica y de violencia y prácticas perjudiciales como el infanticidio, el incesto, el matrimonio precoz, la selección prenatal por el sexo del feto y la mutilación genital femenina,

Reconociendo la necesidad de lograr la igualdad de género de modo de asegurar un mundo justo y equitativo para las niñas,

Observando con profunda preocupación que en situaciones de pobreza, guerra y conflicto armado las niñas figuran entre las víctimas más perjudicadas, lo cual limita sus posibilidades de pleno desarrollo,

Observando con preocupación que la niña ha pasado además a ser víctima de enfermedades venéreas y de contaminación con el virus de inmunodeficiencia humana, lo que afecta la calidad de su vida y la deja expuesta a mayor discriminación,

Tomando nota de que en 1999 se cumple el décimo aniversario de la Convención sobre los Derechos del Niño Resolución 44/25, anexo. y el vigésimo aniversario de la Convención sobre la eliminación de todas las formas de discriminación contra la mujer Resolución 34/180, anexo.,

Reafirmando la igualdad de derechos de mujeres y hombres consagrada, entre otros instrumentos, en el Preámbulo de la Carta de las Naciones Unidas, la Convención sobre la eliminación de todas las formas de discriminación contra la mujer y la Convención sobre los Derechos del Niño,

1. Subraya la necesidad de que se materialicen de manera cabal y urgente los derechos que se garantizan a la niña en todos los instrumentos de derechos humanos, en particular la Convención sobre los Derechos del Niño3 y la Convención sobre la eliminación de todas las formas de discriminación contra la mujer4, así como la necesidad de que esos instrumentos sean ratificados universalmente;

2. Insta a todos los Estados a que tomen todas las medidas necesarias y adopten las reformas jurídicas para garantizar el disfrute pleno y en condiciones de igualdad por parte de la niña de todos los derechos humanos y libertades fundamentales, a que tomen medidas eficaces contra las violaciones de esos derechos y libertades y a que utilicen los derechos del niño como base de las políticas y los programas relativos a la niña;

3. Insta a los Estados a que promulguen y hagan cumplir estrictamente leyes que estipulen que sólo se podrá contraer matrimonio con el libre y pleno consentimiento de los futuros cónyuges, a que promulguen y hagan cumplir estrictamente leyes relativas a la edad mínima para expresar consentimiento y contraer matrimonio y a que eleven la edad mínima para contraer matrimonio cuando sea necesario;

4. Insta además a los Estados partes a que cumplan las obligaciones que han contraído en virtud de la Convención sobre los Derechos del Niño y la Convención sobre la eliminación de todas las formas de discriminación contra la mujer, así como el compromiso de llevar a la práctica la Plataforma de Acción de la Cuarta Conferencia Mundial sobre la Mujer Informe de la Cuarta Conferencia Mundial sobre la Mujer, Beijing, 4 a 15 de septiembre de 1995 (publicación de las Naciones Unidas, número de venta: S.96.IV.13), cap. I, resolución 1, anexo I.;

5. Insta asimismo a todos los Estados a que promulguen y apliquen leyes que protejan a las niñas contra todas las formas de violencia, con inclusión del infanticidio y la selección prenatal por el sexo del feto, la mutilación genital femenina, la violación, la violencia en el hogar, el incesto, el abuso sexual, la explotación sexual, la prostitución infantil y la utilización de niños en la pornografía, y a que establezcan programas y servicios de apoyo médico, social y sicológico adecuados a la edad, seguros y confidenciales para ayudar a las niñas que son objeto de actos de violencia;

6. Exhorta a todos los Estados y a las organizaciones internacionales y no gubernamentales a que, en forma individual y colectiva, sigan aplicando la Plataforma de Acción de la Cuarta Conferencia Mundial sobre la Mujer, en particular los objetivos estratégicos relativos a la niña;

7. Insta a los Estados a que adopten medidas especiales para proteger a los niños y, en particular, a las niñas, de la violación y de otras formas de abuso sexual y violencia por motivos de sexo en situaciones de conflicto armado, prestando especial atención a las niñas refugiadas y desplazadas, y a que, al ofrecer asistencia humanitaria, tengan en cuenta las necesidades especiales de las niñas;

8. Insta además a los Estados a que formulen planes, programas o estrategias nacionales completos, multidisciplinarios y coordinados, para eliminar todas las formas de violencia contra las mujeres y las niñas, a los que deberán dar amplia difusión y en los que habrán de fijar objetivos y calendarios para la aplicación, y procedimientos nacionales eficaces para hacer cumplir las normas pertinentes mediante mecanismos de supervisión en que intervengan todas las partes interesadas, incluidas las consultas con las organizacio- nes de mujeres, y a que, al hacerlo, tengan en cuenta las recomendaciones relativas a la niña formuladas por la Relatora Especial de la Comisión de Derechos Humanos sobre la violencia contra la mujer, con inclusión de sus causas y consecuencias;

9. Exhorta a los gobiernos, a la sociedad civil, incluidos los medios de difusión, y a las organizaciones no gubernamentales a que fomenten la educación en materia de derechos humanos y el pleno respeto y disfrute de los derechos humanos de la niña mediante, entre otras cosas, la traducción, la producción y la difusión en todos los sectores de la sociedad, y en particular entre los niños, de material informativo sobre estos derechos adecuado a la edad de los destinatarios;

10. Pide al Secretario General que, en su calidad de Presidente del Comité Administrativo de Coordinación, vele por que todas las organizaciones y los órganos del sistema de las Naciones Unidas, tanto por separado como colectivamente, en particular el Fondo de las Naciones Unidas para la Infancia, la Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Educación, la Ciencia y la Cultura, el Programa Mundial de Alimentos, el Fondo de Población de las Naciones Unidas, el Fondo de Desarrollo de las Naciones Unidas para la Mujer, la Organización Mundial de la Salud, y la Oficina del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Refugiados, tengan en cuenta los derechos y las necesidades particulares de la niña en sus programas de cooperación por países, de conformidad con las prioridades nacionales y con el Marco de Asistencia de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo;

11. Pide a todos los órganos creados en virtud de tratados sobre derechos humanos, procedimientos especiales y otros mecanismos relativos a los derechos humanos de la Comisión de Derechos Humanos y a la Subcomisión de Promoción y Protección de los Derechos Humanos que adopten permanente y sistemáticamente una perspectiva de género en la ejecución de sus mandatos e incluyan en sus informes análisis cualitativos sobre violaciones de los derechos humanos de la mujer y la niña, y alienta a aumentar la cooperación y coordinación a ese respecto;

12. Exhorta a los Estados y las organizaciones internacionales y no gubernamentales a que movilicen todos los recursos, el apoyo y la acción necesarios para alcanzar las metas y los objetivos estratégicos y aplicar las medidas que se proponen en la Plataforma de Acción de la Cuarta Conferencia Mundial sobre la Mujer;

13. Destaca la importancia de realizar una evaluación sustantiva de la aplicación de la Plataforma de Acción dentro de una perspectiva del ciclo de vida, de modo de determinar cuáles son las lagunas y los obstáculos con que se ha tropezado en el proceso de puesta en práctica y plantear nuevas medidas para el logro de las metas de la Plataforma de Acción;

14. Insta a los gobiernos, los organismos del sistema de las Naciones Unidas, en particular la División para el Adelanto de la Mujer de la Secretaría, las organizaciones no gubernamentales y las organizaciones de mujeres a que procuren que en los preparativos del período extraordinario de sesiones de la Asamblea General titulado “La mujer en el año 2000: igualdad entre los géneros, desarrollo y paz en el siglo XXI”, se tomen debidamente en cuenta las necesidades en los derechos de la niña y se los integre en todas las actividades;

15. Pide al Secretario General que vele por que se evalúen concretamente las necesidades y los derechos de la niña en el examen de cinco años de aplicación del Programa de Acción de la Cumbre Mundial sobre Desarrollo Social Informe de la Conferencia Internacional sobre la Población y el Desarrollo, El Cairo, 5 a 13 de septiembre de 1994 (publicación de las Naciones Unidas, número de venta: S.95.XIII.18), cap. I, resolución 1, anexo. que se realizará en junio del año 2000;

