RSS

Category Archives: BOLIVIA

Last Sunday in Bolivia.

DSC_0078

Definitely, no regrets. Glad for the experiences we were offered.

Now, time to look into the future…

About these ads
 

14 Days to Depart Post…

I believe we’re ready to begin saying goodbye to Bolivia – our home for the past two years – with a big THANK YOU! :o

DSC_0046

DSC_0024

IMG_1754

DSC_0021

DSC_0220

 

Tags: , , ,

Photography: Day Colors of the Desert in Uyuni, Bolivia.

IMG_1840

Intriguing Rock Formation… not a Plant, Though!

 

A few days back, I’ve shared images here of the sun setting along the desert in Uyuni, during our trip through the largest Salt Flats in the world- the “Salar de Uyuni”. Now, sharing some images from the desert under it’s daylight colors…

 


Inspirational post:

DSC_0220

 

View from the Salt Hotel Luna Salada, in Uyuni. Images are the result of my dear husband’s endless patience and search for natural beauty. Photos are unaltered.

 
12 Comments

Posted by on April 26, 2014 in ART, BOLIVIA, FAMILY, photography, TRAVEL

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Photography: [Big] Kids, Salt & Fun, where the sky and ground merge!

DSC_0035

DSC_0024

Salar de Uyuni is the world’s largest salt flat at 10,582 square kilometers. It is located in the Potosí and Oruro departments in southwest Bolivia, near the crest of the Andes and is at an elevation of 3,656 meters above mean sea level.

DSC_0017

 

The flats, located in Southern Bolivia near the country’s Tunupa volcano, and our recent family vacation destiny, make up the world’s largest salt desert.

DSC_0021

 

The Salar was formed as a result of transformations between several prehistoric lakes. It is covered by a few meters of salt crust, which has an extraordinary flatness.

DSC_0025

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Photography: Train Cemetery in Uyuni, Bolivia.

IMG_1795

It’s said to be gateway for tourists visiting the world’s largest salt flats, the nearby Uyuni salt flat.

IMG_1792

 

Founded in 1890 as a trading post, the town has a population of 10,460 (2012). The town has an extensive street-market. It lies at the edge of an extensive plain at an elevation of 3,700 m (12,139 ft) above sea level, with more mountainous country to the east.

 

IMG_1791

 

The city also acts as a gateway for commerce and traffic crossing into and out of Bolivia from and to Chile. One of the main attraction, and in our case, for 2 visiting families, with 7 kids, ages ranging from 3 to 12 years old, is the Train Cemetery. :o

IMG_1789

 

The so-called ‘train graveyard’ is located 3 km outside Uyuni and is connected to it by the old train tracks. The town served in the past as a distribution hub for the trains carrying minerals on their way to the Pacific Ocean ports.

IMG_1790

 

The train lines were built by British engineers who arrived near the end of the 19th century and formed a sizable community in Uyuni.

DSC_0012

 

The rail construction started in 1888 and ended in 1892. It was encouraged by the then Bolivian President Aniceto Arce, who believed Bolivia would flourish with a good transport system, but it was also constantly sabotaged by the local indigenous people who saw it as an intrusion into their lives. The trains were mostly used by the mining companies. In the 1940s, the mining industry collapsed, partly due to the mineral depletion. Many trains were abandoned thereby producing the train cemetery.

 

IMG_1782

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Photography: Pink Flamingos add color to the ‘Laguna Colorada’, Bolivia.

Photography: Pink Flamingos add color to the ‘Laguna Colorada’, Bolivia.

DSC_0105

Laguna Colorada (Red Lagoon) is a shallow salt lake in the southwest of the altiplano of Bolivia, within Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve, close to the Chilean border.

DSC_0110

IMG_1886

Exploring the amazing beauty of Laguna Colorada is a sheer delight for any traveler. Laguna Colorada is a breeding ground for the famous flamingos. The algae of Laguna Colorada are the source of food for the rare James flamingos and also for the Chilean and Andean flamingos.

IMG_1889

DSC_0120

DSC_0121

There are also over 50 species of other birds which have made this lake their home. It is an unforgettable scene to watch the flocks of flamingos on the lake as they collect their food and fly over the red water.

DSC_0107

DSC_0108

DSC_0109

IMG_1871

IMG_1878

IMG_1879

DSC_0149

DSC_0150

IMG_1872

 

DSC_0109

 

The so-called Laguna Colorada covers about 60 sq. kilometers (37 sq. miles), with a depth of about 50 cm (20 inches).

DSC_0112

 

With a high salt content, the fiery red color of Laguna Colorado is derived from algae and plankton that thrive in the mineral-rich water of sodium, magnesium, borax and gypsum; as well as red sediments and pigmentation of some algae.

Flamingos

James’s Flamingos abound in the area.

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Photography: Sunset Over the Desert in Uyuni, Bolivia.

DSC_0220

 

View from the Salt Hotel Luna Salada, in Uyuni. Images are the result of my dear husband’s endless patience and search for natural beauty. Photos are unaltered.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on April 21, 2014 in ART, BOLIVIA, FAMILY, photography, TRAVEL

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Photography: Surreal snapshot of the ‘Laguna Colorada’, Bolivia.

Red Lagoon - the 'Laguna Colorada' in Uyuni, with its characteristic surrounding flora and fauna...

Red Lagoon – the ‘Laguna Colorada’ in Uyuni, with its characteristic surrounding flora and fauna…

 
10 Comments

Posted by on April 20, 2014 in BOLIVIA, FAMILY, photography, TRAVEL

 

Tags: , , , ,

Photography: Árbol de Piedra [The Rock Tree]

Árbol de Piedra (“rock tree”) is an isolated rock formation in the Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve of Sur Lípez Province, Bolivia. Much photographed, it projects out of the altiplano sand dunes of Siloli in the Potosí Department, about 18 kilometres (11 mi) north of Laguna Colorada. Also known as the “Stone Tree,” it is shaped like a stunted tree, and is formed into a thin rock because of strong winds and the material is sand stone.

 
9 Comments

Posted by on April 19, 2014 in BOLIVIA, FAMILY, photography, TRAVEL

 

Tags: , , , , ,

[Photography] Watching the sun rise over La Paz, at 30,000 ft.

Heading to our recent vacation destiny: flying out of La Paz, and being greeted by the sunrise!

IMG_1762

IMG_1763

IMG_1764

IMG_1766

IMG_1767

IMG_1768

IMG_1769

 
9 Comments

Posted by on April 18, 2014 in BOLIVIA, photography, TRAVEL

 

Tags: , ,

Early Easter Egg Hunt with the Marines!

Festa de Páscoa antecipada com os fuzileiros – Missão Americana em La Paz

 
4 Comments

Posted by on April 13, 2014 in BOLIVIA, children, FAMILY, photography

 

Tags: , ,

Hot off the Press! Featured Expat: Interviewed by the ExpatsBlog.

Expat InterviewsAfter reading, if you have any comments about the interview, or any questions to ask, hop over to the ExpatsBlog and share your thoughts there! Thank you!

American Expat Living in Bolivia – Interview with Raquel

The mastermind behind 3rdCultureChildren Blog is a Foreign Service spouse, mother of 3 third-culture children aged 8 and under, with an endless passion for discovering and learning new languages, cultures, traveling and photography. Before joining the foreign service lifestyle, her background in Science and research took her to understand that world is much more than the geographic and physical boundaries may display it. Se enjoys teaching, talking, and, as an avid blogger, sharing hers and her family’s stories and lessons learned with other expat families. She’s contributed her experiences to the Foreign Service Journal, online publications and to a recent book on expat resilience. She initially began blogging to share impressions, observations and along-the-road experiences with families and friends, and later other expats experiencing similar challenges/adventures. So the blog morphed into more than just a quasi-travel and photo journal. Raquel’s expat blog is called 3rd Culture Children (see listing here)
Archipelago Fernando de Noronha, Brazil
Archipelago Fernando de Noronha, Brazil

Here’s the interview with Raquel…

Where are you originally from?
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

In which country and city are you living now?
La Paz, Bolivia

How long have you lived in Bolivia and how long are you planning to stay?
Since August 2012. Planning to stay until June 2014.

