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Hiking for the “Success Academy, Zimbabwe”

September 11, 2013 / by / 0 Comment

Over a year and a half ago, I heard of a school called ‘Success Academy Zimbabwe’, located in Zimbabwe, founded by Laytone Marisa. A school that offers education to children that cannot afford it, seeking no financial return other than the better of its community. The school serves more than just an education sector for the children, but a symbol of hope for the community at large, bringing people together, keeping kids off the streets and hopeful of a better future. I met with Laytone and visited the school in December 2012, and was inspired to learn that since the school was founded in 2009, to this date, there are approximately 900 students with the limiting factor being space! As many children cannot afford to pay school fees, the school struggles monthly to raise the operational costs, of which land alone is USD$700. After much further discussion with Laytone about the school and its future, he told me that his dream was to buy land for the school, in order to expand and once and for all eliminate this costly expense. My story and what I have set out to achieve I was born in Ukraine, however, Zimbabwe has been […]

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How to throw the perfect summer BBQ- trust me I’m British…

August 05, 2013 / by / 0 Comment

It’s been hot, it’s been sunny and there has been torrential rain and hail. Take it from a Brit, now is the perfect time for a BBQ party. But it’s a common misconception that you can just chuck some meat on to a grill and get to it. Ask any Australian or Brit and they will tell you that this is not the case. Let me set the scene, all of your friends gathered around laughing, and eating good food. The sun shining down, a warm breeze brings the smell of summer across the whole scene. Now aside from the essentials: umbrella to keep the rain off, Pimms and fruit (buy your Pimms at the airport duty free, as I haven’t been able to find it anywhere else) and that one guy that everyone wishes would stop playing Sweet Home Alabama on the guitar, it’s all set to be a great night. However there are a few things that you’re going to need to remember; First of all it’s all about location. Not all of us living in Geneva have the luxury of a garden, but many buildings allow electric BBQs on the balcony, just check with your building’s management. […]

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The Perfect Storm

July 01, 2013 / by / 0 Comment

2013, the year of cursed wine? We all saw it, the sky turned black, it went from 4 o’clock in the afternoon to twilight within the space of two minutes, and then the wind fell. It was as if the world was holding its breath. Then boom! The skies opened, and the world turned white. Standing in the glass room of the International School, surrounded by screaming children I couldn’t believe the intensity of the storm. Children screamed as hailstones the size of golf balls bounced off the windows and piled up against the side of the building in drifts up to the kid’s knees. Walking home later that night I was shocked at the devastation I saw, tress snapped in half and closed roads. Even though it was more then 20 degrees, hailstones still littered the grass and there was so much traffic going along Route de Ferney that I was passing the cars on foot, and the buses were wading through about a meter of water by WHO to get to the other end of the road. I talked to a few people around Geneva to get their experiences, one woman I spoke to said that she “had no more […]

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I’m dreaming of a white… July?

June 02, 2013 / by / 0 Comment

The trees are in full bloom, the blossoms have come and gone and farmers are bringing in the hay. I guess it’s time to put on that ski suit and hit the slopes… All the buzz this year has been about the unseasonal weather that we have been having all across Europe. It’s been cold, it’s been rainy, it’s been 8ºc. All the travel agencies are booked full of people desperate to fly south for the summer, just to get a taste of the sun. Yes we have had some teasers, a few hot days in April and that one wonderful Monday, that came just to give us all false hope. But now I think we are all just feeling a bit fed up. Being English you would have thought that I would be used to it, but even dear old England seems to be getting better weather than we are at the moment. It appears that we might have a repeat of the infamous 1816, the year without a summer, but don’t give up hope just yet. There may be sunlight at the end of the tunnel…  It’s not all as cheerful as a wet weekend, there are some definite […]

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Greeneva?

April 28, 2013 / by / 0 Comment

It’s finally May. The winter may have hung around longer than it was welcome but suddenly the trees are green again and the ski jackets can finally be laid to rest. But the changeable weather, from the late spring to the cold snaps and surprise snows, has got people talking. Did you know that according to a new study released at the end of April by the university of Bern, the last 40 odd years have been the warmest for 14,000 years? Climate change is an topic that has been heating up- if you will excuse the pun – over the last 20 years, but other than the weather is it really something that has become part of our everyday lives here in Geneva? You may have heard about or even participated in Earth Day last month on April 22nd. It was a day to raise awareness about the state of the environment and a chance to educate children about climate change. However, it’s not all doom and gloom. For Earth Day, two pilots from solar impulse, André Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard successfully flew a solar powered plane. You may even have seen the impressive pictures of them over the […]

