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Tag Archives: weekly photo challenge

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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4 Comments

Posted by on December 30, 2013 in BOLIVIA, photography

 

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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 29, 'Fresh'].

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

 
7 Comments

Posted by on July 21, 2013 in BOLIVIA, photography, TRAVEL

 

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Photo Project: 52 Bolivian Sundays [week 28, 'The Golden Hour' - going back home].

where's home?

Inspired by this week’s photo challenge, and continuing our travel project “52 Bolivian Sundays”, we’re cruising though week 28. For this week, a set of photo shots, departing the USA and getting back to our current home, Bolivia – all taking advantage of the intriguing light of the ‘golden hour‘, the last hour of our last day; an overnight flight separating our family from the ‘goodbyes’ to dear friends and family in DC, to a warm ‘welcome back’ from our friends and colleagues in La Paz.

According to Cheri Lucas Rowlands, from WordPress, “In photography, the “golden hour” is the first and last hour of sunlight of the day. Photographers venture out on sunrise hikes or sunset treks to capture a magical shot, due to the quality of the light during that time of day.”

where's home?

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

And, since we’re talking about the last flight from this year’s R&R, here are a few shots from two little people taking advantage of the night flight opportunity – posing as flight captains before the take off! :o

 Find here, more impressions from other bloggers on “nostalgic”… Thank you all for sharing! 

 

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Photo Project: 52 Bolivian Sundays [week 27, 'Nostalgic'].

hammock

Inspired by this week’s photo challenge, and continuing our travel project “52 Bolivian Sundays”, we’re cruising though week 27, and this picture of my oldest daughters and her two BFFs in the hammock, sent me back to a happy place down memory lane… growing up in Brazil, and having the luxury of hours spent swinging in hammocks…

Venue: Nor Yungas, Bolivia

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

 Find here, more impressions from other bloggers on “nostalgic”… Thank you all for sharing! 

 

 

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Photo Project: 52 Bolivian Sundays [week 26, 'Companion'].

Venue: Nor Yungas, Bolivia

Inspired by this week’s photo challenge, and continuing our travel project “52 Bolivian Sundays”, we’re cruising though week 26, already back from a much deserved R&R with friends and family in the USA…

Leaving here the question: ‘what’s life without good companionship?’ :o

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

 Find here, more impressions from other bloggers on “companionable”… Thank you all for sharing! ♥

 
 

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Photo Project: 52 Bolivian Sundays [week 25, The Kallawaya Ceremony].

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Inspired by last week’s photo challenge, and continuing our travel project “52 Bolivian Sundays”, this set of photos represent the begining of winter in Bolivia, and all the Celebrations associated with that.

The Kallawaya have been well known as traditional healers and medicine men for centuries, and come from the Cordillera Apolobamba near Charazani in the north of La Paz department.

 The Kallawaya culture dates from the Pre-Inca period. It originated in the Charazani region (and surroundings of Curva, Chajaya, Inka, Chari, etc.), located in the northern part of the department of La Paz.

This practice is currently carried out itinerantly using plants, animals, minerals, etc., and is part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage recognized by UNESCO.

The Kallawaya speak Quechua, Aymara, Spanish and and their own language where kallawaya means “initiate“.

 Their magical and medicinal lore is passed down from one generation to the next, and their therapies are based on rituals, ceremonies, massages, potions, etc., that are used in order to prevent, treat or cure physical or psychic ailments.

The kallawaya have a special Weltanschauung, so their psychotherapy works in three dimensions: symbolic, spiritual and animist. The latter awaits the return of the Ajayu (the soul or element that generates life).

Enjoy as you please, and thanks for stopping by! ♥ Original inspiration here ♥
 
4 Comments

Posted by on June 23, 2013 in BOLIVIA, photography, TRAVEL

 

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Photo Project: 52 Bolivian Sundays [week 21, 'Background and Foreground'].

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Inspired by this week’s photo challenge, and continuing our travel project “52 Bolivian Sundays”, we’re cruising though week 21, the last one before our family goes back to the USA for a much well-deserved R&R… The chosen spot for our last weekend of May was the intriguing scenario of the Yungas, and these background and foreground images here bring out a bit of the unique beauty of the Cotapata Park. Enjoy as you please, and thanks for stopping by and riding with us! ♥

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Find here, more impressions from other bloggers on “In the Background”… Thank you all for sharing! ♥

From WordPress: “I’m looking forward to seeing you all but disappear into the moments you capture. – Pick”

 
13 Comments

Posted by on May 28, 2013 in BOLIVIA, photography, TRAVEL

 

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Photo Project: 52 Bolivian Sundays [week 20, 'Escape' - Zip-Lining in the world's most dangerous road].

world's most dangerous road

It’s the rainy season all over the city of Nuestra Señora of La Paz: a cold rain often comes at the end of the afternoon, letting us know the upcoming night will be even colder.

It’s time to get the fireplace going, pop in a movie for the kids, and why not, go over the recent photos taken during the a well-deserved experience with nature.

Escaping to the Yungas mountains, on a biking trip, cycling through the world’s most dangerous road, couldn’t be better sealed up than with a unique Zip Line adventure. Instead of going from tree to tree, why not go… from mountain to mountain? :o

According to Cheri Lucas, the one providing inspiration for this week’s photo challenge: “Escape. Depending on your current mood and headspace, or time in your life, this word can evoke different emotions and conjure a variety of images”. Today, sharing images of a great escape… to the world’s most dangerous road! Join us! :o

 

Definitely, one of the highlights of this month of May: Zip Lining with Gravity Bolivia! All are welcome to enjoy as much as the group did!

Find here, more impressions from other bloggers on “Escape”… Thank you all for sharing! ♥

 
 

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Pattern: Colors of the Seasons in Bolivia.

I’d almost forgotten! Inspired by WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge, this blog shares a ‘weekly taste of Bolivia‘.

Without noticing, I jumped straight from week 18 ["from above"] to week 20 ["escape"]! Humm, am I trying to ‘escape’ from something? Don’t think so! And to prove that, here is the response for the 19th week of this year, inspired by “Pattern” – the colors of the Seasons in Bolivia, an ode to our 10th month in country [already? time really flies when you're having fun!].

Color Patterns of Fall:

Color Patterns of Winter:

Color Patterns of Summer:

Color Patterns of Spring:

 
3 Comments

Posted by on May 10, 2013 in BOLIVIA, photography

 

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Photo Project: 52 Bolivian Sundays [week 18, 'From Above'].

Above us all, the peaceful skies over the city of Nuestra Señora of La Paz, turn into a magnificent and quasi-frightening scenario. Suddenly, the temperature changes and the clouds let us know that a powerful force of nature will bring down the showers. They might simply be hail or the heavy rain showers… one never knows what to expect… It’s the force of nature in action. It may last for a few minutes, and before one is ready for it, the sun will be shining again, above us all. It’s nature at its best performance…

The idea for this post is to try ‘inverting’ the perspective of the suggested theme. “From Above” inspired me to look for a different approach – the way the nature ‘perceive’ us, from above. Above us all, as the most powerful force…. Let’s see how it came out! :o Thank you all for visiting, and sharing your impressions! ♥

Find here, more impressions from other bloggers on “From Above”… Thank you all for sharing! ♥

 
6 Comments

Posted by on May 5, 2013 in BOLIVIA, photography

 

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{Weekly Photo Challenge: from above} May the Fourth be with you, parents out there!

