Category Archives: BRASIL

Wonders of life as a Foreign Service Family – Life at the New Post.

Greetings from Brasilia!


After several weeks of ‘transitional homes’ we safely made it to our permanent housing assignment. And why is it important to mention it is a ‘permanent house’? Maybe for the curious ones, with friends cruising thru the joys of the Foreign Service life, there’ll be a long explanation out there waiting to be spelled out. :o For now, it’s enough saying we’re glad we don’t have to move to a difference residence. We’re comfortable and settled down. At least, as comfortable as possible – kids have enrolled into a Summer camp program, and we’re getting to know new families, learning the ropes for the city…

What and where to find our immediate needs for the house (forgot to mention that, although we like our ‘new place’, it’s pretty bare, hence the need to go out and buy not only groceries, but trash cans, cleaning products… You name it!).

The illusion of two hands together reaching up to the sky creates the Metropolitan Cathedral of Brasilia
The illusion of two hands together reaching up to the sky creates the Metropolitan Cathedral of Brasilia

Despite all the usual initial difficulties, inherent to the nature of the move, we believe we’ll have a nice time here. That’s the ultimate hope. We now have cable TV and internet – a great milestone! Kids have already made friends with some other children who would likely be attending the same school. We’re trying to build our own niche, despite the smell of fresh coat of paint that greets us every time we come back to the house… :)

I believe we’ll be happy here – at least we’ll try… Right now, wearing my most-hopeful-foreign service-spouse hat… The only one I was able to fit on our suitcase… Yeap, the same suitcase I’ve been living out of, for the past 8 weeks… But, who’s counting, right? :)

Now, let me get back to checking on my 3 little ones – just heard some clapping, so, I’m assuming the movie outside-and-popcorn event just ended – will go hug my kids with the most thankful smile to the Summer Camp supervisors and organizers: they enabled this very busy mom to enjoy some quiet time (and a coffee!), while getting back on the blogosphere horse!

Ate mais!

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Wonders of life as a Foreign Service Family – Random Thoughts on Home Leave

Well, we’re back in Washington, DC – the last part of our ‘transitional’ Home Leave, surviving thru the perks of living out of our suitcases since May 19… but you know, not bad at all! :o No complaints on hauling our three children around, departing La Paz, Bolivia, heading to California for some family catch up… taking the kiddos to Disneyland and Legoland, surviving the long lines, the screaming, the cries for attention and for over-priced popcorn… picking up a few family members along the way, driving all of us to witness in loco the magnificent views offered by the Grand Canyon… and flying back to the East Coast… much has happened, and definitely, no time to spare… not even for blogging!

Need to do a better job trying to catch up with our lives… Haven’t had much free time, I must admit – the little ones keep me on my toes, and as any parent around here must know, Summer Break has all of us [parents] pulling our hair trying to find educational, recreational, interesting and fun activities for our lovies, during this time… it’s work, people… and we’ve been doing this for some 5 weeks already.. again… living out of suitcases, staying with family, long car rides… a few car sicknesses along the way… always fun! :o

Now, it’s home stretch – a few days in the DC area, and we head out to our newest work and life adventure – Brasília, the capital of Brazil [yeap, the beautiful country that just put out the most unbelievable performance during the recent World Soccer Cup - don't even get me started on that... as a Brazilian-born soccer-passionate soccer-mom-wife, I'm still recovering from the 'bad dream' many of us witnessed these past weeks...] Our family will be in Brasília for the next 3 years. Husband’s duty, as many wives/spouses here would relate and sympathize... :o

Presently writing from a government-per-diem-acceptpleasant hotel room, packed with my noisy and restless adorable and very understanding little children, enjoying some quite time while I gather my blogging thoughts together [who am I kidding?? And why do we need to have both TVs on, and so loud??] But, all in all, I guess we’re ready for what’s in store for us… let’s wait and see! :o

Classic pic, right? Gotta have your moment in the sun with Mr Mouse! A quick snapshot from our first stop during Home Leave 2014 - not-yet-tired parents at Disneyland!

Classic pic, right? Gotta have your moment in the sun with Mr Mouse! A quick snapshot from our first stop during Home Leave 2014 – not-yet-tired parents at Disneyland!




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Great Bidding Victory! Guess where we’re going?!

The illusion of two hands together reaching up to the sky creates the Metropolitan Cathedral

The founder, President JK

This city is well-known for its unique architecture, and the use of other media, like the water, to create architectural and sculptural illusions. Here is a bit of the city, showing that, even with the lack of focus on the main feature, the city constructions and its urban art remain unique, powerful and fabulous!

The Cultural Center

Have you guessed where will be heading out to next Summer? :o


Posted by on November 8, 2013 in BRASIL, foreign service, TRAVEL


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64 weeks at Post. Great bidding victory – we got our #1 choice [again]!

We’re a couple of months into our second year at Post, and we’ve enjoyed every bit of it.

Soon we’ll have news to share: The Mirandas are going to their #1 Choice – once again – hard to believe! The stress is over, and now, we oughta begin looking into our future – gotta love the Foreign Service – never a dull moment!

No, not sharing much at this time… Just wanna leave these images here… maybe it’s a clue?  :o



Let’s just wait and see… :o


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Revisiting the ‘Picture of World Project': sunset in Brazil



Posted by on August 22, 2013 in ARCHIPELAGO, BRASIL, photography


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Getting ready for Carnaval: Making food from Brazil!

Keeping this little tradition: Holidays, talk about food. This weekend, it’ll be no different.

Bolivia also celebrates Carnaval, and kids are off school, for a grand total of 5 days… (!). Work will also be off, for Monday and Fat Tuesday – the best thing to do? Get together with friends, and plan fantastic meals! Let’s see if I’ll be able to come up with a fairly decent Brazilian feijoada, using my Bolivian ingredients… More to come on this post, but for now, let’s just get our appetites ready for what could be in-store for us! :o

Whenever I meet someone from Brazil, I ask them what their favorite food is. After steak (picanha), it is almost always feijoada. It’s an old bean, pork and beef recipe, brought to South America, like many foods in many places, by those intrepid, globetrotting spice traders, the Portuguese, and then enhanced, like many other foods in many other places, by African slaves and their descendants.

Feijoada Completa

1 1/2 cups dried black beans (turtle is preferred, for texture)
1/8 lb. carne seca/cesina (about the size of your flat hand)
1/8 lb. pork ribs (about 2 thick ribs)
1 pig foot, split
1-2 pig ears
1 pig tail (smoked, if possible)
4 strips smoked bacon, finely chopped
1 paio sausage, cut into thick slices
1/2 lb. of linguiça calabresa (Portuguese-style smoked pork sausage), cut into thick slices
1 white onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
2 bay leaves
1 orange, peeled (remove all of the white pith!)
8 cups water

The night before, soak the pig foot, tail and ear in cold water to draw out blood/impurities. Separately, soak the cesina in cold water overnight. In yet another bowl, soak the beans in cold water.

The next day, put the foot, tail, ear and cesina in a pot with cold water to cover. Bring to a boil, boilf for 10 minutes and then drain. Refill the pot with cold water, bring to a boil again and cook until the meats are tender and beginning to fall apart. Drain well.

In a large pot or dutch oven (preferred), place the beans and 8 cups water, bay leaves, and peeled orange. Bring to a boil, then lower to simmering. Cook for 45 minutes. Add all meats, and cook for 20-30 more minutes.

In a saute pan, fry the onion and garlic on olive oil. Add about 1 cup of beans from the pan, cook briefly and mash well with the back of a spoon. Return the whole mess to the dutch oven and adjust for salt. Let simmer for about 20-30 more minutes, until beans are tender and meats are falling apart willingly. Remove from heat and let cool about 10 minutes.

Serve with boiled, medium-grain white rice, orange slices, farofa and (chiffonaded) collard greens (that have been quickly fried in canola oil and drained on paper towels.

2 tbsp canola oil
1 small onion, minced
4 slices smoked bacon, minced
1 cup toasted manioc flour (farinha de mandioca torrada)
1 bunch scallions – only the dark green tops! – thinly sliced
salt and black pepper to taste

Saute the onion and bacon in the oil over low heat until the bacon is fully rendered and crisp. Add the flour a little at a time, stirring to coat. Add the scallions when the flour has just begun to brown. Remove from heat, mix well.

