Venezuela’s Exodus

The northern Brazilian city of Boa Vista must have the cleanest car windscreens in the entire country. This is because on almost every street corner, at every junction, and around every roundabout, there is a Venezuelan, or four, offering their services. Their partners and children sheltering from the sun in some nearby shade.

Whether they were teachers, builders, doctors, carpenters, chefs, farmers, bankers, or shop assistants previously, they are now self-employed car washers and roadside salespeople. Cardboard signs serve the dual purpose of promoting their work and potential, whilst also providing some cover from the intense heat which accompanies their daily 12-hour shifts.

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Life at the Lodge: 11) Politics

Nestled in between our Kitchen Reports, I found half a dozen PPP membership forms which are awaiting completion. It seems Manny is on a recruitment drive at the Lodge, and though he is an enthusiastic supporter – “this is my party, the best party” – I am not entirely sure he knows what it all means.

The language of the PPP is incredibly dated and reads like something straight out of the USSR. A 2016 Group Membership booklet I found at the Lodge a few months back talks about the need for “comrade solidarity” and the defeat of the “three evils of capitalism, imperialism, and individualism”.

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The Levant War: 2011 – ?

The Syrian revolution now has to be seen as part of a wider conflict in the region. There is no use just talking about the revolution and the subsequent outbreak of civil war, and then viewing the Turkish-Kurdish war as a separate event, as well as the international effort against ISIS as something different again. All of them are interlinked and overlap.

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Life at the Lodge: 10) Time

Owing to some ill-health for both of our guests, all activities were cancelled giving some of the staff a more laid-back working day. But with an enthusiasm they later came to regret, our two resident voluntourists (Steve and Farinoz) headed up to our outstation, Makeidon, with Manny to help on the project to build a new coral.

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Life at the Lodge: 9) Extension

Unfortunately, Cassie had to return to Georgetown and to her work at the university, leaving me to prepare for the solitude of the Lodge once again. The last week had been a bit of a holiday and I was having to force myself to get back into the system of pre-dawn wake ups.

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