March 19, 2017

#Elato atoll, life update on #Downtime !

Chief Veronika, she was 100yo when I took this pics back in 2013
It is a beautiful morning on Woleai! We put anchor down today at 7:30am on 15th of March. Pete is having his nap and I decided to let you know what's going on Downtime...

Our last story was about Puluwat then our next stop was at a very traditional island Lamotrek with everyone topless, an alcohol drink "tuba", women skirts "lavalava" and many lamotrekese local strict rules! It was our first island in the Yap state, the most traditional state in all FSM and probably in all Pacific. We spent wonderful week there and I will publish Lamotrek story in one or two days, we are still having some disagreement about a few topics! Do you think it is easy to change Pete's opinion? Not really! I am just using my power like an editor.. he-he

After Lamotrek we stopped for 4 days (from 8th to 12th of March) in Elato Atoll just 10 miles west of Lamotrek. Elato, along with the island of Olimarao (20 miles away), is a part of double lagoon formed by shared seamount. Recently the atoll has become the center of quite a bit of foreign press as an example of things to come. The small, low lying atoll islands, as Elato are losing portions of its beaches to erosion and its to unusually high "king tides". So we are glad we took an opportunity to see it, when an atoll still existed! It was a great experience! It is a very casual island with 80-100 people, they consider themselves like one big family.

First day we visited a main high chief of the three islands (Lamotrek, Elato, Satawal) - Chief Veronika, she is 100 years old and living on Elato, she owned the best land in each of those three islands! We exchanged our gifts and now I've have one more lavalava in my collection, total of four!! (I know from other sailors, its sad news, but she passed away in 2014)





On our second day, one guy caught an octopus and gave it to us, we gave him shades and t-shirt. The dress code on Elato is not as strict as on Lamotrek and everyone is allowed to wear tops, but some people are still just in traditional clothes.
Later that afternoon they caught 2 huge turtles and butchered them right on the beech. They partially cooked them before and then divided the meat between the families. They gave us like 6 pounds of shoulder, heart, liver and some fat. They leave nothing to waste and eat everything inside! They even rinse out the intestines and catch the blood! I cooked up everything and heart tastes like cow tongue, liver is exactly like cow liver, but looks very black and meat is like beef, which I fried and it was a bit chewy...But next day I cooked turtle hamburgers from rest of the meat and it was delicious! And still tasty lake a beef!


On Sunday, after church, we went out with three guys to Ulor Island and they caught us 16 lobsters! While the men were busy hunting, I explored island and snorkeled on the reef.




When we got back on Downtime we gave them a bottle of Bounty rum, t-shirt and hat, shades, some fishing lour's and a spear gun.


On Monday we visited school and shared our travels with the kids about our adventures and also we took my laptop and showed them some pictures. We gave them some toys and candy, coloring books and crayons for the school. I also printed a collage of the best pics from the island and Pete laminated it.




Pete fixed the chiefs sail and a few other things for the islanders and I sorted and copied 300 movies and some educational programs for Stan, one of the chiefs.

















Like on Lamotrek the tuba (alcohol drink from coconut tree) flows freely so it is kind of problem! These guys like to party and I think more then half had strong addictions!
It was fun to see how reacted Pete on drunk people, they were irritating him and got on his nerves, but every second day Pete has the same conditions of intoxication...

In the end I can tell you that Elato can offer sailors everything: beautiful and safe anchorage, really nice and friendly people, good snorkeling, "tuba" circles, spear fishing and other island joys. They only get a few boats per year and compared to Lamotrek's few per month! So if you have time this place is not to be missed!

Live your dream, Daria

March 3, 2017

#Lamotrek #Micronesia #CulturalDays

On our last morning in Lamotrek atoll, Federal State of Micronesia, the school had cultural days and all the kids dressed up traditional with the small girls wearing grass skirts and the boys wearing the men's blue and white striped lavalava, which is narrower that the women's version and worn higher around the waist over their loin cloth. The girls gave a weaving demonstrations on how they made the headbands and baskets while the boys showed navigation skills on a white board. Later they would meet with the master carver, master sailor and master fisherman to have those skills explained to them. They had items for sale on tables like locally woven palm fiber rope, which is really neat, small carvings, sea shells, ropes, lavalavas and a few baskets of food with chicken or dog with rice for $15. We bought a chicken lunch, not brave enough for dog yet...

We had a wonderful week on Lamotrek and want to thank everyone for showing us such amazing hospitality. We will remember this small piece of paradise forever! 

live your dream,  Daria






























Rest of the pictures you can check here Lamotrek Part2. Cultural Days

September 22, 2016

#Cynthia #syntheticBacteria #goneWild #anotherGiftfromUStoOurPlanet

During people getting more and more crazy about Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, there is some serious danger hide by US government or at least not let it be as public as it should be... 

