112 App in the Canaries

Captura web 1-1-2 CanariasSome Apps are more uselful than others, and this one could save your life!
The Canarian
Ministry of Economy, Finance and Security, and FRESS Foundation, have signed a collaboration agreement by which, the Canary Government improves the access to the European emergency number 1-1-2 by implementing FRESS.

FRESS is the Social Network for Emergency Response designed exclusively by the Foundation FRESS (Free Emergency Services) for emergency management.

FRESS provides a software application that creates a communications platform allowing individuals to seek emergency assistance through an easy to use smart phone app. through voice, real-time texting, sharing photos and data. and optimizing the location of the caller.
The system also translates text messages into Spanish automatically, which is an advantage for the millions of tourists who visit the Canary Islands.

With this initiative 1-1-2 CANARIAS wants to move forward and join the project of Next Generation Emergency Services, providing attention to all the individuals in our community, connecting users with different abilities, languages and nationalities with the European emergency number 1-1-2.
Advantages of FRESS 1-1-2

Using FRESS112 for the location and positioning by the terminal location via GPS is more accurate than the one submitted by phone antennas

The application works with 3G network FRESS, ie you must have enabled data line in the terminal for the use of advanced options such as sending pictures. Your download is free and the user of this service must have installed on their mobile device this app with all desired personal and health information in order to improve response times by emergency services

FRESS112 has been developed by the International Foundation FRESS and has already been tested in the emergency services in Virginia, USA (911), Mexico (Control Center), currently in operation, and Krakow in Poland, and has now been integrated in the Canary 1-1-2 technological system

The purpose of the Foundation is to connect FRESS users to the nearest emergency center via voice, text, images or video communication, from anywhere in the world they are.

FRESS Foundation is dedicated to develop technology and activities of general interest, specifically intended to encourage, assist, promote, encourage, and disseminate information and technological tools to improve the safety and emergency conditions of people at risk of exclusion for physical reasons. It also tries to promote and disseminate the development of information, scientific research and technological development in our society.

Charmaine Arbouin, new British Consul

charmaineThe British Embassy today (24 June) announced that Charmaine Arbouin has been appointed as British Consul for the Consulates covering the Canary Islands and Andalucia.
Charmaine has more than 20 years’ experience of managing people and resources in the public and not-for-profit sectors. She was previously a consultant to local and central government organisations in the UK, specialising in public sector performance improvement. She has also developed and managed customer contact services in Nottinghamshire. She has a degree in Hispanic Studies from the University of Hull.
Charmaine said: “I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to work with the British and Spanish communities and authorities in both Andalucia and the Canaries. I am very much looking forward to building on the existing great work undertaken by the Consulates to ensure that Britons living or visiting Andalucia and the Canaries continue to receive excellent support when they most need it.”
Charmaine has lived with her family in Andalucia for the last eight years, first in Alpandeire and now in Ronda. Her engagement with the Spanish public health, administrative and education systems – as an expatriate resident – has given her an insight into many of the challenges and benefits experienced by those visiting or living in Spain.
Dave Thomas, Consular Regional Director for southern Europe, said: “I’m very pleased that we have managed to recruit such a high calibre new Consul. Charmaine has an impressive background in senior management and will play a strategic role in the further development of our consular services in Spain.”
The Consulates that cover southern Spain are among the busiest in the world. The new Consul will oversee the work of teams in Las Palmas, Malaga and Tenerife, who provide on-the-ground assistance to British nationals.
The region covered by the Malaga office sees some five million British visitors every year, and is home to around 350,000 British residents. The Consulates in Tenerife and Las Palmas, together with the Honorary Consul in Lanazarote, serve 3.5 million British visitors and some 85,000 residents.
Charmaine Arbouin replaces Steve Jones, who is now managing the Foreign Office’s global Contact Centre programme.

