Even in pandemic times, there are many things happening during one day. Furthermore, the days continue passing by quickly. I believe if one day I am able to harness the challenge to cope with time, I can say I succeed in one of the biggest quests in life. Anyway, this post is not about time, but about paddling at Kuuskoski.
Thursday May 21 was a public holiday in Finland, the Ascension day. In this day, Mikko and I decided to go paddling as the weather was perfect: sunny and “warm” (note: warm can be a relative to interpretations depending the context). I didn’t review how warm was it, however for this post I researched this information and according to the Finnish Meteorological Institute and should have been around 13C, as we left late in the afternoon
The follow up question after taking the decision to go paddling was: where to go? . To give answer to this question, Mikko shared with me a map (Side note: this map is well done by the the Foundation of the river Aura). The selection was: Kuuskoski.
We reached our destination, approx 40km from Turku center. The first sign we saw was the placate from http://koskipirtti.com/
Due to the current regulations for covi-19, we were not able to visit the the museum (behind the yellow house of the photo above) as it was closed. Next time we will visit it. What called my attention was the private home next to the museum, which is BEAUTIFUL.
At first I thought it was a church. However, a sign down a road (next photo) indicated that it is a private property. Nevertheless, I got many questions about this unique construction.
The next decision was: which direction to paddle ? We had two options up stream or down stream. Down stream was a family already enjoying the water, as you can perceive in the photo below. With this photo serves as evidence that in Finland to keep a distance between people to avoid covid-19 transmission is relatively easy 😉
While searching for our start point for paddling, we got a closer view to the rapids” . Note the following photo with my shadow 🙂
We decided to paddle upstream. Thus, a large rock was our departure spot.
In total we paddled approx 10km. I can’t believe it!
The following screenshot indicates the point where we return from our paddling. Where the Jalkalanjoki intersects the Aura river.
That was approx 5kms in one direction and 5 kms back. The river was calm and beautiful.
For the human eyes and ears, it is undeniably we are in the middle of spring. Many trees still do not have leafs, at the same time the “lemon-green” starts to be noticeable in the landscape, and one can listen birds singing. This is, unquestionably, a beautiful time.
As we advance paddling the landscape changes. The naked tree photographed below was magnificent. The photo does not transmit its grandeur.
Suddenly, one could see more spruce trees as we can observe below (I think those are spruces, I need to ask).
Of course Risen Bear was present all the time 🙂
In the next photo has the purpose to show a bird house hanging from a pole, which in my opinion was a big bird house with a large hole. Wondering who could be the tenants of such a house? (my knowledge of birds is literally nonexistent).
The following bridge also call my attention. Wondering if I can find information about it. Apparently is a wooden bridge, and with all the calmness of the water look alluring to my eyes.
A closer view to the bridge.
A photo after we just cross it, underneath in our way back.
In this trip I called my mom, who has been inside her flat since mid-march, with the intention to bring her along and let her see the beauty and calmness of nature. Also I attempted that she listened to the birds. However the build-in mic of a mobile phone does not have the quality to capture the birds’ signing. Something to look for: a good mic. I hope she was able to enjoy some of the landscape.
In our way back the calmness was more evident and the birds were louder, maybe indicating us that it was time to go to sleep.
Getting close to our departure spot.
It was a wonderful and recharging time. No wonder Finns are happy, quality time in nature is unbeatable.
A personal wish within the current covid-19 disruption is that more people increase their interest in science and philosophy in addition to art and culture. These are the foundations of our development and innovation.
We need to learn to make questions and look for answers. In addition to be open to hear and offer constructive feedback.
By now, maybe some of you might be wondering: why can’t we gather? (e.g. restaurants, theaters, classrooms, concerts ) Well, the following video gives an insight of a potential reason behind this rational.
I really enjoy playing. A Game, for me, is more than a game system. Each game, in my perspective, includes many contextual aspects which can be summarize in the following dimensions: environmental, socio-cultural and personal (see my dissertation for more) . However, relax, I am not writing an academic reflection here. This post is about games I am playing with my family during this confinement. 😉
The purpose of this post is:
to share board games which one can play in the distance, and
to invite others to share ideas of other games that can be played with players located in different locations, at the same time and with a strong physical presence in the game.