"... However, in the nearest future, the planet could face yet another “monster” that was bred deep inside US corporate laboratories. We are talking about the first synthetic bacteria – Cynthia, created “to combat oil pollution in the Gulf of Mexico” which, according to the various reports that are often ignored by the corporate media, has mutated and has started attacking animals and humans. Now this highly lethal microorganism is on its way to Europe.


One could recall that back in April 2010 an explosion at a British Petroleum oil rig resulted in millions of barrels of oil contaminating the Gulf of Mexico. Despite the drastic measures taken to prevent an environmental catastrophe, an oil slick produced by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill covered over sixty thousand square miles.
As one of the means of addressing the environmental catastrophe on their hands, Washington decided to take drastic measures, regardless of the possible consequences of those actions. It was at that time when an artificially created microorganism nicknamed Cynthia was unleashed, without any kind of examination of the possible threat it may pose to the environment.
Cynthia is the brainchild of the J. Craig Venter Institute — which was engaged in genetic engineering experiments since the beginning of the 21st century — and Synthetic Genomics Inc, and was created and funded directly by BP. It was believed that Cynthia feeds on oil, but it turns out now that it is equally willing to consume all forms of organic life as well…
In 2011, Cynthia was unleashed in the Gulf of Mexico and in its initial stages of life it was absorbing oil slicks at breathtaking speed. In January, 2011 the Register reported that scientists were particularly impressed by the speed with which the bacteria was eating up its “meal”.
But then this bacteria mutated and soon was feeding on organic lifeforms. Strange reports started coming from the US, like five thousand birds falling victims of an “unknown disease” in Arkansas, or more that a hundred thousand dead fish found off the coast of north Louisiana. It was also reported that a total of 128 British Petroleum employees that participated in the liquidation of the oil slick were struck by some mysterious illness. According to various sources they were forbidden to seek relief in public hospitals, to prevent them from talking to anyone about what has happened to them…
Soon it was recorded that the disease and the symptoms that are now associated with the coastal zone of the Gulf of Mexico began spreading to the continental United States – for example, people who were caught by heavy rains that came from the Gulf of Mexico were also exposed to it.
In fact, such disturbing reports have become pretty common, in spite of the restrictive measures taken by the US government to prevent this information from spreading. In particular, it’s been reported that certain individuals who were unfortunate enough to take take a swim in the Gulf of Mexico often found themselves covered with itching sores only to die in agony a few days later due to extensive internal bleeding.
According to media reports, a person can become Cynthia’s victim under two circumstances: if it penetrated the skin barrier through a wound or if they were unfortunate enough to eat raw seafood infected by this bacteria. Once the bacteria is in the system, it penetrates into the layer between the skin and muscles and starts producing a toxin that disrupts tissues. It is known that Cynthia is capable of reproducing itself rapidly within the infected cells, and that it is immune to antibiotics.
According to the University of the District of Columbia (UDC), up to 40% of the residents of the territories adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico have become infected with severe respiratory and skin diseases, and one in four residents is planning to pack up and leave in the nearest future.
Still, Washington has been pretty determined to mute these reports by announcing that the growing death toll can be attributed to some “unknown virus.”
At the same time, we’ve been witnessing disturbing reports that Cynthia has started spreading to different regions of the world, since the mass death of seals in Alaska, near the town of Barrow, was accompanied by skin lesions and extensive damage to internal organs of the deceased animals.
At the rate the bacteria is spreading together with the Gulf Stream, Europe is definitely at risk. What can the consequences of this voyage be if the reports about high lethality among those infected by the bacteria are proven right – one can only guess … It means that the famous beaches of France, Italy and even Greece and Turkey are to be closed permanently. The microscopic Cynthia might swallow the tourist industry of Southern Europe.
What is happening in the Gulf of Mexico – is not a regional problem and the residents of this area are not the only ones at risk. This is a problem of global proportions. The signs of a possible bacterial viral infection are already beginning to appear everywhere. The mysterious, unexplained illness affecting fish, marine mammals, animals, poultry, trees, and plants arise from the synthetic genomes that transforms natural organisms and force them to mutate.
However, even at the initial stage of the test trials of Cynthia, many experts were vocal in stressing the danger of synthetically created living organisms. For instance, Dr Helen Wallace the Executive Director of the British organization Genewatch that oversees research in the field of genetics pointed out in an interview that this synthetic bacteria could pose a serious danger. In turn, the Friends of the Earth movement has stressed time and time again that this scientific achievement of J. Craig Venter is a threat to the entire world, and all the research of this institute should be put on hold.
Many environmentalists and human rights activists on the back of those disturbing reports say that the US government is not prepared to regulate this revolutionary domain of science. An international civil society organization based in Ottawa, Canada known as the ETC Group has sounded the alarm, arguing that Venter opened a “Pandora’s box” and that an international moratorium on the development in the field of synthetic biology in private laboratories must be introduced immediately, since such research may pose a threat to all life on the planet.
So what are we witnessing here if not the manifestation of Washington’s secretive policy on the development of new types of biological weapons? The US has been hard at work on the weakening of the international norm that prohibits the development of biological weapons, while building up its own military biological infrastructure and creating a string of microbiological laboratories across the world that are being run by the Pentagon. The activities of such laboratories are not being supervised so there’s absolutely no guarantee that a new kind of monster that can outmatch Cynthia is not being created in their depths.
Under these circumstances, there’s an urgent need to force Washington into singing the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction that it blocked unilaterally in 2001. Moreover, there must be a verification mechanism that would guarantee that all the provisions of this convention are observed to the letter by all those who signed it."
Jean Périer is an independent researcher and analyst and a renowned expert on the Near and Middle East, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook  
Resume:
“Cynthia” is very quickly propagated, self-reproducing in infected cells, and it’s not responding to antibiotics. The situation has gone from bad to worse. 
According to the CDC (centers for control and prevention of diseases of the U.S. in 2014 due to bacteria ill 97 people, 27 of them died. 
You can become infected in two ways. The first — through the wound, even the smallest, the second in raw seafood. Once the microbe is in the body, it penetrates into the layer between the skin and the muscles. The bacterium produces a toxin that destroys living tissue.