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“the light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it!”

We all need the Force. Something stronger is coming from above... Above us all, there’s a stronger counter-force: the power of a child who decided that playing was a better choice than his well-needed 8 hours of sleep…

sw4th

May the Force be with you. With all of you. With all of us, parents, who have to deal with an unforeseen middle-of-the-night playtime!

Star Wars figures, inherited from his dad. From his dad’s collection [see the Darth Vader carrying case?] Yes, the same one who betrayed the Jedi Order and his Master, Obi-Wan Kenobi! – for over 30 years this case has secured the dreams of the boy I ended up marrying. And now, the carrying case and its figures are happily laying on the carpet, next to the hamster’s cage, planning some sort of invasion (???). And this is all happening way past my son’s bedtime…

May the Force be with you, parents of the world! May your sleepless nights be filled with giggles and pretend-fights among little toy figures… May the 4th, the first day of a long-waited weekend, be a great and restful Saturday, for us all… for our own sake and mental health!

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15 Comments

Posted by on May 4, 2013 in children, photography

 

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Photo Project: 52 Bolivian Sundays [week 17, 'Culture' from other Countries in Bolivia]

Diplomatic Corp present at the Diplomatic Ladies Event in La Paz {April 2013}.

Photo Credit: Periodico La Razón, La Paz, Bolivia

The Diplomatic Ladies Association [Asociación de Damas Diplomáticas] in La Paz, Bolivia, organized a fair to showcase products and a little bit of the culture of the many countries who mark their presence in La Paz. Entrance fees were used as a fundraiser for charity projects throughout the capital. Here, a collection of snapshots of a few of these countries, including Panama, Japan, Great Britain, and, the United States…

Wish I weren’t be so caught up working at the booth, and had the opportunity to go around snapping more pictures from the beautiful German Embassador’s Residence! Maybe next time… next year, for sure! :o

Find here, more impressions from other bloggers on “Culture”… Thank you all for sharing! ♥

In the meantime, what else has our ‘home diplomatic corp’ been up to? Take a look at this beautiful initiative: http://3rdculturechildren.com/2013/04/25/la-paz-runs-for-boston/

 
 

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Photo Project: 52 Bolivian Sundays [week 16, 'Up & Down' in Viña del Mar, Chile]

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The most popular beach resort in Chile, and an easy flight-and-drive from our house in La Paz, Viña del Mar is within reach of both Santiago and Valparaiso. Viña teems with tourists during peak months December, January and February, despite Antarctic currents that make swimming a formidable prospect. Our family went there during Spring/School Break [why not?Renaca Beach is the hippest spot to sink onto the sands – and the ‘chosen spot’ for our oldest kids’ [7 & 5 yrs] ‘acrobatic performances‘… Our 2-year-old daughter is still too shy [and her parents, too cautious!] to give it a try! :o

“Viña del Mar, is a city and commune on central Chile’s Pacific coast. Its long stretches of white sandy beaches are a major attraction for national and international tourists”, from Wikipedia.
Find here, more impressions from other bloggers on “Up”… Thank you all for sharing! ♥

 

 

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Photo Project: 52 Bolivian Sundays [week 15, 'Change (in numbers)']

happy100K

Innovation. Technology. CHANGE.

Using social media tools to change the way the world is perceived. In this case, celebrating the landmark of having 100,000 friends on the Facebook page of the U.S. Embassy in Bolivia [text extracted & adapted from the US Embassy Bolivia Website, link here] - simultaneously welcoming guests in the five different cities in Bolivia, through webchat technology. Hope on over to their fan page for images from guests in all 5 cities… Number of fans are changing every day… Changing now the way celebrations are done. :o

Photo is current Profile Cover of Facebook Fan Page for the Embajada de Estados Unidos en Bolivia - https://www.facebook.com/usdos.bolivia

Photo is current Profile Cover of Facebook Fan Page for the Embajada de Estados Unidos en Bolivia – https://www.facebook.com/usdos.bolivia

Find here, more impressions from other bloggers on “Change”… Thank you all for sharing! ♥

 

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Photo Project: 52 Bolivian Sundays [week 14, 'Color']

DSC_8096Just mentioned [on a previous post] our recent trip to Chile, during the Easter break, taking advantage of the short and pleasant flights to Santiago. As part of our personal photo project called 52 Bolivian Sundays, inspired by the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge, now it’s time to share colorful images, from recent visit to Viña del Mar, Valparaiso and the Concha y Toro Winery, located in Pirque, a few of the many scenarios spotted during our family trip to Chile.

Find here, more impressions from other bloggers… Thank you all for sharing! ♥

GREEN AND DELICIOUS BURGUNDY! :o

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ALL BURGUNDY… AND EXQUISITE! :o

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  THE COLORS OF HAPPINESS & FRIENDSHIP!

 
13 Comments

Posted by on April 6, 2013 in FAMILY, photography, TRAVEL

 

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Photo Project: 52 Bolivian Sundays [week 13, 'A day in Valparaiso, Chile']

Just mentioned [on a previous post] our recent trip to Chile, during the Easter break, taking advantage of the short and pleasant flights to Santiago. As part of our personal photo project called 52 Bolivian Sundays, inspired by the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge, now it’s time to share a day in Chile’s main port and known for its bohemian, artistic vibe and lovely vistas. I’m talking about the famous city of Valparaiso, only 70 miles northwest of capital Santiago. Its UNESCO-designated historic downtown offers charming colonial architecture, great seafood restaurants, markets and stores were our family’s chosen spot for enjoying the last Friday of March.

Sharing here, impressions and snapshots of a day well spent with our family of 5 and dear friends from our time in Africa, now, adjusted expats in Santiago. Find here, more impressions from other bloggers… Thank you all for sharing! ♥

 
6 Comments

Posted by on April 5, 2013 in FAMILY, photography, TRAVEL

 

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Photo Project: 52 Bolivian Sundays [week 12, 'Future Tense']

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Continuing with my very personal Photo Project throughout this year, called 52 Bolivian Sundays, always inspired by the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge, travels recently took our family of 5 to the beautiful city of Santiago, capital of Chile, a neighboring country. We had the opportunity to enjoy day trips throughout the city and its surroundings, like the famous winery of Concha y Toro, the beach, the cosmopolitan Viña del Mar, and the exquisite Valparaiso. More posts to come, with unique images of our travels in Chile, but for now, will share an image that represents ‘future tense’, taken at the Plaza de Armas, in Santiago.

So many impressions on the future to look forward to… what is out there for many of us? Find here, more impressions from other bloggers… Thank you all for sharing! ♥

 

 
7 Comments

Posted by on April 3, 2013 in photography, TRAVEL

 

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Photo Project: 52 Bolivian Sundays [week 11, 'Lunchtime']

Chocolate Kahlua Mousse & Vanilla Bailey's Mousse... pairing the Irish with the Mexican!

Chocolate Kahlua Mousse & Vanilla Bailey’s Mousse… pairing the Irish with the Mexican!

