28th of October 2017
What can I do to help? I am just one person, powerless and the problem is huge.
When driving to Coimbra yesterday, through the national road, half way between Penela and Condeixa I stopped to take those photographs. I wanted to show you what I see every morning and every afternoon on my way back and forth.
I am not crying anymore. That is over. I am though sad and disappointed. Disappointed in the government for not taking action years ago, to stop the madness. They could have, but they did not.
Why they did not do anything I can not explain but to me it looks like there is some lack of common sense there. Don´t they see that something drastic needs to be done about a problem that has been escalating through my 7 years here in my little land? There was a committee, a new one, established after the fires in June this year. I have heard that the contributions to the people in Pedrogáo Grande have not been distributed yet. If that is true I am shocked. There is little use contributing if the clothes and other things are just sitting in some warehouse waiting.
Let me show you what is in front of my eyes every morning when driving to Coimbra.
These photos are from yesterday.
On one side of the road is destruction. On the other side everything is untouched by the fire. This tells me that it was not the wind but something else that made this happen only few days ago. Have those who lit the fires been found? I do not know.
There is more destruction in sight, just from where I was standing.
The devastation is complete. Naked trees, black soil, nothing left.
A sight like this is all around the centre and north of my little land. My land needs help. I am just one person, a foreigner, that has settled down and made my roots spread with love and passion for the little land. I am 72 years old, so as we say in my new land, I have got many years. These years are my life and they should be used for something good. Can I use them? Yes I can.
I am going to plant one tree for every year of my life. 72 trees I will plant this year. Next year there will be one more year added to my life and I will add one year to my contribution. Next year I will plant 73 trees. Slowly, I will use my added years to help my little land recovering from this years disaster.
The idea is mine, but I need help. I need help to make it real, and that is where my dear friends come into the picture. I have asked them to help. I don´t know anything about trees. I don´t know anything about what kind of trees would be best. I don´t know how to apply for this and get permission. My friends will help. I am not in super good health so I also need help with the planting. That is where my friends are also coming into the project. I asked for help and they said YES without hesitation.
It will be exciting and it will make me feel amazing. Now I am just waiting for the process to begin. I will tell you about how we do. I am sure everyone will be interested.
I don´t know how many years I have left, they may be many or they may be few. I am not worried about the number. I am just going to use them well.