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In the forests of eastern Paraguay, the Swiss scientist Moisés Bertoni and his family settled in 1895 to create a farm and research station. Just a short distance from the famous Iguazú Falls, the site is today one of the most surprising parks and museum complexes in South America….

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…if you can see beyond the kitsch representation of the Rio Grande do Sul’s German and Italian heritage, as well as past the very real contemporary struggles of the inhabitants, the Serra Gaúcha certainly has much to offer visitors…

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Carlos Strehler was born in 1899 in the Austro-Hungarian port city of Trieste. He and his brother were tea merchants, selling to the new Balkan kingdoms. In the 1920s they decided to try their luck as tea planters in Argentina. This is his story….

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After about a year in Chelsea, Caetano and Gil moved to Notting Hill, a cosmopolitan neighbourhood that attracted squatters, hippies, musicians and political activists. It was here where Gil was introduced to reggae music, which would have a lasting impact on him. From their new base, demand for Gil and Caetano was slowly growing in Europe and the USA, but both musicians hoped to return to Brazil as soon as possible….

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At the end of July 1969, Caetano and Gil were put on a plane bound for Europe. After a brief stop in Lisbon, and a slightly longer stay in Paris, the duo made their way to London – then a global centre of pop culture. Soon they found a home in Chelsea where remained for their first year in exile….

Gil and Caetano, Trafalgar Square, 1969.

In 1969 the young singer-songwriters Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil were expelled from military-ruled Brazil. They made their way to London – then the global capital of youth culture – where they spent the next two and a half years in exile. [….] This, the first of of three blog posts, explains the background of Caetano’s and Gil’s departure from Brazil.

“Zimbabwe? Are you sure it’s safe?” In the weeks preceding my visit this question was asked of me time and time again, producing niggling doubts as to this wisdom of travelling to this southern African country. It was reassuring (and a little surprising) to learn that normally risk-averse United States travellers are Zimbabwe’s most important […]

A catboat – Brigg Bay, Corn Island.

This is the final part of a series about the Corn Islands – two small, beautiful and remote islands on the western edge of the Caribbean, off the coast of Nicaragua. Part 1 of the series (which can be found here) introduces the islands, while Part 2 (which can be found here) focuses on coconut […]

Hanging around the little island.

The small and rather remote Corn Islands are located off Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast. Until quite recently the inhabitants have been overwhelmingly English-speaking – mainly the descendants of black slaves from Jamaica, white British plantation owners, Caymanian turtlers and traders, and the odd European and North American. These “native” islanders considered that they had little in common with mainland Nicaragua, instead […]

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Almost fifteen years ago – in September 2000 – I visited Nicaragua’s small and remote Corn Islands. I thought about the islands again when a friend, Grant Peeples (who, with his wife Cathy, owned and ran a wonderful little hotel in Little Corn, the smallest and prettiest of the two islands), told me that I now wouldn’t recognise […]

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For our fabric needs in Masvingo, a town in southern Zimbabwe, Anneliese and I were told to look no further than Ali & Co. Located on Josiah Tongogara Street, Masvingo’s principal shopping artery, the shop is packed-solid with cloth and sewing accessories suitable for pretty-well every conceivable taste, budget and purpose. Judging from the number of customers who were […]

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