16. Pide además al Secretario General que, en consulta con el Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo, la Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Educación, la Ciencia y la Cultura, el Fondo de Población de las Naciones Unidas, el Fondo de las Naciones Unidas para la Infancia y el Banco Mundial, vele por que se preste atención especial a las necesidades y los derechos de la niña en todos los preparativos a escala nacional, regional e internacional, incluido el informe sobre Evaluación de la Educación para Todos en el año 2000 Véase A/54/128–E/1999/70. y el programa del Foro Mundial de la Educación, que se celebrará en abril de 2000;

17. Pide asimismo al Secretario General que se asegure de que las necesidades y los derechos de la niña se tengan en cuenta en la labor preparatoria del período extraordina- rio de sesiones de la Asamblea General sobre el seguimiento de la Cumbre Mundial en favor de la Infancia que se celebrará en el año 2001, entre otras cosas, presentando a la Asamblea General un informe completo basado en las experiencias y resultados de los exámenes de cinco años de aplicación del Programa de Acción de la Conferencia Internacional sobre la Población y el Desarrollo, la Plataforma de Acción de la Cuarta Conferencia Mundial sobre la Mujer y el Programa de Acción de la Cumbre Mundial sobre Desarrollo Social, y en la labor preparatoria del Foro Mundial de la Educación.



Proyecto de resolución II

Los derechos del niño
La Asamblea General,
Recordando sus resoluciones 53/127 y 53/128, de 9 de diciembre de 1998, y la resolución 1999/80 de la Comisión de Derechos Humanos, de 28 de abril de 1999 Véase Documentos Oficiales del Consejo Económico y Social, 1999, Suplemento No. 3 (E/1999/23), cap. II, secc. A.,
Teniendo presente la Convención sobre los Derechos del Niño Resolución 44/25, anexo., destacando que las disposiciones de la Convención y otros instrumentos pertinentes de derechos humanos deben constituir la norma en la promoción y la protección de los derechos del niño y reafirmando que el interés superior del niño ha de ser una consideración primordial en todas las medidas que se adopten en relación con los niños,
Reafirmando, la Declaración Mundial sobre la Supervivencia, la Protección y el Desarrollo del Niño y el Plan de Acción para la aplicación de la Declaración Mundial sobre la Supervivencia, la Protección y el Desarrollo del Niño en el decenio de 1990, aprobados en la Cumbre Mundial en favor de la Infancia, que se celebró en Nueva York el 29 y 30 de septiembre de 1990 A/45/625, anexo., en particular el compromiso solemne de asignar alta prioridad a los derechos del niño, su supervivencia, su protección y su desarrollo, y reafirmando asimismo la Declaración y Programa de Acción de Viena que aprobó la Conferencia Mundial de Derechos Humanos, celebrada en Viena del 14 al 25 de junio de 1993A/CONF.157/24 (Part I), cap. III., en que, entre otras cosas, se indica que deben reforzarse los mecanismos y programas nacionales e internaciona- les de defensa y protección de los niños, en particular de los niños en circunstancias especialmente difíciles, con inclusión de medidas eficaces para combatir los casos de explotación y el maltrato de niños, como el infanticidio femenino, el empleo de niños en trabajos peligrosos, la venta de niños y de sus órganos, la prostitución infantil y la utilización de los niños en la pornografía, y en que se reafirma que todos los derechos humanos y las libertades fundamentales son universales,

Observando con profunda preocupación que la situación de los niños en muchas partes del mundo sigue siendo crítica como resultado de la pobreza, las dificultades sociales y económicas en una economía cada vez más mundializada, las pandemias, los desastres naturales, los conflictos armados, el desplazamiento de la población, la explotación, el analfabetismo, el hambre, la intolerancia, la discriminación y la protección jurídica inadecuada, y convencida de que es preciso adoptar medidas urgentes y eficaces en los planos nacional e internacional,
Destacando la necesidad de integrar la dimensión del género en todas las políticas y programas relacionados con los niños,
Reconociendo la necesidad de lograr un nivel de vida adecuado para el desarrollo físico, mental, espiritual, moral y social del niño, así como de proporcionar un acceso universal a la enseñanza primaria en condiciones de igualdad,

Reconociendo también que la colaboración entre los gobiernos, las organizaciones internacionales y todos los sectores de la sociedad civil, en particular las organizaciones no gubernamentales, es importante para el ejercicio de los derechos del niño,
Destacando la importancia del décimo aniversario de la Convención sobre los Derechos del Niño para la movilización y adopción de nuevas medidas a fin de lograr el pleno ejercicio de los derechos del niño,
Acogiendo con satisfacción los preparativos del período extraordinario de sesiones de la Asamblea General, dedicado al seguimiento de la Cumbre Mundial en favor de la Infancia, que ha de celebrarse en 2001,


I
Aplicación de la Convención sobre los Derechos del Niño
1. Insta una vez más a todos los Estados que aún no lo hayan hecho a que, como cuestión prioritaria, firmen y ratifiquen la Convención sobre los Derechos del Niño9 o se adhieran a ella, a fin de lograr el objetivo de la adhesión universal para el décimo aniversario de la celebración de la Cumbre Mundial en favor de la Infancia y de la entrada en vigor de la Convención en el año 2000;
2. Reitera su preocupación por el elevado número de reservas a la Convención e insta a los Estados partes a que retiren las reservas que sean incompatibles con el objeto y propósito de la Convención y que revisen periódicamente sus reservas con el fin de retirarlas;
3. Exhorta a los Estados partes a que apliquen plenamente la Convención y subraya que la aplicación de la Convención contribuye al logro de los objetivos de la Cumbre Mundial en favor de la Infancia;
4. Insta a los Estados a que hagan participar a los niños y a los jóvenes en las actividades para lograr los objetivos de la Cumbre Mundial en favor de la Infancia y la Convención;
5. Exhorta a los Estados partes a que cooperen estrechamente con el Comité de los Derechos del Niño y cumplan puntualmente la obligación de presentar informes que les impone la Convención, ateniéndose a las directrices elaboradas por el Comité, y alienta a los Estados partes a que tengan en cuenta las recomendaciones formuladas por el Comité en la aplicación de las disposiciones de la Convención;
6. Exhorta asimismo a los Estados partes a que promuevan la capacitación en materia de derechos del niño de quienes participan en actividades relacionadas con niños, por ejemplo, por conducto del programa de servicios de asesoramiento y cooperación técnica en materia de derechos humanos;
7. Pide al Secretario General que facilite el personal y los medios necesarios para que el Comité pueda cumplir de manera eficaz y rápida sus funciones, y toma nota del apoyo temporal proporcionado por el plan de acción de la Alta Comisionada de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos para reforzar la importante función del Comité en la promoción de la aplicación de la Convención; y le pide que presente información sobre las medidas complementarias del plan de acción;
8. Exhorta a los Estados partes en la Convención a que adopten las medidas apropiadas para que la enmienda del párrafo 2 del artículo 43 de la Convención sea aceptada a la mayor brevedad posible por una mayoría de dos tercios de los Estados partes a fin de que entre en vigor y el número de miembros del Comité pueda aumentar de 10 a 18 expertos;
9. Invita al Comité a que siga intensificando su diálogo constructivo con los Estados partes y la transparencia y eficacia de su funcionamiento;
10. Acoge con satisfacción la atención que presta el Comité al logro de los niveles más altos posibles de salud y de acceso a la atención de la salud y a los derechos de los niños afectados por el virus de inmunodeficiencia humana/síndrome de inmunodeficiencia adquirida y exhorta a los gobiernos a que, en cooperación con los órganos y las organizacio- nes de las Naciones Unidas, tomen todas las medidas que corresponda con el fin de hacer efectivos esos derechos;
11. Insta a los Estados a que protejan todos los derechos humanos de los niños migrantes, en particular los niños migrantes no acompañados, y que garanticen que el interés superior del niño sea, por tanto, la consideración principal, y alienta al Comité, al Fondo de las Naciones Unidas para la Infancia y a otros órganos pertinentes de las Naciones Unidas a que, en el marco de sus mandatos respectivos, presten especial atención a las condiciones de los niños migrantes en todos los Estados y, según convenga, formulen recomendaciones para fortalecer su protección;
12. Recomienda que, en el marco de sus mandatos, todos los mecanismos competentes de derechos humanos y otros órganos y mecanismos pertinentes del sistema de las Naciones Unidas, así como los órganos de supervisión de los organismos especializa- dos, presten especial atención a las situaciones particulares que pongan a los niños en peligro y en que sus derechos sean violados y que tengan en cuenta la labor del Comité, y alienta a seguir desarrollando el criterio basado en los derechos del niño que ha adoptado el Fondo de las Naciones Unidas para la Infancia y a adoptar nuevas medidas a fin de incrementar la coordinación a nivel de todo el sistema y la cooperación interinstitucional para la promoción y la protección de los derechos del niño;
13. Alienta al Comité a que, en su labor de supervisión de la aplicación de la Convención, siga prestando atención a las necesidades de los niños en circunstancias especialmente difíciles;
14. Alienta a los gobiernos, a los órganos competentes de las Naciones Unidas, a las organizaciones no gubernamentales competentes y a las personas dedicadas a las actividades en pro de la infancia a que, según corresponda, contribuyan a la base de datos que ha establecido en la red el Fondo de las Naciones Unidas para la Infancia (UNICEF) a fin de continuar proporcionando información sobre leyes, estructuras, políticas y procesos adoptados a escala nacional con el objeto de llevar a la práctica la Convención;


