Thursday, 5 February 2015


The drought here in São Paulo has finally come to the forefront - now that people are having water rationed in their apartments and houses all over the city and the Head of Sabesp (the water company) told all Paulistanos to leave the city. (How about they actually fix the problem!?!?). Unbeknownst to the lucky ones, some people have already been living without water for almost a year. São Paulo has been in drought for over a year and had record high temperatures.

The Problem
The 6 reservoirs that supply the city (aka Cantareira)  has been sitting at a dangerously low 6- 10% level meaning dirt and bacteria are omnipresent. It's officially called dead water and it needs to be pumped up into the pipes. (2 days ago it was recorded at 5.1%  of capacity). It is like a "black box of pollution". Gross! And you say, but there has been lots of rain this month?? Firstly, it is not all in the right catchment area... and secondly it has been barely enough to sustain the minimum level without the water becoming diseased (maybe we've reached that point already). They say that São Paulo would need 6 months of non-stop rainfall for the reservoir to be restored to 100% levels.

The Election
The water shortage was a small election issue back in October and downplayed by the Government and Media. . The São Paulo Governor Alckmin didn't want to enforce water rationing in fear of losing votes. In retrospect, education about water responsibility over a year ago when the warning signs started would've been the smart thing - still win votes and the city would not be in such a grave predicament now. This short term water shortage predicament will result in improved water infrastructure and education in São Paulo. Governor Alckmin has just approved 8 new projects for water treatment, and water sourcing. 

Cautious Water Use at Home
We usually drink double filtered water through the system but since October we're been buying filtered water. As a little girl in NZ I remember one of their slogans during droughts "If it's yellow, let it mellow. If it's brown flush it down" which is fine when you live with people you generally like... haha,  we save bath water to water the plants and I'm conscious when washing dishes, or even clothes. Limited electricity use needs to also be taken into account when this country is fuelled by hydro-electric power stations. Households are being given discounts if they use less than 20% of monthly water consumption.

You can find out more information following the Crise de Agua on Folha de São Paulo and this Facebook Group.
More articles on BBC,, The Economist,, Bloomberg

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Pizza for lunch in São Paulo

If you haven't noticed already pizza is a Paulistano institution here - they claim it as their own, and that their pizza is the best in the world. Better than New York and even better than the Italians! I, myself, have come to love Brazilian style pizza - after I insist on a tomato base, with their catupiry (ok just a little) and thin bases.

The tradition here in São Paulo is that you eat pizza only for Sunday dinner! Ridiculous right? Who doesn't like leftover pizza for breakfast anytime of the week? There was a time when I was heavily pregnant searching for an open pizza restaurant on a Sunday at 1pm. NADA. But things have changed since then and I have found one great pizza place opened for lunch on weekends.

Maremonti is locted in Jardins and also serves other dishes. They might give you a strange look if you are ordering pizza outside of Sunday evening but it is still on the menu! I take the girls there early lunch hour when it's not so busy and they can eat pizza, and busy themselves playing with pizza dough. And the pizza is good!

Pizzaria Braz - we usually order from then online using the app ifood but they also have multiple restaurants (none open for lunch though).

A Pizzaria - my new favourite pizza find in Morumi (Real Parque). It's small but has great ambience on a Sunday night with lots of neighbourhood families there, and the pizza is good!

Free Kindermusik Demo class this weekend

An amazing musician / teacher / mother / friend of mine will be setting up her Kindermusik programme in São Paulo by giving a free demo class this weekend in Pinheros. If you have kids under the age of 7 years old and looking for an activity in English you definitely have to check it out!

If you are also looking for other things to do with children here check out my list on things to do with kids in São Paulo which is eternally growing.