Jericoacoara Beach, Brazil
Jericoacoara Beach, Brazil

Why did you move to Bolivia and what do you do?
Because of my husband’s assignment with the US Foreign Service. I also have a full-time job with the US Embassy La Paz, and have been working since March 2013.

Did you bring family with you?
Yes. The two of us and our three children, aged 8, 6 and 3.

How did you find the transition to living in a foreign country?
Extremely easy, as a matter of fact. I grew up in Brazil, where my parents also worked for the Brazilian government. Our original family of 5 [my parents and my 2 brothers] were often requested to move to different cities, changing schools every couple of years. As an adult, working as a laboratory researcher, moving was also part of my normal routine. After marrying my husband, and due to his assignments with the State Department foreign service, the cycle ‘moving/adjusting/changing/re-inventing’ has become a regular task on our lives [smiles!].

Was it easy making friends and meeting people; do you mainly socialise with other expats?
It’s never as easy as one expects. There are always challenges, being those related to language [although in our household we commonly switch between Portuguese-English-Spanish], culture, new schools, new jobs [for me, especially!]. Leaving old friends behind, and aiming to make new ones is never easy. I try to think of myself as a ‘serial-social being’. I’m always on-the-go, and throughout the years, I found myself displaying social skills I didn’t really know I had. I’m social because it’s a necessity. But I also enjoy the change, which tends to make the moves a bit easier. Especially on the family – it’s less difficult to face challenges when one has an idea what could be ahead of them, and has the time and the emotional support to deal with them…

Kruger Park, South Africa
Kruger Park, South Africa

What are the best things to do in the area; anything to recommend to future expats?
Bolivia is a country with beautiful landscapes. Any outdoors activities are highly recommended, if the basic precautions [with the high altitude, especially] are taken. The Bolivian people tend to be warm and welcoming. Shopping for arts and crafts should be included in any expats visiting list, as well as, reserving some time to enjoy the typical food, and the dancing and musical expressions, only found around the Andean region.

What do you enjoy most about living in Bolivia?
The climate is great – it feels like a nice Fall day all year around. We live surrounded by mountains, which offers us a very soothing scenario – if one likes to lounge around, reading a good book, or enjoying a glass of wine by the fireplace, that’s definitely a place to be. The crime rate [a crucial point for any expat list!] is very low, and La Paz is a friendly city for families – lots of parks and activities to do with/bring little kids along. Again: safety is key.

How does the cost of living in Bolivia compare to home?
Much less than in the USA, or even in Brazil.

Reed Dance in Swaziland
Reed Dance in Swaziland

What negatives, if any, are there to living in Bolivia?
It’s a landlocked territory – we’re far from the water. Also, the high altitude can play not-so-funny games with one’s health. Our family, so far, hasn’t suffered much from those effects, but we’ve heard others complain about getting sick all the time… Each one is different, and again, the regular, recommended medical/health advices should be taken very seriously.

If you could pick one piece of advice to anyone moving to Bolivia, what would it be?
Bring your best adventurous spirit – you’ll need it! Also, keep your expectations low: it’s the bet advice to a prospective expat or visiting fellow – expecting less, one may be pleasantly surprised with the outcome!

What has been the hardest aspect to your expat experience so far?
The difficulties to fly out of Bolivia to other countries, presently. From previous posts, the physical distance between our family nucleus and our parents.

When you finally return home, how do you think you’ll cope with repatriation?
Communicating with others, we hope! We have a very good group of friends and former colleagues at home [it's Washington DC, and we all work for the government, so, it's pretty common to have people coming and going, all the time!] It’s all part of work: the moving, the paking-out…

What are your top 5 expat tips for anyone following in your footsteps?

  1. Dream away. And dream big. Dream of traveling to unknown places, learning from new people, immersing into new cultures.
  2. Keep your expectations low. Many surprises should come your way if you’re not waiting for anything!
  3. Be social. Be friendly. Be smart. Street Smart! Be conscious and be aware of your surroundings, as well. Teaching lessons come in different envelopes, sometimes, in a not-so-nice ones!
  4. Try to learn a new language, try to communicate with the locals and understand their stories and their culture. Communicate. Listen and be heard.
  5. Attempt to comprehend the new country’s traditions, faith, and fears… The harmonious relationship between the local community and Mother Nature. Learn from their experiences and build your own story. It’s worthy every second in invest in!

Tell us a bit about your own expat blog.
As a traveling family, we’ve lived in Mozambique, South Africa, Brazil, Bolivia, and during our work assignments, we traveled to England, Chile, USA and Swaziland. I liked the idea of organizing not only our travel notes, but also providing resources for other parents, and encouraging an exchange of ideas through comments, questions and suggestions from viewers. The name for the blog came from the term itself: “Third Culture Children” are children whose parents come from distinct cultures, and grow up under a hybrid environment, experiencing diverse cultural growth. “The result of this transcontinental growth can never be taught or learned or fully understood by anyone who hasn’t actually experienced it. The developing child takes the culture of their parent’s passport country, or their first culture, to a foreign land. The result is that the child (and later on, the adult) adopts the qualities of the Second Culture into their preexisting First Culture, creating a unique cultural perspective known as the Third Culture”. As an expat who is now raising three children, all aged 8 and under, the titled seemed a natural fit! I’m so pleased to share with other expatriates, parents, and traveling families, not only the beauty and excitement of traveling, but also resources regarding languages, social and cultural adjustments, and our not-so-professional advice as “parents-on-the-go“.

How can you be contacted for further advice to future expats coming to your area?
Feel free to send me a note thru Twitter, or visit our expat blog, http://3rdculturechildren.com, sharing your comments on any recent post or pages – I’d love to hear from you!

 

http://www.expatsblog.com/articles/1722/american-expat-living-in-bolivia-interview-with-raquel

 

Tags: , , ,

The Jesuit Mission of Santa Ana de Velasco, La Cenicienta Chiquitana…

IMG_1340

An extraordinary discovery was made in 1972, at one of the old Jesuit missions of Bolivia. There were 3,000 sheets of Baroque music in a trunk kept in the priest’s lavatory and used as toilet paper. Most of it was by an almost forgotten Italian-born composer called Domenico Zipoli (1688-1726). “How on earth did Baroque composers end up in South America to produce this extraordinary fusion of classical and local traditions that is still being discovered?” Question asked by Simon Broughton – worth a read, for sure!

DSC_0095

Apart from its beautiful church (the most indigenous of the mission templos, as it was built entirely by natives without Jesuit assistance or direction), Santa Ana is famous for its music. The church’s organ and diatonic harp (the latter of which was built by native hands) are still functional, and during restoration, thousands of missionary-era musical scores were discovered.

Music played a special part in all aspects of life and in the evangelization of the natives. Realizing the musical capacities of the Indians, the Jesuits sent important composers, choir directors, and manufacturers of musical instruments to South America. The most famous was probably the Italian baroque composer Domenico Zipoli, who worked in the reductions in Paraguay. Fr. Johann Mesner and Fr. Martin Schmid, two Jesuit missionaries with musical talent, went to the Chiquitania. Martin Schmid built an organ with six stops in Potosí, disassembled it, transported it by mules over a distance of 1,000 km on a difficult road to the remote mission of Santa Ana de Velasco, and re-assembled it there from hand. It is still is use. The Jesuits used musical lessons as a first step to the Christianization of the natives.

Now, we’re on 2014: Directly from the Mission in Santa Ana, although quaint, discreet, a favorite for our family, because of its humble beauty. A bonus added to our visit to the Mission Jesuitica de Santa Ana de Velasco? Listening to a real play on this simple, yet so magnificent organ. Enjoy as much as we did!

 

And guess who just decided to sit down and play a bit for her [so-very-proud!] children – after the very-gracious young girl Antonia finished her piece? :o You guessed right! Thank you for joining us on this beautiful journey through art, music, history and emotions!

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Photo Journal: UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Bolivia – The Jesuit Missions.

Clearly, I haven’t had a lot of time lately to devote the deserved attention to our family’s travel blog. Shame on me! :o But really: we’re getting ready for an upcoming pack-out/home leave in the US/next country assignment – Brazil. All that, while still working as a full-time professional, around-the-clock mom, wife and friend! Well, will do my best from this point on! Here’s a ‘photo jounal’ of our week-long trip to the Department of Santa Cruz, including several worldly recognized cultural and ecological sites:

[Placeholder] Visiting the Jesuit Missions in Bolivia.

