Fedrico, age 25 and Ruben Age 27 October 25, 2019
Interview Conducted in Ponta Delgada, São Miguel, Azores
What is your favorite part of São Miguel?
Oh there are many, it is a beautiful island. You should visit Sete Cidades for hiking. There are lakes and a volcano in a volcano. Lagoa do Fogo and Lagoa Congo are also beautiful. If you get a chance visit Nordeste, it is the wildest, most natural side of the island. In Nordeste seek out Ponta da Madrugada. Salto do Cabrito, Rocha da Relva and Ferraria are also some of our favorites.
What is your least favorite part?
The rate of pay. It is tough to make a living and get ahead.
Do you have some favorite places to eat?
Galego in Sao Roque and Ramirez, Mexican food near the port (Portas do mar).
Have you noticed changes in the weather?
Oh, yes. The weather is crazy. We often have 3 types of weather in a day. Rain, then sun followed by very strong winds. I don’t remember it being this way as a child.
Do you feel man is contributing?
Yes, man’s activities are causing the changes. Cutting down trees, driving every day contribute. Nature, she is most important.
Is there anything you would like to tell or ask me?
Yes, please do not give money to the junkies. You know the term junkies right? They know that tourists will give them money. There is a good support structure here in the Azores so they are not in need and are using the money for other things.
When I thought about how to do some good on my travels interviewing people about climate change came to mind. I knew that communicating in non native languages was going to be a challenge. As I scientist I am more of a numbers person that a people person so interviewing people is outside my comfort zone, but I am a firm believer that part of life is developing new skills. Ruben and Fedrico were the youngest two people I had interviewed to date. I figured before the trip that I should focus on older people. They have been around for longer and have more perspective on change. Ruben and Fedrico were some of my most animated interviewees. They were eager to share what they loved about their home and had to be coaxed to think of something they did not like. They even followed me on Instagram and posted a nice picture of the three of us. Once again I am reminded that youth have much to teach us.