Showing life in Brazil to our American family members!

The eldest member of our US-based Miranda Family, comes to Brasilia! Or, as the kids like to call him, their ‘Abuelito’ ūüôā
Here, joining the kids for some well-deserved Easter Egg Hunt fun, organized for the US Embassy community:

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Moving on, we’ve decided to join the Mirandas & the Nogueira Lima families: we all headed up to see the Brazilian part of the family in Fortaleza – taking the American ‘Abuelito’ to go visit the kids’ Brazilian uncles, aunts, cousing and grandparents? All aboard, heading to the Northeastern coast of Brazil for Easter Weekend! ūüôā

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Brazil & US Families together!

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Back in Brasilia, how about start the weekend fun for our second guest, with some typical feijoada, caipirinhas and tropical fruit juices, while listening to traditional “chorinho” [samba] and Bossa Nova? All by the lake Paranoa side, watching the weekenders riding their boats, jet-skis and kayaks… Table for 16 people, please!

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Gotta always save some [physical] energy for joining the US Embassy community during a friendly basketball mini-tournament, right?
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Mid-afternoon sightseeing… ice-cream, anyone? Even better if it’s sold from a red vintage VW! ūüôā

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Considering making and keeping healthy friendships [in our case, our expat fellow friends] are the most important part of this ever-changing life, a few images from a night with friends, celebrating life, friendship, birthdays and good food! One of the pictures here is a ‘multi-collage’… guess which!

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What now?? Some family time back at our Lago Sul house, having fun with the little “resident monkeys”? ūüôā Priceless!

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Brasilia, our current home, and a city planned to host the coutry’s federal government, is famous for [among other things!]:

a) its unique sky colors & the typical Cerrado vegetation

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b) its architectural lines and building structures, its religious/faith-based centers, bringing out a strange, yet passionate urban beauty:

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Garota de Ipanema: The Girl from Ipanema – the song, the inspiration, the couple…

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The bar and its entrance: [the claimed birthplace of this beautiful Bossa Nova song, where Tom and Vinicius used to spend hours watching the girls on their way down to the beach…]

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The song, by Vinicius de Moraes & Ant√īnio Carlos (Tom) Jobim:

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The bar menu, obviously inspired by the song and all the beauty around it:

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The couple ūüôā

 

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and the girls!!!!

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Getting ready to look back at 2012, remembering the most popular post in 2011!

2012 is almost over! A very intense year, in many levels, scenarios… Our family moved several times throughout the year… we got to live in 3 different countries, and now, we’re happily settled in Nuestra Se√Īora de La Paz, capital of Bolivia. Right now, looking back at 2012, and preparing the ‘retrospective’: popular posts, popular searches/forums… good discussions… got a lot done this year, when it came to blogging, sharing our experiences, challenges regarding parenting, multilingual living, cultural adjustments… work… expatriate and family daily life….

Before I get a chance to pull together the ‘highs and lows’ of 2012, I remembered last year, Wordpress came up with a great initiative for all bloggers and readers: the year in blogging… That said, I thought it could be a great way to get ready for this year’s review. Post write-up is both in English and Portuguese, since we were living in Brazil, at that time… Maybe, if I’m gutsy enough, I could try to prepare this year’s review post in English and Spanish (Bolivia’s official language)?? ūüėģ

Image Credit: http://blog.hubspot.com
Image Credit: http://blog.hubspot.com

2012 is almost over! A very intense year, in many levels, scenarios… Our family moved several times throughout the year… we got to live in 3 different countries [Brazil, USA, Bolivia}, lived out of suitcases for a long time; kids had to say goodbye to their dear friends, and say ‘hello‘ to the ones becoming their new friends and teachers, adjusting to a new school, new cultures, and now, we’re happily settled in Nuestra Se√Īora de La Paz, capital of Bolivia

At this moment, looking back at 2012, and preparing the ‘retrospective’: popular posts, interaction with other bloggers, popular searches/forums… good discussions… Good therapy, some may say – and I’m glad to agree ūüėģ – when it came to blogging, got a lot done this year, sharing our experiences, challenges regarding parenting, multilingual living, cultural adjustments… work… expatriate and family daily life….