Trying to offer a bit of ‘catch up’ with our travel posts [before many more begin pilling up !] Our family still has a big trip planned before we depart Bolivia – somewhere around the school Easter break, but for now, let me share a bit of our visits to some of the Bolivian UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The first one refers to the Jesuit Missions [Misiones Jesuiticas] in Santa Cruz de La Sierra.
In a very near future, I’ll aim to tackle another heritage site: the wilderness and unique culture of Samaipata, also located in the Department of Santa Cruz.

The Jesuit Missions of Chiquitos are located in Santa Cruz department in eastern Bolivia. Six of these former missions (all now secular municipalities) collectively were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1990. Distinguished by a unique fusion of European and Amerindian cultural influences, the missions were founded as reductions or reducciones de indios by Jesuits in the 17th and 18th centuries to convert local tribes to Christianity.

Between 1696 and 1760, six ensembles of settlements of Christianized Indians, also called “reducciones” inspired by the 16th-century philosophers idea of an urban community, were founded by the Jesuits in a style that married Catholic architecture with local traditions.

 

The six that remain – San Francisco Javier, Concepción, Santa Ana, San Miguel, San Rafael and San José – make up a living heritage on the former territory of the Chiquitos [Source: WHC UNESCO].

 

The interior region bordering Spanish and Portuguese territories in South America was largely unexplored at the end of the 17th century. Dispatched by the Spanish government at the time [towards the New World], Jesuits explored and founded 11 settlements in 76 years in the remote Chiquitania – then known as Chiquitos – on the frontier of Spanish America. Our family flew from our home, La Paz to Santa Cruz de La Sierra. From there, we drove some 1,500 km in order to visit most of the Jesuitic Missions still standing – only one was left unseen, due to been too far from our planned route – close to the Northeastern boarder with Brazil – the Jesuit Mission of San Jose.

They built templos with unique and distinct styles, which combined elements of native and European architecture. The indigenous inhabitants of the missions were taught European music as a means of conversion. Obviously, when we remember learning about the Jesuitic times in school, there’s the controversy around the Jesuits original goals – some would believe in a not-so-positive influence; others still remain faithful to the good-hearted intentions praised by the Spanishmen… I, for one, admire the work and teaching left here – and invite to continue the journey with us!

The missions were self-sufficient, with thriving economies, and virtually autonomous from the Spanish crown.

After the expulsion of the Jesuit order from Spanish territories in 1767, most Jesuit reductions in South America were abandoned and fell into ruins. The former Jesuit missions of Chiquitos are unique because these settlements and their associated culture have survived largely intact.


A large restoration project of the missionary churches began with the arrival of the former Swiss Jesuit and architect Hans Roth in 1972. Since 1990, these former Jesuit missions have experienced some measure of popularity, and have become a tourist destination. A popular biennial international musical festival put on by the nonprofit organization Asociación Pro Arte y Cultura, to be held this coming April 2014, along with other cultural activities within the mission towns, contribute to the popularity of these settlements.

 
6 Comments

Posted by on March 15, 2014 in BOLIVIA, foreign service, TRAVEL

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The mysterious Calle Jaén in La Paz: a place for urban legends…

Calle Jaén

No ghosts were seen today at Calle Apolinar Jaén, in downtown La Paz… Despite the legends, myths, stories from long-time residents and local business owners… This morning, there were no wondering gnomes, nor widows, searching for lonely bachelors, too enebriated to find their own way… This morning, the bright and warm colors covering this street’s colonial houses offered nothing but a pleasant welcome to the two of us, on our last-minute decision on visiting one of the most famous streets in La Paz – la antigua Calle Kaura Kancha…

IMG_1629

Today, the street so used to host commercial exchanges, is now a hotspot for the bohemian crowd visiting La Paz – it’s a must-visit sight for expats in search of learning more about the Paceña culture, its stories, its fears…

We found Calle Jaén, just after a short walk from the city center and Plaza Murrllo, and we confirmed it’s one of most charming colonial streets in the city.Museo Murillo is on this street. This old mansion was once owned by Pedro Domingo Murillo, a hero of the Bolivian republic, and now houses furniture and items from colonial times. The buildings and cobblestoned street are preserved, without traffic, and attract visitors for the soothing atmosphere. This morning, husband and I had the opportunity to enjoy the peace and quietness from Calle Jaén – apparently, the ghostly tales do not come to life on Monday mornings… :o

While walking along Jaén, we visited the Museum of Musical Instruments, and an art gallery, displaying several pieces from the Mamani collection – the warm, earthy colors and textures, as well as the unique musical instruments inventions made up for a delightful beginning before we headed out to our other sights: the San Francisco Church and Plaza, its informal market [for some well-deserved craft shopping!], and a peek at the Mercado de Brujas [Witch Market]…

Definitely, one of the best ways to spend a morning off-work: learning, experiencing, living the Bolivian culture – a tale at a time… :o

And, little bit in Spanish:

El lugar más mágico de La Paz, la calle Jaén, ubicada en el casco antiguo de la capital, calle empedrada de misterios que se esconden detrás de las paredes de sus casas coloniales. Según cuenta la leyenda, en la calle, entonces llamada callejón Cabra – Cancha, se han venido produciendo fenómenos paranormales con los condenados desde tiempos coloniales.Los fantasmas, duendes, almas en pena, ruidos infernales de carruajes tirados por caballos y cadenas arrastradas por el suelo, sembraban el pánico en los habitantes.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on February 18, 2014 in ART, BOLIVIA, expat, foreign service, photography

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Gallery

Talent Show: “Thriller, by our Five-Year-Olds”.

IMG_1539

 
 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Showing Support: The Pachamama Documentary Film Initiative!

Just a brief introduction, for now. Recently contacted by one of the ‘masterminds’ behind the initiative, Alice Rowsome…

[Excerpt from PachamamaFilm Website]:

“Pachamama is a unique feature-length documentary, produced using primarily ultra-wide angles lenses, that will give you a rare insight into an indigenous population living in the Bolivian Andes, the Kallawayas.

Having been affected by climate change for nearly over a decade, the Kallawayas have found inspiring ways to deal with their changing environment”. 

But what is it really about? Go take a look here!

 
1 Comment

Posted by on January 27, 2014 in ART, BOLIVIA

 

Tags: , , ,

Gallery

Photography] Visiting the Inca Ruins in Samaipata, Bolivia.

DSC_0131 DSC_0132 IMG_1424 DSC_0133 DSC_0134 DSC_0135 DSC_0136 DSC_0137 DSC_0138 IMG_1429 IMG_1432

 
11 Comments

Posted by on January 26, 2014 in ART, BOLIVIA, TRAVEL

 

Tags: , , , , ,

[Photography] Back to the Past: The world’s largest site of dinosaur tracks!

DSC_0086

This is the second post on the historical Bolivian city of Sucre – now, stepping a little deeper into the past… some 65 million years ago, to be more exact! :o

DSC_0082

Another opportunity for our traveling family to enjoy some kid-friendly activity during our end-of-the year holidays.

After spending a full day in Sucre, we decided to venture out. A quick bus trip took the 5 of us to the Parque Cretacico – and I understand if you’re not able to replicate our day, so, feel free to take the park’s virtual tour here!

It seems that 65 million years ago the site of, 5km north of the center, was the place to be for large, scaly types. When the construction grounds were being cleared in 1994 for Sucre’s Fancesa (Fabrica Nacional de Cemento SA) cement quarry, some 40 minutes out of town, plant employees uncovered a nearly vertical mudstone face with some 5000 tracks of, at least eight different species of dinosaurs – the largest collection of dinosaur footprints in the world.

 DSC_0081

Take a look at this, and imagine these images been turned inwards some 90 degrees – now it looks vertical, but this area used to be flat, horizontal, the perfect path for some, let’s say… dinosaur strolling! :o

DSC_0079

DSC_0080

Though you can see some of the prints from outside, entering the family-friendly Cretaceous Park gives a better panorama, and that’s exactly what we did, after paying a very ‘family-friendly fee’- gotta love the expatriate life down here in Bolivia!