Before I start describing the games we have played so far, let me specify our constrains: We are 4 players in 3 households. We are distributed as follows:
One player in Mexico. This player is a lovely lady of +70 years old)
Two players in Germany. One of these players is 11 years old
One player in Finland.
Our communication set up is: we have a group in whatsapp, and through a video-call at an agreed time the game session starts. 😉
Before covid-19, each one of these players have their own group of friends to play and we gather only to talk. However, during this confinement, we want to play together and laugh a bit together. [side note: I am a lucky person, because my family like to play games 😉 and many of us have the same games at home 😉 facilitating things] . We do not want to be play games which are only digital for the following reasons:
(i) we want to see each other,
(ii) we have different ICT skills and technological equipment, in addition to different digital games skills.
(iii) we like to have a “tangible” aspect in the game
We look for games that allow us to feel confident to play together, and we can fix individually if something doesn’t work. So far we have played the following 5 games, which I am presenting here.
GAME #1: Loteria Mexicana
My niece proposed the first game in this “confinement” series: “La Loteria Mexicana”. All the players of this group know how to play it, and all of us have the game. Then it has been easy to play it and works excellent. Below is a video explaining the game.
If you do not have a “loteria mexicana” I assume playing bingo might work as well. 😉
If you know how to play it and one of the players have the cards, then you only have do download the board from internet. There are many board available online.
We play la loteria mexicana in confinement as follows: one of us “sings” the loteria, while the other players fill the boards. It plays exactly as if we were physically together.
GAME #2: BASTA
This is a common game we played as children in Mexico in the 80s. Maybe earlier, I have no idea about this. The following video explains how to play the game in English:
As with the loteria mexicana (previous game), this game plays exactly as if we were in the same room. One player starts to go through the alphabet silently, while a another player indicates when this player should stop. Next, the player who was stopped let us know in which letter was the last one he thought. With this letter, all player start writing words, that begin with this letter in different categories which have been predefined. In our group of players, we are using the following categories:
Flower or Fruit
Country or City
Once a player finalizes the whole categories, says “BASTA”, and counts to 10. This is a time that allows the other players to finalize their writing. Once the time is up, we review the words writing and give scores for each one. If no-ones wrote this word, receives 10 points, if 2 have the same word is 5 points, if 3 have the same word is 3 points and if all have the same word is 1 point. It is 0 points if you didn’t write a word.
It has been fun, and we are LEARNING words constantly! 🙂 Note: it is not valid to look words up in internet.
GAME #3: HECKMECK
Another game we have played and it works very well is Heckmeck.
In our case 2 household have this game physically. For the third household, the player made her own “domino” pieces in paper as we indicate which pieces are needed. The game is played with 6 dices, which have a worm instead of a number 6. Hence, the player without the original game uses 6 normal dices and the number 6 is the worm.
As the game is played by turns, each one of us follow the game at home. Also one of us broadcast in her turn the general board to keep everybody in tune.
NOTE: it is appreciated when in one’s turn we rotate the camera of the phone to see the result of throwing the dices. We trust the player, it also makes you feel more “present” when you see the result of the action. Hence to have a smartphone where one can easily switch the front and back camera comes handy in here.
A screenshot of our game. Below showing the current situation, after the German playing is finalizing her turn. Mexican playing observing the situation
GAME #4: YANTZEEN
This game also works well. All of us know how to play it, and we have the same “list”. Each time is our turn, we try to “turn” the camera of the phone, so the others also see what the player have through.
GAME #5: TOSS UP!
It is the latest we have played. The 3 households have the dices making possible to play this game. 😉
Screenshot of our game play. In this case, Finland was starting the game while Germany was switching her camera back to the players, but i do not have permission to show the face of the players, so we keep it in this way 😉
Based on this experience, I assume that:
turn-based games work well for players in this type of set up.
games that have dices as a main game component are easy to “synchronize” while the players are in the distance.
it is important to keep a strategic aspect in the game to avoid to be only a “chance” game, as we know already, and it is important to addressed when we are playing in the distance.
Also I am discovering the need to design games for players who are located in different locations, and want to play together the same game at the same time without being this a video game. Will be this a new type of games? something I need to reflect further.
