180 years later, an analogy with Charles Darwin’s Beagle Voyage.

14 Sep


The most recent WordPress Writing Challenge, is about  “writing style“. Quoting WP:

“Like it or not, we all have our own style. Where we’re from, our local colloquialisms, our favorite writers, and our preferred subject matter all influence the tone and language in our posts. We do not blog in a vacuum…Better yet, you can tell us about your favorite writer’s tone, or you can take it a step further — after all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Highlight a particular element of your favorite writer’s style, and incorporate it into a post of your own. Whether it’s their delightfully wry wit, the rhythmic insertion of repeated phrases, or lackadaisical sentence structure, become your favorite writer for a day (or an hour).”
Here’s my original post, writen under the format of a ‘quasi-journal’, taking advantage of the suggested Writing Challenge from WordPress, and the fantastic journey reports from another Biologist,Charles Darwin… Am I trying to ‘imitate’ Darwin’s style, comparing our family’s journeys with his? Not at all – trying to be humble, and realistic…But, as a researcher, former scientist, and now traveling mom, the challenge of comparing both memories is intriguing and exciting. Hope you enjoy it!

“Our traveling family has just departed from Brazil. On a plane, not on a ship. We didn’t have a crew, nor shipmates, just the five of us, 2 intense parents and 3 children aged 6 and under – but still keeping a diary of our experiences, encounters, a way to tell our stories, share lessons learned and comment on challenges and small victories…

In July 5, 1832 – HMS Beagle and Charles Darwin departed Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He was in Brazil from Feb 28 until Jul 5, 1832. The same week he departed, but, 180 years later, our family also departed Recife, Pernambuco, northeastern coast of Brazil, heading to our next adventure… An interesting coincidence, for several different reasons, and one of them, for sure, led a fellow blogger/researcher to kindly invite me to prepare a guest post for his blog, The Beagle Project. According to the site’s author, Rob Viens, “The Beagle Project – is an attempt to read and reflect on Charles Darwin’s Beagle Diary in real time over a five year period – 180 years to the date the original entries were recorded.” As the author likes to describe himself, “He currently resides on the planet Earth, on the Eocene Blakeley and Renton formations in Bellevue, with his wife, daughter, son and cats“. Find more about the creation of this Project, here.

Photography: Exploring the mangrove biome on Itamaraca Island, Brazil.After departing Brazil, 180 years ago, Charles Darwin headed South… nice coincidence: our next posting is La Paz, Bolivia, and after a short stop back in the US, our family, led by the International Affair’s father and his right-hand Biologist wife (aka, the Mother), will again, be heading to South America! 😮 Hey, please don’t get me wrong: no intention to compare between the 2 biologists! 😮 I’m humble enough to admit myself as being a passionate researcher, who loves to learn and is eager to share experiences I’ve acquired through life, with our growing children.oyster colonies growing along the tree branches

During these 2 years in Brazil, our family had the opportunity to really immerse into the culture, and personally, I was grateful for the possibility of letting my children experience what I grew up with in Brazil. As a family, we traveled through most of the northeastern region of Brazil, visited historical sites, dating from the Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish colonization days. We experienced the intriguing architecture of this nation’s capital, Brasilia; and as an exploring couple, my husband and I got to visit several unique sites, like the paradise beach coast of Jericoacoara, one of the ten most beautiful beaches on Earth and the world’s heritage site, [Archipelago of] Fernando de Noronha, coincidentally, one of the Brazilian sites visited by Charles Darwin’s expedition [other posts about Fernando de Noronha here and here]. and . We saw spinning dolphins, volcanic rock formations, horizontal trees, manatees, baby sharks, deep blue lagoons, and hiked through untouched natural settings… We experienced life to its fullest – always sharing our findings with our offspring… who knows, maybe one day, they’ll also become passionate explorers, life their parents? 😮

Through the aerial roots of this old tree...