Among the victims may be a large city on the East coast of the United States, including Washington, New York, Boston, Miami, Richmond. Because the Gulf stream flows close to them.
And no one today can guarantee that Cynthia will not penetrate into the Mediterranean sea. Because it can travel even rain clouds. And this greatly increases the possible geographical spread of the epidemic. 
Daria Friday

September 17, 2016

The Dark Side of Chocolate... #chocolate #crime #slavery

You should find 40 minutes of your time and watch this documentary!
Americans spend over a billion dollars every Halloween on chocolate, accounting for 10% of most chocolate company’s annual revenue. And the average American citizen eats over 11 pounds of chocolate a year. So this Halloween, use your money to let them know that child slavery will not be tolerated by American consumers.
Last September, a lawsuit was filed against eight companies – including Hershey, Mars, and Nestle – alleging that the companies were duping consumers into “unwittingly” funding the child slave labor trade in West Africa, home to two-thirds of the world’s cacao beans.
Worker ages range from 11-16 (sometimes younger). They are trapped in isolated farms, where they work 80 to 100 hours a week. The film Slavery: A Global Investigation spoke with freed children who reported that they were often beaten with fists and belts and whips.
The beatings were a part of my life,” Aly Diabate, a freed slave, told reporters. “Anytime they loaded you with bags (of cocoa beans) and you fell while carrying them, nobody helped you. Instead they beat you and beat you until you picked it up again.”
To help you avoid supporting slavery this Halloween, Here are seven chocolate companies that benefit from child slave labor:
Hershey
Mars
Nestle
ADM Cocoa
Godiva
Fowler’s Chocolate
Kraft
Legislation nearly passed in 2001 in which the FDA would implement “slave free” labeling on the packaging. Before the legislation made it to a vote, the chocolate industry – including Nestle, Hershey, and Mars – used its corporate money to stop it by “promising” to self-regulate and end child slavery in their businesses by 2005. This deadline has repeatedly been pushed back, with the current goal now at 2020.
Meanwhile, the number of children working in the cocoa industry has increased by 51 percent from 2009 to 2014.
As one freed boy put it: “They enjoy something I suffered to make; I worked hard for them but saw no benefit. They are eating my flesh.”
Here is a list of more socially conscious companies who have made a point to avoid profiting off the suffering of child labor:
Clif Bar
Green and Black’s
Koppers Chocolate
L.A. Burdick Chocolates
Denman Island Chocolate
Gardners Candie
Montezuma’s Chocolates
Newman’s Own Organics
Kailua Candy Company
Omanhene Cocoa Bean Company
Rapunzel Pure Organics
The Endangered Species Chocolate Company
Cloud Nine
Beware of These 7 Popular Chocolate Brands that Exploit Child Slaves" wrote 

I think we can at least avoid to buy / support those companies who use kids slavery in present days... So sad... Left me literally speechless...
Daria Friday