Image Credit: http://www.seomoves.org
Image Credit: http://www.seomoves.org

Before I get a chance to pull together the ‘highs and lows’ of 2012, displaying my gratitude to the readers, commenter, frequent visitors, who always enrich this blogging journey, I remembered last year, WordPress came up with a great initiative for all bloggers and readers: the year in blogging… That said, I thought it could be a great way to get ready for this year’s review. Post write-up is both in English and Portuguese, since we were living in Brazil, at that time… Maybe, if I’m gutsy enough, I could try to prepare this year’s review post in English and Spanish (Bolivia’s official language)?? ūüėģ

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Here’s this blog’s ‘first year’s review’ [2011], according to WP: [Anxious to know what’s in store regarding 2012’s review, as well as the plans for 2013!]

For some reason, according to the WP blogging annual report (shown/posted yesterday), today I’m sharing the post that got the highest number of unique views (over 2,500 views in one day, September 2011), surpassing the one that’d been¬†Freshly Pressed (about children and folklore in Brazil).

I had no idea that “directing” the photo shoot of my husband jumping into the paradisiac¬†Blue Lagoon in Jericoacoara (Ceara, Brazil, one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in the world, according to the NY Times), could be so intriguing! ūüėģ

Anyway, thanks for checking it out, and here it is: The Blue Lagoon: Executing his best jumping, flying and diving moves!.

[Portugues]¬†Depois que o jornal Washington Post, em 1994, incluiu Jericoacoara entre as dez praias mais bonitas do planeta, a pequena aldeia de pescadores, 300 km ao norte da capital do Cear√°, mudou bastante.¬†Jericoacoara n√£o √© simplesmente encantadora pelas suas dunas, praias e lagoas, mas tamb√©m pelo seu vilarejo tranq√ľilo. O lugar era uma antiga vila de pescadores e at√© hoje conserva as ruas de terra, a arquitetura antiga e principalmente a paz de uma cidade que se esconde atr√°s de enormes dunas. O nome Jericoacoara deriva do tupi-guarany: yuruco (buraco) e cuara (tartaruga). Buraco das tartarugas, que seria uma refer√™ncia a uma praia onde acontece a desova das tartarugas marinhas. Al√©m de tudo isso, Jeri, como √© chamada pelos moradores, oferece diversas op√ß√Ķes para pr√°tica de esportes como windsurf, vela, trekking, cavalgada e outros.

Fifty years of Fun at the boardwalk, Rehoboth Beach, DE

Funland is a family amusement center located on the boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

A family owned and operated business since 1962, Funland provides family fun at reasonable prices for those who visit us each summer – and this Miranda Family is happy to spend part of its Home Leave around here! ūüėģ

The park offers great entertainment for the whole family, featuring 18 rides, 13 midway games, an electronic shooting gallery, redemption center, and an arcade with video and pinball machines. Each summer approximately 100 high school and college age students from the U.S. and countries around the world are hired to provide quality service to all who choose Funland as an entertainment destination.

Family & Friends at Carneiros Beach, Pernambuco, Brazil.

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

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Active Summer

Surfing in Fernando de Noronha

This week’s WordPress photographic theme is “Summer“. Considering I had a few “pics to spare”, from our sort-of-large collection of paradisiac places in Brazil, here’s a second part of the original post… Hope you all enjoy the images as much as we did! ūüėģ

Hiking trail
Exploring the open waters

Jo√£o Pessoa, Para√≠ba: perfectly blending the natural, the old and the modern

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

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

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

The Natural

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


[Impressions] Surfing the uncertainty

Several options, different paths to choose from...
Searching for your own path...
A change in direction is always an opportunity to experience different things...
The experience
The experience...
Lonely Observer...

Sunday is for food! Gastronomic event and islander cuisine.