II
Prevención y erradicación de la venta de niños y de su explotación y maltrato sexual, en particular la prostitución infantil y la utilización de niños en la pornografía
1. Acoge con satisfacción el informe provisional de la Relatora Especial de la Comisión de Derechos Humanos sobre la venta de niños, la prostitución infantil y la utilización de niños en la pornografía A/54/411. y expresa su apoyo a la labor de la Relatora Especial;
2. Pide al Secretario General que proporcione a la Relatora Especial toda la asistencia necesaria en materia de recursos humanos y financieros para que pueda cumplir plenamente su mandato;
3. Invita a que sigan aportándose contribuciones voluntarias por conducto de la Oficina del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos y a que se preste apoyo a la labor de la Relatora Especial para que pueda cumplir su mandato con eficacia;
4. Apoya decididamente la labor del grupo de trabajo entre períodos de sesiones de composición abierta, de la Comisión de Derechos Humanos, encargado de elaborar un proyecto de protocolo facultativo de la Convención sobre los Derechos del Niño9 relativo a la venta de niños, la prostitución infantil y la utilización de niños en la pornografía e insta al grupo de trabajo a que concluya su labor antes de la celebración del décimo aniversario, en 2000, de la entrada en vigor de la Convención sobre los Derechos del Niño;
5. Reafirma la obligación de los Estados partes de impedir el secuestro, la venta o la trata de niños para cualquier fin o en cualquier forma y de proteger al niño de todos los tipos de explotación o abuso sexual, de conformidad con los artículos 34 y 35 de la Convención sobre los Derechos del Niño;
6. Insta a los Estados a que tipifiquen como delito y castiguen eficazmente todas las formas de explotación y abuso sexual de los niños, en particular dentro de la familia o con fines comerciales, la utilización de niños en la pornografía y la prostitución infantil, incluida la explotación de niños en el turismo sexual, garantizando al mismo tiempo que los niños víctimas de esas prácticas no sean penalizados; y a que adopten medidas eficaces para garantizar el procesamiento de los delincuentes, tanto locales como extranjeros, por las autoridades nacionales competentes, en el país de origen del delincuente o en el país de destino, respetando las garantías procesales;
7. Insta también a los Estados a que en los casos de explotación de niños en el turismo sexual aumenten la cooperación internacional entre las autoridades competentes, en particular las autoridades policiales, y a que compartan los datos pertinentes a fin de erradicar esa práctica;
8. Pide a los Estados que intensifiquen la cooperación y la acción concertada a nivel nacional, regional e internacional, incluido en el contexto de las Naciones Unidas, por parte de todas las autoridades e instituciones competentes, a fin de adoptar y aplicar medidas eficaces para la prevención y la erradicación de la venta de niños y su explotación y abuso sexual y para prevenir y desmantelar redes de trata de niños;
9. Destaca la necesidad de combatir la existencia de un mercado que fomenta ese tipo de prácticas delictivas contra los niños, incluso mediante la adopción de medidas preventivas y coercitivas dirigidas contra los clientes o las personas que explotan o maltratan sexualmente a los niños;
10. Insta además a los Estados a que promulguen, apliquen, examinen y revisen, según proceda, la legislación pertinente e implanten políticas, programas y prácticas para proteger a los niños de todas las formas de la explotación y abuso sexual, incluida la explotación sexual con fines comerciales, y eliminar esas prácticas, teniendo en cuenta los problemas específicos que plantea la utilización de la Internet en este sentido;
11. Alienta a los gobiernos a que faciliten la participación activa de los niños víctimas de explotación o abuso sexual en la formulación y aplicación de estrategias para proteger a los niños de todas las formas de explotación o abuso sexual;
12. Alienta a seguir tratando de determinar a nivel regional e interregional las mejores prácticas y las cuestiones que exigen una respuesta particularmente urgente para dar seguimiento a la aplicación de medidas acordes con las indicadas en la Declaración y el Programa de Acción del Congreso Mundial contra la Explotación Sexual Comercial de los Niños, celebrado en Estocolmo del 27 al 31 de agosto de 1996 A/51/385, anexo.;
13. Invita a los Estados y órganos y organismos pertinentes de las Naciones Unidas a que asignen recursos suficientes para la rehabilitación de los niños víctimas de la explotación y el maltrato sexual y a que tomen las medidas correspondientes para promover su plena recuperación y reintegración social;


