The recent workshop continued work that Culhane had done with the team at Tamera in 2011 when we held a Global Campus workshop to build Tamera's first kitchen-connected Solar CITIES style modified ARTI (Indian floating drum) digester, a delightful living fire breathing dragon now named "Holda". Holda is a 4 cubic meter work-horse (play-dragon) of a biogas system fed on kitchen scraps who (who, not which, since she is alive) has now been in continuous and successful operation for nearly four years, going from a crawling baby to a running toddler.
A year after our Envisaj Mercy team went on the "mother of all biogas tours", a faculty-led service learning expedition to Israel and Palestine, visiting Eco-gas Isreal and the Palestinian Wildlife Society and introduced our Solar CITIES IBC/ARTI hybrid biodigester to the Green Apprenticeship Program in Kibbutz Lotan, we found ourselves on a "student-led" service learning expedition in the Dominican Republic where several of our Envisaj Mercy club members have family.
Situations like these are a daily occurrence in the South American 6-million-inhabitant metropolis. Especially the World Cup and the upcoming Olympic Games have intensified the conflict between the Brazilian government and the drug cartels ruling the favelas. In fact, the local residents appreciate some of their government’s more recent concessions like the garbage disposal or public transportation. However, what they appreciate even more is the form of personal independency that they managed to preserve over the years. Simply calling the favelas a slum would not do justice to them.