From downtown Sucre, right across from the Cathedral, we took the 2:30 bus – we’d been told the best light for photographs is during the afternoon. Enjoy the images!

DSC_0071
DSC_0074

DSC_0077

DSC_0076

DSC_0085

A general view of the surroundings, just outside of the park [the past looking into the present!]

DSC_0083

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

[Photography] 65 ways of Sucre, Bolivia.

 

2013 was ending, and our traveling family was in deep need of a quick trip before the new year rang in…

…it had to be to a kid-friendly place, not too far from our home, La Paz, and yet, a place that offered great sights, tons of history, tales and stories to write home about… We were looking for a visiting site that wouldn’t break our end-of-the-year budget [between the Christmas holidays and the New Year’s!].

We found it – Bolivia’s historical capital, the [sweet!] city of Sucre, whose name, coincidently means ‘sugar’, in French [completely unrelated to this blogpost, but a nice send-back to my high school French lessons!] Again, nothing to do with our trip, so, forgetting now my long-lost French lessons, and back to our reality – family life, parenting & traveling!

All that said, our family of 5 headed out to Sucre, a comfortable, affordable short flight from La Paz, right after Christmas Day, for a long and well-deserved weekend.

This post showcases several images we were able to capture with our constantly-switching-hands camera. More yet to come: a visit to Sucre’s Dinosaur Park, the largest one in South America – but I’ll leave it for later… too many beautiful sites/snapshots to enjoy for now!

And, if curious about things to do in Sucre [according to the Lonely Planet http://www.lonelyplanet.com/bolivia/the-southwest/sucre/things-to-do, there are some 112 items to add to any expat visiting list!], feel free to hop over to another friendly site, from a Twitter follower, @SucreLife, and get insider tips, info and advice on traveling to the “White City”[www.sucrelife.com]

Read more: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/bolivia/the-southwest/sucre/things-to-do#ixzz2pRfOUGq5

 

 

Tags: ,

Sucre I – The City of Four Names [Reblogging]

3rdCultureChildren:

Please scroll down for the English version. thank you so much for letting me share your so-educational post! :o

Originally posted on Bolivia ''In My Eyes'':

Sucre jest miastem na tyle waznym w historii Ameryki Poludniowej, ze warto szerzej zapoznac sie z jego historia, architektura i innymi atrakcjami. A wiec zacznijmy od poczatku.

Dzisiejsze Sucre zostalo zalozone w roku 1538 pod nazwa Ciudad de la Plata de la Nueva Toledo’czyli Srebrne Miasto Nowe Toledo. Wkrotce La Plata zostala stolica ‘Audiencia de Charkas’, ktora sprawowala piecze nad rozleglym terenem Ameryki Poludniowej (dzisiejszy Paragwaj, Peru, Chile, Argentyna i Boliwia) – pod patronatem kolonialnego Wicekrolestwa Peru. Pozniej przeksztalcila sie w Wicekrolestwo ‘Rio de La Plata‘.

W 1609 w miescie powstalo arcybiskupstwo a w 1624 – Uniwersytet Sw. Franciszka Ksawerego (drugi najstarszy w Ameryce Poludniowej). Do dzis Sucre jest duchowa stolica Boliwii, z ponad 100 kosciolow i licznymi konwentami oraz mekka studentow, takze zagranicznych.

Kultura andaluzyjska, ktora przyniesli konkwiskadorzy, ma swoje odbicie w niezwykle bogatej architekturze prywatnej jak i koscielnej. Domy jak i urzedy…

View original 1,926 more words

 
4 Comments

Posted by on January 3, 2014 in BOLIVIA, photography, TRAVEL

 

Tags:

[Photography] Back to the Past: A visit to Sucre, Bolivia [Part I].

Well, this is the very first blogpost of 2014 – a promising ‘blogging year’…

Let’s wait and see!

2013 was a fantastic year for our family, and we’ve enjoyed every bit of it – life in Bolivia has proven to be warm, friendly, healthy and joyful. We’re now ready for embracing our last few months here, prepare for home leave back in the US and for our future assignment, Brasilia, in Brazil.

A bit of a regular day in the beautiful city of Sucre: can’t beat a sky like this, right?

DSC_0104

Closing up our travels in Bolivia in 2013, our family had the pleasure to experience the country’s capital, the original historical place, its stories and tales – the city of Sucre.

The city's main plaza

The city’s main plaza

Right after Christmas Day, we flew out of La Paz for several restful days in the country’s original capital – more on this visit will soon come, but for now, I’ll leave you all with this ‘placeholder’ for future posts.

IMG_1225

Sucre (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈsukɾe]), also known historically as Charcas [ˈtʃarkas]La Plata [la ˈplata] and Chuquisaca [tʃikiˈsaka](population 247,300 in 2006) is the constitutional capital of Bolivia, the capital of the department of Chuquisaca and the 5th most populated city in Bolivia. Located in the south-central part of the country, Sucre lies at an elevation of 2810 m. This relatively high altitude gives the city a cool temperate climate year-round [Excerpt from Wikipedia].

 

 
 

Tags: , , ,

2013 in review – according to the WP Stats Monkeys!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 49,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 18 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

 
5 Comments

Posted by on December 31, 2013 in BOLIVIA, foreign service, TRAVEL

 

Tags: , , ,

2013 in Review: Photo Project ’52 Bolivian Sundays’.

bolivian unusual

 

It first began with an inspiration from WordPress, a weekly ‘suggestion’ proposed to bloggers/photographers all around, a ‘weekly photo challenge’ idea. It soon morphed into a very personal photo project, where we’d share impressions, images, and ‘tastes’ of life in Bolivia, our home from August 2012 until next Summer. Now, before we begin next year, and start making plans for our future home, Brasilia, Brazil, I’d like to share the ‘results’ of this ‘blogging experience’, the Photo Project 52 Bolivian Sundays!

Clearly, if you pay attention [and count!] the number of links, you’ll be able to reach one not-so-perfect result: unfortunately, the full 52 weeks mark was not achieved… [insert a sad face here] Although, tried my best to accomplish it… Maybe 2014 will bring better luck and longer weeks for this around-the-clock mamma of 3, working inside and out of the house, and being a trophy wife to dear husband! :o

Please find below the topics for each ‘weekly inspiration’, and follow the link to its original post, if you wish! ♥

Cotapata Park, Bolivia

 

Last Sunday of 2013: Ending the Year with “Joy”

“One”    “Community”   “Grand”    “Eerie”   “Horizon”    “Hue”    “Infinite”   “Good Morning”  

“Saturated”   “From Lines to Patterns”  “Inside”  “Unusual Point of View”   “Sea”   “Focus”  “Carefree” 

"Llamas Crossing"“One Shot, Two Ways”   “Foreshadow”

“Masterpiece”         “Fresh” 

 “The Golden Hour”    “Nostalgic” 

“Companion”     “World Through Your Eyes”

“Background and Foreground” 

“Escape”  “From Above”   “Culture” 

 

“Up and Down”  “Change”  “Color” 

IMG_5663“A Day”   “Future Tense”  “Lunch Time”   “My Neighborhood”   

“Lost in the Details”   “Forward”   “Kiss”

 

“Home”  “Unique”  “Love”  “Beyond”

“Illumination”   “Resolved”

 

 
4 Comments

Posted by on December 30, 2013 in BOLIVIA, photography

 

Tags: , , ,

Photo Project “52 Bolivian Sundays” ['Joy'], for the last Sunday of 2013!

DSC_0232

hammock

fun by the boardwalk in Chile

fun by the boardwalk in Chile

IMG_0185

Inspired by this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge, and finishing up with our personal year-long photo project, 52 Bolivian Sundays [feel free to visit link on the right for previous weeks!], a joyful interpretation [and super bias, 'cause, I do live for these little 3 kiddos, pictured here with a couple of their friends...] for this last Sunday of 2013’!

IMG_1127

IMG_0852

♥ EnJOY as you please, and thanks for stopping by! ♥ Happy New Year to All of Us!