III
Protección de los niños afectados por los conflictos armados
1. Acoge con beneplácito el informe del Representante Especial del Secretario General sobre el efecto de los conflictos armados en los niñosA/54/430.;
2. Expresa su apoyo a la labor del Representante Especial del Secretario General, en particular sus esfuerzos por crear mayor conciencia de la cuestión en todo el mundo y por movilizar a la opinión oficial y pública en favor de la protección de los niños afectados por los conflictos armados, a fin de promover el respeto de los derechos y las necesidades de los niños en los conflictos y en las situaciones posteriores a ellos, y recomienda al Secretario General que prorrogue su mandato por un nuevo período de tres años, conforme a lo estipulado en los párrafos 35, 36 y 37 de la resolución 51/77 de la Asamblea General, de 12 de diciembre de 1996;
3. Insta al Secretario General y a todas las partes pertinentes del sistema de las Naciones Unidas, incluido el Representante Especial y el Fondo de las Naciones Unidas para la Infancia, a que intensifiquen sus esfuerzos por elaborar un enfoque concertado de los derechos, la protección y el bienestar de los niños afectados por los conflictos armados, incluso, según proceda, en los preparativos de las visitas al terreno del Representante Especial y en el seguimiento de dichas visitas;
4. Exhorta a todos los Estados y otras partes interesadas a que sigan cooperando con el Representante Especial, cumplan los compromisos que han contraído, y examinen atentamente todas las recomendaciones del Representante Especial y se ocupen de las cuestiones señaladas;
5. Celebra el apoyo constante que se ofrece a la labor del Representante Especial y las contribuciones voluntarias efectuadas a ese respecto;
6. Insta a todos los Estados y otras partes en los conflictos armados a respetar el derecho internacional humanitario, a poner fin a cualquier forma de agresión dirigida a los niños y a los ataques a lugares en los que suele haber un número considerable de niños, exhorta a los Estados Partes a que respeten plenamente las disposiciones de los Convenios de Ginebra de 12 de agosto de 1949 Naciones Unidas, Recueil des Traités, vol. 75, Nos. 970 a 973. y los Protocolos Adicionales de 1977 Ibíd., vol. 1125, Nos. 17512 y 17513., y exhorta a todas las partes en los conflictos armados a adoptar todas las medidas necesarias para proteger a los niños de los actos que constituyen violaciones del derecho internacional humanitario, incluso mediante el enjuiciamiento por los Estados, en el marco de la legislación nacional, de los responsables de dichas violaciones;
7. Reconoce, a ese respecto, que el establecimiento de la Corte Penal Internacional contribuiría a poner fin a la impunidad de los perpetradores de ciertos crímenes cometidos contra los niños, tipificados en el Estatuto de Roma de la Corte Penal Internacional Véase A/CONF.183/9, art. 8., que incluyen, entre otros, los que entrañan violencia sexual o la utilización de niños soldados, y tendrá también un efecto preventivo;
8. Condena el secuestro de niños en situaciones de conflicto armado o con el fin de involucrarlos en conflictos armados e insta a los Estados, a las organizaciones internacionales y a otras partes interesadas a que adopten todas las medidas que sean apropiadas para obtener la liberación incondicional de todos los niños secuestrados, e insta a los Estados a someter a los perpetradores a la acción de la justicia;
9. Toma nota de la importancia del segundo debate público sobre los niños y los conflictos armados, celebrado por el Consejo de Seguridad el 25 de agosto de 1999 Véase S/PV.4037., y del compromiso del Consejo de prestar especial atención a la protección, el bienestar y los derechos de los niños, al adoptar medidas encaminadas al mantenimiento de la paz y la seguridad Resolución 1261 (1999) del Consejo de Seguridad., y reafirma el papel fundamental que corresponde a la Asamblea General y al Consejo Económico y Social en la promoción y protección de los derechos y el bienestar de los niños;
10. Exhorta a todas las partes en los conflictos armados a que velen por que el personal humanitario tenga acceso seguro y sin restricciones a todos los niños afectados por los conflictos armados, y por que se preste asistencia humanitaria a esos niños;
11. Celebra la decisión del Consejo Económico y Social Documentos Oficiales de la Asamblea General, quincuagésimo cuarto período de sesiones, Suplemento No. 3 (A/54/3), cap. VI, párr. 5, conclusiones convenidas 1999/1, párr. 22. de exhortar a una acción interinstitucional sistemática, concertada y amplia a favor de los niños y pedir que se asignen recursos suficientes, en forma sostenible, para prestar a los niños asistencia inmediata de emergencia y financiar medidas a largo plazo a ese respecto durante todas las etapas de una emergencia;
12. Insta a los Estados y a todas las otras partes en los conflictos armados a poner fin a la utilización de niños como soldados y asegurar su desmovilización y desarme efectivo, y a adoptar medidas eficaces para la rehabilitación, la recuperación física y sicológica y la reinserción en la sociedad de todos los niños que han sido víctimas de situaciones de conflicto armado; invita a la comunidad internacional a prestar asistencia en ese empeño; y subraya que no se debe prestar a quienes utilicen niños soldados ningún apoyo que haga posible o que facilite esa práctica;
13. Exhorta a los Estados y a los órganos competentes de las Naciones Unidas a que continúen prestando apoyo a las actividades nacionales e internacionales de remoción de minas, incluso mediante contribuciones financieras, programas de información sobre el peligro de las minas y programas de asistencia a las víctimas y de rehabilitación dedicados especialmente a los niños, y celebra también los efectos positivos que tiene para los niños la adopción de medidas legislativas concretas respecto de las minas antipersonal;
14. Toma nota con preocupación del efecto de las armas pequeñas y ligeras sobre los niños en situaciones de conflicto armado, en particular como consecuencia de su producción y tráfico ilícitos, e insta a los Estados a ocuparse de ese problema;
15. Recomienda que, cada vez que se impongan sanciones, se evalúen y vigilen sus efectos en los niños, y que las exenciones por motivos humanitarios tengan especialmente en cuenta a los niños y se formulen con unas claras directrices de aplicación;
16. Exhorta a los Estados, a los órganos y organismos pertinentes de las Naciones Unidas y a las organizaciones regionales a que integren los derechos del niño en todas sus actividades durante los conflictos armados y en las situaciones posteriores a ellos, incluidos los programas de capacitación y las operaciones de socorro de emergencia, los programas en los países y las operaciones sobre el terreno encaminadas a promover la paz y a prevenir y resolver conflictos, así como en la negociación y aplicación de los acuerdos de paz, y, teniendo en cuenta las consecuencias a largo plazo para la sociedad, subraya la importancia de incorporar disposiciones específicas para los niños, incluso disposiciones relativas a la aportación de recursos, en los acuerdos de paz y en los acuerdos negociados por las partes en los conflictos;
17. Acoge con beneplácito las gestiones que realizan, entre otros, las organizaciones regionales, las organizaciones intergubernamentales y las no gubernamentales para poner fin a la utilización de niños como soldados en los conflictos armados, y reafirma la necesidad urgente de aumentar la edad mínima límite establecida en el artículo 38 de la Convención sobre los Derechos del Niño9 para el reclutamiento y la participación de cualquier persona en los conflictos armados, con el objeto de poner fin a la utilización de niños soldados;
18. Apoya decididamente la labor del grupo de trabajo entre períodos de sesiones de composición abierta, de la Comisión de Derechos Humanos, encargado de elaborar un proyecto de protocolo facultativo de la Convención sobre los Derechos del Niño relativo a la participación de los niños en los conflictos armados, y las consultas que dirige el presidente del grupo de trabajo para seguir avanzando con el fin de concluir su labor antes del décimo aniversario de la entrada en vigor de la Convención;


IV
Los niños refugiados y desplazados en el interior del país
1. Insta a los gobiernos a mejorar la aplicación de políticas y programas para la protección, el cuidado y el bienestar de los niños refugiados y desplazados en el interior del país, con la cooperación internacional necesaria, en particular la de la Oficina del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Refugiados, el Fondo de las Naciones Unidas para la Infancia y el Representante del Secretario General sobre los desplazados internos, en consonancia con las obligaciones contraídas en virtud de la Convención sobre los Derechos del Niño;
2. Exhorta a todos los Estados y otras partes en los conflictos armados, así como a los órganos y organizaciones de las Naciones Unidas, a que presten atención urgente a la protección y asistencia a los niños refugiados o desplazados en el interior del país, que están especialmente expuestos a riesgos relacionados con los conflictos armados, como los de ser reclutados forzosamente o ser objeto de violencia, maltrato o explotación sexual;
3. Expresa su profunda preocupación por el número cada vez mayor de niños refugiados y desplazados no acompañados, y hace un llamamiento a todos los Estados y a los órganos y organismos de las Naciones Unidas y otras organizaciones pertinentes para que den prioridad a los programas para la búsqueda y reunificación de las familias y continúen supervisando las disposiciones en materia de cuidado de los niños refugiados y desplazados no acompañados;


