Tag Archives: postaday

Weekly photo challenge: Street Life – Lisbon

Lisbon, Portugal was built in a hilly area on the banks of the Tagus River. It’s a wonderfully cosmopolitan city, vibrant, full of contrasts.

Lisbon street life is renowned for its vibrancy – I much prefer wondering the streets of Lisbon absorbing the vibe rather than spend the day visiting museums.

This street, in the Príncipe Real area of Lisbon, is so incredibly steep. My phone camera does not do justice to its steepness. There are many such steep roads, roller-coastering through the city. Look up into the distance and try to see it.

Rua de São Marçal, Lisbon
Rua de São Marçal, Lisbon

Another feature of Lisbon I enjoy are the cafes. They are all over the place. Coffee and pastries are delicious. Lunch times bustle with office workers having a bite to eat. We stopped at the sidewalk cafe in the photo below, in Rua Augusta, just off the Rossio in the centre of Lisbon.

Sidewalk cafe, Rua Augusta, Lisbon
Sidewalk cafe, Rua Augusta, Lisbon

Lisbon in summer is a magical place to visit. There are festivals, music in the streets, and it’s hot. There’s movement and flow and a constant buzz. Just walking from street corner to street corner uncovers a panoramic vista of the Castelo de São Jorge, or a view down to the Tagus River, or…a band playing jazz. This is what we found in the Chiado, a very popular shopping district. In 1988 the Chiado area was burned to the ground. I remember walking through the burned out buildings a year after the fire, before the renovations started. It took 10 years to renovate the area. No visit to Lisbon is complete without a visit to this area.

Jazz musicians at the Chiado, Lisbon
Jazz musicians at the Chiado, Lisbon

Wonderful Wonderbag!

Some time ago I bought a Wonderbag and what a wonder bag it’s turned out to be!

Last night, during Earth Hour, Ché (Husband) and I ate Kitchri cooked in the Wonderbag. I cooked the lentils, spinach and rice for 15 minutes on the stove top at about noon. It immediately went into the Wonderbag, nice and snug, and at 5pm I opened it to reveal perfectly cooked and delicious Kitchri!

The Wonderbag is the invention of South African Sarah Collins (Top 10 Finalist, Most Powerful Women Entrepeneurs, Fortune Magazine 2013). It’s a slow cooker minus the electricity.

When rolling blackouts started in 2008 she remembered how her grandmother used to put cushions around her pots to keep the food cooking after it had been removed from the fuel source. So she came up with the Wonderbag.

The wonder of the Wonderbag is that it’s extremely useful for communities in Africa and other continents who battle against odds to cook food using wood and kerosene stoves. Apart from the danger of using these fuel sources in small huts and shacks, they also add to  environmental pollution. You can read about the Wonderbag story on her website.

Anything you’d cook in a slow cooker or crock pot is ideal for cooking in the Wonderbag.

The impact of the Wonderbag is wide. She has some interesting infographics on the site. Here are some of the impacts of wide-spread cooking with the Wonderbag:

  • Saving of energy, water and time, simply by making cooking more efficient
  • In developing countries, the basic need to feed a family has huge challenges:  Staple diets require long cooking times, yet there is little access to energy and water
  • Lack of clean fuel means using charcoal or tree-wood for cooking
  • Cutting down trees results in deforestation as communities quickly use the tree wood around them, digging up the roots when desperate
  • Deforestation leads to foraging  further afield, which is done by women and also girls, often taken out of school
  • Foraging as far as 5-10 km per day leaves women open to violence
  • Poverty will not end if girls don’t have time for school, women spend 4-6 hours of their day cooking, and the environment is ravaged

The above points are taken from the Wonderbag website – go on over to the site to see the full list of environmental, social and economic impacts and challenges, especially in the developing world, that the proliferation of the Wonderbag hopes to address.

Click here for recipes on Pinterest.

The Wonderbag is available from the Wonderbag site and Amazon.com.

Note: I wrote this post because I believe in the Wonderbag. I have used the Wonderbag, been astounded at the results, and am a fan. I was not paid to write this post.