IMG_0934

Read the rest of this entry »

 
31 Comments

Posted by on December 29, 2013 in BOLIVIA, children, FAMILY, photography, TRAVEL

 

Tags: , , , ,

This Blog won Top Tweets on ExpatsBlog! “Twenty reasons for adding Bolivia to your expat visiting list – and maybe sticking around for a while!”

Expat blogs in BoliviaExpat blogs in BoliviaThank you for all the comments, and shared tweets! Not only this blog is bringing home a sweet shopping voucher from Amazon, but the Silver Badge on the side – great way to begin this Christmas Week! :o

[Could not repeat the same feat as last year, when this blog was awarded Gold. Congratulations Jessica for representing so well this year the beautiful country of Bolivia with her 'Bohemian Diaries'! Keep on blogging!]

Expat Blog Awards 2013 Top List Contest Winners is pleased to announced to the winners of this year’s Expat Blog Awards! The standard was simply breathtaking, with such a diverse range of talented bloggers quite clearly pulling out all the stops to bring you the best they can! Without further ado, here are the Expat Blog Awards 2013 prize and award winners…

Our Top 3 Prize Winners

Overall Winner: Kathleen Siddell
Contest Entry: The Top 8 Ideas Worth Adopting From the Chinese

1st Runner Up: Becky the Great
Contest Entry: N is for Nomads

2nd runner Up: Emily Calle
Contest Entry: Top 50 Ways You Know You’re an Expat Living in Vienna

Our Fave Reader Comment: Mrs Partly Cloudy
Contest Entry: Welcome to Singapore:don’t look down
Blog Listing: Partly Cloudy

Top FB Likes: Paul Giles
Contest Entry: The Top Six Dangers You Face When Travelling to Colombia
Blog Listing: Colombia Travel Blog

Top Tweets: 3rd Culture Children
Contest Entry: Twenty Reasons for Adding Bolivia to Your Expat Visiting List
Blog Listing: 3rd Culture Children

Random Winner: Christie Montague
Contest Entry: 6 Things You Should Know About the South of France if You Want to Blend in
Blog Listing: You can go your own way

Now, here is the Top Tweets Winner Post – with all its colorful images! Thanks again for all who read, commented, shared the link, and learned a bit about Bolivia – and maybe, the ones who are now considering adding the country to their Expat Visiting List! :o

unplugged4

From the ExpatsBlog team of editors: “After our hugely successful Expat Blog Awards 2012 last year, we thought we’d take a different spin on this year’s awards! Realising that last year’s scenario would be unfair to recently-joined newer bloggers, we’ve decided to combine the Expat Blog Awards 2013 with a big expat writing contest!
Twenty Reasons for Adding Bolivia to Your Expat Visiting List !

Expat Blog Awards 2013 Contest Entry That said, here’s my pitch… If this blogpost here makes you a bit curious… hop over to ExpatBlogs and check out a list especially prepared for this year’s writing contest: Suggestions on why expats should add Bolivia to their visiting list… they’ll be so in love that may want to stick around for a while! And remember: your great comment will help this blog go for Gold… two years in a row… why not? :o

Bolivia is a culturally diverse, geographically unique and strange in so many other ways that it’s hard to find another place/country quite like it. And this statement is coming from a ‘serial expat’, a traveling mother of third-culture children, a trailing spouse married into the US Foreign Service, and a Latina-born woman.

Hummm… need more examples of the colors and textures? Take a look:

The worldly recognized, the Andean rugs…

bolivian-rugs

Also, here one may enjoy the  typical “salteñas“, recipes borrowed long ago from neighboring Argentina

saltenas

Craving for more? Let’s go on a quick trip towards this unique place on earth!

What you may find in Bolivia? Take a look at these images, and don’t forget: go visit the Expat Blogs and share your wonderful comment about this travel blog! [Thank you!!!]

dressed in patterns

dressed in patterns

Madre Luna, from the Moon Valley

What looks like a carpet of stalagmites canvassing a desert, Valle de la Luna, or “Valley of the Moon” is what is left of a mountain composed of clay and sandstone that has been battered by strong winds and time.

Here are more images of this unique country… looking for a bit more explanation? Check the full text prepared for this year’s contest

IMG_5671

death road bikers...

Mountain biking trip

Mountain biking trip

DSC_0006

comadres

Cotapata Park, Bolivia

Cotapata Park, Bolivia

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

IMG_0407

Kal7

bolivian unusual

unplugged2

IMG_0805

IMG-20130816-00021

Aguayo

Aguayo

IMG_4668

Laguna Verde ['Green Lagoon']

DSC_8066

Singani in Tarija

IMG_5777

IMG_5763

Pre-Inca Ruins

Pre-Inca Ruins

The Table of Sacrifices

The Table of Sacrifices

Pre-Inca Ruins

IMG_5708

Immerse into the local culture and traditions

IMG_5663

IMG_5669

IMG_5623

IMG_5622

IMG_5658

IMG_5562

Español: Alumnos del Colegio Padre Luis Gallar...

[Photo credit: Wikipedia.com]

IMG_4960

The famous “trufi”!

Connect with the past, experience the present and look into the future… Bolivia offers it all! ♥

muela del diablo

Twenty Reasons for Adding Bolivia to Your Expat Visiting List !

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Photo Project “52 Bolivian Sundays” ['One']

IMG_1037

unplugged3

"Llamas Crossing"

“Llamas Crossing”

Inspired by this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge, and continuing with our personal photo project, 52 Bolivian Sundays [feel free to visit link on the right for previous weeks!], a humble interpretation of ‘One’…

P1010537

♥ Enjoy as you please, and thanks for stopping by! ♥

Read the rest of this entry »

 
11 Comments

Posted by on December 20, 2013 in BOLIVIA, photography, TRAVEL

 

Tags: , , , ,

From the ExpatsBlog: What are people talking about our take on Bolivia?

This is the second part of the ‘contest post’ – the article published on ExpatsBlog about our ‘list on why expats should add Bolivia to their bucket list… and maybe sticking around for a while!’ is getting some feedback! See below what others are talking about the article, and don’t forget to hop on over to Twenty Reasons for Adding Bolivia to Your Expat Visiting List!, leaving your comment about our take on Bolivia for expats.

Thank you! :o

Contest Comments »  

Reader 1 wrote 20 hours ago:
 
 I’m intrigued: I thought Lhasa was the highest capital in the world. I’ve been there, and the mountains and the light in your pictures, and the way the people look remind me of it a lot. I hope you have a wonderful two years.
 
 
Reader 2 wrote 18 hours ago:
 
 I love your writing style and your suggestions make me want to visit Bolivia now! Enjoy your tour
 
 
Reader 3 wrote 8 hours ago:
 
 Wow! What a delight to find out about your blog from this contest. Too bad your entry as posted here doesn’t show your wonderful photography. Best to you and your family as you travel across Bolivia and the world with you open loving hearts.
 
 
Reader 4 wrote 2 hours ago:
 
 ADOREI SEU BLOG!! Meu Deus…you made me cry, I MISS Bolivia like crazy, everything you posted is SO TRUE…I am glad that you guys are having a great time. Being in EUR its so different from Bolivia, 180 degree change for me…the culture, the people, the weather and the community- there are no comparison, I enjoyed my time there. I miss the warmth and kindness of the people, and that I was called “señorita” by everyone made me feel very special. Great photos, keep it up, GRACIAS! for sharing. Good luck to you! Beijos!
 

Expat Blog Awards 2013 Contest Entry Connect with the past, experience the present and look into the future… Bolivia offers it all! ♥

muela del diablo

Twenty Reasons for Adding Bolivia to Your Expat Visiting List !

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Twenty reasons for adding Bolivia to your expat visiting list – and maybe sticking around for a while!

unplugged4

From the ExpatsBlog team of editors: “After our hugely successful Expat Blog Awards 2012 last year, we thought we’d take a different spin on this year’s awards! Realising that last year’s scenario would be unfair to recently-joined newer bloggers, we’ve decided to combine the Expat Blog Awards 2013 with a big expat writing contest!
                                           

Twenty Reasons for Adding Bolivia to Your Expat Visiting List !