Serve at any temperature, and refrigerate any unused portion.


Posted by on February 8, 2013 in BRASIL, FOOD, foreign service


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2012 in review, according to the WordPress stats helper monkeys…

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog. Here’s an excerpt:

19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 68,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.


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Weekly Photo Challenge: My 2012 in 12 Pictures.

June 2012: After 2 years at post, our family says goodbye to Brazil in style, surrounded by friends, family and co-workers!

June 2012: After 2 years at post, our family says goodbye to Brazil in style, surrounded by friends & family!!

2012 will mark the 12th New Year’s Eve with my guy… yeah, the one riding the Peace & Love 70s van with me, just pictured above… ♥ And this December we celebrate 110 months of married life… it sure goes by pretty fast!

How was the year of 2012?

Apparently, we all did okay through the Mayan quasi-apocalipse, so, that’s a pretty positive point!

It’s often said that images speak more than words, so…. Considering that during 2012, we had homes in three countries, it was a bit of challenge to pick an image to represent each month, but, why not give it a shot? :

Here is our 2012, through photos!

This week’s photo inspiration is to portrait 2012 in pictures… one per month… Let’s see how good of a job I did over here!

Happy Holidays to all!


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“Lost in Time”: Flora of the Jericoacoara National Park, Brazil

Sometimes, even memories fall thru the cracks… :o Glad I found it! With you all, the Flora of the Jericoacoara beach, in Brazil! This is the place some 12 years back, I found the one who’d become ‘my guy’… ♥

Walks along the beach coast are one of the best ways to temporarily, leave reality, trading urban stressful images for exquisite coastline sites, immersing into natural beauty… Here are a few examples of nature’s hand, samples of the flora collection observed during one of our walks along the Monte Serrote, located at the National Park Jericoacoara (environmentally protected area, APA). Typical flora representatives are Caatinga and Cerrado.

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Posted by on December 2, 2012 in BRASIL, photography, TRAVEL


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190 anos de Brasil Independente. Let’s keep moving forward… please!

Chinese proverb says: “If you are planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, educate people.”  


Posted by on September 7, 2012 in BRASIL, ecology


Travel Theme: Curves.

Ailsa, from “Where’s my Backpack?” asked this week’s question: “Are you ready to show off your curves?” Sometimes, the best way to see and ‘feel the curves’ while traveling, is not actually by road… what about by plane? Definitely, a different experience!

“Curving over’ the archipelago of Fernando de Noronha, South AmericaMy appreciation to Where’s my backpack? for the inspiration! :o


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Picture the World Project: Brazil!

Picture The World Project, BrazilPosted on July 3rd, 2012


Photo by 3rdCultureChildren

I am so honored to be nominated to offer a photo from my collection to represent Brazil. What to choose from? I went with nature – one of the most beautiful beaches my ´Brazilian eyes´ have ever seen! The picture chosen a unique orange-toned sunset, overlooking the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean…

It’s my duty to nominate two people to submit photos of another country. I would like to nominate Heather (of who has moved with her family to Egypt. I would also like to nominate Carla (of currently in the Philippines, and getting ready for their next move in January 2014, to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil!

Thank you 3rdculturechildren for this beautiful photo for Brazil. Looking forward to seing Heather and Carla’s contributions.


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Paraíba, home of the Brazilian blue tourmaline, encloses the Easternmost point of the Americas

Paraíba, home of the Brazilian blue tourmaline, encloses the Easternmost point of the Americas

Family day trip to Cabo Branco, in the State of Paraíba. Hidden in one of the Norteastern Brazilian states, it’s possible to discover this ‘gem‘, the geographic place, corresponding to a cape on the Atlantic coast of Paraíba state, which forms the easternmost point of the American continent, five miles southeast of João Pessoa, the state capital. It is surrounded by beautiful white sand beaches bordered by flat-topped forms of sedimentary strata called “tabuleiros“, which rise sharply above the beaches to heights between 150 and 500 ft, and enjoys abundant rainfall. The name of the State comes from the combination of the Tupi words pa’ra (river) and a’íba (unsuitable for navigation). The Ponta do Seixas, on Cabo Branco beach, where, according to a traditional saying, “the sun rises first” is the land of the sun indeed, and of an enviable shore — but also of other historical, ecological and cultural beauties.

We got to see the famous lighthouse of Ponta Seixas, and enjoy the idea of being by the farthest East of the Continent.

Ponta do Seixas é o ponto mais oriental do Brasil e da América continental, localiza-se na Parte Leste da cidade de João Pessoa, capital do estado da Paraíba, a 14 quilómetros do centro da cidade e 3 quilômetros ao sul do Cabo Branco, que já foi considerado o ponto mais a leste do continente e que devido à erosão marinha que ao longo dos anos fez com que suas ondas desgastassem o Cabo Branco e depositasse estes sedimentos na Ponta Seixas (fazendo-a aumentar) e passando a ser atualmente o ponto mais oriental das américas.

Do alto da Ponta do Seixas, erigido sobre uma falésia, fica o formoso Farol do Cabo Branco, no formato de um pé de sisal, de onde se tem uma bela vista da orla e do oceano Atlântico. Muitas pessoas confundem a Ponta do Seixas com a falésia do Cabo Branco. São duas formações geológicas diferentes. A ponta é que representa o ponto mais a leste da América e não a falésia do Cabo Branco. A ponta do Seixas é uma estreita faixa de terra mais ao sul da barreira que se prolonga para o leste.

Taking advantage of the opportunity to teach the kids a bit of Geography:


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Family & Friends at Carneiros Beach, Pernambuco, Brazil.

Waving along the Southern Coast of Pernambuco, Carneiros Beach (“Praia dos Carneiros”) discreetly possesses all the requirements to become a paradise. Sea of calm and crystal clear waters in shades of blue, palm trees, coral reefs and even a river that ends into the ocean. Likely, our last weekend at the beach in Brazil, surrounded by close friends – at least, the last one, for a while… Who knows what the future has is planning for us?! :o

Rustic bungalows have been built and decorated to meet the needs of comfort, and privacy, so tourists, or vacationing families may enjoy the peaceful setting that reigns in this paradise, still respecting the environment, its unique features and learning about preservation and ecological conscience.


Posted by on June 16, 2012 in beach, BRASIL, ecology, photography


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Collecting Brazilian states: the mystic city of Juazeiro do Norte

 Brazil is famous for its ´mystic´places… Some believe, some others, don´t… Another well-know ´mystic place´ is the country´s capital – at least, unique on its beauty and touristic sights… Believing or not, all the sites are great for visiting, and for learning about culture, tradition and stories…

From Recife, Pernambuco
To Juazeiro do Norte, Ceara, Brazil
Distance: ~ 309 miles or 498 km

The city of Juazeiro do Norte in the state of Ceará has approximately 212,133 inhabitants, with an area of 248.56 km2, resulting in a very dense population for a city in the interior of Brazil.  Juazeiro do Norte is becoming a center for artisans, with a large vocation for the production of souvenirs and mementos. One of these mementos is the little rag doll or “boneca de pan”,  whose primary materials are cloth scraps, corncobs, thread, needles, cotton wadding, and a lot of imagination. The city has become famous for its religious pilgrimage. Here is a little bit of historical background, from Wikipedia:

“Juazeiro do Norte is best known as the base of the charismatic priest and politician Padre Cícero (Cícero Romão Batista) (1844-1934). A pilgrimage in his honour takes place every November, attracting thousands of followers. It was initially a district of the nearby city Crato, until a young Padre Cícero Romão Batista decided to stay as a cleric in the village. Padre Cícero was then responsible for the independence and emancipation of the city. Because of the so-called “milagre de Juazeiro” (“miracle in Juazeiro”, when Padre Cícero gave the sacred host to the religious sister Maria de Araújo, the host became blood), the priest was associated with mystical characteristics and began to be venerated by the people as a saint. Today the city is the second largest in the state and a reference in the Northeast region thanks to the priest.”

Find below a series of peculiar images from this mystic city, a site visited by tourists all-year around – religious or not…

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Posted by on June 10, 2012 in BRASIL, TRAVEL


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Greenpeace in Brazil. Visiting the Rainbow Warrior Ship.