I will keep reporting about what games are we exploring in this configuration, and maybe even we will even design new games.
If you have any idea of games we should try, in this setup, please do not hesitate to let us know! We are open to explore more games! 🙂
A través de ésta publicación quiero pedir consejos para cuidar a mi begoña, y sobre todo motivarla a florecer 🙂 . Antes de continuar, permítanme compartir mi situación personal en el mundo de la jardiniería:
No tengo el conocimiento ni la experiencia en el cuidando de plantas.
Es muy frecuente que las plantas que adopto, o siembro, se me mueran 🙁 aunque trato de evitarlo.
Vivo en un departamento, así que solo puedo adoptar plantas en sean capaces de vivir en macetas.
En invierno, en donde vivo, los días son muy oscuros. Por ejemplo, la luz puede salir alrededor de las 9am y aprox. a las 4pm ya es de noche. En el verano casi no hay noche. Así que no puedo tener plantas que necesitan mucha luz todo el año. Aunque tengo unos focos que dicen que les ayuda, pero realmente no lo sé.
Ahora voy a presentar el caso de mi begoña. Cualquier consejo lo agradezco de antemano. 🙂
En 15 de abril de 2019, me compré esta hermosa begoña:
Begoña adoptada en 2019
Esta hermosa begoña la coloqué en una área del departamento que normalmente tiene luz todo el año. Al mismo tiempo, nunca le llega luz directa del sol, ya que está lejos de cualquier ventana. Al parecer a la begoña le gustó el lugar, y siguió creciendo y dando flores. De hecho la peluqueé en mas de una ocasión:
El 6 de julio, la cambié a una maceta más grande y la peluqueé.
Begoña pasando por sesión de belleza
Aún que la cambié de maceta, aún floreó. Ya fué poco, y yo asumo que es porque ya estaba terminando el verano. La siguiente foto es del la nueva maceta volvieron a salir una flores, no tantas, pero ya era el final del verano. Foto agosto 2 septiembre 7
Begoña floreando despues del su sesión de belleza en agosto.
Sobrevivió el invierno. Sus hojas siguen creciendo.
Begoña el 6 de julio del 2019
Begoña el 10 de abril del 2020
Lo que me inquieta es que no ha dado ninguna flor hasta ahorita. ¿Alguna sugerencia para motivar a mi begoña a florecer?
This is an honest question that I have: What kind of world do we want after covid-19?. In my opinion, all of us should reflect upon this question. We must invest quality time to think in our answer and make it a reality. This is a question that concerns each one of us: what do we want?
My “confinement” started on March 13, and I was not thinking about this question. As anyone else, I was not able to fully understand what was happening, or in which transformation journey we were starting to embrace. Then I saw the following image, which let me thinking:
Facebook comment on Jorge Zavala wall. With an unprofessional translation it reads: “The world as we knew it, it does not exist. The world we are living is under construction. And tomorrow’s world will be the one we bring forward… despite many people who say ‘help and guide’ and we do not know what are they doing.”
Next, I wrote a couple of lengthy responses for different online discussions. One was focusing on building arguments against closing business. This discussion was lead by a US citizen. While the other conversation ponders about the response within the European Union (EU) lead by a Spanish professor. This conversations took place while the situation in Italy and Spain was getting worse in reference to the covid-19.
My inner is in distress, no only for the reality we are living an all the information we get from different channels. I am looking a meaningful conversation that will guide my own action. Maybe, I am looking a meta level type of conversation or I am looking to connect with the front lines. I do not know. To find the solution, I start to write. I know writing is not my strength, however while writing I am organizing my own ideas and start a personal process to find my own way to contribute. This post is a result of several days trying to write a message.
Let me locate my narrative in context. I am in a privileged situation. I live in Finland where mostly all is calm. At the same time I connect with people living in different regions of our globe. This includes friends living in European epicenters of covid-19, friends in countries addressing the pandemic quite successfully such as in South Korea, and family and friends in countries where the problems are piling up even before the covid-19 is in its full strength in their soil.
