Thursday, July 26, 2007


Dr. Michael S. Gerber, author of Sweet Teeth and Loose Bowels: The Adventures of an International Aid Worker and a resident of Portimao recently returned from a visit to the Philippines. Following are some of his comments about the trip:

“I just returned from a short one-week visit to the Philippines. Since 1999, I have been a member of the Board of Trustees of an international charity, IIRR, the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction and for the past five years, have served as Chairman of its Board. IIRR is headquartered on a beautiful 54-acre campus in Silang, Cavite Province, about a one-hour drive south of Manila.

It has been said that getting there is half the fun. Well, that doesn’t work if you live in southern Portugal and have to travel half way around the world. Reaching Manila means catching a 6:15 am flight from Faro airport to Lisbon, then connecting to London’s Heathrow, followed by a third flight of 12-13 hours from London to Hong Kong, and finally getting on the fourth plane for the last leg to Manila. About 30 hours after leaving home, you touch down in the Philippines. Fortunately, the connections are convenient – no more than about two and a half hours between each flight. Even more fortunate, my suitcase arrived at the same time I did, also having made all four connections.

Returning to the Philippines is always a happy occasion, having first served there with my family as Peace Corps volunteers in the early 1970s. The purpose of this trip was to participate in an international conference that IIRR was hosting on the subject of rural enterprise development. It was my privilege as Chair to make the opening remarks and introduce the keynote speaker, former President of the Philippines, Corazon Aquino. After her husband, Senator Benigno Aquino, was assassinated in 1983, Mrs. Aquino led the opposition that eventually ended the dictatorship of then President Ferdinand E. Marcos . She was elected as Asia’s first woman President and served from 1986-1992.

The only sad note was that with the close of these meetings, my term as Chairman of IIRR’s Board came to an end. I will, however, remain involved with the organization as a Special Advisor for Africa. I have also agreed to take on another project, helping a group of bright young people from Mexico start a new NGO that will try to help alleviate poverty among the rural poor in that country.

Seven days later, at about two o’clock in the morning, I was home in Portimao. With delays and bad weather, the 30-hour trip turned into 37 hours. But I was back on the tennis court by 10:00 am the same morning. The only problem is that with jet lag, you usually see three tennis balls instead of one and it is a real challenge to figure out which one to hit.”

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Just before midnight...

At around 11:30pm we decided to open the door to let some cool air into the shop. Instead we had a rush of people coming in. The road outside is poorly lit so it looked as if a crowd suddenly materialised before our eyes.

Kids, of course, were impatient and with half an hour to go I was happy I printed the "Harry Potter: puzzles & quizzes" from Bloomsbury's web site. This kept them busy until 00:01.

I managed to take pictures while everyone was waiting but didn't get the chance to get any of the crowd with their much waited "Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows" copies . As you can imagine, after midnight it was hard to keep up...but more photos will follow from the "Witches & Wizards Breakfast" at the Hotel Garbe.
If you purchased your copy of "Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows" from our shop while on holiday in the Algarve, please send us your photos holding your book to: Photos will be published in our blog.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Witches & Wizards Breakfast

Join us at the Hotel Garbe, Bar Boa Vista on July 21st, from 9am - 1pm

Buy your "Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows" and treat yourself to a wicked breakfast

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

==Special Breakfast Menu ==

Buterbeer Milkshakes - 3,50€

Liquorice Wands - 0,50€

Calming Teas - 2,00€

Cauldron Cake - 1,50€

Pumpkin Pasties - 2,00€

Coffee with milk - 2,00€

Fresh Orange Juice - 2,80€

Toast with butter - 2,50€

Hot chocolate - 2,00€

Pancake with honey or lemon and sugar - 2,50€

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

**Be among the first 20 people to buy your copy of the seventh Harry Potter book and win a Genuine Feather Quill.

**Participate in the Harry Potter Look-alike contest - the best will win a Harry Potter Replica Wand.

**Book also available at 00:01, July 21st, from the shop and during the day from 10am.