Karma and cultural diversity in Adeje

Lama Tenzin Khenrab Rinpoche  and Mayor Rodríguez Fraga

Lama Tenzin Khenrab Rinpoche and Mayor Rodríguez Fraga

The Buddhist Lama Tenzin Khenrab Rinpoche and the mayor of Adeje held a joint press conference in the Adeje Cultural Centre to announce details of the first Tibetan Buddhist Centre in South Tenerife. The installation, which has actually been in operation since October of last year, was officially opened on the afternoon of Friday June 21st by Lama ‘Rinpoche’ (literally meaning ‘precious one’, used to address or describe Tibetan lamas and other high-ranking or respected teachers. This honour is often used within the Tibetan Buddhist culture, usually reserved for ‘Tulkus’ or recognised reincarnate Lamas and those who are recognised by the relevant authorities as venerated or highly regarded Lamas) with a conference that was free to the public, ‘Relations and Spirituality’, held in the Adeje Cultura Centre. Also present at the press conference was Adeje education councillor Andrés Pérez Ramos.
Mayor Rodríguez Fraga said Adeje was delighted to welcome back the Lama, a man who is highly qualified and respected throughout the world. “Between him and the dedicated group of Buddhist followers they have guaranteed that Adeje can boast one of the few Tibetan Buddhist Schools that is linked directly to the Dalai Lama”.
The mayor said he was delighted at this initaitive, adding that it was a further demonstration of the true image of Adeje and its people, reflecting a modern, dynamic and intercultural society, open to ancient oriental teachings and philosophies.
Tenzin Khenrab ‘Rinpoche’ will be the spiritual guide for the Ghe Pel Ling School of Tibetan Buddhist Studies, based in Torviscas, where the theory and philosphy of karma will form the general basis for classes, from which the influence of “good things over bad” through the actions of individuals are derived.
Adeje’s mayor said the the Buddhist Centre was now at the disposition of Adeje society, and would, he believed, encourage positivity and happiness without people have to renouce any of their personal religious beliefs, because here in the West, Buddhism is seen as more of a philosophy or way of living than a religion. With this in mind he issued a general invitation to everyone to get to know the Centre and its teachings.
For his part Tenzin Khenrab ‘Rinpoche’, who was assisted by a translator during the press conference, welcomed the co-operation of the mayor and the education councillor in facilitating the open of the school and their presence at the official opening ceremony. The Lama said the opening of the teaching centre was a welcome achievement and was thanks to the presence, in Adeje, of some of his past pupils and their belief that its establishment here would help Adeje and its citizens and South Tenerife in general.
He spoke briefly of the philosophy behind Tibetan Buddhism and its simply cause-effect karma, adding that the three principals behind the philosphy are “patience, compassion and love”, the three jewels of Tibetan Buddhism.
“Of course I am like every other person in the world; I have my own character, and I get angry, but at all times I work to control that emotion, and avoid projecting it onto others. In our philosophy, contrary to Christianity, Islam or Judaism, there is no notion of sin. People are free to decide to be good or bad, but they must also accept the consequences which will arise as a result of their actions. In other words, if we commit bad deeds we will suffer, and if, on the other hand, we carry out good works, we will earn satisfaction,” concluded the Tibetan master who invited Adeje’s residents to come to the school and get to know first hand a philosophy that sees all human drama as a direct reaction to past acts, good or evil.

Agile Open Space 2013

cdtca150 professionals from the world of software will come together in the Adeje CDTCA, the tourism development centre, on June 21st and 22nd, to promote new developments in the sector and share experiences and news from the experts.

The two day event promotes Agile software development which  is a group of software development methods based on iterative and incremental development, where requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing, cross-functional teams. It’s an open space format where participants can decide what topics and subjects they wish to have round table discussions or worskshops on.

One of the guests at the event will be Benjamin Hoskins, European development director for eBay, who will be conducting a working interview from 11am on Friday in ITER in Granadilla.

New British Ambassador to Spain appointed

News just in from the British Embassy in Madrid is that Mr Simon Manley CMG has been appointed Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Spain, and non-resident Ambassador to Andorra. He will succeed Mr Giles Paxman CMG LVO. Mr Manley will take up his appointment during October 2013.