2 biologists

The Greenpeace ship, Rainbow Warrior is in Brazil.

We had the opportunity to go on a guided visit through its compartments, talk with the captain, and learn more about the current projects involving the Greenpeace Initiative and Brazilian NGOs.

The visit also included the solar kitchen installations and the solar panels.


The Captain



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School ‘Babylon Hanging Garden': hard work pays off!

Great use of a recycled PET bottle!

Wordle: herbs

The Recognition 

EcoClub Pizza! Harvest time is approaching for the Hanging Gardens of the EcoClub. We’ve talked the School Canteen into turning the garden’s produce into Pizza (and Salad!) for lunch on June 11.:o Stay tuned!

That said, I’ve been asked to provide updates on our Hanging Garden Project. We’ve got new ORGANIC VEGGIES, all from ‘freshly donated seeds’… Our middle/high school students have been deeply involved in building a system with planters made from recycled PET bottles, as seen on the right. What originally was a school research project, has become a multidisciplinary task (see left), and a passion for all the gardening lovers! Besides that, we’ve discovered a great source of cost-free clean/distilled water for all the watering needs: the several air conditioning devices, spread throughout the school campus.  


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Largest artificial lake in Latin America

Traveling could be seen as a passion. No matter if it’s for work or leisure. Photography is another passion, trying to capture, as much as possible, some of the unique sights visited during the several trips throughout the Northeastern region of Brazil. This is another post from the “Collecting Brazilian States” segment.

the sign indicates that this is the largest artificial lake in Latin America - "generating energy for the whole country"

Sediments from the São Francisco River give Sobradinho Lake coloring that changes from brown, to golden tan, to green. The lake is located in the northern part of the Brazilian state of Bahia, already showcased here on a previous post.

Created by the construction of the Sobradinho Dam (“Represa de Sobradinho“), the reservoir itself is the largest in Brazil, covering a surface area of 4,225 km2. It has a mean depth of 8.6 m and a maximum depth of 30 m. Watch below the concrete bridge/platform being lifted, to give passage for the large ships, transporters and storing units! Really something!


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João Pessoa, Paraíba: perfectly blending the natural, the old and the modern

João Pessoa, Paraíba: perfectly blending the natural, the old and the modern

Paraiba is one of the prime Brazilian states, situated on the Atlantic Ocean in the northeast region of the country. The state is famous for producing leather goods of various types.

The capital of the state is rich in historical monuments as well as contemporary buildings, many of which are great examples of baroque-style architecture.  Nevertheless, the greatest enchantments are still related to the sea.  In addition to the beach of Cabo Branco, with its beautiful, unique lighthouse, the beaches of Tambaú, Manaíra, and Bessa are among the most urbanized on the coast and known for their lukewarm waters.

In the capital of João Pessoa, old meets new – a great example is the newly developed Convention Center.

The Natural

The modern, newly designed Convention Center, ready for 2014!


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Photography: First official Synagogue in the Americas

Packing our memories out… Preparing our Farewell…

We are always trying to collect unique images from our host city. Downtown Recife encloses several little architecture gems (shown here), gifts from the Portuguese, Spanish and Dutch influences. In the world’s largest Catholic nation, the Recife synagogue has become an important symbol of the Jewish heritage in Brazil. It is one of the main stops on the city’s tourist circuit, located at the Rua Bom Jesus, old town Recife and its archives attract Brazilian and foreign historians.


Posted by on May 27, 2012 in BRASIL, photography


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Quick look at Aracaju, capital of Brazil’s smallest state.

Aracaju is the capital of Sergipe, one of the Northeastern States of Brazil, and coincidently, the smallest one, but nonetheless, full of history and beautiful touristic sites.

Previously, we posted about Sergipe’s first capital, São Cristovão, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Now, a few images from the state’s current capital:

 Aracaju, is an example of the first planned cities in Brazil, and was built with the intention of becoming the state capital. It was founded in 1855, as the capital of Sergipe.

Enjoying the night beauty of Aracaju:

Thank you, Marcelle Cristinne, for the beautiful photo! Great angle! :o

 Other historical cities from the northeast of Brazil:

São Luis, Maranhão  Eyes to the world   Teresina, Piauí   Interior da Bahia    Olinda, Pernambuco   João Pessoa and Ponta do Seixas, Paraíba  Maceió, Alagoas   Igarassu, Pernambuco  Vila dos Remédios, Fernando de Noronha, Pernambuco   Rio Grande do Norte


Posted by on May 11, 2012 in BRASIL, photography, TRAVEL


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São Cristóvão, the fourth oldest city in Brazil.


The city of São Cristóvão is located 25 km from Aracaju, capital of Sergipe, another northeastern state of Brazil, and the Praça de São Francisco (shown here) is the reason why the site is a holder of a World Heritage title.

The cobblestones are originally from the Philippines, and it’s the only city in Brazil with that type of street stone!

It was founded in 1590 and is considered the fourth oldest city in country. With fast and easy access from the state capital, what was before called he “capital of the Province of Sergipe del Rei” is now registered at the Institute for National Artistic and Historical Heritage – Iphan – preserving its colonial architecture, which delights any curious eyes and souls. A UNESCO World Heritage Site- and, so close to us! :o

The large Praça de São Francisco presents an architectural group formed by the Church and Convent of São Francisco, during the seventeenth century, which today houses a beautiful Baroque building that was the first hospital in the province of Sergipe, as well as the Historical Museum, where the old Provincial Palace hosted Dom Pedro II, while visiting the city in 1860.

This architectural complex of Praça de São Francisco was recently recognized by UNESCO, and awarded a World Heritage Site title.

In the Carmo Square visitors will find the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary of Black Men, built by the Jesuits in the eighteenth century.

The saint, who lends his name to the church, was the target of devotion of the slaves. At the Praça is also possible to find the Church and the Carmelite Convent, and the Museum of ex-votos. In the Convent, now home to Benedictine nuns, one of the attractions are the delicious cookies made by religious and fought over by tourists!

We try to travel as much as we can, work permitting! :o

Other historical cities from the northeast of Brazil:

São Luis, Maranhão  Eyes to the world   Teresina, Piauí   Interior da Bahia    Olinda, Pernambuco   João Pessoa and Ponta do Seixas, Paraíba  Maceió, Alagoas   Igarassu, Pernambuco  Vila dos Remédios, Fernando de Noronha, Pernambuco   Rio Grande do Norte


Posted by on May 10, 2012 in BRASIL, photography, TRAVEL


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The ‘post-supermoon’, May 7th 2012, Brazil.

I have to confess: I was a bit disappointed with the whole ‘lack of a glorious super moon‘ this past May 5th… Where was it??

At least,  from my very own point of view. Last year we got amazing views and unique snapshots from La Luna, but this year… not so much. Last night, after having all three kids in bed, their morning school backpacks ready, I was doing my regular ‘night round’, going around the house, checking windows, locking doors… when, while checking the sliding glass doors [which lead into our apartment's veranda], there it was – Miss Luna, again, prettier than this past Saturday… I hope I was able to get a few good shots [had to use an old camera, since husband is out of town with our "good camera"]. Pictures taken, off to bed: “Good night, Moon…”

through the safe net…


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The Supermoon and Cinco de Mayo

In case you missed it, yesterday was Super Moon night. And it was also Cinco de Mayo
At the end of the afternoon, a very shy, though gigantic moon, kept hiding behind the dark clouds, refusing to come out and share with us its full glory… and we kept waiting, but no success… we then realized, there would be no super moon over the northeastern coast of Brazil,like what we were able to witness last year, from our beachfront setting… Disappointment? Maybe, but then plan B kicked in: its Cinco de Mayo, with or without the magnificent moon! Let the party begin, and, if the moon is too shy to show us it’s grace, the party could continue until the other star – the sun! – would greet all the party people!
And so, enjoying good food, good music and great conversation, a Brazilian-Mexican Celebration went through the night… Happy Cinco & Happy 2012 SuperMoon!

A 'super Lua' e o Cristo Redentor, no Rio de Janeiro, na madrugada deste domingoA ‘super Lua’ e o Cristo Redentor, no Rio de Janeiro, na madrugada deste domingo (Ricardo Moraes/Reuters)

:o :o :o :o :o

Here, from last year’s unique impressions:

Just wanted to share a few pictures with you all. The Supermoon, seen from our apartment, in Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil, on March 20, 2011.