Expat Blog Awards 2013 Contest Entry That said, here’s my pitch… If this blogpost here makes you a bit curious… hop over to ExpatBlogs and check out a list especially prepared for this year’s writing contest: Suggestions on why expats should add Bolivia to their visiting list… they’ll be so in love that may want to stick around for a while! And remember: your great comment will help this blog go for Gold… two years in a row… why not? :o

Bolivia is a culturally diverse, geographically unique and strange in so many other ways that it’s hard to find another place/country quite like it. And this statement is coming from a ‘serial expat’, a traveling mother of third-culture children, a trailing spouse married into the US Foreign Service, and a Latina-born woman.

Hummm… need more examples of the colors and textures? Take a look:

The worldly recognized, the Andean rugs…

bolivian-rugs

Also, here one may enjoy the  typical “salteñas“, recipes borrowed long ago from neighboring Argentina

saltenas

Craving for more? Let’s go on a quick trip towards this unique place on earth!

What you may find in Bolivia? Take a look at these images, and don’t forget: go visit the Expat Blogs and share your wonderful comment about this travel blog! [Thank you!!!]

dressed in patterns

dressed in patterns

Madre Luna, from the Moon Valley

What looks like a carpet of stalagmites canvassing a desert, Valle de la Luna, or “Valley of the Moon” is what is left of a mountain composed of clay and sandstone that has been battered by strong winds and time.

Here are more images of this unique country… looking for a bit more explanation? Check the full text prepared for this year’s contest [shameless, right? :o]

IMG_5671

death road bikers...

Mountain biking trip

Mountain biking trip

DSC_0006

comadres

Cotapata Park, Bolivia

Cotapata Park, Bolivia

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

IMG_0407

Kal7

bolivian unusual

unplugged2

IMG_0805

IMG-20130816-00021

Aguayo

Aguayo

IMG_4668

Laguna Verde ['Green Lagoon']

DSC_8066

Singani in Tarija

IMG_5777

IMG_5763

Pre-Inca Ruins

Pre-Inca Ruins

The Table of Sacrifices

The Table of Sacrifices

Pre-Inca Ruins

IMG_5708

Immerse into the local culture and traditions

IMG_5663

IMG_5669

IMG_5623

IMG_5622

IMG_5658

IMG_5562

Español: Alumnos del Colegio Padre Luis Gallar...

[Photo credit: Wikipedia.com]

 

IMG_4960

The famous “trufi”!

 

Connect with the past, experience the present and look into the future… Bolivia offers it all! ♥

muela del diablo

Twenty Reasons for Adding Bolivia to Your Expat Visiting List !

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Photo Project “52 Bolivian Sundays” ['Community']

IMG_1071

Inspired by this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge, and continuing with our personal photo project, 52 Bolivian Sundays [feel free to visit link on the right for previous weeks!], a humble interpretation of ‘Community': reaching out to the Bolivian community through a common passion – soccer!

IMG_1054

IMG_1052

DSC_0195

PS: I'm proudly married to the team's captain... :o Community Outreach while exercising his passion for soccer!

PS: I’m proudly married to the team’s captain… :o Community Outreach while exercising his passion for soccer!

♥ Enjoy as you please, and thanks for stopping by! ♥

 
16 Comments

Posted by on December 13, 2013 in BOLIVIA, photography, sports, TRAVEL

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Snapshots of Soccer in Yanacachi, Bolivia.

Despite the holiday season ringing in, demanding [yet, wonderful!] family life, my hubby and his colleagues find time to visit communities outside La Paz, and share joyful and peaceful ‘soccer moments’… :o

Yanacachi is a location in the La Paz Department in Bolivia. It is the seat of the Yanacachi Municipality, the third municipal section of the Sud Yungas Province [Source: Wikipedia].

 

Tags: , , ,

Photo Project “52 Bolivian Sundays” ['Grand']

Largest freshwater lake in South America

Largest freshwater lake in South America

Inspired by this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge, and continuing with our personal photo project, 52 Bolivian Sundays [feel free to visit link on the right for previous weeks!], a humble interpretation of ‘Grand':

Copacabana, Bolivia

Copacabana, Bolivia

touring the Yungas region...

touring the Yungas region…

Cotapata Park, Bolivia

Cotapata Park, Bolivia

The Ilimani

The Ilimani

♥ Enjoy as you please, and thanks for stopping by! ♥

Read the rest of this entry »

 
31 Comments

Posted by on December 7, 2013 in BOLIVIA, photography, TRAVEL

 

Tags: , , , ,

‘What did you do last weekend?’ I know what THIS family did!

programa MUNDIALITO

 

 
 

Tags: , , , ,

Catching up with October: Part III – Book Characters at School!

We’re already half way into November… Lots have happened: our FS family got our next post assignment – so grateful, the stressful bidding season is over, and we’re happy we’ll be heading out to Brazil!

October catch-up – Celebrating Book Week in School!

 
3 Comments

Posted by on November 19, 2013 in ART, BOLIVIA, children, photography, school

 

Tags: , , ,

Happy 238th Birthday to the USMC!

'Semper Fidelis', boys!

Semper Fidelis‘, boys! now, let’s get ready for the ceremony!

On November 10th, 2013, Marines stationed all over the world will celebrated the 238th Birthday of the Marine Corps. It couldn’t be different here in La Paz, Bolivia.

IMG_0956I’m honored to say that more than being members of the same mission, I’m grateful and proud to call the Marines here our friends. And my gratitude must be expressed as support. Support to our MSG.

I’m happy to know that each and every one of the young men working at Post One is there for us, despite being short-handed, despite the long hours, the apparently endless shift work… Their daily duties is to be ready. Ready before any of us would think of being… And tomorrow, when we all get in to begin our work day, they’ll be ready, with their usual ‘good morning’ from the ‘box’…

They’re more than a familiar voice behind the after-hours phone calls… and for the FS community out there, I’m sure you can all relate – they need our support as much as we need theirs…

I’m glad and honored to say, that more than sharing the same workplace, we share friendship… These young men have become my friends… Semper Fidelis, boys – Happy Birthday, Marine Corps! :)

 
4 Comments

Posted by on November 13, 2013 in BOLIVIA, foreign service

 

Tags: , , , ,

A snapshot from mystic Copacabana: Photo Project “52 Bolivian Sundays” [week 44, 'Eerie']

“Something eerie has a story to tell — one you aren’t quite sure you want to know.” [The Daily Post]

IMG_5658

 

My offer for this week’s photo challenge [Week 44... 2 more little months to go!], sharing bits and pieces of the Bolivian culture, through the 52 Bolivian Sundays Photo Project. Today, an interpretation of ‘eerie’, as we look at a snapshot of the religious, mystic and mysterious city of Copacabana. People worshiping along the altars hallway seem like ghosts in this scenario…

♥ Enjoy as you please, and thanks for stopping by! ♥

Read the rest of this entry »

 
7 Comments

Posted by on November 5, 2013 in BOLIVIA, photography, TRAVEL

 

Tags: , , , ,

Horizon: Where sky meets earth. Photo Project “52 Bolivian Sundays” [week 43].

Lake Titicaca, Copacabana, Bolivia

Lake Titicaca, Copacabana, Bolivia

HorizonThe space or line where the sky meets the earth”. [from the Daily Post]

Sunset by the lake Titicaca

Sunset by the lake Titicaca

Cotapata Park, Bolivia

Cotapata Park, Bolivia

The city of La Paz, at night, seen from El Alto.

The city of La Paz, at night, seen from El Alto.

♥ Enjoy as you please, and thanks for stopping by! ♥

Read the rest of this entry »

 
32 Comments

Posted by on October 27, 2013 in BOLIVIA, photography, TRAVEL

 

Tags: , , , ,

Photo Project “52 Bolivian Sundays” [week 42, 'a Hue of Color, from Tarija']

Singani in Tarija

This past week, our family took advantage of the children’s school break and flew out of La Paz, seeking warmer temperatures, good hiking, and a relaxing scenario. Tarija is famous for its warm weather and the colorful winery settings. More to come, as we get our photos organized in the ‘shoe box’. For now, a quick example of what we saw/experienced/enjoyed over there:

The orange shades displayed by the glasses filled with Singani drinks – one of Bolivia’s trademarks – seem to perfectly fit the bill for ‘a hue of me‘… a lovely combination of orange and wood tones…

♥ Enjoy as you please, and thanks for stopping by! ♥

Read the rest of this entry »

 
42 Comments

Posted by on October 19, 2013 in BOLIVIA, FOOD, photography, TRAVEL

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

“Un café con leche, por favor…”

Café con leche (Coffee with milk)

Café con leche (Credit: Wikipedia)

Like many parents, I’m silently watching my children grow. And I say ‘silently’ because I wanna witness the process in its fullest, without interfering or attempting to change its course.