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Coffee and Culture

March 30, 2013 / by / 0 Comment

When I think of café culture, the first thing that springs to my mind is Paris; chic little red painted bistros, earth dark coffee in tiny porcelain cups and comfortable velvet sofas. Café culture has become indicative of European culture, it’s romantic and glamorous and…Swiss? Cafe life has been around since the 17th century where it crawled out of the industrial mess of England’s coffee houses, and the invention of the iPad has not managed to kill it yet. Although there was a lull in the early 2000s with fast coffee becoming the new ‘it’ thing to buy, Café culture is now making it’s way back. But with the added advantage that now you don’t need to be in a sunlit square in Rome or Paris in the 1950s. Café culture is here in Geneva as well. A recent booklet produced by the Swiss Heritage Society has named the top 75 beautiful cafés in Switzerland, and you guessed it, one of them is right here in Geneva. But what is café culture? And why do we need it? It’s about more than coffee…the original usage of the coffee shop was as a place where women could meet in the Victorian era and […]

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Geneva “Mouettes” – commute in style!

March 30, 2013 / by / 0 Comment

If you work in Geneva, then you are most likely aware of the hell that can break loose during peak traffic hours. If you travel by car (in which case be thankful to have your own private space), then you are familiar with the incessant stop-start mode and resulting calf muscle work-out, whilst tolerating the congested roads with clenched teeth. If you are a public transport tram or bus user, you know you will find yourself stuck with fellow passengers in confined spaces. In most cases these fellow commuters have overcome their frustration, learned to live with the situation, and now dismiss it with a sigh and a shrug; this is how it is… Of course in reality – and compared to other cities, Geneva is not that bad…let’s give it some credit. And there is an alternative! One that may be easily forgotten, often associated with leisure or tourism, but perfect to avoid traffic if its routes fit with your daily back and forth routine: the “Mouettes genevoises” (lit. Geneva seagulls). Operational all year round since 2004, six shuttle boats offer four routes that cross the lake, covering 4.3km. For example, if you work in Eaux-Vives but live near […]

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R & amp; R for the LHC

March 03, 2013 / by / 0 Comment

Having completely failed to create a black hole and kill us all, the Large Hadron Collider at CERN is entering the end of its first month of down time. One of the largest experimental facilities of all time, the project at CERN is the work of a collaboration of over 10,000 scientists from over 100 countries. It has been a busy 5 years at CERN. The collider took 10 years to build, from 1998 to 2008 and it was first activated on the 10th of September 2008. The huge piece of equipment is designed to “speed up and increase the energy of a beam of particles by generating electric fields that accelerate the particles, and magnetic fields that steer and focus them. ”It will now be turned off for maintenance until 2015. The 27 kilometre tunnel under Geneva which also crosses into and under France was originally part of a big controversy due to fears that the colliding particles would cause a black hole to form in the tunnel, which needless to say wouldn’t be the best start to the week. Since it first opened, it has had its problems but also huge successes; just 9 days after it first […]

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Of Gnomes, Crosses and Space Invaders…

February 17, 2013 / by / 0 Comment

You may have heard of the space invaders, the French urban artist who ‘invaded’ cities of the world with mosaic tiles of characters from the 1978 arcade game, Space Invaders. It started in 1988 with the ‘invasion’ of Paris and has since moved on to 31 other cities all around the world, including Geneva. Recently, a similar idea has spread in Oakland in the U.S; the city has recently become inundated with Gnomes… that’s right, Gnomes. The little bearded guys in the red hats have been migrating from gardens all over the city. Someone has been spreading them, painting them on small wooden boards and nailing them to benches and sign posts all over town, sometimes they are even accompanied by mushrooms. They are happy, smiling and sporting red hats and beards, a count has put their number in their hundreds. But no one knows why they are there, or even how they get there. You may have noticed, in the past few years, a similar, if less whimsical addition to the streets of Geneva. But never fear, this one actually does have an explanation… These markings appear on the ground, painted on to the concrete of walkways and parks, […]

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The Geneva Volunteering Centre

February 17, 2013 / by / 0 Comment

Not all of us have a job that makes a difference socially or culturally; If you are looking for a way to make the most out of your free time, or if you feel like being part of big events, we may have an idea for you. Have you ever thought of volunteering? Probably. But you may think you need to commit to a number of hours on a weekly basis. Or maybe you think you don’t know which activities you could help with ? Forget it, just get in touch with the Geneva Volunteering Centre (Centre Genevois de Volontariat – CGV) The centre will celebrate it’s 40th anniversary this year. Located in a beautiful building in Eaux-Vives, they offer lots of opportunities to participate, with many formats. Whether you are looking to commit on a regular basis or you want to participate to punctual events a few times a year, you are the one who decides. The CGV knows that to make volunteers come back, they need to have fun and enjoy what they are doing! Among all the possibilities, there are administrative tasks, help with homework, work on festivals or in museums, positions in sales, handing out meals, bringing […]

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