Feel free to use and/or share the photographs, just remembering to indicate the source! Thanks!


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Forte das Cinco Pontas, Recife.

Nome histórico: Forte das Cinco Pontas.
Designação popular: Forte das Cinco Pontas.
Nome de tombamento: Forte das Cinco Pontas.
Outras designações históricas:

  • Forte Frederik Hendrik;
  • Fortaleza de São Tiago das Cinco Pontas;
  • Forte Frederico Henrique;
  • Forte Frederick;
  • Heinrich Trots Den Duivel (Desafio Ao Diabo);
  • Vijfhuck (Cinco Pontas);
  • Fortaleza de Frederico Henrich.

Muralhas desgastadas, fossos secos e aterrados, paliçadas em grande parte caídas pela deterioração das madeiras, foi este o quadro que apresentava o Forte Frederick Henrich, quando da chegada de Nassau a Pernambuco. Logo pode Nassau constatar a pouca defesa que em tais condições aquele forte poderia oferecer; e se tratava de um importante posto, pois era o único capaz de garantir água no caso de um cerco à cidade. Mandou alargar e aprofundar os fossos; construir uma contra-escarpa na face externa do fosso; alargar e elevar as muralhas; e do lado do mar, construir uma sapata. Posteriormente ampliaram as defesas externas, com a construção de novos fossos em direção ao sul.

Quando da Restauração Pernambucana, o Forte das Cinco Pontas foi a última fortaleza a ser conquistada pelas tropas luso-brasileiras.

Foi ainda no Forte das Cinco Pontas, onde se encontrava aquartelado o general Sigismund Von Schkoppe, que foram elaborados os termos da rendição das tropas holandesas. E a 28 de janeiro de 1654, na Campina do Taborda, o general Francisco Barreto de Menezes, recebeu oficialmente os termos de capitulação, quando ficaram definidos os moldes da evacuação dos holandeses de Pernambuco.

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Posted by on May 6, 2012 in ART, BRASIL, photography


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The Casa da Cultura de Recife

An old detention house, closed in 1973, was transformed under Brennand’s supervision (read more about this visionary, collector and artist, here), in a shopping mall.

The architecture has been preserved, and the cells were occupied by dozens or small shops, selling local crafts.

detail, the prison seen from above, a project all made with wood

Even where interior walls were removed, to allow a little bigger shops, the look was maintained, only two lifts give a dispensable sign of modernity and comfort, in contrast with the strong grills in the center of the building, and one may find beautiful wood work, resembling the ones found in the colorful nearby city of Olinda.

Throughout the galleries it’s possible to find several different examples of the influence of Master Vitalino, when it comes to lively arts and crafts.

Excellent musical and dance performances often take place right outside the building. The Casa da Cultura is an excellent place to obtain tourist information and start an acquaintance with the region’s cultural arts.

Read more:


Posted by on May 2, 2012 in ART, BRASIL, photography


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“Deep within a forest… exists an extraordinary world… where something else is possible… called Varekai…” Snapshots from Cirque du Solei in Brazil.

Source: Varekai, Cirque du Solei Fan Page

From the sky falls a solitary young man, and the story of Varekai begins.

Parachuted into the shadows of a magical forest, a kaleidoscopic world populated by fantastical creatures, this young man sets off on an adventure both absurd and extraordinary. On this day at the edge of time, in this place of all possibilities, begins an inspired incantation to life rediscovered. [Find Icarus at the end of this post!]

The word Varekai means “wherever” in the Romany language of the gypsies the universal wanderers. This production pays tribute to the nomadic soul, to the spirit and art of the circus tradition, and to the infinite passion of those whose quest takes them along the path that leads to Varekai.”

I’d like to state my “big thank you” for the Show’s production, it’s official website, from where these quotes are borrowed. We were fortunate in having the opportunity to watch the “trupe” in Recife, Brazil, during their last presentations. What a treat! Enjoy the images! [photographic shots were not allowed during the show/performance, but permitted during the 25 min. interval, and at the outside areas...] Most of the photos presented here were taken with our camera. Some pictures (all indicated as such) were borrowed from the Cirque du Solei official website and/or its official Fan Page. My deepest appreciation!

Source: Varekai, Cirque du Solei Fan Page

Source: Varekai, Cirque du Solei Fan Page

Source: Varekai, Cirque du Solei Fan Page

Source: Varekai, Cirque du Solei Fan Page

Source: Varekai, Cirque du Solei Fan Page

Source: Varekai, Cirque du Solei Fan Page

Source: Varekai, Cirque du Solei Fan Page

Source: Varekai, Cirque du Solei Fan Page

Source: Varekai, Cirque du Solei Fan Page

Source: Varekai, Cirque du Solei Fan Page


Posted by on April 24, 2012 in ART, BRASIL, photography, post a day


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Snapshots from indigenous culture in Pernambuco, Brazil: arts and crafts of the Fulni-ô tribe

Today, April 19th, Brazil celebrates the National Indian Day.

In Pernambuco, the state of Brazil we’re currently calling ‘home’, there are still a few indigenous tribes – and most important of all, some of them still keep their native language, like the ones featured here.

The most common indigenous tribes in Pernambuco are: the Xucuru, the Fulni-ô, the Pankararu,  and the Truká.

Recently, other groups were added to the list, although, with fewer representatives: the Atikum, the Kambiwá and the Kapinawá. In order to honor today’s date, please find below a few images from the artistic tribe Fulni-ô, with 3,229 confirmed members.


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Weekly Photo Challenge: Two Subjects

“Two Subjects”. That’s the inspiration for this week’s photo challenge from WordPressThis “theme” is more of a composition challenge, than the usual single themes we’re used to post about. Let’s see how this week’s compositions turn out… mix of natural and man-made two-subject themes…

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Hanging Garden: Making good use of (free!) 6,000 liters of water/year

Wordle: herbsI’ve been asked to provide updates on our Hanging Garden Project. We’ve got new planters, ‘freshly donated seeds’… and a cost-free watering system. For the ones not (yet!) familiar with the ‘mathematics behind getting cost-free water‘, here’s how it works: Our middle/high school students have been deeply involved in building a system with planters made from recycled PET bottles, as seen on the right.

Besides that, we’ve discovered a great source of clean/distilled water for all the watering needs: the several air conditioning devices, spread throughout the school campus. So, the students began collecting the not-before-managed water… But, how could they find out how much water would be “released” by the AC devices?

The answer to that question morphed into a mini-mathematical project: Math students were asked to develop a strategy to evaluate the volume of water released by the AC equipments, write their assumptions down (hourly rate, number of school days, etc), and today presented their results: on average, an AC device is capable of releasing over 6,000 liters of water during the course of a regular school year.



Way more than enough for keeping the Hanging Garden alive and growing! :o

Having fun with graduated cylinders & Math!

Let’s see… once more, science and math can definitely be fun (and rewarding!) :o

So far, we’ve got seedlings of:
Arugula, rocket (Diplotaxis arucoides) [Rúcula, in Portuguese)
Basil (Ocimum basilicum) [Manjericão]
Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) [Camomila]
Cherry tomato (Lycopersicom esculentum var.) [Tomate-cajá]
Anise (Agstache foeniculum) [Erva-doce] 
French onion 

Bell Pepper


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16 meters deep: Investigating marine life without getting wet! Projeto Navi in Fernando de Noronha.

Projeto Navi - The Navi Project: seeing 16 meters deep!

It’s finally here: the last post on our trip/expedition to the Fernando de Noronha Archipelago.

The husband, an avid and passionate amateur photographer. His wife, yours truly, always being reminded of her background as a Biologist and forever researcher… The perfect combination for venturing with Eng. Leonardo Veras through a private investigation trip along the open ocean waters in Fernando de Noronha.

Eng. Leo Veras takes responsibility for the Navi Project (Projeto Navi), a pioneer experiment at the archipelago – unique, and wonderful!