V
Eliminación progresiva del trabajo infantil
1. Reafirma el derecho del niño a la protección respecto de la explotación económica y la realización de cualquier trabajo que pueda ser peligroso para él o constituir un obstáculo para su educación o que pueda resultar nocivo para su salud o su desarrollo físico, mental, espiritual, moral o social;
2. Acoge con satisfacción la aprobación por la Organización Internacional del Trabajo, en el 87° período de sesiones de la Conferencia Internacional del Trabajo, celebrado en Ginebra del 1° al 17 de junio de 1999, del Convenio No. 182 sobre la prohibición de las peores formas de trabajo infantil y la acción inmediata para su eliminación, y alienta a todos los Estados a considerar, como cuestión prioritaria, la posibilidad de ratificarlo, con miras a que entre en vigor lo antes posible;
3. Exhorta a todos los Estados que aún no lo hayan hecho a que consideren la posibilidad de ratificar los convenios de la Organización Internacional del Trabajo relativos al trabajo infantil, en particular el Convenio No. 29, de 1930, sobre la abolición del trabajo forzoso u obligatorio y el Convenio No. 138, de 1973, sobre la edad mínima de empleo, y los exhorta a que apliquen esos Convenios;
4. Exhorta también a todos los Estados a que traduzcan en medidas concretas su compromiso de eliminar progresiva y efectivamente las formas de trabajo infantil que contravengan las normas internacionales aceptadas y los insta a que, como cuestión prioritaria, eliminen de inmediato las peores formas de trabajo infantil, enumeradas en el nuevo Convenio No. 182 de la Organización Internacional del Trabajo;
5. Exhorta además a todos los Estados a que evalúen y examinen sistemáticamente la magnitud, la naturaleza y las causas del trabajo infantil y a que elaboren y pongan en práctica estrategias para la eliminación del trabajo infantil que contravenga las normas internacionales aceptadas, prestando especial atención a los peligros concretos a que hacen frente las niñas, así como a la rehabilitación y la reinserción social de los niños afectados;
6. Reconoce que la educación primaria es uno de los principales instrumentos para reintegrar a los niños que trabajan e insta a todos los Estados a que reconozcan el derecho a la educación, haciendo obligatoria la enseñanza primaria y garantizando que todos los niños tengan acceso a la enseñanza primaria gratuita como estrategia fundamental para prevenir el trabajo infantil, y reconoce, en particular, la importante función que cumplen a este respecto la Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Educación, la Ciencia y la Cultura y el Fondo de las Naciones Unidas para la Infancia;

7. Exhorta a todos los Estados y al sistema de las Naciones Unidas a que incrementen la cooperación internacional como medio de ayudar a los gobiernos a prevenir o a combatir las violaciones de los derechos de los niños y a alcanzar el objetivo de eliminar las formas de trabajo infantil que contravengan las normas internacionales aceptadas;

8. Exhorta a todos los Estados a que fortalezcan la cooperación y coordinación en los planos nacional e internacional, para abordar efectivamente el problema del trabajo infantil, cooperando también estrechamente con la Organización Internacional del Trabajo y con el Fondo de las Naciones Unidas para la Infancia, entre otros organismos;


VI
La difícil situación de los niños que viven o trabajan en la calle

1. Exhorta a los gobiernos a buscar soluciones amplias a los problemas que dan lugar a que los niños trabajen o vivan en la calle y a aplicar políticas y programas apropiados para la protección y la rehabilitación y reinserción de esos niños, teniendo en cuenta que son particularmente vulnerables a todo tipo de violencia, maltrato, explotación y abandono;

2. Exhorta a todos los Estados a velar por que se presten servicios a los niños para evitar que se dediquen a actividades que puedan acarrearles daño, explotación y maltrato y atender a las necesidades económicas apremiantes que motivan su participación en tales actividades;

3. Insta encarecidamente a todos los gobiernos a que garanticen el respeto de los derechos humanos y las libertades fundamentales de todos, en particular el derecho a la vida, a que adopten con carácter urgente medidas eficaces para evitar que se mate a los niños que viven o trabajan en la calle, combatir la tortura, el maltrato y los actos de violencia contra ellos y someter a los perpetradores de tales actos a la acción de la justicia;

4. Hace un llamamiento a la comunidad internacional para que, mediante una cooperación internacional eficaz, incluida la prestación de asesoramiento y asistencia técnicos, apoye la labor de los Estados encaminada a mejorar la situación de los niños que viven o trabajan en la calle;


VII
Niños con discapacidad

1. Celebra que, de conformidad con la decisión del Comité de los Derechos del Niño, se haya establecido un grupo de trabajo con el fin de elaborar un plan de acción en favor de los niños con discapacidad, en estrecha colaboración con el Relator Especial sobre Discapacidad de la Comisión de Desarrollo Social y otros sectores pertinentes del sistema de las Naciones Unidas Véase CRC/C/84, párrs. 219 a 222.;

2. Exhorta a todos los Estados a que adopten todas las medidas necesarias para asegurar que los niños con discapacidad gocen plenamente y en condiciones de igualdad de todos los derechos humanos y las libertades fundamentales y a que promulguen y hagan cumplir leyes contra la discriminación de esos niños;

3. Exhorta también a todos los Estados a promover para los niños con discapacidad una vida plena y decorosa, en condiciones que aseguren la dignidad, fomenten la autosufi- ciencia y faciliten la participación activa del niño en la comunidad, incluido el acceso efectivo a la educación y los servicios de atención de la salud;


VIII

Decide:

a) Pedir al Secretario General que le presente en su quincuagésimo quinto período de sesiones un informe sobre los derechos del niño que contenga información sobre la situación de la Convención sobre los Derechos del Niño9 y los problemas a que se hace referencia en la presente resolución;

b) Pedir al Representante Especial del Secretario General para la cuestión de los niños y los conflictos armados que presente a la Asamblea General y a la Comisión de Derechos Humanos informes que contengan información pertinente sobre la situación de los niños afectados por los conflictos armados, teniendo en cuenta los mandatos actuales y los informes de los órganos correspondientes;

c) Seguir examinando esta cuestión en su quincuagésimo quinto período de sesiones en relación con el tema titulado “Promoción y protección de los derechos del niño”.
***

13. La Comisión también recomienda a la Asamblea General que apruebe el siguiente proyecto de decisión:



Informe del Secretario General sobre la situación de la Convención sobre los Derechos del Niño
La Asamblea General toma nota del informe del Secretario General sobre la situación de la Convención sobre los Derechos del Niño A/54/265
Iraq: ONU califica de intolerable situación de niños



25 de abril, 2008 La representante especial de la ONU para Niños en Conflictos Armados, Radhika Coomaraswamy, consideró que la situación de los niños en Iraq es intolerable debido a la violencia.
Al concluir una visita de cinco días a ese país, la enviada dijo hoy que los menores son víctimas silenciosas del entorno violento que impera

en Iraq.




En este sentido, instó a los líderes religiosos, políticos, militares y comunitarios del país a enviar un mensaje claro a la niñez iraquí para que se mantengan el margen de las hostilidades y vuelvan a la escuela.

Coomaraswamy urgió a todas las partes en conflicto a apegarse estrictamente a los estándares humanitarios internacionales sobre la protección de los niños y a liberar de inmediato a los menores de 18 años que estén asociados a cualquier organización combatiente.

Señaló que más de la mitad de los desplazados y refugiados iraquíes son niños que afrontan grandes dificultades en los lugares donde llegan a asentarse ya sea en su propio país o en uno ajeno.

“La comunidad internacional debería asistir a los países anfitriones para garantizar que se protejan los derechos de los niños y que tengan acceso a servicios básicos como la educación y los servicios de salud”, enfatizó la representante especial.


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Kadhum Al-Sahir, nuevo Embajador de la oficina de UNICEF en Iraq, habla sobre las necesidades de los más pobres
BAGDAD, Iraq, 9 de mayo de 2011. Kadhum Al-Sahir, el cantante iraquí mundialmente reconocido como uno de los más grandes representantes de la música árabe contemporánea, se convirtió hoy en el primer Embajador de la oficina de UNICEF en Iraq. Al regresar a su país tras 14 años de ausencia, Al-Sahir destacó la necesidad de luchar por la igualdad en pro de los niños más necesitados de Iraq.

VÍDEO (en inglés): 5 de mayo de 2011. El famoso cantante Kadhum Al-Sahir, recientemente nombrado Embajador de la oficina de UNICEF en Iraq, compuso una nueva canción, titulada "Juntos por los niños", en la que convoca a todos los segmentos de la sociedad de su país a que ayuden a poner fin a las penurias que afrontan los jóvenes y niños.
"Los niños y niñas de Iraq han sufrido penurias indescriptibles en las últimas dos décadas, en las que cientos de miles de menores sufrieron las consecuencias brutales de la violencia y las privaciones inhumanas", dijo. "Ha llegado la hora de poner fin a esa situación".
Al-Sahir es uno de los más destacados músicos en la historia de Iraq y uno de los artistas más populares de la región.
El cantante aboga por los niños y jóvenes desde hace mucho tiempo. Ese apoyo comenzó en 1998, cuando compuso e interpretó "Tathakkar" ("Recuerda"), una canción sobre los niños en las situaciones de conflicto. El tema recibió un premio de UNICEF por tratarse de una contribución sobresaliente al mejoramiento de las vidas de los niños en situación de necesidad. En 2004, Al-Sahir ofreció un concierto a beneficio de más de 50.000 niños y niñas de Oriente Medio.



