“Olá” everyone, and especially you who are reading this article. You’re reading the 3rd one, and today we’ll talk about nature and some of the Madeiran’s levadas vegetation.
First I want to tell you an experience that I had, in a few words. I lost my grandmother a week before Christmas. I discovered that It’s not worth it, going far from the city center to find peace and calm. Not going to Camara de Lobos or Calheta or Santa Cruz (names I remember so far, of villages around Funchal in Madeira. They are not all here quoted, of course). Non! Santa Catarina Park is a great place in downtown Funchal, just down Casino and Quinta Vigia. You can find waterfalls and grass, and palm trees, so that’s very peaceful and relaxful, I love it! If you want to read a book, enjoy a calm place, you’ll hear only the sound of the waterfalls, so that’s the place you have to be.
To continue let’s talk about some piece of flora, and a bit of fauna too, about the locations of the Levadas. Let’s remember that flora is dealing with flowers and plants and fauna with animals.
First Flora. The one I prefer is definitely Paradise Bird, or Bird of Paradise, or “Oiseaux de Paradis”. A few different colors depending on the one you consider, but the red-orange, the green, the blue are the colors reminding us that It’s coming from Ocean/Sea and Sunny/Tropical weather, like Madeira Island for example!
“Strelitzia nicolaï” is another Paradise Bird, looks like It has been genetically touched because It’s an Albinos one, but why not. “Argyranthemum pinnatifidum ssp.pinnatifidum” is a white petal and yellow heart, looking like daisies. It’s larger but It is the equivalent in tropical areas I guess.
Then Fauna. We are all more or less fascinated by lizards. In Madeira Teira “dugesii” is well known, as well as in Mainland Portugal, because It’s an endemic species of the country, in Gray or black.
“Fringilla coelebs ssp. Maderensis” is a specie of birds, finches, endemic not of Portugal but of Madeira.
And there’s one I can’t not speaking about it, It’s scarabs in Madeira. At first, when It was my beginning here on the Island, my roommate took me in the streets to show me important places in the city center. And we saw some specimens of this insect. He told me something that may absolutely be true, that scarabs are full of eggs, so I need to watch out not to scratch one, because I may not want a scarabs population in my bedroom.
So I hope you’ll see one of them or even all of them in the next few days of your stay in Madeira. Watch your steps! See you next month dear reader. I’ll tell you about a very important King of Portugal, King Manuel I!
Augustin COCHET, French (from Lyon area), with knowledge in Food Process and Food Industries. In studies reorientation: to Theater and Tourism, Human sciences; Passionate of books/magazines, new languages, food, and culture.
Erasmus+ is a programme of the European Commission embracing the fields of education, training, youth, and sports during the period 2014-2020. One of the major aspects is the cooperation between the different fields where the programme acts, hence contributing to a diverse and rich Europe.
Amongst the several goals of the programme, the following are prioritised: the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy, including the headline education target; the aims of the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020), including the corresponding benchmarks; the sustainable development of Partner Countries in the field of higher education; the overall goals of the renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field (2010-2018); the objective of developing the European dimension in sport, in particular grassroots sport, in line with the EU work plan for sport and the promotion of European values in accordance with Article 2 of the Treaty on the European Union.
In order to achieve these goals, the Erasmus+ has several action policies. The Key Action 1 (KA1) is directed towards the mobility of people; Key Action 2 (KA2) for the cooperation for innovation and the interchange of good experiences; and Key Action 3, which is for the support of reformation policies.
Since 1991 the University of Madeira Students’ Union has developed a wide incentive policy for voluntary work. In 2013 the Students’ Union started the process to receive, send and coordinate Erasmus+ projects of the European Voluntary Service, in order to have a larger influence in the volunteering field. The Union received its first volunteer withing the ambit of a KA1 project in 2014. Many efforts have been done to allow young people from Madeira to take part in several initiatives in Europe, as well as propose several projects allowing young people from several countries to work in the projects of the Students’ Union of the University of Madeira. The main goal of the voluntary work is the contribution of the volunteers to the communities and places they will be staying, being their work not rewarded with payment.
We believe that the European Voluntary Service is a mechanism full of experiences, allowing the approved candidates to have the privilege of taking part in these projects and benefit the places and communities where these volunteers will be staying.
Since 2013, the University of Madeira Students’ Union has received volunteers that have collaborated in several activities and initiatives. Besides being able to enjoy a wonderful experience which will contribute to their personal and professional growth, they are able to contribute in a unique way to the community in which they are inserted and to join dozens of volunteers from the University of Madeira.