We were taken to observe the marine life, 16 meters deep, thanks to the ship’s glass bottom, resistant to pressure, high volume and speed. Talk about biology, math, physics, all at once! Lovely and fantastic! We were able to snap several shots, as well as, a couple of videos during our expedition. All 3 images from the Project’s Website (above) are used with permission from the Project’s Coordinator. [We are very thankful to Mr Leonardo Veras for his attention, kindness and, obviously, for the private tour!] All other photographs, (including all the videos to come!) presented below, are part of our family’s personal collection (feel free to use or share them, just remembering to mention the original source!) :o Thanks for the interest! 

Fernando de Noronha has caught the imagination of travelers for centuries and many urban myths are associated with this gloriously surreal island. The archipelago is made up of one 11-square-mile chunk of volcanic rock and 20 smaller islands, three degrees south of the equator, 220 miles from Brazil’s north-eastern coast. Fernando de Noronha’s claim to fame is its diverse and rich ecosystem.

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Preparing for Easter Sunday! Bacalhau a Gomes de Sa (Portuguese Codfish)

Suggestion for a delicious Easter Sunday, or in good Portuguese: “Domingo de Páscoa”… Sharing my mother’s favorite recipe: Portuguese Codfish – Bacalhau a Gomes de Sá… Got a lot of positive feedback when I first published this recipe, that, I’m getting it out – again, now, as a great suggestion for Sunday’s luncheon! Showing the deepest appreciation to my Portuguese heritage… thanks, mom! :o


Originally published:

Although I may be able to take credit for the photo, the “execution” and recipe belong to my mother, and to her Portuguese heritage. For the past ten years, I’ve been promising my husband I’d make it one day. One day… not today… not yet! [smiles!]

 Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá is essentially a casserole of codfish, potatoes, eggs, olives, olive oil and onion. It is a speciality from the northern city of Porto, being today popular throughout Portugal, and is considered one of Portugal’s greatest bacalhau recipes.

Origin of the name
Gomes de Sá was the son of a rich nineteenth century merchant, in Porto. The family fortune dwindled and the son had to find a job at the famous restaurant Restaurante Lisbonense in downtown Porto, where the well-known recipe was created.

 Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá

“É um prato alourado no forno, formado por uma mistura de lascas de bacalhau amaciadas em leite, batatas cozidas e um refogado ligeiro. É enfeitado com ovo cozido, salsa e azeitonas”.

Alguns pratos tradicionais da culinária recebem o nome de seus criadores. Este é o caso do bacalhau à Gomes de Sá, tradicional receita portuguesa deste peixe, de autoria de José Luís Gomes de Sá, falecido em 1926, e na época cozinheiro do Restaurante Lisbonense, no Porto, lugar em que criou a receita. Sua receita tradicional propõe que o bacalhau seja cortado em pequenas lascas marinadas no leite por mais de uma hora. Assado no forno, com azeitealhocebola, acompanhando azeitonas pretas, salsa e ovos cozidos.

Este é um prato típico da região Norte de Portugal. É de preparação simples e relativamente rápida.

O bacalhau à Gomes de Sá foi um dos candidatos finalistas às 7 Maravilhas da Gastronomia portuguesa.

Gomes de Sá era um comerciante do Porto nos finais do Séc. XIX. A ele se deve esta receita de bacalhau que, segundo a lenda, terá sido criada com os mesmos ingredientes (à excepção do leite) com que semanalmente fazia os bolinhos de bacalhau que deliciavam os amigos. Com efeito, os ingredientes são os mesmos, mas a receita resulta de uma confecção cuidada e de grande requinte. A receita que se segue é retirada de um manuscrito atribuído ao próprio Gomes de Sá que terá dado a receita a um seu amigo, João, com a deliciosa nota: “João se alterar qualquer cousa já não fica capaz”

Receita em Portugues:

3 Porções

  • 400 g Bacalhau
  • 500 g Batata
  • 2 Ovos
  • 1 dente Alho
  • 3 Cebolas
  • 0.35 g folhas louro
  • 1 ramo salsa em rama
  • Q.B. Azeitonas Pretas
  • Q.B. Azeite
  • Q.B. Sal
  • Q.B. Pimenta

Cortar o bacalhau em postas e demolhar durante 48 horas. Colocar panela ao lume com água e deixar ferver. Juntar o bacalhau, deixar cozer, retirar e lascar.

Lavar bem as batatas com a pele. Cozer em água, temperada com sal, retirar e deixar arrefecer. Pelar as batatas e cortar em camponesa.
Cozer os ovos (duros), arrefecer e picar.

Descascar os dentes de alho e picar e descascar as cebolas e cortar em meia-lua. Colocar um tacho ao lume, adicionar o azeite. Juntar os dentes de alho, as cebolas e as folhas de louro; deixar refogar lentamente. Temperar com sal e pimenta. Retirar as folhas de louro e guardar.

Colocar uma frigideira ao lume. Adicionar a cebolada e o bacalhau lascado e saltear. Juntar a batata e temperar com sal e pimenta. Colocar dentro de um tabuleiro, regar com azeite aquecido com alho picado e levar ao forno. Retirar e empratar. Decorar com salsa picada, azeitonas pretas e os ovos picados e servir.

And in English: (from EMERIL)


Soak the cod in cold water to cover for 24 to 36 hours, changing the water occasionally, drain. Flake the cod into small pieces, removing any bones. Set aside. In a large sauté pan, over medium heat, add 1/4 cup of the oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions and the garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté until slightly golden, about 6 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Grease a medium ovenproof casserole dish with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper.

Spread half of the potatoes over the bottom of the prepared dish. Sprinkle half of the salt cod over the potatoes. Place half of the onion mixture over the salt cod. Top the onion mixture with more salt cod. Place another layer of potatoes over the top of the cod. Drizzle the entire pan with the remaining 1/4 cup of oil. Place in the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden. Place on a serving platter. Garnish with the sliced eggs, olives, and parsley.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings


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Snapshots from the Shark Museum, Fernando de Noronha Archipelago, Brazil

The "Two Brothers" hill - Morro Dois Irmãos, viewed from the Praia da Cacimba do Padre, FN. All images from

This post was promised a long time ago…It’s already been a month we came back from the archipelago, and finally, got through the last photos – the last two posts, a bit on the “scientific side”, but still, very enjoyable. Sharks and Marine investigation. Today, it’s all about the sharks. Backstory: Just like the AtlantisFernando de Noronha has caught the imagination of travelers for centuries and many urban myths are associated with this gloriously surreal island.

The archipelago is made up of one 11-square-mile chunk of volcanic rock and 20 smaller islands, three degrees south of the equator, 220 miles from Brazil’s north-eastern coast.

In Atalaia Beach, we were able to snorkel with fishes and juvenile sharks, checking out the swarms of hawksbill and green turtles, and also, witness rare island species like iguanas. Other adventure seekers like us, engaged in underwater activities, diving and snorkeling to experience the prolific marine life including albacore, barracuda, snappers, cangulos (fish)… Continuing with our experiences in Noronha, we reserved some time to visit and enjoy the company of Leonardo Veras, the curator for Fernando de Noronha’s Shark Museum (“Museu dos Tubarões”). Leo, as he prefers to be called, is a passionate engineer who lives and works at the main island, and was kind enough to take us on an unforgettable trip through the marine world! An upcoming post will share our adventures with Leo Veras and his Navi Project, investigating the deep open ocean waters. For now, you’ll be left with images we snapped while visiting the “Museu dos Tubarões” – current residence of Leo Veras, his own sculpture garden and his “front yard view”. Check them all out! :o 

Our host, Eng. Leonardo Veras


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Fernando de Noronha’s claim to fame is its diverse and rich ecosystem. And while nature lovers throng to this eco-paradise, the volcanic island with its splendid marine life, dramatic rock formations and long lazy stretches of beaches is the perfect romantic destination as well… We’ll miss it!


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Gardens and Sculptures at the Brennand Museum, Brazil

This is the second part of our visit to the Brennand Institute in Recife, Brazil, which encompasses museum and castle. The theme for this last post covers the beautiful and pristine gardens surrounding the Institute, as well as the sculptures garden, and the sculptures throughout the museum. Again, all collections longtime cared by Mr Ricardo Brennand. Ricardo Brennand Institute is a cultural institution that holds a museum, an art gallery, a library, a cafe, as well as, a large park. The collector Ricardo Brennand is its creator and owner.