Juntos por los niños
Continuando en la misma vena, Kadhum Al-Sahir presentó hoy "Juntos por los niños", una nueva canción que es también un llamamiento a la acción.



© UNICEF Iraq/2011/Arar
Kadhum Al-Sahir, el famoso cantante recientemente nombrado Embajador de la oficina de UNICEF en Iraq, regresa a su país tras una ausencia de 14 años.
La canción rinde homenaje al coraje de los niños de Iraq en versos que dicen, por ejemplo, "¿Hay alguien que haya sufrido las penurias que sufrieron ustedes? Porque ustedes han superado los límites del temor y las privaciones".
El cantante convocó a todos los segmentos de la sociedad iraquí a que ayuden a mejorar la situación de sus niños. "Unámonos a UNICEF, y marchemos juntos para poner fin a las muertes, las enfermedades, el abandono y la pobreza", añadió. "Ayudemos a los niños que son víctimas de las guerras. Vengan y hagamos algo para que sus penurias se conviertan en prosperidad. Vengan, trabajemos todos juntos".
Las cuestiones que afectan a los niños de Iraq
En el decenio de 1970, Iraq era uno de los mejores países de Oriente Medio y África septentrional si se era niño, pero tras varias décadas de guerra y abandono, hoy es uno de los peores. Entre las cuestiones más graves que afectan a los casi 15 millones de niños y niñas iraquíes figuran las siguientes:
 Unos 35.000 lactantes mueren anualmente durante su primer año de vida.
 Más de 1,5 millones de niños menores de cinco años sufren desnutrición.
 Unos 700.000 niños y niñas en edad escolar no asisten a clases, mientras que cientos de miles de niños que inician sus estudios no los terminan.
 Unos 2,5 millones de niños carecen de acceso al agua potable y unos 3,5 millones no cuentan con instalaciones de saneamiento adecuadas.
 Unos 800.000 niños y niñas de 5 a 14 años de edad trabajan.


© UNICEF-Iraq/Arar/2011
El cantante Kadhum Al-Sahir se dirige a un grupo de periodistas tras el anuncio en Bagdad de su nombram
          A final reflection        


It’s been nearly three weeks since I’ve left Namibia and only now has my body and brain reached the correct balance of relaxation and deep thought in order to reflect on the changes I’ve seen in the last 60 days.  It took a three hour bus ride to find that sweet spot, and I’m afraid the halcyon moment may be fleeting so I’m going to write while the thoughts are flowing.  

Everyone is asking (and will probably continue asking once I’m back in America), “What did you learn?”  The answer is not simple, nor can I say I “learned a lot.”  It was life – two years of life, two years of experience.  Even if I’d stayed at home, I could’ve learned just as much.  About different things, of course, but it’s still learning.  They say life is what you make of it…and so is learning. 
I learned some serious things and some less serious things, so let me lay them out for you.

SERIOUS THINGS

Being a celebrity sucks.  They warn you about this when you have your entrance interview.  And you really think you can deal with it.  And you really want to be in Peace Corps so you say you can.  But after months of someone watching your every move – washing your laundry, cooking your food, walking to school, reading in your room, going to the toilet…you reconsider your answer.  It’s much harder than it seems, and way less fun.  In my opinion, a good test for wannabe-PCVs would be 3 weeks in a glass house in the middle of Times Square.  If you can handle all the gawking, you can probably handle village life.  Or we should just send teenyboppers that want to be pop stars to a remote village for 6 weeks.  If, after that, they still want to be famous, then they should be sent for therapy immediately.  

Facebook gives you goggles.  For awhile, using the internet, especially Facebook, was difficult for me.  All I saw were people’s happy moments – new jobs, new homes, engagements, marriages, kids.  And when people would talk to me, they’d be jealous of my amazing experience or my vacation to Victoria Falls.  Or they’d say that living without electricity and water must be so hard and they could never do what I’m doing.  And finally I realized, no one’s life is ever as awesome or as happy or as difficult as you think it is.  Wherever you are, it’s just life – there are ups and downs, people and places change and we adjust.  And the grass is always greener on the other side.

We are what we know.  When my family came to visit the village, they wondered why we had a gas stove but still cooked most food on a fire outside.  I found the answer hard to explain – just because.  Because it’s tradition, because there are still enough trees, because sitting around the fire has an important social aspect, even if it’s inefficient, unhealthy and environmentally unsustainable.  You might also ask, how can students be satisfied with sharing textbooks and sitting on half a broken chair?  Because they don’t know any different.  We are a product of our realities, so if you don’t know that sharing a textbook isn’t normal, then it’ll never really bother you.  There’s probably some new gadget in America that everybody’s using and can’t live without, but I’m not bothered by it, because I don’t even know it exists.  

Does Namibia need us?  Perhaps the most difficult part of working in Namibia has been seeing the Genie coefficient in action (that is, income disparity).  While I know I had a positive effect on some kids’ lives and I wouldn’t take back the experience, it was difficult to teach in a tin shack or run a library out of the multi-purpose room when I knew that there were unused classrooms at other schools, or that some schools had computer labs that collected dust.  Even worse, I’d hear about (and occasionally attended) poorly run workshops where teachers missed school days but were still paid their salary, plus “per diem” (even though lodging and meals were provided) and learned very little information, often skipping sessions or missing entire days, especially at the end week.  As you go up the chain, the waste seems to deepen – more workshops, more per diem, more trips to the capital, even last minute flights.  While there were exceptions, it seemed to become more about enriching oneself and one’s family than enriching the lives of children with quality education.  

Spending time in bigger cities, especially Windhoek, made the disparity seem even worse.  When you can shop at a shiny mall, work out at the Virgin Active gym and buy Gruyere or Roquefort cheese, all within 200 meters of each other, you begin to question a country’s neediness.  Of course, this happens all over world – the juxtaposition of sickening wealth and equally sickening abject poverty is common.  But there’s not just one ritzy part of Windhoek.  Namibia, in fact, is a middle income country, one of the wealthier in Africa.  It has abundant natural resources and a fairly well educated population.  The government has money, sometimes left unspent, sometimes wasted, but often not reaching the people that need it most.  

Could a teacher from Namibia move to a Spanish-speaking inner city neighborhood in America and be an effective educator while helping implement programs to aid development in the community?  Probably not.  But what about a Spanish-speaking teacher who grew up in that neighborhood?  Much more likely.  There are many young people in Namibia that, with a bit of training and support, could make big changes in their communities.  If they wanted to.  Motivation is key.  

LESS SERIOUS THINGS

Pee is smelly.  Ever used a chamber pot?  Squatting over a basin probably doesn’t seem ideal, but it’s better than stumbling outside in the middle of the night.  The convenience of having a toilet right next to my bed is something I’ll miss.  Through this experience, I mistakenly found out that if you leave your chamber pot in your room while you’re at school (particularly on a hot day), it’s pretty smelly once you get back.  

Free exfoliant.  At first I was horrified when my soap fell on the ground and got covered in sand.  And as I washed, the little buggers continued to work themselves further into the tender bar.  As time went on, however, I came to realize that sandy soap was a free, natural exfoliant.  Move over loofas, Neutrogena, spas with hot rocks and mud masks…Namibian sand soap comin’ through.  

Traveling is a lot of work.  (Yes, parents, I know you already know this.)  Three weeks in, my vacation, while interesting, has been anything but relaxing.  I really don’t know how these people who backpack for an entire year do it.  After some time (days? months? years?) I’ll get restless again, but right now, I’m ready to come home. 