During our visit to the Archipelago of Fernando de Noronha, we were invited to enjoy the magnificent islander cuisine, through an unique gastronomic event. This event happens every Wednesday and Saturday evenings at one of the best bread and breakfast of Fernando de Noronha called ‚ÄúPousada Z√© Maria‚ÄĚ. Father and son run the business, and the night event we attended was hosted and presented by Z√© Maria’s son, Tuca Noronha. Our appreciation to the host, as well as to the pleasant evening among friendly companions…

That said, the ecologically correct paradise of Fernando de Noronha offers opportunities for its visitors to be adventurous, without impacting the environment – and this concept is extended to its cuisine. Besides participating at Z√© Maria’s Gastronomical Event, we also enjoyed typical food from the island at the Shark Museum Restaurant and Restaurante da Edilma (where I had shark for the first time!), and the perfect evening view at Pousada Maravilhas restaurant. The union of great food, good conversations and pleasant ambience, is the perfect combination for wonderful travel memories…

Gastronomic Event at Z√© Maria’s:

Sea Food Specialty at Maravilha Restaurant:

A special dish at the Shark Museum, in honor of its creator, Eng. Leonardo Veras: “Camar√£o ao L√©o”:

Enginneer Leonardo Veras, our host.

[Portugu√™s/English] Marine Turtles in Northeastern Brazil – Projeto TAMAR em Fernando de Noronha

Five of the world’s seven sea turtle species are found in Brazil.

For over 20 years TAMAR project is responsible for identifying and protecting nesting beaches and feeding areas, doing research, promoting awareness and involving the local community.

Thanks to good planning, loyal sponsorship and an innovative merchandising program they are able to maintain 20 bases in Brazil. Releasing more than 600 thousand hatchlings every year, the TAMAR bases have become important tourism attractions and mean income to 1200 families.

[NOTE FROM BLOGGER] ALL THE INFORMATION BELOW IS PROVIDED BY WWF BRAZIL:
Project: Supported by WWF
Year started: 1982
Other Partners/Supporters: Petrobrás
Address: Alameda do Boldro s/no. РFernando de Noronha РPE
Contact: Claudio Bellini
e-mail: infonoronha@tamar.org.br
more info: www.projetotamar.org.br
Area: Natural
Activities: Visit a conservation unit
Equipments: sandals, shorts, t-shirts, swimming gear, towel, small backpack, sunglasses, sunscreen
Gateway: Recife ou Natal
Near airport: Fernando de Noronha РPE
Dist. from the airport: 2 KM
Max. number visitors: 15
Min. number visitors: 2
Max. Lenght: 10 day(s)
Min. Lenght: 2 day(s)
Level: easy
Activity: Enviromental, Scientific, Social
Best time to go: February, March, April, May
Attending a night-time lecture (9 pm) at the TAMAR Institute

[Portuguese] O arquip√©lago de Fernando de Noronha, composto por 21 ilhas e ilhotas de origem vulc√Ęnica, est√° situado a 345km de Natal, capital do Rio Grande do Norte/RN e a 545Km de Recife, capital de Pernambuco/PE. √Č s√≠tio de reprodu√ß√£o da¬†tartaruga-verde¬†(Chelonia mydas), que utiliza as praias arenosas do lugar para desovar entre os meses de dezembro e julho. √Č tamb√©m √°rea de alimenta√ß√£o, crescimento e repouso para juvenis desta esp√©cie e da¬†tartaruga-de-pente¬†(Eretmochelys imbricata).

As praias de desova apresentam características propícias a um monitoramento diário, inclusive noturno nas áreas principais. A do Leão concentra 80% das ocorrências. As demais desovas acontecem ao longo do mar de dentro, entre as praias do Sancho e da Conceição. Cada estação reprodutiva, registra em média 100 desovas, gerando 8.900 filhotes da tartaruga verde.

O TAMAR iniciou suas atividades na região em 1984, quando o arquipélago ainda era território federal administrado pela Aeronáutica (hoje é território do Estado de Pernambuco).