During our visit, we were able to appreciate objects of art from many different locations and times, from Middle Ages Europe to the 15th century, through Colonial Portuguese & Spanish Brazil, Dutch Brazil, 17th century, and Brazil in the 19th century. All photos were taken by one of the members of our family (even the 4 year old!). Stop by the Slideshow at the end of this post for a treat! :o

For 50 years Brennand acquired those objects. The Institute owns Brazilian e foreign paint colections, like the largest Frans Post colections outside the Netherlands, one of the biggest armory in the planet, sculptures from all over the world, carpets and many others objects of art.

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Posted by on April 2, 2012 in ART, BRASIL, photography


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Armors and Dolls at the Ricardo Brennand Institute, Brazil

Weekends are always reserved for quality time with the family (obviously, after we’re done with the necessary grocery shopping!). Why not offer our children the opportunity to truly experience culture, learn about the Colonial Brazil, the first settlers, and yet, have a great deal of fun? And that’s exactly what our family did! This post showcases one of themes from our visit to the Institute & Brennand Castle, focusing on two very distinct collections/areas: the dolls and the armors, longtime cared and collected by Mr Ricardo Brennand. A follow up about the gardens and overall view of the Institute, a product of the visionary Mr Brennand will be coming soon…

Ricardo Brennand Institute is a cultural institution that holds a museum, an art gallery, a library, a cafe, as well as, a large park. The collector Ricardo Brennand is its creator and owner.

During our visit, we were able to appreciate objects of art from many different locations and times, from Middle Ages Europe to the 15th century, through Colonial Portuguese & Spanish Brazil, Dutch Brazil, 17th century, and Brazil in the 19th century. For 50 years Brennand acquired those objects. The Institute owns Brazilian e foreign paint colections, like the largest Frans Post colections outside the Netherlands, one of the biggest armory in the planet, sculptures from all over the world, carpets and many others objects of art – these last ones will be subject of another post!

The Entrance to the Complex: Institute & Castle

The doors leading to the Castle

Porcelain Dolls quietly observe the visitors...

“Peeking” into the Wax Museum: live-size people re-enact a socio-political meeting

The creators saluting the visitors:


Posted by on April 1, 2012 in ART, BRASIL, photography


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Eating on a budget: economy restaurants for local food lovers in Recife!

Eating on a budget: economy restaurants for local food lovers in Recife!

Hey there! This past weekend we didn’t wanna cook… Kids had a ton of energy, kept running inside the house, so we decided we had to get the whole family out of the apartment… “let’s enjoy the great weather, while appreciating the local food..“. Our surprise: a lot of eateries, restaurants, even the fast-food places did NOT OPEN UNTIL 5PM! We’re shocked (and a bit frustrated, as well!) “Should we go back and try to cook something?”, we discussed, before asking our toddlers from a savior play date with the neighbors (we’re very thankful for that, BTW!)

As a result, we begin our search, trying to find a place that was kid-friendly, open-setting, good & healthy food and… not too expensive… But, the most important thing, was getting the kiddos out of the house… :o

Here is the result: Always wonderful to share:

Economy Restaurants in Recife

You may be on a budget, but eating well is still possible in Recife. This listing of places to eat covers only restaurants. There are many traditional style restaurants, but Brazil also offers self-service restaurants where you pay by weight. Such restaurants are very popular, especially at lunchtime, but be sure to arrive early to get a good choice. Lunch here starts at 12.00 and popular places will have little left after 1.30pm. The price per kilo varies according to the range and quality of the offering, and by the location of the restaurant. Most shopping centers have food courts with a mix of fast food and self-service restaurants. On the whole we would suggest that the food is over-priced and lacks quality compared to other options outside the shopping centers. Stand-alone restaurants in shopping centers are better quality, but also tend to be over priced compared to similar establishments in other street locations.

Chinese food in Recife is cheap, as it is in many countries. You do get what you pay for and, for the most part, are not recommended.  However, Japanese food is very popular and generally of good quality. Many better self-service buffets also include sushi in their offering.

Cafes, bakery’s (padarias), delicatessens and bars often have good food options, from nibbles and snacks to more substantial meals. You can find more details under the heading bars and cafes

Of course, beach and street food are to be found everywhere in all the destinations covered by this site, so to do justice to the subject all listings and tips are under a separate heading Beach and Street Food

La Plage (Crepes) Good crepes in a very well docorated restaurant. Rua Professor Rui Batista, 120, Boa Viagem. (81) 3465 1654. Tues-Sat 6pm-11.30pm; Sun 5pm-11pm; Mon closed. (R$16+) MAP

Anjo Solto (Crepes) A very popular and well established venue popular with the fashionable crowd. Also gay friendly. Usually lively from 10pm until very late. Galeria Joana DÁrcPina.(81) 3325 0862. Daily 6pm until the last client. (R$18+). MAP

Pin Up (Burgers), This place offers fantastic burgers for little more than a McDonald´s in the setting of a very American style diner. Avenida Herculano Bandeira, 204, Pina. (81) 3466 0001.  5.30pm-1.30am tue-sat; 5pm-24.00 sun; closed mon.  MAP

Laça Burguer (Burgers & Sandwiches) Better than McDonald’s for a similar price, but not as good as Pin Up.  Avenida Visconde de Jequintinhonha 138-ABoa Viagem. (81) 3461 2179.  Mon-Thurs 11.30am-2am; Fri-Sat 11.30am-5am; Sun 12.00-2am. MAP

Entre Amigos o Bode (Regional) A large bar/restaurant serving traditional regional food and meat. This place is very popular with locals. Rua Marquês de Valença 30 Boa Viagem(81) 3312.1000. Mon-Fri 11.30am-2am; Sat & Sun 11.30am-4am . Approx. R$25 per person.

Parraxaxá (Regional). The name is of indigenous origin and is pronouncedpahashasha. This very popular self-service (pay by the kilo) restaurant serves regional cuisine in a rustic theme restaurant. A very wide selection of savory and sweet dishes. The plates are massive so make sure your eyes are not bigger than your stomach, or it will cost you! Rua Baltazar Pereira 32, Boa Viagem(81) 3463 7874. Mon-Fri 11am-10pm; Sat & Sun6-11pm. Approx R$20 per person. MAP

Ponteio Grill (Regional) One of the most famous Brazilian eating experiences is the churrascaria (pronounced showhaskaria), a grill where you help your self to the salad bar (including a limited sushi menu) then take what meat you want as it is brought to your table on large spits. Its good to go when you are very hungry, as this is a fixed price restaurant for all you want to eat. The price is less earlier in the week and higher on weekends. There are other similar restaurants that cost more, and some a little less. We recommend this as being the best value for money. Avenida Boa Viagem 4824Boa Viagem. (81) 3326 2386. Mon-Thurs 12pm-4pm and 7-12am midnight; Fri-Sun 12pm-12am midnightApprox R$30 per person. MAP

Feijoada do Vovô Hortêncio (Regional) Feijoada is considered a national dish of Brazil and is served only at lunchtimes, usually on weekends. Folklore suggests feijoada was a “luxury” dish of African slaves on Brazilian colonial farms, as it was prepared with relatively cheap ingredients (beans, rice, collard greens, farofa) and leftovers from salted pork and meat production. Some versions, even in good bars and restaurants, can be disgustingly fatty. The feijoada at this restaurant is excellent, and we recommend it to more adventurous eaters. Definitely it is not for vegetarians. Rua Setúbal 1603, Boa Viagem. (81) 3074 4788. Fri-Sun Lunchtimes only .  Approx. R$20 per person. MAP

Chica Pitanga, (Regional/International) A very popular self-service/pay-per-kilo restaurant with a large buffet offering. Get here early, especially at weekends, to avoid waiting for a table.  Rua Petrolina 19, Boa Viagem. (81) 3465 2224. Mon-Fri 11.30am-3.30pm & 6pm-10pm; Sat & Sun 11.30am-10pm. Approx R$20per person. MAP

O Poeta, (Regional/International) A good quality self-service/per kilo restaurant that is very popular with local office workers. Get here early if you want a good selection. Avenida Rio Branco 243Recife Antigo. (81) 3224-3310. Mon-Fri only 11.30-3.30pmApprox R$20per person MAP