My work involves to promote innovation and support the growth in Finland. My passion is in informal learning, playful knowledge and co-design. However, the level of innovation we need at the moment goes beyond of what we have been practicing and researching until now. This is a real disruption. In order be able to move forward, we need to reflect beyond what it is evident and promote honest collaboration. To review our basics, our foundations to be able to build our world after covid-19.
HUMANS ARE VULNERABLE
Today, April 6th, there are recorded 70,567 deaths due to covid-19. We are aware that the total amount of people losing their lives due to covid-19 is greater than it is reflected by official numbers. This is happening all over the world because the tests for covid-19 are limited. Hence people are dying in their homes, or in hospitals recording the dead as “ atypical pneumonia”. This are facts, and if you can Italian I recommend you to follow information Italian websites, or even information in Spanish from Spain. Of course, talking with someone on a covid-19 epicenter will allow you to get access to the proper sources of information. To understand more about the tragedy, listen to people who is working at the hospitals, e.g. Bergamo or from Madrid the stories they can tell are shocking.
Not everybody can see this reality. We cannot see covid-19. Only “few” can feel it. Consequently, it is hard to believe the seriousness of the situation. We listen number of infected person, but we do not understand that each number is a person.
Are we living in a real-life dystopian world? I am sure no-one was planning to live something like this, so it is understandable that it is hard to believe or to understand. We believe humans are the “masters” of the world. We had all under “control”. Covid-19 is showing us, humans do not have the control.
Most of us, can only see and hear the information related to covid-19 from the communities that are paying the consequences of not taking social distancing seriously. This is only the introduction of the problem we are living.
WHY TO CLOSE BUSINESS AND PROMOTE SOCIAL DISTANCE?
It is important — for all of us — that our hospitals do not get saturated. If someone has to visit a hospital, for any type of emergency, independently of the covid-19, we want to assure there are the needed resources to be treated. We should act, all together, to take care of each other. In other words, everybody needs to help and contribute for the common good. Because covid-19 spreads as “wildfire”, we need to keep each one of us at home to avoid spreading it.
Is there another option to control the transmission of covid-19? Yes. We can learn from South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan. I can only talk about South Korea because I have lived there. In my experience, the country cares for all its population. You find rich and poor but also everybody, as far as I know, has the minimum: home and food. South Korea has a strategy in place to control epidemics in its territory, so they didn’t need to close all businesses.
To my eyes, the western world didn’t have an effective strategy in place, so we need to tackle the problem with another tactic, which is: social distancing and close businesses to enforce social distancing. Closing business implies to “slow down” the spread of covid-19 among us because we do not have a vaccine and the virus spreads with asymptomatic carriers. We cannot detect who those carriers are, so to protect everybody, each one of us should stay at home. Vox explains clearly how the virus spreads here:
Thus, the faster we close and develop a national strategy to “control” how covid-19 spreads, the faster we can resume activities. Let’s all work and help to achieve this! 🙂
We cannot see the covid-19, in contrast we can feel and live the economical impact of closing business. Each one of us, with a different intensity, is living the economic consequences of “closing business”.
Financial times, coronavirus graphic John Burn-Murdoch. Each country writing its history.
Each decision a leader takes about how to address covid-19, has direct impact in the complex reality the leader’s country is living. Furthermore each nation has a unique composition of citizens, human capital, population density, levels of inequality, resources, human values, etc.
When governments take decisions for a common good, leaders must have a social conscience and need to be realistic. In the actual moment, this includes: (i) to protect vulnerable people from covid-19 and (ii) protect vulnerable people from shutting down business.
To protect vulnerable people from an economical perspective requires governments to activate mechanisms and means to support people to survive. That means people should have access to food and shelter. In addition it is needed to create a framework to support freelancers, entrepreneurs, SME and other industries.
If we do not take this measure, and we decide to go to work as normal despite the current covid-19 pandemic, assuming only “1%” of our population dies, and as Bill Gates mention, we can’t “ignore that pile of bodies over in the corner”
The fastest and effective way we close all business down, and “control” the spread of the virus, the faster we can re-open.
However this is more complicated than I am writing in here for many nations. Specially for countries with difficulties such as:
high inequality in its population
high numbers of homeless
High levels of corruption
High levels of insecurity
Lack of basic infrastructure
Lack of social mechanisms to support the population with food and basic services.
