I came up with this recipe off the top of my head one night when I didn’t know what else to cook. It’s a pan Indian-Morrocan-Carribean-Florida thingy….
Ingredients: couscous, tomato, spinach, garam masala, garlic, garlic powder, green pepper, kosher salt, lime juice, olive oil, onions, onion powder, chicken
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Rising Prices Threatens Food Supply of Isolated Tropical Islands
Rice has become the mainstay of the communities living in the far northern, isolated tropical islands of Vanuatu. They have from generation to generation lived off the produce of the land. However, in recent years, their diet has been increasingly supplemented by imported rice.
Distribution to the remote islands is via the inter-island ships that arrive at random times. Rice supplies can get very low waiting for the ships to arrive. Provided they do not run aground on the coral reefs.
Now the price of rice is forcing these people to rethink their food supply. In Port Vila, the capital of Vanuatu, the price of rice has gone from VT 3150 (US$ 34) per 25 kgs bag to Vt 4100 (US$ 44.3) in one week. For the remote islanders, the additional shipping cost is putting rice way beyond their meagre economic reach.
These are communities that have a ‘no-cash economy’. They provide produce in exchange for services, and occasionally sell a few items to the infrequent tourists that come through.
Pentecost Island recently saw the closure of a secondary school with the students sent home, due to a lack of food. The school can no longer able feed the students from the school fees. The cost of rice – the staple food – has become prohibitive and the school gardens cannot keep up with demand.
Little is done to help the advancement of the youth of these remote islands when their stomachs are empty and the schools are closed. To gain the knowledge and skills required for the 21st century is a struggle for these disadvantaged children.
Their primary education in the villages is undertaken squatting on their haunches at solid wooden benches at the end of the village.
They share pages from an exercise book to have something to write on. Pencils are broken into three to be able to write. Items such as blackboards and chalk and writing paper are treated as if they are pure gold.
At the end of primary schooling the students sit an entrance exam that allows them to go on to high school. That is if their parents can raise the school fees. Many of the students, in this no-cash economy, actually get to see the inside of a high school classroom.
Education in Vanuatu is not free. The dreadful consequences of this are:
o only 55.8% of Vanuatu kids will get to grade 6;
o of those only 18.2% will go to high school ;
o 26% will never go to school at all.
The Vanuatu government admitted in late 2007 that it did not have the resources or the finances to provide education beyond the main islands. Education was not seen as a priority.
Rick and Wendy Tendys, the founders of YouMe Support Foundation, are raffling Seachange Lodge (a private holiday home, plus 6 luxury holiday apartments) on the Internet, to raise funds for non-repayable high school education grants for the children of the outer islands of Vanuatu. This is a World First, Blue Moon Opportunity that will change someone’s life, as well as the lives of these children.
The only salvation for these distant communities is for their children to become educated and gain jobs. Then the price of rice, even, though it is high, will not prove to be a problem to the community in general. You can help make a real difference in the lives of these people.
Dr Wendy Stenberg-Tendys and her husband are CEOs of YouMe Support Foundation, providing high school education grants for children who will never have the opportunity to have an education without outside assistance.
This is your once in a life time Blue Moon Opportunity to win your own private holiday home, plus 6 luxury holiday units, and assist these children at the same time. Check it out at: http://winaresort.com
Tropical Vacation Like no Other
So you are planning a trip to the Philippines. You have made the right choice because the country is one of the leading tourism hotspots in Asia. If you think such trip will cost a lot, you are mistaken. With cheap flights to Manila, its active and beautiful capital, you will enjoy a vacation without spending too much.
Famous for the title “Pearl of the Orient,” the Philippines boasts of cheap shopping centers, interesting historical sites and exquisite beach locations. These attractions lure in millions of local and foreign tourists every year. It’s no wonder tourism is a major contributor in the country’s economy.
By getting cheap tickets to manila, you will understand why they say “It is more fun in the Philippines.” This small yet prosperous country is an image of beauty and international pride. It houses the famous Puerto Princesa Underground River, which was recently included in the “New Seven Wonders of Nature.” It is also home to world boxing icon Manny Pacquiao. The beauty of Filipino women also gained popularity from winning various international beauty pageants.
By visiting the country, you will be surprised how cheap lodging in Manila can be. There are various hotels with different amenities to suit your budget. Restaurants also abound in Manila. You can choose from restaurants offering excellent Japanese, Chinese, French, Italian, and Filipino dishes. With affordable menus, you will never go hungry while spending your vacation.