Continuing with my very personal Photo Project throughout this year, called 52 Bolivian Sundays, sharing images that represent this beautiful country, its traditions, cultural events and neat places/things to do.
For this week, pairing with the Daily Post inspiration, “Lunchtime“, we will ‘share’ a few images from our Sunday luncheon with a couple of friends and their children…

As part of the menu, New Mexican stacked Enchiladas, Spanish Rice, Beans, Pico de Gallo, Flautas – all accompanied by Paloma cocktails and an intriguing set of desserts- Fruit BowlChocolate & Kahlua Mousse, and since it’s also Saint Patrick’s Day, why not bring out a new family favorite – Vanilla Baileys Mousse“pairing the Irish with the Mexican” ♥… What if it starts getting too cold outside? Simply head back inside to enjoy dessert and coffee by the fireplace… All, in a very special Bolivian-style! :o

So many details to look forward to! Find here, more impressions from other bloggers… Thank you all for sharing! ♥

 
20 Comments

Posted by on March 17, 2013 in BOLIVIA, FOOD, photography

 

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Photo Project: 52 Bolivian Sundays [week 10, 'My Neighborhood'].

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Continuing with my very personal Photo Project throughout this year, called 52 Bolivian Sundays, sharing images that represent this beautiful country, its traditions, cultural events and neat places/things to do. 

For this week, pairing with the Daily Post inspiration, “My Neighborhood“, we will ‘stroll’ through a few images that are so very familiar to us, and yet, a surprise every single day, due to the unpredictable weather, so characteristic to the city of La Paz, the place we’ll be calling ‘home’ for the next year and a half… 

Our morning greeting… the nostalgic design of the streets, the contrast between the cobblestones and the always green foliage covering the house walls…

And what we spot when looking up to the sky: the ‘chaotic and intricate’ arrange displayed by the electric cables, against the peaceful tree covers and the white clouds…

What about different views from a popular playground? Trying to show the intriguing ways a child would perceive its surroundings… the metal structures, the reddish mountains in the background, the memories of our childhood brought by the set of swings, and the majestic palm trees…

 

A walk towards the kids school leads to a nice quaint restaurant, with an inviting outdoors patio…

 

And finally, a roof top, like many around our neighborhood, after one of the many 15-minutes hail showers, leaving the tiles covered with tiny pieces of ice… Don’t like the weather? Just wait a few minutes, and a new scenario will arrive at your ‘Paceña‘ neighborhood… :o

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So many details to look forward to! Find here, more impressions from other bloggers… Thank you all for sharing! ♥

 
31 Comments

Posted by on March 11, 2013 in BOLIVIA, photography

 

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Photo Project: 52 Bolivian Sundays [week 9, 'Lost in the Details'].

Above, details from the drive up to the Hotel Complex, through the Valle de La Luna mountains.

Continuing with my very personal Photo Project throughout this year, called 52 Bolivian Sundays, sharing images that represent this beautiful country, its traditions, cultural events and neat places/things to do. For this week, pairing with the Daily Post inspiration, “Lost in the Details“, brings images from our recent visit to Mallasa, and a day very well spent with friends from La Paz and from Washington, DC, at the Oberland Hotel Complex, a taste of Switzerland in Bolivia. In order to get there, one of the requirements is to appreciate the fascinating mountains from the Valle de La Luna [The Moon Valley]… The mineral content of the mountains varies greatly between individual rock formations. As a result, the sides of the mountains are different colors, creating very striking optical illusions. A majority of them are a clear beige or light brown color. There are also areas that are almost red, with sections of dark violet.

And here, a few more ‘detailed impressions’ from a great reward! :o

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So many details to look forward to! Find here, more impressions from other bloggers… Thank you all for sharing! ♥

 
26 Comments

Posted by on March 3, 2013 in BOLIVIA, photography, sports

 

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Photo Project: 52 Bolivian Sundays [week 8, 'Forward'].

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Continuing with my very personal Photo Project throughout this year, titled 52 Bolivian Sundays, sharing images that represent this beautiful country, its traditions, cultural events and neat places/things to do.

For this week, pairing with the Daily Post inspiration, “Forward“, a great place to spend some good quality time with friends, the Bowling Alley in La Paz: “Rock’n Bowl” – our chosen spot for the last Saturday of February! :o Hitting it forward!!!

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Find here, more impressions from other bloggers… Thank you all for sharing! ♥

 
9 Comments

Posted by on February 24, 2013 in BOLIVIA, photography, sports

 

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Photo Project: 52 Bolivian Sundays [week 7, 'Kiss'].

Here, the big brother welcoming his Valentine’s Day sister, with a kiss, a perfect fit for this week’s themeShe’s not a baby anymore… better to say, she’s a young lady… a ‘señorita’:o

We’re pleased, lucky and grateful for all the experiences we’ve been through, and we’re grateful for having had this intense, warm, active and loving girl into our lives for the past five years… Half a decade ago, husband and I received the best gift one could ever expect for Valentine’s Day: the birth of a baby girl! ♥ 

Find here, some lovely impressions from other bloggers… their special understanding of “KISS”: Thank you all for sharing! ♥

 

 
59 Comments

Posted by on February 17, 2013 in children, FAMILY, LOVE, photography

 

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Photo Project: 52 Bolivian Sundays [week 6, 'Home'].

For this week’s photo challenge, we’re all trying to answer the question:  ‘What is home?’ Some amazing bloggers have already done it! 

What about you? ♥

Home is anywhere where one is able to share the joy of being alive, being its own person… Home is where we share, where we teach in exchange of learning… home is where we feel safe, surrounded by trustworthy friends… Home is the place where we share love…for a nomad like myself, trying to answer the question: “where is home” has a very unique response, because it’s a challenge to define ‘home’ for ‘serial expats’… Very personally, home is the place I feel free to be myself, and share all my passions! :o

Previous Posts from the Project “52 Bolivian Sundays”: :o

  1. Photo Project: 52 Bolivian Sundays [week 2, 'Illumination'].
  2. Photo Project: 52 Bolivian Sundays [week 3, 'Beyond']
  3. Photo Project: 52 Bolivian Sundays [week 1, 'Resolved'].
  4. Photo Project: 52 Bolivian Sundays [week 5, 'Unique']: the highest mountain in the Cordillera Real.
  5. Photo Project: 52 Bolivian Sundays [week 4, 'Love'].

 

 
21 Comments

Posted by on February 10, 2013 in BOLIVIA, FAMILY, LOVE, photography, TRAVEL

 

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Snapshots of Artistic Expressions in La Paz. Part II: The Fighting Cholitas!

Like many others, I need colorful and fun experiences in my life. A good way to cope with the intense life of the foreign service [moving every so often, and raising kids along the way]: find ways to ‘dive into the local culture, learning about their traditions and what moves their hearts! :o

We’ve already been posted in Bolivia for exactly 6 months, and I’m always on the lookout for interesting stories, traditional eventss, unique ways that represent the Bolivian Culture. The first post was about Art in La Paz through paintings. This time, a group of friends was taken to El Alto, just outside La Paz, for a Sunday afternoon experience with the Fighting Cholitas‘! A unique experience for many foreigners visiting Bolivia, and a great fit for this week’s photo challenge!