Panquecas e Saladas(Regional/International) A good quality self-service/pay-per-kilo restaurant in an old house. A more limited choice than others listed here, but still good and fresh. Take a table upstairs for a cheap and cheerful meal in a nice setting. Good juices too. As with all self-service places, get here early. Rua da Guia 93,Recife Antigo(81) 3224 2259. Mon-Fri only 11.30-3pm. Approx R$10 per person.MAP

O Buraquinho (Regional) A simple restaurant in one of the most interesting and picturesque historic squares of Recife. It serves regional dishes for very good prices. Pátio de São Pedro 28, Recife Downtown(81) 3224 6431. Mon-Sat 11.30am-12.00am midnight. Sun closed . R$20, MAP

Royal (Regional) Established in 1944, this restaurant serves traditional regional dishes and focuses on offering value for money. It is only open for breakfast and lunch weekdays to serve its office worker clients. Rua Mariz e Barros 181Recife Antigo (81) 3224 5854. Mon-Fri only 8am-3pm. R$20, MAP

Tio Pepe (Brazilian) This restaurant was founded in 1964 by José Garrido Cid, an immigrant from Galicia, Spain. Before he died, Pepe passed the baton to one of his Brazilian daughters, Mirtes, who has modernized the business. Generous portions of fish, meat and poultry are freshly cooked, most on a traditional coal grill. Rua Almirante Tamandaré 170, Boa Viagem. (81) 3341 7153. Tues-Sat 11.30am-11.30pm; Sun 11.30am-4.30pm Approx R$30. MAP

La Comedie (French) This little French bistro is one of the hidden gems of Recife. It is tucked away behind the French language school Aliança Francesa, and located in a small building with a covered patio area. It offers a selection of high quality French snacks and dishes. The mini quiches are great, so are the soups. Not to forget: the Brazilian spin on the French classic for dessert, the petit gâteau, is amazing, not chocolate but uva (grape) or goiaba (a sweet guava jam). Rua Amaro Bezerra 466Derby. (81) 3222 0245. Mon-Wed 12pm-10pm; Thurs-Sat 12pm-11pm; Close Sun. R$20.MAP

La Cuisine Bistrô (French) We have included this restaurant in the Economy option, but prices here can go from reasonable to expensive, depending on your choice from an extensive menu. Soups, salads, sandwiches and other light options are possible if you are on a budget. They are very good quality and this is a nice restaurant. When I am looking to go budget here I take The French onion soup and the petit gateau, both classic and 95% of the time very well done, a great buless expensive options.Avenida Boa Viagem 560Pina. (81) 3327 4073. Mon-Thurs 12pm-11pm; Fri 12pm-1am; Sat 1pm-1am; Sun 1pm-11pm.R$25 MAP Review Exclusive Offer


Posted by on March 28, 2012 in BRASIL, FOOD, resources


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Passion of the Christ in Brazil {Nova Jerusalém, Pernambuco}

Das ruas para o maior teatro ao ar livre do mundo, assim começou a ser encenado o espetáculo da Paixão de Cristo de Nova Jerusalém.

 Era 1951 e o comerciante Epaminondas Mendonça teve a ideia de realizar pelas ruas da pequena vila de Fazenda Nova, no período da Semana Santa, a encenação da vida, morte e ressurreição de Jesus Cristo. 

A inspiração partiu após ler em uma revista como os alemães da cidade de Oberammergau realizavam uma apresentação semelhante.

 Enquanto Epaminondas atraia hóspedes para o hotel da família e movimentava o comércio local, Sebastiana, sua esposa, de veia artística cultural e teatral, cuidava da direção do espectáculo.

De maneira simples, porém criativa, as apresentações contavam ainda com a participação de familiares, na maioria mulheres, e amigos que juntos contracenavam nas ruas utilizando-se do cenário local. 

No ano de 1956, Plínio Pacheco chega a Fazenda Nova e encanta-se pela bela atriz Diva Pacheco, filha de Epaminondas. 

Desde então são 42 anos de representações ininterruptas dentro das muralhas, atraindo espectadores do Brasil e do mundo. O espetáculo, que chega a sua 45ª edição em 2012, foi encenado entre 15 e 23 de abril do ano passado, quando tivemos a oportunidade de prestigiá-lo na pré-estréia. Naquele ano, Lacerda, que completava 33 anos, representou Jesus Cristo pela terceira vez. Já Fafá estrelava no papel de Maria, mãe de Jesus. O elenco contou ainda com a atriz Vanessa Lóes, mulher de Lacerda, como Madalena; Sidney Sampaio, como Pôncio Pilatos; e Carlos Reis, Herodes.

Jesus aparece ao fiéis entre anjos

Pregação aos fiéis

Discussões no Templo: 
Jesus entra triunfalmente em Jerusalém, aclamado pelo povo. Expulsa os vendilhões do Templo e discute com fariseus, escribas e doutores da lei.

A despedida dos apóstolosA última ceia:
 Jesus reúne os seus discípulos para a Última Ceia e deles se despede, dando-lhes o pão (o seu corpo) e o vinho (o seu sangue).

"Eu sou o Corpo e o Sangue"

a Ceia com os Apóstolos

A Traição de Judas e a Prisão de Jesus

Judas betrayed Jesus

Preparation for the arrest - Jesus prepara-se para a prisão

The Temptation

Jesus atormentado busca auxílio do céu

Agonia no Horto: 
Jesus sofre antevendo sua Paixão e Morte.

O Bacanal de Herodes

Convidados do bacanal de Herodes

O Bacanal de Herodes

O Julgamento de Jesus, a Condenação

Ao Palácio para Julgamento

Pilatos questiona a Jesus

Pilatos pede a Jesus um milagre

Jesus perante Herodes e Pilatos:

Herodes pede a Jesus um milagre e não é atendido. Irritado, o rei manda-o de volta a Pilatos. 
O Pretório Romano é invadido pela multidão e pelos que querem a morte de Jesus. Pilatos, o Procurador de Roma, chega ao Pretório numa biga romana e saúda os seus legionários.

Humilhação e Coroação de Jesus, Jesus leva sua Cruz

Jesus is brought out to judgement - Jesus é trazido a julgamento

Jesus suffers

O Encontro com as Mulheres de Jerusalém

O perdão à Maria Madalena

- à espera de Jesus


A chegada à Gólgota


Últimas palavras à Nossa Senhora

A morte de Jesus.

myspace layout codes

Também na primeira apresentação de 2011 foi usado, pela primeira vez, o recurso de áudio-descrição para deficientes visuais. De acordo com a organização, o sistema permitirá que o público, com um fone de ouvido, escute uma narrativa sobreposta ao som original da peça descrevendo imagens, sons e textos. A encenação da “Paixão de Cristo” é dublada. Em 2010, 80 mil pessoas vindas de 22 estados brasileiros e 12 países assistiram ao espectáculo. De acordo com a organização do evento, a ideia de construir uma réplica da cidade de Jerusalém para as encenações da “Paixão” foi de Plínio Pacheco, que chegou a Fazenda Nova em 1956. O fascínio que o espetáculo da Paixão de Cristo de Nova Jerusalém exerce no público não está apenas na grandiosidade das construções, na atmosfera que ali se respira e na beleza da história de Jesus. Reside também na participação ativa do público, diante da mobilidade das cenas. Entre um ato e outro, uma multidão movida pela emoção passada pela boa interpretação dos atores, caminha entre os cenários, transportando-se por algumas horas à época de Cristo e revivendo sua saga.


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Communications from the past: Post Office and Wall Telephone

Post Office building, with its respective collecting box - still in business!

Brooklyn wall telephone


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Water sports abound in Maracaipe Beach…

"silence.. the only sound here is from the waves..."

A great alternative to escape from the urban madness, enjoying the warm weather and calm waters


Posted by on March 2, 2012 in beach, BRASIL, sports, TRAVEL


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2012 Street Carnival: Heads with Style

Carnival Heads: Color & Style!

Carnival head decorations, flower arrangements, head pieces, tiaras, hats, colorful hair, any excuse is a good one to come out, taking over the streets, showcasing unique designs when it comes to fun and stylish costumes…

Why not, extend the costumes to “over the head”? :o Too many different styles to choose from: conservative, modern, over-the-top… Pick your favorite, or simply enjoy the endless creativity displayed during the most democratic carnival in the world!