With your cheap flights to Manila, you can even give yourself a treat by shopping in the country’s shopping destinations. Have a literal shop-till-you-drop experience at the Mall of Asia (MoA).
With an area of 19.5 hectares, it is one of Asia’s biggest malls. A day is not enough to visit every stall and shop in the mall. If you want to test your skills in bargaining, the Divisoria Night Market is just the place for you. You can find virtually any item in Divisoria. You can choose from clothes, decors, gift items, and many more. Greenhills shopping center is another famous location where can find hand-woven souvenirs and decors, clothes, and cheap gadgets. These items are available at incredibly low prices and you can even get discounts if you buy in bulk.
A day of visiting some historical sites will let you appreciate the unique culture and history of this Southeast Asian country. Some of the places you must not miss are the Luneta Park, The National Museum, and Nayong Pilipino. If you are coming with your kids, make sure to include the Manila Ocean Park, Star City, and Enchanted kingdom on your itinerary.
You haven’t seen the best of the Philippines if you don’t visit Manila’s neighboring provinces such as Batangas, Laguna, Rizal, and more. Take advantage of your cheap tickets to Manila by basking in the different attractions in these provinces. There are many beach locations, interesting industries, and other attractions to check out.
Filipinos are also uniquely friendly and hospitable to visitors. You will get to prove this through your cheap flights to Manila.
This is perfect for an outdoor cookout when it’s really hot, it’s cool and refreshing and goes great with grilled food. Prep:20m
Ingredients: banana, cherries, eggs, orange, papaya, salad greens, strawberries, sugar, green onion, kiwi, salt, mustard powder, white wine vinegar
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Explore the Tropical Sea by Scuba Diving
If ever there was an image that sums up the magic of diving, it is that of a coral reef. Although coral reefs are the most famous feature of tropical seas, these warm clear waters have much more to offer, such as mangrove swamps, sea-grass beds, and vast tracts of open ocean.
Tropical waters occupy the region within the “20°C isotherm”—the irregular hand of water north and south of the equator that seldom drops below 68°F (20°C). Although undeniably appealing to the diver, they actually present a less attractive environment for marine life. The warm equatorial sun heats the upper layers of the water column, creating a marked temperature difference between the surface water and deeper colder water. Such temperature stratification prevents mixing of the water column, so nutrients are not passed up from deeper water. Marine animals and plants have therefore had to adapt and evolve numerous strategies to cope with the lack of nutrients in the water around them. Perhaps the most remarkable of these is the coral reef. Primary production—the formation of organic compounds from inorganic material is up to 100 times greater in coral reefs than in open tropical waters, and although they cover only 0.2 percent of the ocean environment, they are home to 25 – 30 percent of all fish species.
The reefs of the Indo-Pacific are the richest marine environments on Earth. Their beautiful structure and bright colors, combined with the splendor and variety of animals that inhabit them, make reefs irresistible to divers, and it is no coincidence that many of the world’s best dive sites tire found on coral reefs.
Tropical waters are also home to mangrove swamps and sea grass beds, both arguably as important as coral reefs in the overall health of tropical seas.
There are 10 species of mangroves – tropical trees and shrubs that grow in shallow and intertidal coastal waters – and they form flooded forests that act as nurseries for various reef and open-water fish species. The 50 species of sea grass form “meadows’ in shallow waters that are feeding grounds and nurseries for many fish species. The eradication of sea grass beds and mangrove swamps around the world is a real concern, with undeniable impacts on coastal ecology as animal populations are denied crucial areas for tire growth and development of their young.
Reefs Under Threat
Coral reefs worldwide are under intense pressure. The continued development of coastal regions has caused silty water to run into the seas, smothering these delicate systems, and, coupled with the damage caused by destructive fishing methods, it is thought that up to 90 percent of reels have been impacted by humankind. There is also evidence that rising water temperatures are causing a phenomenon known as bleaching, which is fatal to reefs. This occurs when the coral polyps eject the minute algae that sustain them as a response to stress.
Diving a reef can be the highlight of a diver’s life, but we have a very real responsibility when exploring reefs not to harm or disrupt them in any way. A considerate approach is vital if we are to preserve these wonderfully vibrant ecosystems.
Looking for the best Bali diving options before your doing your next scuba courses in Bali? Check the links in this article.