Beached Whales and Great White Papers

August 18, 2009

On my run this morning, instead of the usual net of surfers at posto 7, there were surfing lessons.  I was reminded how certain sports have very awkward beginnings and take a while (or forever) to get to gracefulness.  Skiing is one of them, snowboarding-the first few tries are painful and unattractive, and it takes some effort before you are gliding in clean arcs and beautiful slopes.  Surfing, I discovered as I watched a fairly heavy, very white woman a little older than me paddle out on a board, is the same.  Those first lessons are terribly unattractive (and I felt bad for the lithe, super tan instructor who was trying to keep her on her board).  It made me realize, as I stood among the parents taking digital videos of their children slippery and wobbling in the ocean, that I don’t to learn how to surf in Ipanema, where there are people around all the time watching, just in case I look pale and awkward paddling out.

From white caps and whales to white papers–I’m beginning to write a white paper on urban roof gardens in Brazil–how they could work to supply food, improve the environment in favelas, provide a project to occupy kids.  First I need to learn about white papers (any insights, please share your wisdom in my comments section or email me) and then I need to research urban roof gardens (again, wisdom welcome). From the outset, I think this could be an incredibly cool thing.


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