Em 1986, foi criada a APA-√Ārea de Prote√ß√£o Ambiental. A praia do Le√£o, principal √°rea de desova do arquip√©lago, tornou-se o embri√£o do Parque Nacional Marinho, criado por decreto federal, em 1988.

Fernando de Noronha é uma das bases mais importantes para o trabalho do Tamar.

√Č um verdadeiro laborat√≥rio natural, pois a transpar√™ncia do mar oferece excelente condi√ß√£o ao desenvolvimento de pesquisas sobre a biologia e comportamento das tartarugas marinhas em ambiente natural, sobretudo debaixo d‚Äô√°gua.

Al√©m do monitoramento de f√™meas, durante o per√≠odo reprodutivo, a base mant√©m um programa de marca√ß√£o e recaptura de tartarugas que utilizam o arquip√©lago como √°rea de alimenta√ß√£o, crescimento e repouso, durante uma etapa do seu ciclo de vida. Desde 1990, mais de mil tartarugas j√° foram marcadas pelo Tamar atrav√©s desse programa, em que os pesquisadores realizam mergulho livre, aut√īnomo ou rebocado.

Al√©m do mais, o grande fluxo tur√≠stico que o arquip√©lago registra √© estrat√©gico para o trabalho de sensibiliza√ß√£o e educa√ß√£o ambiental, principalmente atrav√©s do¬†Centro de Visitantes-Museu Aberto das Tartarugas Marinhas, o qual tivemos o prazer e honra de visitar durante nossa recente visita ao arquip√©lago. Todos os visitantes do Museu-Aberto do TAMAR recebem uma palestra gratuita sobre a vida selvagem a ser encontrada no arquip√©lago, assim como, s√£o instru√≠dos a como se comportar em frente √† natureza, sem causar quaisquer impacto ambiental. Todas as palestras s√£o √†s 9 da noite, e seguem por cerca de uma hora at√© uma hora e meia. Extremamente informativas,claras, concisas e ministradas por pesquisadores e volunt√°rios do TAMAR. √Č a perfeita prepara√ß√£o para os que ir√£o aventurar-se a explorar as ilhas na manh√£ seguinte. N√≥s adoramos a experi√™ncia, eu enquanto bi√≥loga, e meu esposo, agora apaixonado pela vida marinha. Um sucesso e uma oportunidade √ļnica de vivenciar, aprender e compartilhar conhecimentos.

Water sports abound in Maracaipe Beach…

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

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


[300th post] Bora Bora, but not the French Polynesian island!

What a great way to celebrate the blog’s 300th post! [WOW, it’s amazing how much you can do, when you put your heart to it!] We did not have to cross the seas to find this natural beauty. Not an island, though, but for sure, a paradisiac stop! The name: Bora Bora, but in Brazil!

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Snapshots from Maracaipe Beach, Pernambuco

Preserve este para√≠so. N√£o deixe nada al√©m de pegadas, n√£o leve nada al√©m das lembran√ßas.”

Birthday at the Beach

The best way to celebrate Maria Cecilia’s first birthday: she was born by the beach, and is completing a full year of life – with a beach birthday party! Easy. Fun. Zero-stress!

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Photography: Escaping from the urban madness…

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

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

Watching the sunset from the top of the Duna do Por-do-Sol

One of the few places in the world where the sand dune has its colors changed from beige to golden yellow and gradually to pink, in an emotional spectacle to the visitors.

Before this trip, the last time I’d enjoyed the sun set from the top of the Dune was in June 2001. Without knowing, I was sharing the moment with the one who would become my partner for life. Ten years later, the two of us went back to rescue that sunset we left behind. We succeeded… ūüėģ

Lazing in hammocks dipped in water: where Paradise and Blue meet…

Now comes the climax of any trip to a fresh water paradise in the middle of sand dunes, along the Northeast coast of Brazil: the Paradise Lagoon (“Lagoa do Para√≠so”), the Heart Lagoon (“Lagoa do Cora√ß√£o”) and the Blue Lagoon (“Lagoa Azul”). Just relax at a kiosk and let your concerns melt away in this paradise in the middle of the Brazilian “desert.” Have lunch with your feet in water or a cold beverage in this national park – you choose! ¬†These lagoons never dry, even with the high temperatures of the hottest summer months…

At the Paradise Lagoon, where Paradise and Blue meet, one of our all-time favorite sites:

Now, enjoying life at the Lagoa do Coração (Heart Lagoon, due to its unique shape, inserted between a world of sand dunes)

Calmly dipping into the fresh water, while husband went out exploring the sand dunes..