          It's Not a Shortcut Unless You Know Where You're Going        

In Namibia, there are three school holidays – four weeks in April/May, one week in August and 6 weeks in December/January.  Most of the time, PCVs use these breaks as an opportunity to travel around Namibia and southern Africa; Swakopmund (on the coast), Cape Town, Victoria Falls, Malawi and Mozambique are all popular destinations.  I’ve done my fair share of traveling, so this past April/May, I decided to keep it local and avoid the typical tourist traps.  Instead, I answered the invitation to do two hiking trips – Naukluft and Fish River Canyon, both national parks.  Quite a non-traditional holiday, but it sounded like an interesting adventure so I was game. 

 Our Fish River Canyon hiking group

Almost immediately, I realized the irony of my decision to go on two hiking trips. First, I’d never hiked before.  Despite the abundance of (probably beautiful and well-groomed) hiking trails in Wisconsin, and America in general, I’d never hiked before.  It’s a bit like deciding to do a marathon when one’s never run before.  Second, I despised hiking-type activities in my previous life in America.  In college, I was once dragged along on a walk through the woods in some of central Wisconsin’s public hunting land.  At the time, I thought that was the most boring, most pointless two hours I’d ever spent in my life.  Thinking back, the longest “hike” I’d ever been on was probably the time I’d begrudgingly followed my mom up some large hill to a lookout point somewhere out West. 

But hiking it was…and I was not going to be caught with my pants down, either.  In the months leading up to the holiday, I tried to jog several times a week so I’d be in peak physical condition.  On a trip to Windhoek, I enlisted the help of the trip leader, an experienced hiker, to assist me in picking out some hiking boots.  I knew I had to break the boots in, but I had difficulty finding the opportunity.  Due to some small sliver of latent fashion sense, I couldn’t bring myself to wear the black monstrosities to school with my flowing hippie skirts.  Nor did I like wearing them with jeans – or really at all.  Subconsciously, they reminded me of high school and the aptly named “shitkickers” that kids used to wear.  Finally, however, I managed to get in an 18 km walk that gave me two nice blisters on the balls of my feet.  I felt satisfied.  I was prepared.

It’s walking, not mountain climbing, I thought, how hard can it be?  But I was wrong.  Naukluft is 7 days and 120 kilometers (74.5 miles) of open plains, rolling hills, river beds, canyons, cliffs and mountains; quite different than the flat expanses of Owamboland where I’d done my pre-hike preparation.  Following the advice of a friend, and experienced hiker, I packed as light as possible – minimal clothing, no books, no journals, no playing cards, no hairbrush, no perfume – nothing but the necessities.  But those extra pounds, no matter how small, plus changing topography still add extra pressure to a hiker’s most valuable asset – her feet. 

That trail blaze is not confusing...not at all!

Then came the first day – 12 kilometers (7.4 miles) spent winding around the sides of huge hills.  By the time the day was over, I wondered if my lilt to the right, to avoid tumbling to my death off the side of the mountain, would be permanent.  These hiking trails were rugged, just as I imagined African hiking trails would be: sometimes steep, sometimes winding; uneven, with obtruding rocks strewn about; poorly marked; simple dirt paths, probably unchanged from the time when early explorers first walked them.  But I survived.  Despite the two massive blisters that had formed on my feet, I felt good. 

And then came day two.  It’s one thing to walk with a blister while it’s forming, but it’s another ballgame to walk with two raw, quarter-sized wounds on your feet.  Through a riverbed.  For 12 kilometers (7.4 miles).  And then to realize that, the next day, you have to walk right back up the canyon you just walked down.  No, seriously.  You go down the canyon, with its river rocks, boulders and chains (for near-vertical ascents and descents), and then go right back up it the next day.  It was on day two that I started to feel panicked.  I was 24 kilometers (14.9 mils) away from civilization and I now had FOUR huge blisters on my feet that stung with every single step.  The next morning I was told that I’d been moaning in my sleep, probably because I could still feel the open wounds stinging, even without shoes to rub against them. 

As the days went on, I got better at wrapping my blisters, but I soon came to realize that I was quickly running out of gauze and tape.  As we walked, I’d often joke about how a helicopter was coming to rescue me.  Or that I was going back to base camp with the park worker who’d come to the shelter to drop more food for us on day four.  I was always at the back of the pack because I simply couldn’t go any faster.  Every single step, on flat ground or steep hillside, was painful.  As we moved along, I often came close to tears – out of pain, out of frustration, out of anxiety.  I wanted to scream.  I wanted to stop.

And then on day four, the stars aligned.  At about 1:00, after 14 kilometers of trail (8.7 miles), we ran into a park worker just a few hundred meters from the shelter.  If I wanted to go back, it had to be now. 

Two of four blisters (3 months later)

A few hours later, I was back at the base camp.  That night, I slept alone in the hiker’s house.  Fourteen beds and just one occupant.  I had no headlamp (dead batteries), no matches (left them with the others), no cell phone (no reception), no iPod (batteries died), and no book (I packed light, remember?).  I managed to scrounge up a piece of paper with one blank side and wrote a letter in the tiniest handwriting imaginable.  I worked on some friendship bracelets.  And I waited.  Until morning.  When I waited again.  Just after sunrise, I was already sitting patiently by the park entrance, hoping some tourist heading to Windhoek would have sympathy on me and give me a ride.  And lady luck struck again.  At noon, I got in the only vehicle going east that day; two German brothers dropped me in the tiny, dusty outpost of Reitoog, the site of another PCV, Caitlin, whose house keys I had.

The next 3 days was just me, some books, peanut butter and bread, chocolate pudding and my raw bloody feet.  By the time of the rest of the group arrived on Sunday, I was tipping dangerously close to insanity.  Even for an introvert like me, 72 hours is a long time to be alone with your thoughts – no TV, no radio, no cell phone, no iPod, no other humans (which is really my fault because I locked myself in the house, but I couldn’t go very far hobbling around like an arthritic centenarian anyways). 

In the end, calling it quits was the best decision I could’ve made.  As my friend Ben told me, making the decision to turn back when conditions get too difficult takes more courage than pushing forward (that’s why so many people die on Everest).  And I never would’ve made it through the 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) on the last day.  No way Jose!  Obviously, I wanted to finish, but I wanted to enjoy my vacation, not just survive it.  I didn’t let pride trump pragmatism.  Admitting defeat and bowing out gracefully is not easy (just ask Brett Favre), but it’s a necessary part of life; it allows us to move on to bigger and better things.  Which is just what I did…Fish River Canyon. 

The extra few days of rest allowed my feet to heal to a tolerable level, and then it was off on another 4 day, 85 kilometer (52.8 mile) hike through the world’s second largest canyon.  After Naukluft, Fish River seemed like a breeze!  Minus the long, precarious descent into the canyon (which cost me seven toenails), it was fairly pain free.  The most challenge moments were the river crossings (there’s nothing more demoralizing than getting ¾ of the way across a 15 meter-wide river only to slide off a slippery, underwater rock and feel your boots fill with river water), and the time we got lost (in an attempt to take a shortcut we ended up wandering through the arid hillside without water for 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) until we got to the edge of the park and turned around, following a dry riverbed that finally led us back to the river/trail.  Needless to say, that “shortcut” did not save us any time).    


 As the doctor put best, "traumatic toenail loss"

Though it was neither glamorous nor relaxing, my April holiday was the most meaningful vacation I’ve ever taken.  By golly, did I learn a lot – about hiking, of course, but also about pain, perseverance and failure.  Will I hike again?  You betcha!  Yes, it’s challenging and exhausting, but a day on the beach can never compete with putting supplies on your back and heading out into the wilderness – rising with the sun and sleeping under the Milky Way, building fires and sharing stories with friends.

          A Drop in the Bucket        

In Namibia, resources seem to come in windfalls. A goat is slaughtered and must be cooked, dried or sold before the meat spoils. Ripe eembe (berries) drop from the tree in the strong winds that precede thunderstorms and must be gathered before the rain arrives. Paychecks are issued at the end of the month and spent within a week or two. Ombidi (wild spinach-like greens) sprout in the fields and must be collected and dried into cow pie-looking patties before disappearing from the earth as quickly as it arrived. Rain falls in torrents that cause temporary floods, and then not a drop falls from the cloudless sky for the remaining nine months. When it floods, the fish “run” and must be caught and dried before the ephemeral oshanas evaporate.