The toll that covid-19 will bring in terms of dead combine with the economic recession associated to it, in countries with any of the previously mentioned difficulties, has a considerable bigger challenge ahead of them in comparison to those countries with less “difficulties”. Note, I didn’t I include how “rich” a country is as one difficulty, because the difficulties enlisted do not depend sorely on “money”. The difficulties I mention are social problems connected to personal and social values.
WHAT ARE OUR PRIORITIES?
There are unspoken messages being shared questioning our priorities. Through social media, people is creating “memes” to question and expressing their thoughts about this. What are our priorities? Let me share some questions I had been collecting in these days:
(i) Shall we invest more in science?
There are nations which do not give value to scientific work. How can we expect development without research? Shouldn’t we invest more in preparing minds and promoting science at all ages?
Meme circulating in internet questioning the correct pay to researchers. Unprofessional translation: Spanish researchers says: You pay 1,000,000 € per month to a football player, and to a bio-scientist you pay 1,800 € per month. Now you are looking for a treatment for this virus, then you can look to Cristiano Ronaldo or Messit to find the cure.
(ii) Shall we invest more in culture and art?
People working in cultural sectors are from the hardest hit economically at this moment. These professionals, in most cases, do not have an economical safe net because their main source of income are gigs. Today, culture and arts are the ones keeping us together, building hope about humanity. Here few examples:
Contribution to the museums challenge of recreating famous artworks.
And many possibilities to visit museums virtually are constantly popping up. I will make a separate post about this. The importance of culture and art is undeniable.
(iii) Shall we always support, listen and care about our Doctors and Nurses?
As we all know, doctors, nurses and all the health caregivers are heroes in this historical moment and other times in history. As a friend from Madrid tole me in late March: take care of your sanitary personnel. We should always be aware of the importance of these professions in our society.
Doctors and nurses are our real life heroes
(iv) Shall we remunerate better farmers, supermarket clerks?
We give food for granted. Without farmers we would die of hunger. We should remember the importance of farmers, each one we eat our meals.
Meme, informal translation: Today we know that we can EXIST without soccer player…. but not without farmers
Additionally, we should thank all those clerks who keep stores organize for us.
(v) Recognize the importance of different trades and offer them proper salaries and benefits:
In Europe at least they really help to keep the community indoors and spread smiles, here some examples:
Drivers, maintenance workers and so many professions that allow us to have a life even in confinement. Other “less visible” but who are doing their best are teachers all over the world.
Each one of us is doing her and his best within the current circumstances. Each profession is important and each one of us contributes to our common well being. This is a lesson we should always remember.
Before the covid-19, we were in a race of automation. Today, in this stand still moment, the importance of machines in certain, and at the same time, it is evident the importance of the human factor.
The cooperation of all of us, knitted with our values allow us to overcome to disasters. Hence, wouldn’t be part of our priorities to encourage empathy, respect, care, promotion of ethical values? We are much more than the objects we produce. Each one of our actions, the ideas we transmit and creation we produce allow us to connect with others. This connection nurtures allowing the life to continue. It is by cooperating and collaborating.
THE REAL DANGER AND CURRENT DISRUPTION
Personally, I think the real danger is the strong presence of inequality in our world and the selfishness of some “leaders”. Countries with selfish “leaders”, which are careless and destroying the social fabric, eroding human values through corruption and totalitarianism are the main threat. The scary part is: these figures are raising up in power in this dark times.
Before the covid-19, I was reading the book Reality is broken. The book explains how digital technologies contribute o spread disinformation. This problem is accelerating today, in this crisis, and the results can be catastrophic. For example, I read complaints from Spanish colleges about the lack of European apps such as the one using in Korea to monitor covid-19. However, unless you are in the circle of GSA (European Glocal Navigation Satellite System Agency) , I haven’t seen about the efforts that Europe is taking in this direction:
GNSS banner in reference to covid-19
GNSS is informing the population using the “traditional channels”, however the information does not spread as effectively as it should. What is the role that technology is taking here? (you should read the book!)
Another interesting example is the current and growing tension that European leaders are facing. The European Union, as a block, was not prepared for covid-19. That is a fact. However each country is doing its best with the resources and knowledge they have.
