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Eurovision 2015 Contestants: Australia

When we first saw Australia would be competing in the 2015 edition of the European Song Contest, we simply thought the organizers misspelled “Austria”. But no, it turns out Aussies really enjoy the ESC.

In fact, the public broadcaster SBS has been airing the show for more than 30 years. In 2014, 3 million dedicated Australians — 13% of the population — watched it, which seems incredible considering it airs at 6 a.m. in the country's capital Canberra. Several Australian candidates also participated in the contest in the past, singing for other countries. Some even won, or came second to a expand=1] group of glittery Swedes.

Non-European countries such as Israel or Azerbaijan have been Eurovision contestants for a few years now — and someone has to replace Ukraine, who is taking a break this year for personal reasons. So welcome, Australia, to the oddest show on earth.

Representing the land down under is Guy Sebastian, a 33-year-old soul/R&B/gospel singer from Adelaide. He was the first ever winner of Australian Idol in 2003 and has released seven studio albums since.

On May 23, Guy will perform his track “Tonight Again”, a song about doing “whatchya want”, forgetting tomorrow and having fun tonight, baby.

Our vote:

Does it make you want to visit that country? 0.5/10

Was there enough glitter? 0.25/10

Ok to quit your day job? 2.75/10

OVERALL AVERAGE: 1.17/10

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Indigenous Women Of Ecuador Set Example For Sustainable Agriculture

In southern Ecuador, a women-led agricultural program offers valuable lessons on sustainable farming methods, but also how to end violence.

Photo of women walking in Ecuador

Women walking in Guangaje Ecuador

Camila Albuja

SARAGURO — Here in this corner of southern Ecuador, life seems to be like a mandala — everything is cleverly used in this ancestral system of circular production. But the women of Saraguro had to fight and resist to make their way of life, protecting the local water and the seeds. When weaving, the women share and take care of each other, also weaving a sense of community.

With the wrinkled tips of her fingers, Mercedes Quizhpe, an indigenous woman from the Kichwa Saraguro people, washes one by one the freshly harvested vegetables from her garden. Standing on a small bench, with her hands plunged into the strong torrent of icy water and the bone-chilling early morning breeze, she checks that each one of her vegetables is ready for fair day. Her actions hold a life of historical resistance, one that prioritizes the care of life through the defense of territory and food sovereignty.

Mercedes' way of life is also one that holds many potential lessons for how to do agriculture and tourism better.

In the province of Loja, work begins before sunrise. At 5:00 a.m., the barking of dogs, the guardians of each house, starts. There is that characteristic smell of damp earth from the morning dew. Sheep bah uninterruptedly through the day. With all this life around, the crowing of early-rising roosters doesn't sound so lonely.

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