Transportation methods during vacation: boats, bikes and buggies!

Sand buggies – gotta love them! As a friend mentioned, we looked like we came out of a “Scooby Doo” episode!

Sunset sequence at the Pedra Furada

This is one of the best known ‘postal cards’ of Ceara, Brazil.¬†Jericoacoara is a beach located 300 km from Fortaleza, state of Ceara, in the municipality of Gijoca (Jijoca of Jericoacoara) – Until 1985 it¬†was a simple fishermen village,¬†without electricity, roads, telephone or television, lost in between immense white dunes and completely isolated from the rest of the world, until the tourism discovered it and year ’round, explorers come from all parts of the globe to witness this unique event – the sun setting through the rock’s opening. My husband and I tried to capture it:

Enjoying the last moments before sunset…

…and saying ‘Goodbye’to the Pedra Furada.

Horizontal tree?! √Ārvore da pregui√ßa or lazy tree in Cear√°

We found this unique art piece, handmade by nature, on our way to Praia do Pre√°, one of the several beaches along the northeastern coast of Brazil.

This “horizontal tree” has been called ‘lazy tree’ or “√°rvore da pregui√ßa” by the local population. Despite having its roots above ground, it’s still very much alive, and a sure stop for any tourist in search of calm beach waters and great kitesurfing winds… By the way, the native legend is that the winds were responsible for, gradually, bending the tree trunk, and making it look like it’s ‘resting’, enjoying its ‘laziness’…

the ‘lazy’ tree…

a closer look, from underneath the roots…

and, getting ready to search for more natural beauty!

Ten years ago, the first date. Two became five. The love, remained strong…

Today my husband and I celebrate the 10th anniversary of our first date. Here we are, again at a beach town in Brazil, remembering the first moments. Now we’re joined by a lovely army: our 3 children.

The Miranda Family got to spend the Brazilian Valentine’s weekend at the Love Beach¬†(Praia do Amor), in Pipa, Rio Grande do Norte. Kids had a ¬†great time and the most deserving mom and dad got to enjoy each other’s company. Life has taught us a lot: we’ve been learning how to be more understanding, especially regarding little things, which in the beginning, used to upset us. Now, they just seem so small in the large scheme of things… We’re still learning…

{Note: the children’s nanny also came! (smart, right?)}

More details – about our relaxing weekend, the nearby beaches we got to visit – coming soon…¬†

Beach, bay dolphins, burgundy rocks, back in a bikini!

As promised earlier, here are some more images from our relaxing-exploratory weekend in Rio Grande do Norte, in the district of¬†Tibau do Sul, a few hours from Recife . We got to spend a very restful weekend at Hotel Pousada Morada dos Ventos,¬†where our incredible host (hotel owner), Tania, made sure every detail would be taken care…

Our favorite part? Hard to say… Somewhere between the hammocks, the short trips to the village, our best Mexican restaurant experience in the NE (so far!), and the peaceful walks along the white sands, searching for dolphins… Kids loved it. Baby napped as much as she could. Mom and dad enjoyed their opportunity to connect with nature, and with themselves…

Feels good to be together. Feels great to be back in a bikini! (Honestly, it was also part of the adventure!)

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Mr & Mrs Leo Miranda visit Brazil for the first time!

Nana and Abuelito visited Recife, and Brazil, for the first time (Feb 2011). Met their newest granddaughter, Maria Cec√≠lia, toured around the city, experienced the endless beauty of Olinda and enjoyed a restful weekend at a beach resort, in Porto de Galinhas. Life is good…

Click on the images to zoom them out!