In order to ‘educate myself’ a bit, I did a brief research on these famous women, and the easiest explanation comes from Wikipedia:

The Fighting Cholitas are a group of female lucha librewrestlers who perform in El Alto, Bolivia. The Cholitas are part of a group called the Titans of the Ring, which includes both male and female wrestlers. The Titans perform each Sunday for an audience of hundreds at El Alto’s Multifunctional Center.

Like the general population of El Alto, which consists almost entirely of Aymara and Quechua residents, the Cholitas are indigenous. They wear braided hair, bowler hats and multilayered skirts in the ring.

Now, less talk and more images. Starting with our short trip leaving the city of La Paz, towards El Alto, the ‘grand stage’ for the Cholitas Performance!

The ‘way to travel’: our Cholita Wrestling Bus, personalized tickets, snacks and souvenirs!

The ‘performers’… or should I say… ‘the fearless fighters’ and their loyal fans? :o

These women aren’t like the men in their spandex outfits and masks. They’re Cholitas,  indigenous Bolivian women in their traditional Aymara Indian clothes. The outfit includes a layered skirt buoyed by petticoats, a shawl with long swinging fringe and a bowler hat adorned with gold pins. It’s what the women wear in, and out, of the wrestling ring.

Cholitas wrestling is an ever-growing business. Hundreds of tourists, and Bolivians, line up every week to watch the cholitas beat on each other. But why the fascination? “It’s something spectacular, something never seen before to have a cholita in the ring,” a common opinion shared among us, astonished and somehow, confused (?), members of the Sunday audience…. :o

 
12 Comments

Posted by on February 4, 2013 in ART, BOLIVIA, humor, photography, sports

 

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Photo Project: 52 Bolivian Sundays [week 5, 'Unique']: the highest mountain in the Cordillera Real.

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At 6,438 m (21,122 ft), mount Illimani is the highest mountain in the Cordillera Real, the second highest in Bolivia and the 18th highest in the Andes.

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It lies just south of La Paz at the eastern edge of the Altiplano, dominating the city of La Paz like a sentinel on guard.

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It has three prominent peaks seen from La Paz  (it actually has several peaks over 6000 meters) and the most commonly climbed route is on the west face. To climb this mountain one should have some experience and be very well acclimatized. It’s recommended to spend at least 7 days above 3000 meters and work on some high altitude trekking, before any attempt! 

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Here, this series of images display the snow capped magnificent peak, waiting for a storm to come…a very common scenario during this time of the year… Despite the frightful image, the mountain remains peaceful among the dark clouds…

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…and after the storm has passed – the calming view of the mountain, once we’re safely back home, in La Paz! 

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♥ Thanks for reading! Curious about the previous posts on this Photo Project?

 
51 Comments

Posted by on February 2, 2013 in BOLIVIA, photography, TRAVEL

 

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Photo Project: 52 Bolivian Sundays [week 4, 'Love'].

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Religion, devotion, faith, Love – many names for the several different ways of approaching what’s believed to be a stronger, powerful protective force… People seeking blessings, seeking help, seeking guidance…

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Cerro Calvario (Calvary Hill) is a hill in Copacabana lined with small monuments representing the 14 Stations of the Cross. Pilgrims visit the Stations for prayer and penance. Thousands of pilgrims journey to Copacabana – some on foot for the entire 158km distance from La Paz, and it’s the chosen inspiration for the fourth week of this 52-week Photo Project, and the last Sunday of January 2013.

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At the summit of Cerro Calvario, pilgrims light incense and buy mini replicas of various material possessions that they hope the Virgin will grant them during the year.

The Virgen de la Candelaria in Copacabana is a statue of the Virgin Mary sculpted by an Inca craftsman in 1576. Believed to work miracles, the statue of the “Dark Virgin of the Lake” is the most important pilgrimage destination in Bolivia.

According to a local legend, in 1576, some Inca fishermen were caught in a terrible storm on Lake Titicaca. As they prayed for help, the Virgin Mary appeared and led them to safety.

A traditional expression of love, for something bigger than oneself…

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For this week’s photo challenge, we’re all trying to answer the question:  ‘What is love?’ Some amazing bloggers have already done it! What about you? ♥

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2013 in BOLIVIA, photography, TRAVEL

 

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Photo Project: 52 Bolivian Sundays [week 3, 'Beyond']

IMG_5569With at least a post a week for 2013, which I’m calling “52 Bolivian Sundays”, I keep moving forward with the plan to share my [photo] impressions about our surroundings, the culture we’re currently calling ‘ours’, the place we’ll call home for the next year and a half…

IMG_5570Today, for the third Sunday of 2013, I’m sharing one of photo I snapped during a recent visit to a local Art Exhibit in town. The photo responds to the weekly photo challenge, “Beyond“, trying to answer to: “Do you have a photo which invites the viewer to look beyond?”

Leading the readers through the story in the photo. What do YOU SEE BEYOND the picture? :o

This is s very powerful picture, an oil painting, part of this months current Art Exhibit at the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo ‘Plaza’, in La Paz [more images from my visit to the museum to come later this week, after we return from our family escape to the Lake Titicaca!].

The image has many possible meanings/interpretations, although I believe there’s not doubt about its powerful impact/reaction… The picture portraits the image of a kid, maybe in despair? And, at the same time you find yourself looking at the helpless face of this boy, you discover the image is being ‘ripped off’ from its reality, which brings us to the questions:

‘Is it all real?‘Is all the pain portrait here, simply an illusion?’ Is the image a symbol of a lost childhood?’

What about you? What are you seeing beyond the painted image? ♥

Original posts from Photo Project:

 
 

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Photo Project: 52 Bolivian Sundays [week 2, 'Illumination']

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Today, for the second Sunday of 2013, the chosen photo is inspired by the weekly photo challenge, “Illumination“, and is a little remembrance of the way the city of Nuestra Señora de La Paz greeted the New Year of 2013… Illumination brings rebirth, reinvention, rejoice!

 “Lights are functional — everyday objects in our rooms and on our streets. Yet lights can be powerful symbols: signs of life, curiosity, and discovery…”

Original post from Photo Project:

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2013 in BOLIVIA, expat, photography, TRAVEL

 

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Photo Project: 52 Bolivian Sundays [week 1, 'Resolved'].

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Well, this is the time to come up with New Year Resolutions. I’m no different than many others, and since once of my resolutions is to get better at photoblogging, I’ve resolved to do something.

My resolution? Trying to blog better, more consistently… this year, I’ll see if I can abide by a weekly schedule… with at least a post a week for 2013, which I’m calling “52 Bolivian Sundays”, my plan to share my [photo] impressions about our surroundings, the culture we’re currently calling ‘ours’, the place we’ll call home for the next year and a half… Hopefully, I’ll stick to the plan, and have a photo post out every Sunday… 52 images of natural landscapes, people, culture, food, tradition, daily life, social events, artistic expressions… you name it! But each and every one of them need to represent the place we’re now calling home, the beautiful country of Bolivia! ♥

Today, the first Sunday of 2013, the opening photo is inspired by the weekly photo challenge, “Resolved“. My first resolution for the year: getting out [more] and exploring the country. We haven’t done a lot of traveling in these past 5 months here, but now it’s time to explore… and find out what’s hiding behind these mountains… or, what lies beyond these clouds… :o

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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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Weekly Photo Challenge: Surprise.