…and of course, as part of this list, our “own” head decoration: when it comes to having fun during carnival, this couple here likes to dare: every day, a different outfit, a different piece of art decorating our heads! :o

"Married Couple", first night of Carnival

Second day of Carnival: Blue Happiness with Galo da Madrugada


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“Summer Britto” 2012: Galo da Madrugada with art!

“Summer Britto”. Romero Britto is one of the most successful artists of our time. This pop artist uses vibrant colors and bold patterns as a visual language of HOPE and happiness. He has been credited with the largest public art installation in Hyde Park history, and exhibited at the Carrousel du Louvre Museum – an art that appeals to all. what about carnival? The designed outfits for camarote globeleza, as well as tote bags and decoration… All in one place, all during Galo da Madrugada!
É esse o tema do camarote mais disputado do Galo da Madrugada, o Globeleza 2012, na esquina da Dantas Barreto com a Guararapes, na Praça da Independência (Pracinha do Diário). E como o próprio nome diz, é o artista plástico pernambucano, radicado em Miami, Romero Britto, quem inspira e assina toda a identidade visual do espaço, do layout da camisa, com estampa de um Galo, às bolsas do kit-convite, passando por suas típicas ilustrações coloridas e desenhadas exclusivamente a decoração, que terá concepção de Romildo Alves.

E aqui, os “pequenos Globais”… já prontos para a sua festa!

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Posted by on February 18, 2012 in ART, BRASIL, CARNAVAL, Fashion, post a day


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Environmentally Protected Area (APA): Reserva Biológica do Altinho, Pernambuco, Brazil

Be aware: Cute Animals Ahead!

Find below images from our visit to the “Environmentally Protected Area” of Altinho, a park embedded in the middle of the State of Pernambuco, in the Agreste Region of the country, showcasing the characteristic Caatinga vegetation (desertic, hiperxerophyla, lacking leaves trees). Not far from our home, some good 160 km, or 260 miles – a good weekend getaway!
The protected park borders the (famous for seasonal festivities and their arts & crafts) cities of Caruaru and São Caetano; Cupira, Panelas and Ibirajuba; Agrestina and Cachoeirinha. The park is surrounded by several rivers, but mainly by the Una and Ipojuca rivers. The rivers lead into the Atlantic Ocean, creating deltas, which are a great spot for calming and relaxing baths…

Entering the Park:

Área de Proteção Ambiental, Reserva Ecológica do Saltinho, Pernambuco

Where the Una river meets the Atlantic Ocean

Caution with the animals crossing the road


Posted by on February 10, 2012 in BRASIL, ecology, photography, post a day


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Exploring one of the largest coral reefs in the world: Carneiros Beach, Pernambuco, Brazil

Waving along the Southern Coast of Pernambuco, Carneiros Beach (“Praia dos Carneiros”) discreetly possesses all the requirements to become a paradise. Sea of calm and crystal clear waters in shades of blue, palm trees, coral reefs and even a river that ends into the ocean.

Rustic bungalows have been built and decorated to meet the needs of comfort, and privacy, so tourists, or vacationing families may enjoy the peaceful setting that reigns in this paradise, still respecting the environment, its unique features and learning about preservation and ecological conscience. [The 'talk' about the beach's intriguing bungalows is reserved for a 'soon-to-come' post!]

bidding farewell...


Posted by on February 9, 2012 in BRASIL, ecology, photography, post a day


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XVIII Century São Benedito Chapel at the sea shore of Carneiros Beach, Northeastern Brazil.

The walk along the beach, leading to the church front

The front of the Secular Church

The young learns about the secular traditions

Inside the Church

Church window looks out to the beach front

Bidding farewell to the Church and getting ready to walk back along the beach

mother and daughter

one more photo before leaving the church area


Posted by on February 7, 2012 in BRASIL, photography, post a day


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Producing 650 million liters a year: touring the Coca-Cola Guararapes factory

Founded on December 31, 1983, Coca-Cola Guararapes established its excellence in the segment of consumer goods, production and distribution of beverage portfolio of Coca-Cola FEMSA. Since 2001, the company reports directly to The Coca-Cola Company, Atlanta / USA.

[Portugues] A empresa mantém um parque fabril com oito unidades industriais, sendo composta por quatro fábricas (Jaboatão dos Guararapes, Suape, Petrolina  e João Pessoa) e quatro centros de distribuição (Arruda, Caruaru, Garanhuns e Campina Grande). Juntas, as unidades têm uma capacidade de produção instalada de 650 milhões de litros de bebidas por ano. A frota da empresa conta com mais de 650 veículos (caminhões, carretas, motos, carros) e a força de vendas é composta por, aproximadamente, 500 pessoas, que atendem a 61 mil pontos-de-venda.

Here, a few snapshots from a guided tour through the factory, as well as images from a very nice neighborhood – stopping by the beach on the way back to town… why not?


Read here an original article, by Luis Delfin, President of the Guararapes Unit.


Posted by on January 22, 2012 in BRASIL, post a day


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Snapshots from Maracaipe Beach, Pernambuco

Preserve este paraíso. Não deixe nada além de pegadas, não leve nada além das lembranças.”


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Snapshots from typical sugarcane farm in Brazil

Photography: Sharing some images from recent visit to a traditional sugarcane farm, and its corresponding mill, in the Northeastern region of Brazil.

[From Wikipedia] ”Sugarcane is an important industrial crop of tropical and subtropical regions and is cultivated on close to 20 million hectares in more than 90 countries (according to FAO). Sugarcane products include table sugar, falernummolassesrumcachaça (a traditional spirit from Brazil), bagasse and ethanol”. 

Sugarcane is a renewable, natural agricultural resource, providing not only sugar, but also, biofuel, fibre, fertilizers and a myriad of by-products/co-products, ecologically sustainable. Molasses, sugarcane’s main by-product, is the raw material for alcohol-based industries. Excess bagasse is now being used as raw material in the paper industry, and its use as a potential fuel alternative, has been considered in recent years.

Some images were taken during the flyover, before arriving at the farm, while others, came through the visit to its grounds, the mills, main installations and sugar processing steps. Enjoy this “sweet” journey!

Arriving at the sugarcane farm:

Visiting the sugar cane plant:

Beginning the process of collection, extraction, refining:

general view

"Casa Grande" (owner's house)

old manual mill

it's always nice to live close to work! :o


A little gift, to bring home…

hummm... sweet!





Posted by on January 6, 2012 in BRASIL, ecology, photography, post a day


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Touring the city of Igarassu, home of Brazil’s oldest church (circa 1535).

Igarassu is one of Brazil’s oldest settlements, located in the island of Itamaraca (“rock that sings” in Tupi-Guarany language) and is full of rich cultural heritage, including the oldest church in Brazil, which dates back to 1535.

The Itamaraca Island is connected to the continent by a bridge, and a short trip there will take you to an enchanting paradise of warm, calm ocean waters and coconut tree forests. One of the singular beauties of the island was already featured here, when our family took a boat trip into the mangrove scenario

The Lima-Miranda family is curious and adventurous: in one single day, we visited the city of Igarassu, and its famous church, the original Dutch Fort (“Fort Orange”), and had time and energy to spend through the intriguing branches of mangrove trees, covered with budding oysters and fresh water crabs! All this is described throughout the blog – if one’s got time and interest to search for! :o

Today, I’m sharing the images of the Church of Saints Cosme and Damião, built in 1535, in the city of IgarassuPernambuco is Brazil’s oldest church (Roman Catholic):


Posted by on December 29, 2011 in BRASIL, expat, FAMILY, photography, TRAVEL


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Photography: Escaping from the urban madness…

… a good way to spend the Thanksgiving Weekend with family and close friends. Left the “concrete jungle” behind us. instead, traded the car rides for horseback experiences; went from taking elevators to climbing trees; completely forgetting the crowded streets, instantly replaced by the white sanded coastline…


Posted by on December 8, 2011 in beach, BRASIL, photography, TRAVEL


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Our son’s classroom featured on Rede Globo: good eating habits can be taught.


Posted by on November 28, 2011 in BRASIL, children, EDUCATION, FOOD, Português


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