Hip Hip Hooray! Long will I live!
I’ve rarely celebrated my birthday – but now I’m turning 61 and I was born in ’61. Nice …
For the occasion, I’m doing what you often see happening to people of a certain age: I’m going to ask for money for a good cause. I have chosen the (portuguese) Liga Nacional contra a Fome – the National League against Hunger.
A few figures: the minimum wage here is €625 per month, an average wage around 11-1200, the minimum pension is just above €200 (which involves fairly difficult calculations), but you pay about the same in the supermarket as in the north of Europe.
I think – not covered by any political ideology – that everyone in the world is entitled to the five basic conditions of existence: water, food, a roof over your head, education, health care.
Thank God we have plenty of water here (we are in fierce negotiations with the weather gods, for you guys to get that again!)
There are not many homeless people, because in Portugal there has been a buying culture for a long time (so people pass on their house to the next generation) and the “socialist” government ensures that everyone has a place (fungal or not). Education and before and after school care is in principle free, except for the books. The SNS guarantees that you can all go to the doctor (it can only take a little longer if you can’t go to the private clinic), but there are still plenty of people who can’t make it.
During the crisis of 2013 (the one of 2008 – took a while to get here), people couldn’t send their children to school because they didn’t have money for clothes or for books or for lunch.
Schools offer free breakfasts and lunches, especially in the big cities, because then they know for sure that the children have eaten. In the past, this was even cooked at the school by women-in-aprons. I’ve seen that change.
Anyway. Everyone knows these stories by heart. Until boredom.
But you know what? Let’s help each other out, then everybody’s life gets better
Transfer a fiver or a tenner. You don’t feel it, but where it lands, it is felt!
To make things easier, here’s the account number: PT50 0010 0000 7655 7670 00136. Liga Nacional contra a Fome. Adres: Avenida Fernão de Magalhães, 3548 sala 20. Postcode: 4350-163. Plaats: Porto.You feel good about yourself, just like the people who have a full stomach for a change.
Just like me now. Hello! 61 of ’61. Nice …
Much love, see you next week.
We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal.
A big step, especially with two small children.
You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.
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