My oldest child, and the only boy of the 3, just turned 8 years old. Even though my secret wishes still perceive him as ‘my baby’, he’s growing to be a clever and compassionate young person.

I remain discreet, though, and again, silent, watching from behind the scenes the growth and maturing processes unveil themselves right in front of my motherly eyes… Not an easy task, if one asked me!

Raising children is definitely challenging, as many here may relate. But it’s worth every single second of it – even the ‘over-dramatic’ and ‘not-so-fun’ ones, when as a parent, you don’t really know which direction to take in order to avoid some imminent collapse!

Oh, boy! And those ‘crashes’ do happen! All part of the [parenting] game, as my mother would always remind me about…

But now, back to my initial ‘café con leche‘, or in good Portuguese, ‘Café com Leite‘, as my Portuguese heritage would recommend me to mention! Coffee with milk – as a born and raised Brazilian, the typical beverage served during family gatherings, office reunions, work events… or simply, what I would share with my mother, as the oldest child [and only girl], while chatting about life, love, future. I would share my doubts and my complaints. I would blame the world and in-between sips of the warm drink, praise women for moving far into the society. I would judge my peers and lay out possible solutions for any current political crisis…

In Brazil, when one invites you for a coffee ["um cafezinho"], it’s never just about enjoying the beverage together: it’s about talking, sharing emotions and feelings, exchanging experiences and secrets… it’s about being part of somebody else’s life; the warmth brought by a cup of ‘café com leite’ is a peaceful experience, well known by all Brazilians. And this experience I cherished with my own mother, up to this day, when our ‘nomad family’ has the opportunity to go to Brazil and visit with the grandparents…

This past week, taking advantage of the [Fall] school break, our family went out on a short trip to the city of Tarija, famous for its wineries and warm climate. There’ll be more about this visit, but not today. This time, my focus will remain on our family nucleus, and more specifically, on the very special bond recently established between myself and my little boy…

During the inbound flight to Tarija, my son watched me accept [from the flight attendant] a cup of coffee and milk, perfectly brewed, according to the Latino standards. And he was curious why I always asked for coffee, whenever we were out. I told him it reminded me of the moments I shared with my family, and specifically, with my mother. For the Portuguese, a good cup of coffee and milk is the best remedy for the mind and the soul…

His little eyes were curious and confused – how could a drink be responsible for building memories? How could a beverage carry such a powerful feeling, and trigger emotions lost in time?

I didn’t know the answers. Who does? I just feel it, and I cherish the memories it brings me… ♥

During our flight back to La Paz, our family was split among three rows: I had our baby girl next to me, and the two oldest ones, in the row in front of us.

As expected, it came time for snacks and beverages. The flight attendants showed up pushing along the beverage cart. My son turns to me, and I see his smiley face from in-between the seats. His face is happy, and yet, a bit guilty.

I’m confused, but waiting to see what unveils. He winks at me, and at that point, I hear his heart telling me: I want to build memories, like what you have with “vovó” [grandma]…

The next thing I hear is his flawless Spanish to the flight attendant: “Un café con leche, por favor”. My boy is growing… and he wants to be his own person… The flight attendant gives me a look, checking if it was okay to give him the small styrofoam cup with an once of tinted milk. “It’s okay, I reply”. He takes it, and from between the plane seats, asks me: “Mom, do you wanna a sip from my coffee? It’s pretty good…”

He was right… it was pretty good… Again, emotions that only a nice cup of  “café con leche” is capable of bringing up… :o

IMG_0399

 

 
12 Comments

Posted by on October 17, 2013 in BOLIVIA, FAMILY, LOVE

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Photo Project “52 Bolivian Sundays” [week 41, 'Infinite']

“Infinity can produce contrasting effects on (and in) us: it might make us feel dwarfed or amplified, afraid or empowered.” [The Daily Post]

My offer for this week’s photo challenge [Week 41... 11 more to go!], sharing bits and pieces of the Bolivian culture, through the 52 Bolivian Sundays Photo Project. today, an interpretation of ‘infinite’, as we look down into the Road of Death in Coroico [Yungas Region].

♥ Enjoy as you please, and thanks for stopping by! ♥

Read the rest of this entry »

 
33 Comments

Posted by on October 11, 2013 in BOLIVIA, ecology, photography, TRAVEL

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Unplugged!

Sometimes, we all need a break from these little glowing boxes. How do you know when it’s time to unplug? What do you do to make it happen?

Taking a look at these, I believe it’s pretty easy to ‘guess’ when it’s time to unplug! :o

 
11 Comments

Posted by on October 8, 2013 in BOLIVIA, photography, TRAVEL

 

Tags: , , ,

Photo Project “52 Bolivian Sundays” [week 40, 'Good morning, Sunshine!']

good morning

We all start our days in different ways: going for a run, hitting snooze 17 times, or watching the morning news, among many, many others. [from The Daily Post, WordPress].

Why  not start the day by greeting the Sunshine?

My offer for this week’s photo challenge [Week 40 finally arrived... 12 more to go!], sharing bits and pieces of the Bolivian culture, through the 52 Bolivian Sundays Photo Project: being greeted by a typical ‘Good Morning’ – yes, we’ve got a garden! :o

♥ Enjoy as you please, and thanks for stopping by! ♥

Read the rest of this entry »

 
9 Comments

Posted by on October 7, 2013 in BOLIVIA, ecology, photography, TRAVEL

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Photo Project “52 Bolivian Sundays” [week 39, 'Saturated': the Quena Case].

The Quena Wood Case

Saturated. With colors. My offer for this week’s photo challenge, still sharing bits and pieces of the Bolivian culture, through the 52 Bolivian Sundays Photo Project! :o

This photo was taken during one of our recent hikes, just outside La Paz, through the Valle de La Luna unique geological formations. Flute players, Andean musicians usually come over and greets adventurers and pass-byers with their art… in more ways than one!

This beautiful wood case is commonly used to carry the Quena set, the traditional Andean flute. Note the unique wood work inside the case, all the colorful faces, carefully design to represent different Bolivian pueblos.

The quena is a South American wind instrument, mostly used by Andean musicians.

And here, a little bit of ‘cultural’ background:o

The quena (Quechua: qina, sometimes also written “kena” in English) is the traditional flute of the Andes. Traditionally made of bamboo or wood, it has 6 finger holes and one thumb hole, and is open on both ends or the bottom is half-closed (choked). To produce sound, the player closes the top end of the pipe with the flesh between his chin and lower lip, and blows a stream of air downward, along the axis of the pipe, over an elliptical notch cut into the end. 

Quena is mostly used in traditional Andean music. In the 1960s and 1970s the quena was used by several Nueva Canción musicians, this use was in most cases for particular songs and not as a standard instrument but some groups such as Illapu have used it regularly. In the 1980s and 1990s some post-Nueva Canción rock groups have also incorporated the quena in some of their songs; notably Soda Stereo in Cuando Pase el Temblor and Los Enanitos Verdes in Lamento Boliviano. The quena is also relatively common in World music.

♥ Enjoy as you please, and thanks for stopping by! ♥

 

 
26 Comments

Posted by on September 28, 2013 in ART, BOLIVIA, photography, TRAVEL

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Photo Project “52 Bolivian Sundays” [week 38, 'From Lines to Patterns'].

Lines and patterns through the traditional Andean Aguayo…

Today’s challenge is inspired by Evan Zelermyer‘s stunning urban, abstract, and architectural images from his “Shape, Line, Texture, Pattern” post published earlier this week. I’d love to see your interpretations of these elements, so grab your camera, get outside, and snap a great shot of shapes or lines that you stumble upon, or a cool texture or pattern that catches your eye.

♥ Enjoy as you please, and thanks for stopping by! ♥

 
36 Comments

Posted by on September 23, 2013 in ART, BOLIVIA, photography, TRAVEL

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Photo Project ’52 Bolivian Sundays’ [week 37, 'Inside'].

