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Category Archives: photography

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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Last Sunday in Bolivia.

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

Now, time to look into the future…

 

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

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

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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:

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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.

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

 

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photography: Train Cemetery in Uyuni, Bolivia.

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

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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.

 

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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

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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.

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

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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.

 

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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James’s Flamingos abound in the area.

 
 

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Photography: Sunset Over the Desert in Uyuni, Bolivia.

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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.

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

 

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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…

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

 

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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.

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

 

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[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!

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

 

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Early Easter Egg Hunt with the Marines!

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

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

 

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

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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!

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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!

 

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

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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…

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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.

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

 

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Gallery

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

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

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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

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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.

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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

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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!

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

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[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

 

 

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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…

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

 

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[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?

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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.

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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].

 

 
 

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

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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”

 

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2013 in BOLIVIA, photography

 

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

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fun by the boardwalk in Chile

fun by the boardwalk in Chile

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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′!

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

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Read the rest of this entry »

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

 

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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

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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…

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

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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

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death road bikers...

Mountain biking trip

Mountain biking trip

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Cotapata Park, Bolivia

Cotapata Park, Bolivia

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Aguayo

Aguayo

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Laguna Verde ['Green Lagoon']

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Singani in Tarija

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Pre-Inca Ruins

Pre-Inca Ruins

The Table of Sacrifices

The Table of Sacrifices

Pre-Inca Ruins

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Immerse into the local culture and traditions

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Español: Alumnos del Colegio Padre Luis Gallar...

[Photo credit: Wikipedia.com]

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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 !

 

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

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"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’…

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♥ 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

 

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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 !

 

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

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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…

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

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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]

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death road bikers...

Mountain biking trip

Mountain biking trip

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Cotapata Park, Bolivia

Cotapata Park, Bolivia

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Aguayo

Aguayo

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Laguna Verde ['Green Lagoon']

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Singani in Tarija

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Pre-Inca Ruins

Pre-Inca Ruins

The Table of Sacrifices

The Table of Sacrifices

Pre-Inca Ruins

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Immerse into the local culture and traditions

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Español: Alumnos del Colegio Padre Luis Gallar...

[Photo credit: Wikipedia.com]

 

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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 !

 

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

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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!

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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

 

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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].

 

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Despite it all… still loyal!

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7 Comments

Posted by on December 8, 2013 in children, photography, sports

 

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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

 

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

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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

 

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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]

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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

 

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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

 

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Update: Then & Now – A Decade of Togetherness.

Photo from October 2013
Celebrating 10 + 1 years of married life? Pretty nice.

Having the opportunity to spend a pleasant evening together as a couple? Even better.

Discovering that another couple of friends, posted here in La Paz share your same wedding anniversary date? Priceless! :o

 

Taking a quick look into the past, looking forward into our future.

Ten years of a life together: laughs, love, joy, challenges…

A few tears, here and there, because we’re living a real life – the two of us have built a story for ourselves and for our ‘nomad family’. The two have become five; and we’re grateful for what the past and present have brought to our family.

We’re intrigued with what the future will unveil…

We will keep moving forward, despite any difficulties or unpleasant moments… And quoting one of my favorite readings from our wedding ceremony: “love knows all things, love believes all things, endures all things… love never fails…” 

Now, cheers to many more decades together! 

 
 

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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

 

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Then & Now: A Decade of Togetherness…

 

Taking a quick look into the past, looking forward into our future.

Ten years of a life together: laughs, love, joy, challenges…

A few tears, here and there, because we’re living a real life – the two of us have built a story for ourselves and for our ‘nomad family’. The two have become five; and we’re grateful for what the past and present have brought to our family.

We’re intrigued with what the future will unveil…

We will keep moving forward, despite any difficulties or unpleasant moments… And quoting one of my favorite readings from our wedding ceremony: “love knows all things, love believes all things, endures all things… love never fails…” 

Now, cheers to many more decades together! 

 

 
9 Comments

Posted by on October 18, 2013 in FAMILY, foreign service, LOVE, photography

 

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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

 

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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

 

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

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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

 

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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

 

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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

 

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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… ♥ 

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

 

 
8 Comments

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

 

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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

 

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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.

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

Texture and color, under an usual point of view…

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

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13 Comments

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

 

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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!

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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5 Comments

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

 

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Snapshots of Soccer in Quiripujo, Pucarani – Bolivia.

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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:

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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

 

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Pictorial Journal: Hiking adventure throughout the “Devil’s Molar” [Muela del Diablo], Bolivia.

On top of the Devil's Molar - quite a view!

On top of the Devil’s Molar – quite a view!

Thank you for stopping by… 

Promise: there’ll be no regrets at all!

The city of La Paz seen from the Devil's Molar [Muela del Diablo]

The city of La Paz seen from the Devil’s Molar [Muela del Diablo]

But, first, let me showcase here my newest discovery: The Media Explorer

Embedding Tweets!

How cool is that? :o

Now, go for it: enjoy the image gallery, our so-called ‘Pictorial Journal’!

 

 

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Photography: Nuestra Señora de La Paz, seen from 12,000 feet above…

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The observation point: below here is where the hiking began:

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The busy city of Nuestra Señora de La Paz seen from the Muela del Diablo Mountain, houses and buildings looking like toy pieces:

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4 Comments

Posted by on August 25, 2013 in BOLIVIA, photography, TRAVEL

 

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Photo Project ’52 Bolivian Sundays’ [week 34, 'Focus'].

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For this week photo series, I’m bringing in our view from the top of the Muela del Diablo ['The Devil's Molar'] mountain – result from a recent family hiking trip. If curious to see more unique images about this intriguing, challenging attempt, filled with endless beauty, come by later and click here! [Still working on the "Pictorial Journal"!] :o

La Paz surrounded by mountains

For the second view, moving the point of interest a little – from the natural scenario, searching for the urbane: at the center, the city of La Paz, surrounded by the mountainous chain, and blessed by the lightest blue sky…

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

 
 

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