Caught by Surprise!

Surprised when we were asked by the Cooking Chef to come up and show our ‘cooking skills’, while he was preparing our Japanese dinner… Not a very positive result, as the pictures may tell! Couldn’t even break an egg, correctly! :o But works well for this week’s photo inspiration. Happy Holidays!

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Posted by on December 21, 2012 in ART, children, FOOD, humor, photography

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Delicate.

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Somebody once told me: “your first child is made of glass… the second one, made of plastic, and the third child, will come made out of rubber… unbreakable…” Really? She still looks and seems very fragile… very delicate… a perfect fit for week’s photo inspiration. She’s my most true interpretation of the theme…

Here, dressed as a flower, for her second birthday.

 
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Posted by on December 15, 2012 in ART, children, photography

 

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It’s time to be Thankful…

little things that make me happy… click here for this week’s ‘Happy’ post!

Less than one day until our Thanksgiving is here! Be Thankful. It’s the word for the Season. Thanks to This mom’s got something to say for letting me share this fantastic post. It’s about being grateful, which I’m sure many of us need to be.

“Thanks. And a whole lot more.” Just in time for this Friday’s photo challenge: Thankful!

“It’s Thanksgiving. The perfect time to reflect and say thank-you for all of the things you have been blessed with in your life. A time to hug your loved ones and let them know how much they mean to you. It’s a time to step out of yourself…”
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Posted by on November 21, 2012 in FAMILY

 

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Illustrated ‘Bolivian-style’ adapted cooking: Green Bean Casserole!

Now, updated with the promised images! Great fit for this week’s photo theme, as well. How I love coincidences!

Enjoy!

Here is my ‘adapted’ recipe:

Green Bean Casserole, “Bolivian-Style”, totally vegetarian!

Ingredients:

1 cup and some 5 oz of 1 can CAMPBELL’S® Miranda Family’s Kitchen homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup

3/4 cup milk

1/8 tsp. black pepper

2 (9 oz. each) pkgs. frozen cut green beans, thawed* 1/2 kg (1 pound and some 4 oz) of freshly cut, cooked [with a bit of salt] green beans

1 1/3 cups FRENCH’S® Original or Cheddar French Fried Onions homemade onion rings (yeah, that one, where you beat one egg with 3 Tb spoons of all-purpouse flour, and a bit of salt!) [hopefully, it'll do the trick... gotta be original, at least!] :o

Directions:

MIX soup, milk and pepper in a 1 1/2 – qt. baking dish. Stir in beans and 2/3 cup homemade onion rings (see the images for a real shock on my recently-discovered cooking skills!) :o

BAKE at 350°F 375°F for 30 35 min.

STIR. Top with remaining 2/3 cup of onion chips/rings. Bake for some 5 min. or until onion chips are golden.

Liked the results? What about my first-time homemade onion rings for the topping? ♥

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Renewal

Renewal: the sound of water… Image capture during one of our trips through the Atlantic Coast of South America (Northeastern Brazil).

According to Cheri Lucas, the courtesy inspiration for this week’s photo challenge, “Renewal. This word conjures a variety of images, from bright blossoms to meditating monks. When I think of “renewal,” I think of starting a new job, arriving in a new city that’s ripe for exploration, walking through a new apartment with white walls, and taking a hot shower after a challenging day.”

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24 Comments

Posted by on November 13, 2012 in photography

 

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[Weekly Photo Challenge: Geometry] The singular city of Brasília, where architecture and mysticism meet.

[Backstory] Geometry. This challenge is about the shapes and rhythms that make up the geometry of our world. Many photographs of any genre have an underlying sense of geometry, but I often like to make this the main subject of my work. I think it’s the most important aspect of a photograph’s success. This could be the patterns of the natural world up close and personal, or the rhythm of your local buildings. The above photograph, “Positive Negative,” depicts the Paula Rego Museum in Lisbon where the sky created an equally strong element of the composition as the building. The image has a totemic quality, softened by the passing cloud. I had waited for this cloud to move into the perfect position within the frame. The colour, light, and form of the image emphasize this geometry.

Share a photo that means GEOMETRY to you!

Tip: Once you have found a good subject that contains an interesting geometry, try to crop tightly into the subject to make an unexpected composition. Your goal should be to create an abstract composition so the image is more about underlying shapes than a literal representation of the subject matter itself — by doing this you create art rather than a snapshot.

Brasilia cathedral

Image Source (left): “aboutBrasilia.com” Brasilia is without any doubt a singular city, different from all others; even those ones considered moderns and planned.

For such special city, an equally singular Cathedral was designed and built. On 12th September 1958, the Cathedral’s cornerstone was laid. The Metropolitan Cathedral of Brasilia is an expression of the geniality of the architect Oscar Niemeyer. In 1960, the Cathedral’s structure was finished, and only the 70 m diameter of the circular area and the 16 concrete columns were visible. These columns, having parabolic section and weighing 90 t, represent two hands moving upwards to heaven. The Cathedral was dedicated on the 31st May, 1970. At that time it had already the external transparent window. Four bronze sculptures 3 m high, representing the Evangelists, can be seen at the external square in the entrance of the Temple. These sculptures were made with the help of the sculptor Dante Croce, in 1968. Inside the nave, three sculptures of angels are suspended by steel cables.


The smallest angel has 2,22 m of length and weighs 100 kg. The medium one has 3,40 m of length and weighs 200 kg. The big one has 4,25 m of length and 300 kg weighs. The sculptures were made by Alfredo Ceschiatti, with the help of Dante Croce, in 1970. The nave stained glass is made of 16 pieces of fibreglass. These pieces, in colours of blue, white and brown, were fixed between the concrete columns, in triangles of 10 m of base and 30 m of height. They were painted in 1990 by Marianne Peretti. Having an oval form, the Baptistery has its walls covered by a panel of ceramic tiles painted in 1977 by Athos Bulcão. The local architecture is completed by a bell tower. Its four big bells were donated by Spain.

 
29 Comments

Posted by on November 2, 2012 in ART, Brasilia, photography, TRAVEL

 

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Best Wednesday night ever! [weekly photo challenge: foreign]

We’re all foreigners here in Bolivia… most of us, from the USA, some coming from mixed-culture parents, one from New Zealand, one from Brazil (myself!). But this event brought us all together, as one ‘party nation’, enjoying another foreigner’s performance (he’s Cuban-American).

Several nations under one roof (correction, there wasn’t really a physical roof, since we’re at a soccer stadium!) – were we really foreigners at that moment? Frankly speaking, even though we had different languages being spoken around us, the passion for music (and fun!) transcends all borders… We went from being totally foreigners to feeling completely at home! :o

Backstory: Armando Christian Pérez (born January 15, 1981 in Miami, Florida), better known by the stage name Pitbull , is a Cuban-American rapper signed to his own label, Mr 305 Inc. The Give Me Everything (Tonight) Songfacts reports that he adopted his canine moniker because, “They bite to lock. The dog is too stupid to lose. And they’re outlawed in Dade County. They’re basically everything that I am. It’s been a constant fight.”