More information here:s300_Simon_Manley


Summer Solstice

Puesta1 IMG00276-20110621-1951
There’s something mystical and magical about the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, June 21st.
All over the world ancient civilisations recognised the significance of this day, and many built monuments and other constructs to celebrate and welcome in summer. Here in Tenerife the Piramides of Güimar is one such construct, old piramides rediscovered by Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl, that celebrate this special day when the sun is at a particular point in the sky.
From 6.15pm the park opens its doors to the public, entrance is free. People will be accompanied to the pyramids complex where they can see, weather conditions permitting, how the orientation of the pyramids aligns with the horizontal axis giving an almost magical view of the sunset, and an amazing double sunset. While this is something of a natural illusion it is still quite astonishing.
This year the date also falls on the last day of school for the kids, so what better way to start the summer holidays on a special note.
The organisers supply special glasses for the public to view the event, and this really is a special event and a great way to visit the park for free!
If you are travelling from Los Cristianos or Las Americas give yourself about an hour to find the park, in the upper zone of Gúimar, and parking.


Cómo Estás?

Don't get left out - learn Spanish and find a new way of communicating

Don’t get left out – learn Spanish and find a new way of communicating

Recently I interviewed Graciela, a lovely woman who heads up the Spanish classes for foreigners in Adeje. The course is linked to the Summer School and the University of La Laguna and now is the time to register.
So I could stop at that, say no more and leave it up to those who want to to make a bit of effort to learn to speak Spanish. But no. I think it really is important for us to learn to speak some of the language of the country we have decided to make home. We decided, for loads of different reasons, to live in Spain, but now that we’re here there are so many more reasons to stay. And by learning the language you are not just opening the doors of the local doctor’s surgery or the hardware shop or public school, you are opening doors to a completely new level of life and experience here.
Language is the key to a culture, to a way of thinking, concepts and ideas are couched in words, in language. Once you start to speak Spanish, just some Spanish, you will be enriching your total living experience here in the Canary Islands.
It’s too easy maybe to get by without Spanish. Much easier, for instance, than for many emigrants who travel to the Uk to live. If they don’t learn English they are excluded from so many facets of daily life, which in itself leads to social isolation of course doens’t do anything to encourage integration. I know there are many other reasons that contribute to these problems as well, but language plays a part.
Here, there are schools, bars, restaurants, shops, radio stations and of course radio programmes, and so many other services that are available in English that you can get by quite easily with little more than a cursory ‘Gracias’ or ‘Por Favor? They, or course, have their place are are welcome additions to the multicultural and commercial mix, but without some Spanish you are simply missing out. And you will also find that once you start to speak, even if you are stumbling over grammer and vocabulary, the Canarian and Spanish population will, generally, really appreciate the effort you are making and help you along. You will also find that you can meet so many more people, people from other countries who have also decided to settle here, with Spanish becoming your mutual common language. I love the fact that I can have a great chat with four of five pals, or attend an exercise class with Dutch, Norwegian, Italian, French and English friends, all of us getting by in our second langauge. Its fun and fascinating.
So enough preaching. It’s down to you at the end of the day. But this summer why not give it a go? The classes are ongoing at the Adeje Cultural Centre. No tiene nada que perder – you have nothing to lose.


On Monday’s English Time programme I interviewed Beatriz Soliva from the Lugar del Vino wine shop on Adeje’s Calle Grande.
Interestingly after the programme the studio producer, Yolanda Hernandez, commented on how refreshing it was to listen to two women talking about wine, an area that she might have considered a male preserve.  But not so.  Beatriz is a trained Sommelier, and now runs the wine shop with her partner.  She has an extensive knowledge of wines from the islands, Spain and beyond, and we talked about what makes each wine different – obviously grape variety, climate, soil, humidity conditions, etc.  The volcanic soils of the Canary Islands therefore do contribute to the wine production industry here.
We also discussed how good and increasingly popular Canarian and Tenerife wines are – and in Adeje itself there is an excellent bodega, Tierras de Aponte, in Taucho.  But surprisingly Beatriz told  me that many Canarian wines are better known outside Spain than at home – and there is one wine producer in Tenerife who exports about 90 per cent of his annual stock to New York where it is highly appreciated.
How often have we heard that story?  And it’s not just true about wines.  So next time you are either dining out and in search of a good wine or shopping and decide to buy a few bottles, chose local Tenerife wines for a change.  Apart from probably enjoying a new drinking experience you are also helping the local economy, so a bit or a win-win situation. And if you need a bit of guidance just call into Beatriz in the Lugar del Vino and she’ll be happy to help you chose a wine that will suit you and your particular tastes.  They also hold regular wine tasting and then next one is on June 15th.  It is free to attend but you must sign up in advance, which you can do by email at adeje@lugardelvino.com.