About Me

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Hello there. Now generally, I’m not one for public declarations. However, I'm a mere 1 week away from embarking on one of the most terrifying and exciting experiences of my life. On May 30th, I will be travelling to Brazil, to a place called Iracambi, deep in the Atlantic Rainforest. Set up by pioneering South Africans, Iracambi’s mission is to make the conservation of the rainforest more attractive than its destruction. It works with the local community to conserve the land and help generate income in one of the most bio-diverse places in the world. Once there, I will spend a month donating my skills to help them create a brand and communications strategy, which I hope will make a positive difference to their future success. This blog will be a document of my time there, a way for friends and family to see what I’m up to and, crucially, a portal to help raise funds for this project (aiming for a total of £1000). If you feel you’d like to sponsor my work out there, just click on the ‘Make a donation’ button: any donations will be incredibly gratefully received and you’ll be able to see how that money will be spent. Many thanks for taking the time to read this and wish me luck!

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Chiffany & Kaytch in Ouro Preto

Whilst here in Minas Gerais state, I wanted to take the opportunity to visit Ouro Preto. Meaning Black Gold, it used to be the capital of Minas Gerais (literally, General Mining) and was a key site for the mining of metals, minerals and gems. It is a stunning town, full of baroque churches, cobbled and hilly streets and fabulous jewellery shops! Kate and I managed to stay in the most amazing pousada (Pouso do Chico Rei), which was choc-full of antiques and character with an incredible view of the city from our patio (see photo). We had a fabulous time - perfect balance of sight-seeing, R & R, great food and funny company. All in all, well worth the 15 hour hassle of getting back to Iracambi.


When not running workshops, having meetings or beavering away on my computer, you have to muck in with the Iracambi way of life. We share all chores (this week, I'm on burning the papel hygenico. Glamorama), cook each other meals and try to look after each other and the environment we live in. Every Tuesday, there is the weekly volunteer activity, where we go out and spend a couple of hours helping on jobs that need to be done around the NGO. Last week and this, it was tending to the mulas (tree seedlings) alongside the river bank. Here is the team with their hoes, after an honest morning hoeing (say that 3 times, fast)!

Another day at the office

For all of you who persist in believing it's all fun, games and caiparinhas, here's a photo of a workshop I held here last week on the Iracambi brand. Yes, yes, stop looking at the hammock and the setting, it's the workshopping that counts!

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Friday night on the tiles in Limeira

So, what's a girl to do on a Friday night in the Atlantic Rainforest? Well, quite clearly she should cram into a knackered VW 3 door with 5 other people (one of whom is a space-sucking, strapping 6ft3 Dutchman), and barely contain a claustrophopic panic attack whilst careening down mud tracks for 35mins to get to the local town. Once there, she should purchase snacks to calm her nerves and then sit at the local bar (as in, the only bar) and share a bottle of Itaipava beer with a Frenchman, a Canadian, an American, a Dutchman and a Brazilian. Naturally, she should then go to the club (you got it, the only club) where there are gaggles of 12yr olds dancing in lines to what can only be described as bad Brazilian lounge music jazzed up with a heavy bass line. They will be far more amusing to watch dance than the 15 yr old boys seemingly humping the concrete pillars in the middle of the room. She will then risk life and limb to skid back up the mountain to her rainforest den. Just another Friday night in Limeira, people.

Dusk walk to the Fazenda 3

Oo, arty... the evening clouds reflected in the fish pond.

Dusk walk to the Fazenda 2

Dusk walk to the Fazenda1

A dusk walk over to an evening meeting at Robin and Binka's house produced some incredible photo opps...