Once in a while, it’s good to feel like an adult, again… In great company, we could enjoy a fun and safe presentation, with the so-called… Pitbull!

Rent a Party Bus! – check!

Buy the Super VIP tickets [oh, so worthy... It does feel great to be so close to the stage!] – check!

Call and confirm the baby sitter for our 3 children – check! [thankfully!] 

Group of over 10 adults trying to get back into the ‘fun scene’ (even if it’s only for a couple of hours!), totally organized and in full gear – check! check! check! :o

Whatever reason he’s got for his life choices, I don’t really care… Just had a fantastic time at his concert! :o

 
 

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Big, big storm coming this way!

Although it’s Spring in La Paz, here and there, the weather changes – and a cold snowy front comes up… Beautiful, big, and majestic!

According to Sara Rosso, whose photograph was portraited as this week’s photo challenge inspiration at WordPress, “BIG. It’s larger than life, it’s unexpected, it’s the protagonist in a scene”. 

And for you? What is big? :o

 
21 Comments

Posted by on October 13, 2012 in ART, BOLIVIA, photography

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Big.

Big: The Supermoon over the Coast of Brazil. In May 2012 (when these pictures were taken), the supermoon appeared even bigger and more glorious than the previous year.

According to Sara Rosso, whose photograph was portraited as this week’s photo challenge inspiration at WordPress, “BIG. It’s larger than life, it’s unexpected, it’s the protagonist in a scene”. 

Click below for original post about the Supermoon over the coast of Brazil.

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

And for you? What is big? :o

 
33 Comments

Posted by on October 12, 2012 in ART, photography

 

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My ‘Circles of Happiness’!

Simply loved this week’s photo challenge! The latest inspiration at WordPress is Happy“. And I’m using the new feature, displaying the images in circles, which I’m calling today, “circles of happiness”… According to the “happiness engineers” from WP, lots have been waiting on pins and needles until they could share the new gallery formats which were announced yesterday on the WordPress.com blog! So now that they’re out, let’s put them to good use! We’re going to have a multi-photo challenge!

Let me know what do you think about this new way of telling our traveling family/expats/multicultural experiences! That’s what the ‘comments’ section’ is for! :o

What’s keeping me HAPPY, these days??

The love we nurture within our family, the joy shown by our kids, well-adjusted to the new school, new cultures, new language, and their ability to ‘translate challenges into adventures’...

The love and support from a good husband, our joint passion for exploring and learning new South American traditions (La Paz, Bolivia), the music and dance expressions, the food (hummm!)… my endless affair for anything-chocolate… the proximity to the holidays (Halloween & Thanksgiving just around the corner!)…  so many things are keeping me happy these days!

The beautiful landscape, living surrounded by peaceful mountains and unique natural features, and my recently ‘re-discovered’ passion for painting, a way to express my love and care for this new place, we’re calling home…

All in all, we’re happy… ♥ Very happy…♥

 
50 Comments

Posted by on October 5, 2012 in BOLIVIA, photography

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Mine [for the love of chocolate].

A very interesting comparison. Last week’s photo theme was “Solitary”, and this week’s challenge is to find a photo that says “mine”… very introspective, and I’m almost saying, a bit selfish. Well the word “mine” seems to be part of my household with three little kids, being said, repeated, several times a day, and often times, more than once in the same sentence!

But my impression for this week will relate to myself. ‘Mine’ is for me

- sorry kids! :o

A nice afternoon by myself, kids in school, decided to venture the local market in La Paz, and found a great stand, for the love of chocolate – Bolivian alfajores (almost sinful caramel sandwich cookies!), and chocolate-made shot glasses, to enjoy your favorite liquor, after a well-deserved coffee… and, the best part: all mine! :o

And here, a few impression of “Mine”: WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE : MINE « beyond toxicity Weekly Photo Challenge: Mine | A Little British Pea … Weekly Photo Challenge: Mine | The Daily Post at WordPress.com « 2012 – ON THE BENCH Weekly Photo Challenge: Mine « Insanity at its best! Weekly Photo Challenge: Mine | Lonely Travelog Weekly Photo Challenge: Mine | Wind Against Current These are a few of my favorite travel things « Galang Pusa Weekly Photo Challenge: Mine | R Shad Weekly Photo Challenge: Near and Far « picture-bandit Weekly Photo Challenge: Mine « picture-bandit This is My Place « bukaningrat ™ Weekly Photo Challenge: Mine « britten Weekly Photo Challenge : Mine « Memories are made of this Weekly Photo Challenge: Mine « Fenland Photos weekly photo challenge : mine | bodhisattvaintraining Weekly Photo Challenge: Mine | a hectic life Weekly Photo Challenged: Mine | JenineSilos Weekly Photo Challenge: Mine « The Laughing Housewife Weekly Photo Challenge: Mine | My Sardinian Life | La Mia Vita Sarda Weekly Photo Challenge : Mine | aysabaw Weekly Photo Challenge: Mine « Jinan Daily Photo Weekly Photo Challenge: Mine « Ruined for Life: Phoenix Edition Weekly Photo Challenge: Mine « Bouncing Beardies Weekly Photo Challenge: Mine | The Serenity Space Weekly Photo Challenge: Mine | Autumn in Bruges Weekly Photo Challenge – Mine | Chittle Chattle Weekly Photo Challenge – Mine | Just Snaps WordPress Photo Challenge: Mine « A year in the Life
 
9 Comments

Posted by on October 1, 2012 in ART, photography

 

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Weekly photo challenge: Solitary.

According to Cheri Lucas, whose photograph was portraited as this week’s photo challenge inspiration at WordPress, “Solitary. I love capturing a person in a quiet and often unexpected moment. These kinds of images can be reflective, mysterious, or even sad, conjuring strong emotions and stirring up stories in my head… We were strangers—yet alone, together. A solitary moment, frozen with my lens.”

And here, my few impressions of solitary:

 

 
9 Comments

Posted by on September 23, 2012 in ART, photography

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Everyday Life

From

This week’s photo challenge is guest hosted by Jon Sanwell of Without an H. Read on for more about this week’s theme and his photography tips!

“Everyday Life. This challenge is all about people and the things they do every day: working, eating, drinking, chatting, dreaming, walking, exercising, or any of those things we do all the time without really thinking about it. Take a walk around your neighbourhood, or around the streets where you work or study, and take a look at the people you see. You might think that your neighbourhood isn’t very interesting, but imagine that you’re giving a guided tour to someone from the other side of the world—what’s normal for you might be extraordinary to them”.

A few interpretations for the idea of everyday life:

Simple pleasures of life. From a toddler sneaking in, and climbing up on the desk, to adults enjoying a bottle of wine with homemade dinner, from getting ready for your first day in school, to being a ‘kid veteran, posing for a shot at your new school… or simply spending time playing outside, a collection of ‘everyday images’.

