Thursday, March 26, 2015


New job; induction time in Dun Loaghaire (to pronounce Don Leerie -don't ask, just say it like that), on the outskirds of Dublin. I had some hours to spend in the city, walking around and stopping for a pint or two. It's really a beautiful place and the people are very friendly. Got offered a couple of Guinness whilst sketching people at the counter. Good vibes.  
The city, the water, the buildings, the people, the beer, my kind of thing. 
I got to visit the Guinness storehouse and graduated as a perfect Guinness pourer. Haven't added that skill on my CV yet. I need to update it as soon as possible, one never know really what recruiters are after these days.

To top it up, my sister came to see me for 2 evenings, which is really cool since we don't meet too often, her living in Belgium and me in Harare.

What I do in airports.

I had the opportunity to travel earlier this month. The plane ride took me from Harare to Addis, to Rome, to Madrid, to Almeria and finally to Dublin. 
A long journey. 
A lots of movies and some sketching of people.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Working in Maputo with Handicap International

In February I had the opportunity to do the evaluation of one of Handicap International's project in Mozambique, about the inclusion of people with disabilities in the education system.
I got to spend some time with incredible people and hear their stories, hear their motivations, dreams.
People with disability are badly discriminated in Mozambique: lack of access, constant insults, they are made responsible for their disability, are frequently abused and often hidden and locked at home.
Handicap's team, with the government are changing that attitude.
They go door to door, chat with the people, give them motivation, strength and possibilities. Bring people to school or literacy classes, have access to welfare services, health care or counselling.
All the things that maybe are economically irrelevant, and certainly not priorities or profit making. They actually cost money. And are not sustainable as such. Economically.
But what a difference it makes in terms of happinness, of community building, of relationships and self esteem.
Best investment ever.
They make life better. And that is priceless.    

Lady Carlota, a childhood spend in an institution, now living with her toddler and another youth she met in the institution. He was probably not looking good enough for his family who preferred to dump him. She is his family now, he is hers. 
She is just amazing, a chatty smile full of good spirit and excellent fun. She introduced me to the people she met in her community, the people she is visiting and their families. She know each one, their stories, their dreams, their frustrations and joys. 
She is a beautiful great soul. 
I have met others like her, just could not sketch them, Maria, Bernardo, Esmeralda, David, Samito, Innocencia, etc. etc. 


A couple of sketches done in a literacy class. The teacher earns 20 usd/month (a fifth of the minimum wage). They are in charge of the shortfalls of the formal education system. In their class: the drop out kids, illiterate adults and people with disability (mental, sensorial and physical).

I am always amazed that in the worst situations, one always find the greatest bits of humanity. It is truely in the worst that one can experience and live beauty.
The people working with street kids, abused children, those who lost everything,... are amazing. They are showing so much hope, and really believe in the goodness of humankind, its capacity to do better, to expand boundaries and go beyond differences. I am blessed to meet so many of them with my job. You see nightmares made real, and meet the most beautiful people.

Colour Speke: the video!

That is what my wife is up to when she wakes up in the morning: she make things more beautiful than they were, challenge certainties, build bridges and transform places and their peoples.
The vid is mostly about the painting of the street. The project also build and set up benches, selective bins, solar lightings, photoluminescent glow paint and rehabilitated gardens, putting huge animal sculpture in which plants are growing.
If ever in Harare, go to town, see it for yourself.


Sunday, March 1, 2015


I was checking last month some of the portraits I did of the kids these last years and realized how much they have changed and grown. So had to do dem face dem again. 
On the other page, they wrote and drew things that they want to do this year, or that they like. I like having them participating in the books. My folks always made elaborate photoalbums keeping memories of our daily life the way a journal does. I don't really do photos. I feel that the thousands of digital pics made by cellphones, cameras, are staying hidden in a machine. I like to spend time opening something and having to tell a story, not just zapping. It is about the time spend drawing, the time spend opening and sharing. 
The kids love to draw on the pages of the sketchbook, and many are filled with their impressions of  the holidays, chameleons, dragons, hearts and I Love You graffittis. I love to have them in these pages, it makes it real.