While living in Brazil we saw different color sunsets, and once-in-a-lifetime sunrises. We lazed in hammocks dipped in the deepest blue water, listened to volunteers talking and showing the importance of preserving the sea and green turtles, and watched them hatch… at the end, we simply enjoyed the wonders of nature… We learned about conservation and the importance of respecting the natural creations, as well as, its limits. We learned about the use and potential of the “green energy resources“, and talked about it with our colleagues. We boarded on the visiting Rainbow Warrior Greenpeace ship for a live lesson on Conservation of Natural Resources…IMG_4108

Our children are learning to love and respect their mixed culture and the importance of learning how to explore, how to care, how to preserve.

They’re beginning to understand historical events, their causes and consequences. They’re learning that any country is not just about land, but also, its people, their beliefs and their sense of social respect. Hybrid cultures are a rich experience. They will grow up comprehending that the world they live in is much bigger than geography may present itself. And a country’s boundaries go as far as its people. We bring our culture with ourselves. Our traditions, our honor, our respect to others. Wherever we are. Wherever we move to. We’ve departed Brazil with a heavy heart and lots of good memories, that we’re trying to register through this interactive quasi-travel diary… And, as Charles Darwin himself wrote on his Diary, our adventure will also continue:

[July, 1832] 5th A little after 9 oclock we tripped our anchor, & with a gentle breeze stood out of the bay.— Capts Talbot & Harding accompanied us beyond Santa Cruz.— As we sailed past the Warspite & Samarang (our old Bahia friend) they manned the rigging & gave us a true sailor-like farewell, with three cheers.— The band at the same time striking up “To glory you steer”.— The Captain had intended touching at Cape Frio, but as the lightning did so.— we made a direct course for the South.— Near to the Isle de Raza the wind lulled, & we are now becalmed & shall probably remain so during the night: |190| The moon is now shining brightly on the glassy water.—every one is in high spirits at again being at sea & a little more wind is all that is wanted.— The still & quiet regularity of the ship is delightful; at no time is “the busy hum of men” so strongly perceived as when leaving it for the open ocean.—”

Thank you, WordPress Readers! And the journey continues!

Picture the World Project: Representing Brazil! (



Posted by on September 14, 2012 in ecology, photography, TCKs, TRAVEL


Tags: , , , ,

13 responses to “180 years later, an analogy with Charles Darwin’s Beagle Voyage.

  1. Bridgesburning Chris King

    September 18, 2012 at 9:56 am

    Wonderfully done!!


  2. eof737

    September 12, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    I enjoyed reading this fascinating account… TY also for the pingback. 🙂


    • 3rdCultureChildren

      September 12, 2012 at 2:47 pm

      Thanks! I thought it’d fit well for the Wp DPChallenge… imitating somebody’s style… 😮 And, it’s my pleasure to link to your post!


  3. Leonard Marks

    July 18, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    great post


  4. Myra GB

    July 10, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    I agree with Frizz, this is truly an amazing journey and what a wonderful photo essay. 🙂


    • 3rdCultureChildren

      July 10, 2012 at 1:46 pm

      Thank you very much, Myra! I’m so glad it’s generating positive feedback! 😮


  5. frizztext

    July 10, 2012 at 4:10 am

    you’ve written a wonderful tribute to Brazil!


  6. Rob Viens

    July 7, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    Reblogged this on The Beagle Project and commented:
    As Darwin was departing Rio this week, I asked the author of the blog 3rdCultureChildren if she was interested in a guest blog or tie-in to the Beagle Project. After having lived in Brazil for over two years, Raquel and her family just departed for a new home. She writes of her adventures and some of the parallels with Darwin’s time in Brazil below. Be sure to check out 3rdCultureChildren – thanks Raquel!


    • 3rdCultureChildren

      July 11, 2012 at 1:16 pm

      Thank you very much, Rob! I do appreciate being part of this project of yours! 😮 Great honor to collaborate!



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