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See what others have to show, for this week’s photo challenge!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Everyday Life « Express with Photos ¡A por un café matinal! « La Mandraka Weekly Photo Challenge: Everyday Life « Flickr Comments Weekly Photo Challenge: Everyday Life « e-Shibin Weekly Photo Challenge: Everyday Life « MaanKind Weekly Photo Challenge: Everyday Life « Ruined for Life: Phoenix Edition Weekly Photo Challenge: Everyday Life – Joy and Woe Weekly Photo Challenge – Everyday Life | Alastair’s Blog Trying to Keep Balanced « Broken Light: A Photography Collective Everyday life: Rainy day (weekly photo challenge) | Cardinal Guzman Weekly Photo Challenge: Everyday Life « Jinan Daily Photo WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Everyday Life « A year in the Life weekly photo challenge : everyday life | bodhisattvaintraining The Weekly Challenge: Everyday Life – Elderly Advice « What’s (in) the picture? Weekly Photo Challenge: Everyday Life | A Little British Pea … weekly photo challenge: everyday life « Curls n Skirls Weekly Photo Challenge: Everyday Life | Humbled Pie Friendly faces in unknown places « Detours by Deepali Weekly Photo Challenge: Everyday Life « Fenland Photos Weekly Photo Challenge: Everyday Life « Beijing Daily Photo 2 Weekly Photo Challenge: Everyday Life « The Other Courtney Weekly Photo Challenge : Everyday Life « Les Petits Pas de Juls Weekly Photo Challenge: Everyday Life | Cee’s Life Photography Weekly Photo Challenge: Everyday Life | acieartikulasi Weekly Photo Challenge – Everyday Life « The Urge To Wander Weekly Photo Challenge: Everyday Life | Wind Against Current Weekly Photo Challenge: Everyday Life « wingrish Weekly Photo Challenge: Everyday Life… a day in the life | A barbaric YAWP across the We  WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE: EVERYDAY LIFE « Francine In Retirement Next Stop … | Beyond the Brush Weekly Photo Challenge: Everyday Life On the job « patriciaddrury Weekly Photo Challenge: Everyday Life « Jag gör världen vackrare Weekly Photo Challenge: Everyday Life « The White Pumpkin Light Photo Challenge: Everyday Life (Loving Aachen XVI) « A Happy and Beautiful World  | 50 Year Project « AbstractUnknownBoy « Rois « A Happy and Beautiful World | Creativity Aroused
 
24 Comments

Posted by on September 14, 2012 in children, FAMILY, photography

 

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Weekly photo challenge: near and far.

near & far in Africa

This week’s photo challenge is guest hosted by Brian Cooney. Read on for more about this week’s theme and his photography tips!

Near and Far. We’re excited about this week’s photo challenge, near and far, and hope it inspires you to play with perspective, which can give sweeping images of beautiful locations more oomph and power. Perspective is what makes a flat two-dimensional image, such as a photograph, appear like it is three-dimensional. To create this effect, you can use features like diagonal lines, which converge within the frame and literally suck in the viewer.

A few interpretations for the idea of near and far: perspectives in 4 different scenarios, 4 countries, one family affair…

near, the flowers…. far away, the Andine mountains

the girl and the Brazilian coast island …

wedding couple placed  against the US Southwestern mountains

See what others have to show, for this week’s photo challenge!

Joy and Woe  « Flickr Comments El sonido del bronce español « La Mandraka « Form Your Troika  Chittle Chattle Just Snaps « The Great Escape » Life from behind a lens  A Little British Pea … Cardinal Guzman Weekly Photo Challenge: Near and Far « britten « beyond toxicity Weekly Photo Challenge: Near and Far « e-Shibin Weekly Photo Challenge: Near and Far « Fenland Photos Weekly Photo Challenge: Near and Far « thegirlinthesunglasses Photo Journal – «  (With the Wind) « A drifter off to see the world Travel Challenge; Near and Far « So where’s the snow? « Connie’s World « A year in the Life Near and Far | Figments of a DuTchess  | nirvanatrails Weekly Photo Challenge: Near and Far « wingrish  « The Other Courtney Near and Far « bukaningrat ™ Weekly Photo Challenge : Near and Far | a weirder fetish Weekly Photo Challenge: Near and Far | Wind Against Current Weekly Photo Challenge – Near and Far « mtlawleyshire Weekly Photo Challenge: Near and Far « Jacob Marchio Miles Away (Weekly Photo Challenge: Near and Far) | Noke Yuitza Weekly Photo Challenge: Near and Far « Olivia May Photography Photo Challenge: Near and Far « Detours by Deepali  Mondrak’s Blog \ acieartikulasi « Queen’s Gems

 
36 Comments

Posted by on September 7, 2012 in photography

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Free Spirit

This week’s photo challenge is guest hosted by Strauss Louw“Free Spirit. I chose this as the topic for this week’s photo challenge as it lends itself to so many possibilities for subject matter and composition. I work exclusively with film and believe this element is quite important concerning a theme such as the free spirit, as it allows for more experimentation and creative exploration due to how film reacts differently to light than a digital sensor would. To capture this idea of the free spirit, I would suggest breaking some rules. Sometimes it is necessary to overexpose a frame slightly and point the lens to the sun for a bit of glare to capture that sense of a different, free, moving reality”.

My take on the theme? A very free-spirited fisherman! :o

Thanks for the inspiration! ♥

 
21 Comments

Posted by on September 1, 2012 in ART, BOLIVIA, photography, TRAVEL

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouette.

SILHOUETTE. The proper definition of a silhouette is “the outline of a body viewed as circumscribing a mass.” In photography, often we achieve that effect by putting light behind the object whose silhouette we want to capture, effectively darkening out the features of the subject instead of highlighting them – according to this week’s challenge, from the Daily Post, in WordPress

According to Ailsa, from “Where’s my Backpack?”: It fascinates me how a silhouette; a two-dimensional outline of a person or object, can suggest a story just as clearly as if you could see the scene in its entirety. Perhaps it makes our imagination work overtime, trying to fill in the details we cannot see.”

Our family arrived at our new assignment less than 3 months ago, as many of you may know by now: 2012 marks the move to our first Spanish speaking post: La Paz, Bolivia. The ‘model’ for this photograph is our oldest son, and adventurous and curious boy, pictured against our view through the backyard. The idea of the ‘unknown’ is, at the same time, scary and intriguing… The silhouette against the beautiful mountain scenario tries to represent that – even though we’re not totally sure about what’s ahead of us, we can still enjoy the little bit of beauty that our eyes are able to catch… we’ll be writing our stories and tales in different ways now… This particular blogpost represents the transition that’s waiting for us – my appreciation to Where’s my backpack? for the inspiration! :o

 
26 Comments

Posted by on August 25, 2012 in BOLIVIA, photography, post a day, TRAVEL

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban

“Colorless Urban”

 

This week’s photo challenge is guest hosted by This week’s photo challenge is guest hosted by Terence S. Jones of A Guy With a Camera. Here, I’m presenting two views of the same city, a ‘colorless urban”, and a ‘colorful’ one, seen below. Urban settings can be whatever we want them to be – sad and colorless, or lively, colorful, pleasant!

“Colorful Urban”

This week’s inspiration is “urban“. The idea behind urban photography is to photograph your city and the streets where you grew up as they are. Unlike the photoshopped pictures to which we are accustomed nowadays, urban photography presents a more direct, unaltered view of life. It is about documenting urban living space and how people adapt their environment to certain needs and vice versa. Urban photography shots provide cultural, social, economical, and ecological context all at once, and can capture social tension. Think of urban photography as a complement to street photography—it provides the context in which street photography unfolds. Thanks for the inspiration! ♥

 
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Posted by on August 24, 2012 in ART, BOLIVIA, photography

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Merge

This week’s photo challenge is guest hosted by Gary Ng of Gnostec PhotographyMerge. The world is made up of many things. There is a saying that opposites attract, and this is true for relationships and other things. What about photography? Many surprises can come out of merging two different entities into one. Sometimes this fusion of the elements is what we call art.

This week’s inspiration is “merge“. Here is my interpretation, merging two different settings from around our newest neighborhood… one, could be considered the perfect scenario, just the mountains… the second one, once the urban constructions have arrived… Original images may be seen below. Let’s see how good of a “merging job” was done… Thanks for the inspiration! ♥

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Posted by on August 17, 2012 in ART, BOLIVIA, photography

 

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Sunset through the Mountains around Nuestra Señora de La Paz, Bolívia.

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Sunset… as it is! Beautiful, thanks to Awoodstock!

What we see looking though our TV room window…

We made it. We’ve been in La Paz for exactly 7 days, and here is a bit of what we’ve been able to see… But before we go into the image gallery, just found out that Jill is hosting another Foreign Service Blog Round Up (here we go, people unfamiliar with the ‘acronym world’- it became FS BRU!) – and, a fellow blogger, Ailsa, from “Where’s my Backpack?“, came up with a great travel theme: “sunset”!

Anyway, this week’s theme is coincidently: ‘your current post’, and 5 pros and cons of it… so, for somebody who’s got less than 2 weeks at post, take this list with a grain of salt… :o I’m sure things will change with time… for better… or for worse… let’s wait and see! For now, enjoying life in ‘Breathless La Paz‘ (you’ll soon find out why!). So, just taking advantage of a blog post written a couple days ago, to share my very own list of “pros and cons” or our newest post:

Nuestra Señora de La Paz is the administrative capital of Bolivia. It is located at an elevation of 3,660 meters above sea level, making it the world’s highest capital city. The city sits in a “bowl” surrounded by the high mountains of the altiplano. As it grows, La Paz climbs the hills, resulting in varying elevations from 3,000 meters to 4,100 meters. Overlooking the city is towering triple-peaked Illimani, which is always snow-covered and can be seen from several spots of the city, including from the neighbor city, El Alto. La Paz is an important cultural center of Bolivia, and we can’t wait to start discovering its culture, learning about its history, the people, the traditions…. and living surrounded by unique beauty!

The city hosts several cathedrals belonging to the colonial times, such as the San Francisco Cathedral and the Metropolitan Cathedral, this last one located on Murillo Square, which is also home of the political and administrative power of the country. Hundreds of different museums can be found across the city, the most notable ones on Jaén Street, which street design has been preserved from the Spanish days and is home of 10 different museums… We haven’t had a chance (yet!) to really go through the main attractions, but, ‘high altitude permitting’ (!!), we’ll begin… very soon!

PROS of our current ‘setting’:

  • The beautiful views surrounding our house, the mountains, the unique geography throughout the city of Nuestra Señora de La Paz, our #1 bid… I seem to never get tired of looking at these mountains…
  • The School. We were finally able to be at a post where we enrolled our kids (almost 7 & 4,5 yrs old) at an American School [in Mozambique, our son went to a Canadian Montessori Academy, and in Brazil, the oldest ones went to a private local school - for now, let's just leave any discussions behind us... let's say we were lucky to have different options for our children!]. Regarding their current school, we’re quite pleased with what we’ve seen, so far… Baby girl is still too young for school days, so, for the time being, she’s staying at home with….
  • … a great NANNY! Close friends (from our time in Mozambique) who were living in La Paz, hooked us up with their nanny/maid pair, right before they had to depart to their next posting – so, we had both ladies waiting for us at the house the day we arrived at our new home…
  • Our ‘sponsors’ have been in country for over a decade. They’re pretty ‘plugged in’, have a lot of insight info to share, tips, recommendations… they’ve got kids at similar ages to ours, and… are pretty involved with tourism, extreme sports, mountain biking, hiking… That said, we’ve already built a good ‘network’ during our few days in country…
  • The food! I’m simply loving it! Very tasty, so far, very safe to our ‘foreign stomaches’…  Our maid is a trained cook, and tries to ‘surprise’ us with a different recipe each day. Groceries seem to be way more affordable than back in Recife (Brazil) or DC/Va, for that matter. That said, going grocery shopping has become an entertaining task for this still-stay-home-mom!

Now, the, ‘not-so-positive’ remarks:

  • ‘mate’ (tea) does help with the high altitude effects… A lot, actually! :o

    The ALTITUDE. Coming from our 4 weeks of home leave in the US, and before that, a great couple of years posted in Recife, Brazil, pretty much across the street from the ocean, the effects of the high altitude resulted in a shock to my body …

  • The HIGH ALTITUDE. I DEFINITELY WAS NOT MYSELF for the first 36 hours in country. Had the husband call the med unit at the embassy, and thought: “has somebody ever asked for curtailing after less than 48 hours at post?“. Became best friends with the oxygen tank. It made it possible, so, i’m very grateful to whoever came up with the idea of portable/personal oxygen tanks/cylinders. My deepest appreciation to you, Mr Inventor, whoever you are….

    One of my newest ‘best friends’ here in in La Paz!

  • The VERY HIGH ALTITUDE. Besides the oxygen, I learned about keeping your body filled with fluids… Any kind, just avoiding the obvious options of alcohol, sodas, coffee… What??! Can’t I drink coffee?! I’m born in Brazil, to a Portuguese mom, and we’ve been drinking coffee since I was in grammar school! [I know it's sounds horrible, but, hey, blame the Portuguese culture for that!] :o That said, imagine somebody, already dizzy, with a killer headache for literally almost 2 full days, lacking her daily dose of caffeine… Simply, not fair… But I survived… and now, guess what? I’m back into drinking my favorite beverage… And it’s all good…
  • The COLD WEATHER. It’s pretty cold over here, no central heating system, so we’re managing with several portable space heaters (thanks GSO!), but I’m sure we’ll adjust. Right now we’re leaving out of our suitcases, waiting for our stuff to come from Brazil (hasn’t left yet!) and from the US (part of the HHE/UAB coming from the east coast). Despite the cold, it’s quite easy to get a real SUN BURN if you’re just outside, trying to warm your bones up… sunscreen is a must! As they say here, “you’re closer to the sun, so, gotta respect that!”.
  • And lastly, it’d be great once we have a working cable TV… no shows for the kids, yet. No cartoons… but it’s giving us a chance to talk more (at least, that’s what we’re doing to forget about the lack of a TV). It’s been good to talk with the kids, and inquire about their first impressions of this new life. Talking’s been good. Unless, they get on our nerves, and guess what? Then it’s time for bed, school days are back, and the school bus doesn’t wait for long in the morning!

After the adjustment to the weather and the high altitude, it’s possible to enjoy the beauty that surrounds us…

Here, ‘peeking’ into our new life… and this is just the beginning!

A view of the American School, La Paz

 

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