The EU is not perfect, but from my point of view, it is open to improve. Overall, EU has many good things as well. Sometimes I feel the voices highlighting the positive aspects are not strong enough. Positive and good things, apparently do not use “bots” algorithms to reproduce its message as “wild fire”. It is easier to criticize that is for sure. From my perspective, all the EU member states started their journey through covid-19, relatively at the same period. Some countries have been very badly hit than others. This is unquestionably.
However being able to help right away was also not easy. An analogy is in having a airplane crash. Remember what we are told each time we fly, in case of emergency: “oxygen masks will drop from the overhead area. Please place the mask over your own mouth and nose before assisting others”. This has a reason to be, if we do not put our mask first, then most likely, we will not be able to help anyone else. The same has been happening at EU level, each nation needed to put its own mask first before helping others. That means to sort out their own internal chaos in all their dimensions: health, unemployment, economy, etc. before committing with another nation.
Yes, human should learn from this event, and we can do better. In my eyes I see Europe diverse, culturally rich and human.
When Spain showed the initiative: acortando la distancia, where patients could connect and talk with family members show that Europe cares about persons. European supermarkets have food, and people is not fighting for it. Only, in the first days, when people started to buy more than normal, in some places shelves were empty. I was never affected by this. However food has never been missing. There is respect for elders, and even for the dead. For example, at this moment it is not possible to do proper funerals, but the is some kind of funerals taking place, as this “drive through” in Spain. Europeans are showing that they care and can do things together.
Structural problems need to be addressed to avoid similar situations in the future. This implies to review investment in health and research by each member state, and understand how this can be improved to avoid the same mistakes. I am aware that some personalities will take this with a more pragmatic approach than others, while others might be more sensitive to the topic. We should remember that some member states are feeling more pain at the moment as well. However, I would like to say: Dear Europe, if we do not overcome this together, as Europe, then with whom do we want to join efforts? To be honest, this question is a real concern, and no thinking carefully the answer can deliver a very dangerous outcome. Let’s start reflecting upon this, and align our values while understanding the situation. Do not give anything for granted.
What do we want as a society?
How do we want to promote equality?
How can we help in a macro-scale, while supporting the micro?
What new economic models do we need to create? Our current economic system has been bomb (figurative talking) with covid-19.
This is time to reflect, to question and to understand how to create a better world after covid-19, because we are together in this.
Personally, I do not want to live under a totalitarian system. A system where critical voices will disappear. It is fundamental to protect our right to have different constructive opinions based in facts. Diversity is important. Totalitarian system implies to lose our real freedom.
Freedom is important for me, and I know freedom comes with responsibility. I would like a responsible society, where each person has an awareness of its role in the community and is able to respect oneself and others. This means, I reject “leaders” who promote divisions. “Leaders” who categorize people in groups to manipulate individuals with fear, bitterness and resentment. These “leaders” are not looking for a common good, a divisive agenda implies to benefit only some. These attitudes are putting us in danger. Real leaders address that each one of us is important.
Today´s disruption is in our political and economic systems. How do we want to continue forward? What values and visions will align ourselves in this new world? Interesting enough, innovation within the digital technology has an important role in the current political and economical disruption.
Each one of us has a great challenge ahead. From a freelancer to a multinational company. We need innovation more than never. We need innovation in a market that is unknown, and where the power regulators are changing. Our global model of consumption is changing. We knew, we should take care of our planet and harmonize our economical and productive systems accordingly. Covid-19 is an example on how vulnerable we are to natural phenomena. Do we want to push our “luck” and look for other natural disasters?
During this confinement or “waiting time”, innovators who have a clear head, can explore innovative ideas. There are so many dimensions we need help, besides finding a vaccine to protect us against covid-19. We need need to learn how to be productive at home, create new business, build inclusive economies, create a new direction…. I hope we are able to embrace this historical moment as the opportunity we needed to correct our direction.
We might get ideas, and valuable foundations when listening to real leaders. For this reason I close this post with an interview to Noam Chomsky. He is unquestionably, a thinker of our time, and we should hear what he says.
Listen, observe, think and do. We have much to do, and we have to go one step at the time.
We are in this together. Keep healthy!
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