These cycles of abundance and drought create periods of intense work, like the kind I stumbled across last week. Upon entering the homestead, I walked into a group of memes sitting under a tree with a massive pile of marula fruits making omagongo (marula juice). Like everything else in Namibia, I immediately decided that I needed to try it, at least once, so I joined them in the shade. After some confused laughter and quick observations I got to work on a small pyramid of marulas, using a cow horn to pierce the fruit and loosen the skin, letting the juice drip down onto a plastic plate and all over my hands. An hour later, the plate was only beginning to look full. Clearly, I forgot to mention one very small, very important detail: marulas are 10% skin, 10% juice and 80% stone. As auto-pilot took over (puncture, loosen, squeeze; puncture, loosen, squeeze), my mind began to contemplate the process occurring under the tree.

PHOTO: Marulas ready to be juice and cow horn to help with the job.

For some unfortunate reason, clichés are always at the forefront of my mind, so I couldn’t help pondering the “drop in the bucket” theory that was unfolding in front of me. As overused as it is, it’s true: we may feel that our action is only a drop in the bucket, but over time these drops add up ounces, ounces to pints, pints to gallons. And location matters naught – a drop is a drop; a drop in Africa is a drop in America is a drop in Asia.

Just a few days before, I’d listened to NPR’s broadcast of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. I’d heard it many times before, but this time it was different; I didn’t just listen to the speech, the speech spoke to me. It reminded me that we all have rights – and along with those rights come equally important responsibilities. Among those responsibilities is public service; to serve our communities, wherever they may be, in whatever way we can. By some convoluted logic, people seem to think that drop in rural Africa is somehow bigger than a drop in urban America or in one’s hometown. But it’s not. A drop is a drop. So let’s keep Dr. King’s dream alive by serving our communities and speaking out for human rights, wherever we are, however we can. Drop by drop.


          New Pages        
Water's receding, school grinds on. Nothing interesting to blog about, but I've added two new pages LIBRARY and CAMP GLOW for your reading pleasure.

And, of course, a new post wouldn't be complete without a picture of my favourite little Namibian making a sandcastle.


          It's fine...in moderation        
We’re asked to do, use or consume in moderation all the time – sugars, oils and fats; alcohol; watching TV and playing computer games. So if humans have to keep urges in check, isn’t it fair that Mother Nature should also practice moderation?

Photo: Just leaving the homestead can be challenging!

The moderation I’m looking for is in the rains – we’d like the thirst-quenching, life-giving amount, please; not the crop-drowning, knee-deep type. After the skies opened up and rain fell for several days straight the oshanas filled up with cool, crisp rainwater. Too bad north-central Namibia is just a long series of oshanas strung together, all ultimately heading south to the Etosha Pan.
Photo: Aipinge plays in a puddle on the homestead

The rain has its perks – cool weather for bearable days and sleep-able nights, free water for drinking, cooking, bathing and washing, great puddles for children to splash in, and abundant fish and frogs. But too much rain causes a flood, which is exactly what we have on our hands right now. And crossing long stretches of deep water can be time consuming and dangerous – most people don’t know how to swim, and even for those that do, the bottom is often obscured by the murky water making every step a guessing game (how deep? a plant? a fish? a stick? a rock? a slimy creature?)

Photo: Even the goats are refugees!

For the safety of the learners, classes were suspended last week, and the school will remain closed for the remainder of this week. It was rather anticlimactic – having two days of school and then shutting down. But hope is on the horizon: it hasn’t rained in 6 days and the water has been steadily, but slowly, flowing downstream.

Photo: Free water! A precious gift in a country as dry as Namibia

If you’re getting a feeling a déjà vu, you’re absolutely correct. This same thing happened last year – only in April, and school was closed for an entire month. The fact that it’s only January is slightly worrying; there’s still a long rainy season ahead and potential floodwaters from Angola on the horizon. But, for now, we’ll march forward optimistically – and hope that Mother Nature can keep it in moderation.
          Thanksgiving        
Although overnight temperatures in the upper 80s usually don’t signify Thanksgiving, the holiday hasn’t passed by unnoticed. School-wise, we’re in the home stretch – only 2.5 weeks until the year is over. Due to this, and the fact that I’m belatedly attempting to save for vacation, I decided to stay put this Thanksgiving weekend. But, perhaps, being stationery is most appropriate because, by staying in the village, I’m surrounded by the people and things I’m most thankful for. Here’s my top 5:

My Namibian family – There’s nothing like a family to make you feel at home in a foreign land. With this said, I’m extremely thankful for my Namibian host family, the Pendukenis, and especially Meekulu. I’ve learned so much about Owambo culture from them that I wouldn’t have learned if I’d ended up in a city or at the teachers’ housing. Plus, they put up with my crazy American-ness, like forgetting to shut the doors during snake season (oops!) and locking myself in my room with a book after a frustrating day at school. Yesterday I was feeling especially festive so I decided to bake a pumpkin pie for them so that they could learn about and taste a bit of American culture. I could only find butternut squash (but it turned out to be a great substitute for pumpkin – you should try it!), and I think my attempted expression of gratitude got a bit lost in translation, but I tried nonetheless.

My colleagues – They make me laugh every day. In addition to the laughter and good food that we share, they’re always there to answer my questions and listen to my frustrations. To an American, the Namibian school system can sometimes be incomprehensible. Thanks to my colleagues, however, I’ve been able to navigate it somewhat successfully (I made it through the first year, didn’t I?).

The rain – In Namibia we discuss the weather, especially the rain, not as small talk, but as a serious point of conversation – and rightly so: after nearly 6 months without a drop of rain, grey skies and a shower can seem like a miracle. My fixation with the rain may border on obsessive; I watch the skies like a hawk, pray for rain at the first sight of a thundercloud and text other volunteers to get a heads up on the coming weather. I even have my own humidity indicator – my bedroom door, which latches when it’s humid but refuses to catch when it’s dry. Unlike me, these goats try to avoid the rain!

My quiet place – I don’t get to escape to my quiet place nearly enough, but I’m thankful to have it regardless. On the occasional weekend where there isn’t a soccer game at school or grade 10 camping, I’m able to put up my hammock chair and spend blissful hours reading in the shade. Books have an unrivaled power to immerse the reader in a different world, and in this past year I’ve gained an even deeper appreciation for the power of literature.

Cadbury bars – That’s right, I’m thankful for chocolate. Specifically the Cadbury Delectable Trio – a milk chocolate bar with toffee pieces, almonds and mini chocolate cookies buried within. I’m so thankful for this delicious chocolate bar that I usually can’t restrain myself and end up eating the entire thing on the day I buy it. Cadbury really needs to expand its American distribution beyond their Easter cream eggs!


          Waving the White Flag        
School holidays in Namibia mean only one thing…weddings. This August, I saw signs of weddings everywhere – parades of cars, couples’ names taped over license plates and white flags in trees (note to all cynics: this is not a sign of surrender but a sign of celebration). And, fortunately, I had the opportunity to experience a few weddings myself!

In America, weddings are often referred to as “the big day.” In Namibia, they’d be more appropriately called “the big week.”

The process begins when the future spouse becomes “known” to the family. I’m not sure what this all entails, because I wasn’t actually there, but the gist is that you don’t meet your future in-laws until you’re engaged (about 6 months before the wedding). Then, the wedding plans begin.

“Wedding week” begins on Sunday when the couple is announced in church. Again, I can’t be sure what is said (it was all in Oshiwambo), but all of the couples stand up in front of the church. Once church is over, the fun begins. At this point, each couple is followed out of church, surrounded by their posse. This posse consists most of celebrating women, but men are not excluded. The group proceeds toward their vehicle, but moves rather slowly because there is singing and dancing around the couple, as well as congratulations, whistling, harmonica playing, cow tail waving and ululating. For those of you not up-to-date on your Nam-lingo, the term ululating means making a wavering, high-pitched sound. It kind of reminds of a stereotyped Indian war cry. In addition to all of this auditory stimulation, there are the bright pink traditional dresses and beads to see.