During a family day at their school, following the rules of the game: one would be safe if and when, inside the circle…

This photo shot capture not one little girl heading for ‘base’, but actually three having the same idea, at the very same time… ♥ 

IMG_0473

 

♥ Enjoy as you please, and thanks for stopping by! ♥

 

 
8 Comments

Posted by on September 14, 2013 in BOLIVIA, foreign service, photography, school

 

Tags: , , ,

La Paz celebrates the Pedestrian Day – “Dia del Peatón”.

What a fantastic way to spend a Sunday. September 1st marked the Pedestrian Day, for the City of La Paz.

Families and their children, bikes, tricycles, scooters, skates took over the streets. No cars – and lots of healthy and peaceful fun! ♥ Below here, images from our [otherwise very busy on Sundays!] neighborhood:

LA PAZ SE PARALIZA DOMINGO PARA CELEBRAR EL DÍA DEL PEATÓN

Sólo podrán circular las movilidades autorizadas por el municipio, pero a una velocidad de 20 kilómetros por hora. Asimismo, está prohibida la venta y consumo de bebidas alcohólicas en espacios y vía pública desde las 00:00 horas del sábado hasta las 00:00 horas del domingo.

La Paz se paraliza este domingo para celebrar el Día del Peatón

El día del peatón/Foto ANF.
 
6 Comments

Posted by on September 8, 2013 in BOLIVIA, ecology, expat, FAMILY, photography

 

Tags: , , , ,

Photo Project ’52 Bolivian Sundays’ [week 36, 'Unusual Point of View'].

Photo Project  ’52 Bolivian Sundays’ [week 36, 'Unusual Point of View'].

A traditional, hand-woven fabric made by Bolivian women artisans who use it to carry anything from their groceries to their children.

Each pattern is unique to the woman who has woven it.

bolivia unusual 2

Aguayo (cloth), a multicolored woolen cloth, part of the traditional dressing in the Andes region.

Texture and color, under an usual point of view…

bolivian unusual

♥ Enjoy as you please, and thanks for stopping by! ♥

  1. Between the leaves lie deep thoughts: unusual pov | storyofmylife1993
  2. Weekly Photo Challenge: An Unusual POV | Bark Time = everything and nothing
  3. Weekly Photo Challenge: An Unusual POV | PhotoBeast
  4. the PEEP SHOW: Weekly Photo Challenge | An Unusual POV | the TRASH BASH
  5. Weekly Photo Challenge: An Unusual POV | quack of dawn
  6. Weekly Photo Challenge: An Unusual Point Of View | Jeff Sinon Photography – Nature Through The Lens
  7. Weekly Photo Challenge: An Unusual POV | The World Is a Book…
  8. Weekly Photo Challenge: An Unusual POV | The World Is a Book…
  9. Weekly Photo Challenge: An Unusual POV | Simply Charming
  10. An unexpected weekend | Kan Walk Will Travel
  11. Weekly Photo Challenge: An Unusual POV | Diary of Dennis
  12. Weekly Photo Challenge: An Unusual POV | maxidiehexi
  13. Weekly Photo Challenge: An Unusual POV | Meg Travels
  14. weekly photo challenge: an unusual pov | Wood Rabbit Journey
  15. plastic on concrete | sztracsek
  16. Weekly Photo Challenge: An Unusual POV | Indira’s Blog
  17. Weekly Photo Challenge: An Unusual Point Of View | Rois
  18. Weekly Photo Challenge: An Unusual POV | Edge of the Forest
  19. Weekly photo challenge: an unusual point of view | parislux
  20. Weekly Photo Challenge: An Unusual POV | It’s just the booze dancing…
  21. Weekly Photo Challenge: An Unusual Point of View (1) | Bastet and Sekhmet
  22. Unusual Point of View | A Happy and Beautiful World
  23. View of Tulips | Colline’s Blog
  24. Weekly Photo Challenge: An Unusual POV | Janaline’s world journey
  25. Weekly Photo Challenge: Unusual POV | Postcards from
 
13 Comments

Posted by on September 6, 2013 in BOLIVIA, foreign service, photography

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Photography: A trip into the Moon Valley – El Valle de La Luna, Bolivia

Valle de La Luna

A good way to begin a peaceful week is to take advantage of a US holiday on Monday, and explore our surroundings… while the kids are happily spending quality time at the local school! The next step is sharing images from our recent visit to the Valle de La Luna, in the municipality of Mallasa, a town 20-30 minutes from the city of La Paz, is a place of family entertainment with a pleasant climate, nature and tourist attractions.

Valle de La Luna

The land formations that resemble the lunar soil, where erosion over the years has formed a group of astonishing rock formations, which give the visitor the sensation of having discovered an unknown world. Truly an almost real lunar landscape.

Madre Luna, from the Moon Valley

Hard to decide which geological formations caused by soil erosion is the best shot… still trimming down the photo gallery!

IMG_0505

What looks like a carpet of stalagmites canvassing a desert, Valle de la Luna, or “Valley of the Moon” is what is left of a mountain composed of clay and sandstone that has been battered by strong winds and time.

IMG_0509

The earth peaks and crevices creates a surreal landscape that lends itself wonderfully to unique and intriguing pictures.

IMG_0533

Like many mountains surrounding the La Paz area of Bolivia, the gutting formations contain rich variations of mineral content, creating colorful composition throughout the drastic landscape.

IMG_0519

The Valley of the Moon is located about 10 km southwest from La Paz, near the small town of Mallasa, and while a portion of the valley has been preserved, housing is steadily popping up on the unstable soil.

IMG_0556

While trails are provided and clearly marked for explorers, they are narrow and a bit treacherous, come prepared for sharp edges and uneven paths.

IMG_0571

There isn’t much in the way of wildlife to see, other than some cacti and a few small flowering plants. Locals have named some of the rock formations after shapes they believe to symbolize: La Madre Luna (mother moon), El Sombrero de la Dama (lady’s hat), to mention a few examples.

IMG_0545

 

 
5 Comments

Posted by on September 4, 2013 in BOLIVIA, photography, TRAVEL

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Snapshots of Soccer in Quiripujo, Pucarani – Bolivia.

IMG_0466

Mid-August: the U.S. embassy soccer team visited the Community of Quiripujo in Korila for a friendly soccer match and a book donation. The visit began in Quiripujo school where a cultural event took place, the day continued with a soccer match between the teams of Korila and the U.S. Embassy, which ended with a resounding victory for the local team and concluded with the traditional Apthapi communal feast.

Reference [text]: http://bolivia.usembassy.gov/soccerinquiripujo2013.html
Photos by L. Miranda:

IMG-20130816-00016

IMG-20130816-00020

IMG-20130816-00021

IMG-20130816-00026

IMG-20130816-00028

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 
 

Tags: , , ,

Photo Project ’52 Bolivian Sundays’ [week 35, 'Sea']. Okay, no sea in Bolivia, but…

Location of Bolivia in South America on the 1s...

Location of Bolivia in South America (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I totally understand the words ‘sea’ and ‘Bolivia’ do not got together in the same sentence!

Sorry for that… ♥

For the ones who have forgotten a bit of their geography:

Unfortunately, the country of Bolivia do not have access to the ocean, it does not have a ‘sea view’ of it’s own…

Not going into political details…

Some neighboring countries may have some justification to that… :o but for now, leaving politics completely out of any of my blogposts!

For this week photo series, I’m bringing in two possible options for the ‘Challenge Sea‘.

The first one: Bolivia does have the largest fresh water lake in South America [woot,woot!]

Lake Titicaca

The youngest hiker

The youngest hiker

Largest freshwater lake in South America

Largest freshwater lake in South America

The second option: the easiest way to get a unique ‘sea view’, on any given ‘Bolivian Sunday’ is to visit the neighboring Chile…. like our family did, some time this year!

Maybe, I’m cheating…(?) but I can’t go against geography, right? If there’s no sea, there’s no sea… ♥ Enjoy as you please, and thanks for stopping by! ♥

Read the rest of this entry »

 
30 Comments

Posted by on September 1, 2013 in BOLIVIA, foreign service, photography

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,967 other followers

%d bloggers like this: