Evening at the Nationals BallPark in Washington, DC

Family & Friends at the Nationals BallPark, Washington, DC.

Mayweather x McGregor 

Watching tonight’s fight with the help of an awesome projector & big screen, at the Marine House 🤗 #communityevent

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#familyaffair #USMC #getoutside #mayweathervmcgregor

Blast from the Past: Womens’ US Soccer Enthusiast!

Peaceful Kitesurfing…

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Watching some peaceful kitesurfing…

A post shared by Mirandas in Juarez (@expatmomof3) on

Celebrating Mother’s Day in a very ‘Brazilian Cerrado’ style – hiking to the Itiquira Waterfalls!

It’s about a 2 hour drive from Brasilia, in order to get to the waterfall, but it is definitely worth the trek![as described by Giddyforpoints, on First2Board – thank you for sharing!

Map to Itiquira Falls

Local name: Salto do Itiquira
Location: Formosa, Brazil

The Itiquira Falls is a waterfall in Brazil. They are located 34 kilometers north of Formosa in the state of Goiás and 115 kilometers from Brasília on a paved road. The falls have a height of 168 meters, making them possibly the highest accessible waterfall in Brazil and the second highest overall. The falls are formed by the drop of the Itiquira River from the higher central plateau north of Formosa into the deep Paraná River valley. The waters are unpolluted and a bottling plant is located on the river above the falls. The area is a municipal park and is protected from development. There are tourist facilities outside the park, near the entrance. (source: Wikipedia)

Experiencing unpaired joy during the Rio2016 Paralympic Games

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Closing the loop on the wonderful experience this year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games have brought to us.

I’ve already shared here our family’s perception and personal experiences during the Rio2016 Olympic Games. Have also introduced the curious way the Paralympic Torch would be lit, by ‘human/social media heat’.

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During the last weekend of the Paralympic Events in Rio, husband was kind enough to offer single-parenting, watching our 3 kids, so I could have the opportunity to see and live, first-hand, how the Paralympic athletes have taught us to be – all around – better human beings. Talk about overcoming life challenges, difficulties, hard times… a simple training day carries the weight of a competition. Those athletes are more than social survivors. They’re warriors. Their fight is daily. their challenges are endless. And despite all the hardships, ‘giving up’ is not [and will never be!] part of their vocabulary.

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I have shamelessly cried. I’ve cried during the Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony.  I’ve cried when realized there was a female rugby player [and bwt, an awesome one!] playing along with her male teammates. I cried when I saw at the end of a match, both competing teams coming together forward and thanking their audience. That last weekend of the Rio2016 Events, was to me more than a closing mark.

I’m a mother to young children, who keep their dad and I fully busy with their sports activities. And I felt somehow guilty for – having before – complained about waking up early, and/or having to change my work schedule at the last minute to attend a game, a performance, a practice. I’ve learned my family faces NO CHALLENGES. Our life is easy. We haven’t had to overcome genuine troubling times. This September has changed something inside me. For the better. The long-weekend started with a great Friday evening at Rio’s British House, for the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Reception:

 

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The beautiful Rio2016 showed me what real difficulties are.

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On Sunday evening, September 18, last day of the Paralympics and the closing episode of the Summer Olympic Games in South America, I came back home a different person.

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I arrived at the house and was greeted by our excited children, eager to learn about their mom’s trip. They were hovering over the cell phone, watching footage from matches I’ve attended, checking the pictures taken throughout the Olympic Park, Aqua Park [venue assembled for the swimming events], the Rio Boulevard Park, downtown Rio, by the Candelaria, the Copacabana beach front [a must see!], hiking moments along the Morro da Urca, and obviously, snapshots of their ‘mommy’, enjoying feijoada with friends in the traditional neighborhood of Santa Teresa, by the trolleys… 🙂

 

Wheelchair Rugby: England x Sweden

 

Brief moment: a little Rugby Fan enjoys the after-game party – he was the single recipient of a very special gift – one of the winner players took off his jersey and “dressed it up” over the boy.That young man was so, so happy!

 

Finally, the best of my weekend: coming home to the kids, and having our 5-year-old recite the “inclusion song” shed’d learned at school. It is definitely a small world, and we all have much to share…Here is the “mascot” of our family, holding the Rio2016 Mascot – “Vinicius”, who, alongside with “Tom” were the “guests of honor” for these Summer Olympic Games.

Peace to all & keep on blogging!

Lit by human heat, Paralympic torch will visit six cities representing each region of Brazil

 

20160617_163635Reposted from the Paralympic Press, Brazil:

·         Paralympic Flame will be formed by the union of the flames lit at Brasília, Belém, Natal, São Paulo, Joinville, Rio de Janeiro and Stoke Mandeville, in England.

·         People from all over the world may send human warmth through social networks to light up the flames in the cities

Between September 1st and 7th, the Paralympic torch relay will visit all the regions in the country, represented by six Brazilian cities, to announce the arrival of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. The great novelty of the Paralympic flame is the lighting-up mechanism: human heat. The flame which will shine over Maracanã Stadium at the Opening Ceremony will be formed by the union of five flames lit in Brazil and one in Stoke Mandeville, England, the place of birth of the world’s Paralympic Movement.

In a virtual campaign released by the Rio 2016 Committee, people from all over the world may send positive messages, through hashtags, accumulating enough energy to light up each flame. After the local lighting-up ceremonies, which will take place always during the morning at each city, the Paralympic torch will take to the streets carried by torchbearers and will make visits to special locations such as rehabilitation centers and institutes for the sight disabled.

Each flame will symbolize a Paralympic value: Brasília equality; Belém – determination; Natal – inspiration; and Joinville – courage. São Paulo participates with the power of transformation and Rio de Janeiro with the passion for sports. To participate at the movement, all that is necessary is to post a message at social networks using the official hashtag and the hashtag of the value embraced by the city. For example: to light up the Brasília flame, it’s necessary to use the hashtags #ParalympicFlame and #equality. At the Rio 2016 website, the public can daily accompany the map of heat generated by messages sent via Twitter.

The five flames will arrive at Rio de Janeiro by digital roads. They will be virtually sent to the host city after the end of the relay in each region. On September 6th, a ceremony of union of the flames will form the Paralympic flame at the Museum of Tomorrow, a landmark of the revitalization of Rio’s Historical Centre. The event will mark the start of the relay in the city, which will last for two days and will mobilize 360 torchbearers.

During the Paralympic Games, the flame will stay lit at the Candelária cauldron, at Rio’s Centre.

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NUMBERS

  • 6 Brazilian cities
  • 250 kilometers travelled in the relay
  • 4650 air miles travelled by the retinue’s airplane
  • 700 torchbearers
  • 28 special visits

 

The 2016 Olympics in Brazil, by the Lima Mirandas!

Greetings from Brasilia!

Well, the Olympic Games have come to Brazil… and our family has been very fortunate to have been part of these magnificent events.
Obviously, not the easiest task for our host country, but nevertheless, a pretty enjoyable experience.

How beautiful is the main host city, Rio de Janeiro? Here are a few shots I took from the “Cidade Maravilhosa”, while they were still getting ready to receive their guests:

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We do live in Brasilia, the capital of the country. We normally go to Rio for work (believe that?). Between games, social events, cheering… our children showing up on global social media channels (okay, I’m bias, but isn’t this 8-year-old girl the best representation of the sports fans??), our diplofamily made sure everyone would have great life memories from the Rio2016 Olympics.

Go Team USA. Go Team Brazil!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Jubilant

Exercising our best parenting pride – snapshots of a regular Saturday morning, running between kids sports activities… our jubilant attempt to raise healthy children.  We’re satisfied, proud, and exhausted…. until next Saturday!😉

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http://wordpress.com/weekly-photo-challenge/jubilant

#ExperimenteBrasilia – Miranda Family Sunset Lake Experience

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A long overdue return to my blogging tasks: Now, sharing a few experiences from our packed weekend in Brasilia. a rock concert, a farewell dinner, a family boat trip along the waters of the Capital’s famous Lago Paranoá.

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As a child, growing up in Brasilia, back in the 1970s, 1980s… the Lake Paranoá was a mysterious place, surrounded by endless possibilities.

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Now, as an adult, the opportunity of enjoying a boat ride, accompanied by my husband, our three children, seeing the joy on their faces when they got to go down on the life boat and row around the floating gazebo, was priceless.

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And I’m grateful for the opportunity to be part of a friend’s birthday celebration, witnessing the uniqueness of the Brasilia sky, and vouch first-hand for the local saying of “the sky in Brasilia is our sea“… Brasilienses [the so-called people from Brasilia] may not have their own beaches, they have an artificially-built lake, but they sure have one of the most beautiful skies this planet may offer!

A paradisiacal experience, the delight it is to navigate the gentle waters of the Paranoá lake aboard a private floating gazebo.

Thankful for the #ExperimenteBrasilia opportunity. Thankful for sharing this memory with my children and husband, who unlike me, did not grow up surrounded by the never-ending artificial waters of the Paranoá Lake. Thankful for enjoying the majestic views of the Brasilia skies, beside the love of my life… 🙂
More pictures yet to arrive!! Stay tuned for a soon-to-come blogpost update!

In the meantime, go ahead and follow us on Instagram… we just opened up the account to share images and stories from our Foreign Service Family! Lima.Miranda.Bsb

 

Snapshot of Inter-embassies soccer tournament, Brazil – May 2015.

Glad to see my “big child” displaying a healthy return, playing with his team mates. Very proud to see our son following his dad’s footsteps. Literally!

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Sportsmanlike conduct!

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A great weekend for all parents. Watching their kids replicate home-learned manners! Broadly, conducting oneself with sportsmanship! Besides the great behavior presented by the school team during a recent inter-clubs tournament, our boys won! 😮

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[Photography] 52 Thursdays in Brasília, Brazil: Week 2

The center of Brasília, capital of Brazil. The very own way I see [and feel!] it. With its constructions, architecture, the unique concrete jungle I’ve had the pleasure to grow up in… and now, back in time, 20 years later, have the opportunity to be part of its work force…

A few snapshots of Brasília’s commercial center – the ‘heart’ of the old city, the original buildings and their unique architectural displays… and besides all that, these images represent a little of my ‘work surroundings’… The so-called Setor Comercial Sul, de Brasilia. Brasilia seen as their creators had envisioned… Wishing all a very healthy 2015! 😮

[Photography] 52 Thursdays in Brasília, Brazil: Week 1

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Happy New Year to all of us!

Starting a new series of snapshots: 52 Thursdays in Brasília, Brazil.

And maybe, here and there, due to [required] work or [fun] family trips, we could be sharing a snapshot from a location outside Brazil’s capital… who knows? For now, like many others, we’ll try to begin the year on a “healthy note”: finally got our bikes assembled [all 5 of them], and decided to take advantage of the beautiful ecological park, close by…

Wishing all a very healthy 2015! 😮

Photo Project “52 Bolivian Sundays” [‘Community’]

Inspired by this week’s Wordpress Photo Challenge, and continuing with our personal photo project, 52 Bolivian Sundays [feel free to visit link on the right for previous weeks!], a humble interpretation of ‘Community’: reaching out to the Bolivian community through a common passion – soccer!

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Inspired by this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge, and continuing with our personal photo project, 52 Bolivian Sundays [feel free to visit link on the right for previous weeks!], a humble interpretation of ‘Community’: reaching out to the Bolivian community through a common passion – soccer!

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PS: I'm proudly married to the team's captain... :o Community Outreach while exercising his passion for soccer!
PS: I’m proudly married to the team’s captain… 😮 Community Outreach while exercising his passion for soccer!

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

Snapshots of Soccer in Yanacachi, Bolivia.

Yanacachi is a location in the La Paz Department in Bolivia. It is the seat of the Yanacachi Municipality, the third municipal section of the Sud Yungas Province

Despite the holiday season ringing in, demanding [yet, wonderful!] family life, my hubby and his colleagues find time to visit communities outside La Paz, and share joyful and peaceful ‘soccer moments’… 😮

Yanacachi is a location in the La Paz Department in Bolivia. It is the seat of the Yanacachi Municipality, the third municipal section of the Sud Yungas Province [Source: Wikipedia].

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

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Snapshots of Soccer in Quiripujo, Pucarani – Bolivia.

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Mid-August: the U.S. embassy soccer team visited the Community of Quiripujo in Korila for a friendly soccer match and a book donation. The visit began in Quiripujo school where a cultural event took place, the day continued with a soccer match between the teams of Korila and the U.S. Embassy, which ended with a resounding victory for the local team and concluded with the traditional Apthapi communal feast.

Reference [text]: http://bolivia.usembassy.gov/soccerinquiripujo2013.html
Photos by L. Miranda:

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

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

Thank you for stopping by… 

Promise: there’ll be no regrets at all!

The city of La Paz seen from the Devil's Molar [Muela del Diablo]
The city of La Paz seen from the Devil’s Molar [Muela del Diablo]
But, first, let me showcase here my newest discovery: The Media Explorer

Embedding Tweets!

How cool is that? 😮

https://twitter.com/3rdCultureChild/status/372371154377662464

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

 

Blogpost ‘Place Holder’: Hiking through the ‘Muela del Diablo’, Bolivia.

I know, I know…. Procrastination seems to be word of order…

I know I’ve gotta get out the images from our recent hiking adventure to the Muela del Diablo [“Devil’s Tooth”], but feel like we’re always caught up, keeping ourselves afloat while cruising through daily homework [kids], the demanding toddler and work [outside the house, for the grown-ups!]

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I know, I know…. Procrastination seems to be word of the moment… 😮

Evnetually, I’ve gotta get the images from our recent hiking adventure out, the drive to the Muela del Diablo [“Devil’s Molar“, and its 150 meters, on a 3,800m of altitude]; but feel like we’re always caught up, keeping ourselves afloat while cruising through daily homework [kids], attending to the demanding toddler and obviously, going to work [outside the house, for the grown-ups!]

This wild rock [“Muela”] can be seen from almost every where in the southern part of La Paz. The giant appears steep und unapproachable right within its bizarrely shaped erosion landscape and green lands.

Muela del Diablo, Bolivia

For the time being, I’m leaving here a little ‘place holder’ for what’s to come. Hopefully, very soon. 😮

And, as a bit of a spoiler [text borrowed from The Gadling], “Devil’s Tooth is an inactive volcano that is approximately 492 feet high. According to our guide, it got its name because indigenous people believed it looked like the tooth of Satan.

The command for our past Sunday was: “are you ready?” I’m sure these ones here were!

Muela del Diablo

More images to come in the near future… stay tuned!
Related:
http://strollingsouthamerica.wordpress.com/2012/09/17/hiking-la-muela-del-diablo/
http://en.wordpress.com/#!/read/topic/muela-del-diablo
http://triptobolivia.wordpress.com/2012/07/11/muela-del-diablo-y-valle-de-la-luna/
http://icsboliviavolunteers.wordpress.com/tag/muela-del-diablo/
La Muela del Diablo!

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

According to Cheri Lucas, “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! 😮

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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? 😮

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! 😮

 

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! ♥

Game of Thrones: NFL Style

Very clever, nice comparisons, funny way to approach our [husband’s & mine] two current passions: Game of Thrones & NFL! ♥

 

The Chris Brockman Website

LOS ANGELES — With apologies to Don Draper and Walter White, an argument could be made the two most popular television programs in the country right now are anything involving the National Football League and “Game of Thrones.” So, logically, we here at The Chris Brockman Website decided to combine the two, matching our favorite backstabbers, schemers, and philanderers of Westeros with their respective NFL counterparts. You don’t need to be a loyal book reader of the George R.R. Martin series to appreciate these footballers are who we say they are. (some spoilers ahead)

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TYWIN LANNISTER — Bill Belichick, Patriots: Leader of a dynasty and the self-proclaimed “smartest guy in the room,” the similarities between Belichick and the eldest Lannister are endless. Watching Tywin talk down to his Small Council, you can almost hear his Belichikian tone. All that’s missing is cutoff armor and hooded chainmail. There’s no question…

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Cycling the World’s Most Dangerous Road!

Gravity Bolivia Mountain Biking

Coroico is a town in Nor Yungas Province, in the La Paz Department of western Bolivia.

Last November was the first time our family travelled ‘solo’ through the roads of Bolivia. Our car had finally arrived, and the time to explore our surroundings had begun!

Gravity BoliviaSome 2 hours from the capital, La Paz, the city of Coroico was the choice made for an extended weekend of adventure and relaxation during the cold months! Also, it’s a fantastic way to test one’s skills when driving/biking with no road shoulders, endless cliffs; and in the Winter, through thick fog and heavy rain, overlooking the so-called, ‘death road‘! From tour buses to brave mountain bikers challenging the road of death; from volcanic rocks to water falls exploding from within the rocks… From green tropical vegetation to snow-capped mountains… Quite an experience – and I’m glad the husband got to do it! Two parents trying it at the same time… errrr… One always has to come back home for the kids 😮

TGravity Bolivia Mountain Bikinghis past Saturday [Mother’s Day Weekend!], it came time for ” Cycling the World’s Most Dangerous Road”!

It’s a bike ride like no other, many have said.

On its upper reaches, the clouds hug the cliff edge, obscuring the abyss.

To the left, there is an unobstructed 600m drop off a cliff while on the right, a vertical rock-face. And the unpaved surface, resembles a rough, dirt track more than a road.

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The scenery, if you dare take your eyes off the road, is breathtaking, with the lush rainforest of the Yungas stretching out before your very own eyes! But the stone and wooden crosses that line the route are a sombre reminder that not everyone cycles the full 40 miles (64km) safely to its conclusion.

The man who started the phenomenon in 1998, New Zealander Alistair Matthew, says good instruction and sensible behavior can overcome the dangers. He came up with the idea while trying lots of new rides on his mountain bike in the region near La Paz. His company, Gravity, was the first to offer tourists the chance to cycle the road.. Note to Readers: Alistair is our personal friend. Him and his family, have been our social sponsors since our arrival in Bolivia. We couldn’t have asked for a better choice! 😮

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAStay tuned! There’s more to come your way! After the amazing ride, bikers were taken on a Zip Line adventure… photos to come soon! 😮

Zip Lining in Coroico

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

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, “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.

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! 😮

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

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

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 Ally in La Paz: “Rock and Bowl” – our chosen spot for the last Saturday of February! 😮 Hitting it forward!!!

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

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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! 😮 Hitting it forward!!!

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

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

Like many others, I need colorful experiences in my life. A few years back, I discovered a good way to cope with the intense life of the foreign service, moving every so often, and raising kids along the way – through artistic expressions. We’ve been at our new posting for exactly 6 months, and I’m always on the lookout for interesting stories, traditional customs, 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’!

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! 😮

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? 😮

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…. 😮

10 days to a ‘possible White Christmas’. Colors from The Bolivian Folkloric Ballet of Potosi.

Image #10: 20 Days of a Joyful Christmas: The Ballet Folklorico de Potosi, Bolivia.

Twenty days until Christmas – through twenty images of joy… We’ll get a bit closer each day that goes by… Previous image here.

12 days to a ‘possible White Christmas’… not quite your regular ‘Elf on the shelf’!

Image #9: 20 Days of a Joyful Christmas: Not quite your regular ‘Elf on the shelf’… more like ‘a non-stop climbing pre-toddler’! Climbing on the half-desk… going up the stairs… just got caught, while, quietly, trying to move on… Oh, the perks of being a mother of 3 little ones! Who needs adult supervision, anyway? 😮

Twenty days until Christmas – through twenty images of joy… We’ll get a bit closer each day that goes by… Previous image here.

13 days to a ‘possible White Christmas’…making my wish for 12.12.12: to witness their shared passion!

my two boys
my two boys after the match

Image #8: 20 Days of a Joyful Christmas: My two boys on a regular Saturday morning…

While many are still sleeping in, my boys head to the soccer field at the kids’ school… The ‘older one’ is the player, but my ‘youngest boy’ has to be there to support his dad… I couldn’t be any happier when looking at their faces… That’s a good wish for this 12.12.12: I’ve got 2 girls and 2 boys, and being able to witness their happiness is priceless… Today, I’m sharing the joy these boys bring to my life, through their shared passion: sports! 😮

Twenty days until Christmas – through twenty images of joy… We’ll get a bit closer each day that goes by… Previous image here.

Everyone loves a friendly match…

…especially if it’s followed by a more than friendly picnic, where not only the players, but also their kids, were able to enjoy the after-match luncheon! Congratulations to both teams, the US Embassy and the Embassy of Japan, for their good athletic performance, and most of all, for displaying a great example of camaraderie! 😮

Cycling Video: Terrifyingly brilliant extreme downhill cycling in Bolivia.

Cycling | Video: Terrifying but brilliant clip of extreme downhill cycling in Bolivia.

 

Random thoughts [and curiosity!] about the ‘Redskins Rule’…

I try not to talk or share opinions about politics here. For obvious reasons, I’d say, but also, because it could distract from the main idea of this blog. That’s not my goal. This blog’s been used as a forum for other expatriates, to share impressions, advice, comments about traveling, living overseas, challenges of raising children, parenting, multicultural settings. NEVER about politics, and I prefer that way…

Well, because today is Sunday, and Sundays in my household are devoted to sports, recently, to Football. More precisely, the ‘men in my family’ [husband & son] are unconditional fans of the Washington Redskins. The Redskins play today. They play at home. Their last home game before the Presidential Election. That said, I just happen to learn (thanks to dear hubby!) about the ‘Redskins Rule’.

More can be found searching history about this ‘quasi-urban legend’… 😮 In any way, the question remains: “Will the Redskins performance determine the winning candidate?” Again, no political discussion, just curiosity… Now, let me get back to the game, and who knows? Maybe the traditional ‘predicting behavior’ will happen again.. or… maybe another ‘2004’?? 😮

What history tells us:

  • Since 1940 — when the Redskins moved to D.C. — the team’s outcome in its final game before the presidential election has predicted which party would win the White House each time but once.
  • When the Redskins win their game before the election, the incumbent party wins the presidential vote. If the Redskins lose, the non-incumbent wins.
  • The only exception was in 2004, when Washington fell to Green Bay, but George W. Bush still went on to win the election over John Kerry.

Here’s a rundown of the Redskins Rule games since 1940:

  • 1940 – Redskins 37, Steelers 10 – Roosevelt (D) defeats Willkie.
  • 1944 – Redskins 14, Rams 10 – Roosevelt defeats Dewey.
  • 1948 – Redskins 59, Boston Yanks 21 – Truman (D) defeats Dewey.
  • 1952 – Steelers 24, Redskins 23 – Eisenhower (R) defeats Stevenson.
  • 1956 – Redskins 20, Browns 9 – Eisenhower defeats Stevenson.
  • 1960 – Browns 31, Redskins 10 – Kennedy (D) defeats Nixon.
  • 1964 – Redskins 27, Bears 20 – Johnson (D) defeats Goldwater.
  • 1968 – Giants 13, Redskins 10 – Nixon (R) defeats Humphrey.
  • 1972 – Redskins 24, Cowboys 20 – Nixon defeats McGovern.
  • 1976 – Cowboys 20, Redskins 7 – Carter (D) defeats Ford.
  • 1980 – Vikings 39, Redskins 14 – Reagan (R) defeats Carter.
  • 1984 – Redskins 27, Falcons 14 – Reagan defeats Mondale.
  • 1988 – Redskins 27, Saints 24 – Bush defeats Dukakis.
  • 1992 – Giants 24, Redskins 7 – Clinton (D) defeats Bush.
  • 1996 – Redskins 31, Colts 16 – Clinton defeats Dole.
  • 2000 – Titans 27, Redskins 21 – Bush (R) defeats Gore.
  • 2004 – Packers 28, Redskins 13 – Bush defeats Kerry, ending the streak.
  • 2008 – Steelers 23, Redskins 6 – Obama (D) defeats McCain, restoring the Redskins Rule.
  • 2012 – Redskins vs. Panthers – Obama vs. Romney – TBD
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Snapshots of the Mundialito Inter-Embajadas (Soccer in La Paz).

[October Magic] Celebrating 9 years of marriage with… bowling!

So, yesterday, hubby and I celebrated our ninth anniversary… A week day, kids got school the following morning… work, as usual. We found a nice way to share our joy with a close group of friends here in La Paz – at a bowling alley! And, I had to live for 40 years to have my first encounter with a bowling ball! It was a lot of fun!!

So, yesterday, hubby and I celebrated our 9th anniversary… A week night, kids got school the following morning… everyone gotta go to work, as usual – so the night couldn’t be wild. We found a nice way to share our joy with a close group of friends here in La Paz – at a bowling alley! And, I had to wait for 40 years to have my FIRST encounter with a bowling ball! It was a lot of fun, followed by tasty spicy wings!!

Hail to the Redskins! [with an actual Hail Shower during our Spring Chili Cook-Off!]

What could be a better way to spend the last Sunday of September? Friends, family, kids running around, all waiting to try the different chili dishes during a Cook Off hosted by the local Marine Detachment… On top of that, add the possibility to watch a couple of football games, enjoying a beautiful Spring Sunday.

Weather in La Paz, Bolivia, tends to change on a dime. That said, our gorgeous Spring day witnessed a surprising hail shower! But, does anyone think it could have stopped the chili contestants (aka, the ‘chefs’), or the excited and full of energy children?

Not one single bit! Hail showers during Spring? Humm… but it’s La Paz, so nothing surprises us anymore…With the lowered temperature, more people for the hot burgers, and more for the chili!

The different chili dishes, ready to be tried, judged and devoured! 😮

Hey! Almost forgetting! Regarding this Sunday’s game, Washington Redskins vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers, guess who won? That’s right! And here, a big Hail to the Redskins! Literally!! 😮

Photo Credit to Joe Glorioso (Redskins Training Camp).
Photo Credit to Joe Glorioso.

Chili2012.jpgWhat could be a better way to spend the last Sunday of September? Friends, family, kids running around, all waiting to try the different chili dishes during a Cook Off hosted by the local Marine Detachment… On top of that, add the possibility to watch a couple of football games, enjoying a beautiful Spring Sunday

the #1 chili!
Hail… to The Redskins! Hail Victory!

Weather in La Paz, Bolivia, tends to change on a dime.

That said, our gorgeous Spring day witnessed a surprising hail shower!

look at these ice pieces!

But, does anyone think it could have stopped the chili contestants (aka, the ‘ cooking chefs‘), or the excited and full of energy children?

Not one single bit! Hail showers during Spring? Humm… but it’s La Paz, so nothing surprises us anymore…

With the lowered temperature, more people for the freshly grilled burgers, and… more for the chili!

A quick look at the different chili dishes, ready to be tried, judged and devoured! 😮

Hey! I was almost forgetting:

This DC-based family is all burgundy and gold. Regarding this Sunday’s game, Washington Redskins vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers, guess who won? Despite Tampa putting the full court press during the second half, scoring a field goal during the last two minutes of the game… The savior 42-yard field goal gave the Redskins the most deserved 2-point lead! 

That’s right! 😮

And here, a big Hail to the Redskins! Real hail… Literally!! 😮

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Snapshots from The Washington Redskins Training Camp – a great keepsake for our departing family!

We’re leaving the DC area…. Once more, heading out to our new ‘assigned life’: this time, La Paz, Bolivia, for the next two years. But we’re departing DC with a beautiful set of images, to remind our family of one of its passions: The Washington Redskins! 😮

I’d like to show my deepest appreciation to a dear friend, Joe Glorioso, for these fantastic shots (thank you for letting me share these, Joe! Our son loved them!) 😮

Thanks to a friend of his (Darwin Navarrete) and the Redskins Nick Sundberg #57, he got to go VIP style to his first Redskins training camp. Amazing experience and it brought him one step closer to fulfilling yet another bucket list action item. Here is what he saw…

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Mother’s Day Sunday is for…… Soccer?!

the local teams. the local “passions”…

 

So, Mother’s Day is for family. It’s a family day, for decades making Hallmark’s top sales, because, people need to say how much they love and cherish their moms – in writing, if all possible! Give it up to the greeting cards’ industries – they’ve got it down. And they’re right: Mother’s Day is for fathers, and sons, and daughters, and… for soccer! Again, this year, Mother’s Day Sunday will be celebrated with… soccer??!

That’s right. Our city, Recife, is completely immersed into the whole “soccer team passion”, and the two most important clubs are playing today, for the championship…

Last year, Mother’s Day was the first-legged game. This year, it’s the final match, so, here are my “motherly impressions” of this not-so-common way to express their love for their Mothers Soccer Teams!

😮 😮 😮 😮 😮 😮 😮 😮

Impressions from last year’s Mother’s Day Weekend: the two teams facing each other… We stayed at home… safely watching the matches!

After a full week of ‘motherly celebrations‘, the weekend arrived. A dry weekend – the rains, which recently have scared and confused the population, seemed to have ceased. Good news. The city needed to get back into its routine. And with the arrival of weekend, came the excitement of enjoying quality time with the kids, watching them perform the little songs learnt in school, find the opportunity to have that long-lost face time with husband to chat and catch up… That’s right, here in Recife, Brazil, Mother’s Day Sunday just happened to be the first game of the “two-legged” championship final. Here is an idea on how exciting things may get when we’re talking about soccer in the Northeast of Brazil. The two competing teams arrest Sport Club Recife, the favorite, and the bearer of five previous championship victories. Its opponent: the Santa Cruz (“Holy Cross”) Soccer Club, the underdog, who today tried to pull out a miracle: win at the opponent’s ground.

Santa Cruz Futebol Clube, or simply Santa Cruz is a Brazilian football club in Recife, Pernambuco. On February 3, 1914, eleven young men aging from 14 to 16 years founded a football society. Because the boys used to play football on the streets by the yard of the Santa Cruz Church, the club was named after that church, which is situated on Santa Cruz Street in Recife. The first official meeting of the members was at 2 Mangueira St. In this meeting they decided the position of each member, the name of the club “Santa Cruz Football Club”, and society’s colors. Sport Club do Recife was founded on May 13th 1905, when Guilherme de Aquino Fonseca, from Pernambuco, returned after a season estudying in England. He got deeply interested in the British football, so, with some associates in Recife, he had the idea to create the club that would eventually become the greatest club in Brazilian’s North and Northeast Region. Sport Club Recife’s clubhouse is located in Praça da Bandeira, in the Ilha do Retiro, district in Recife. The club’s big structure has a number of areas, such as tennis courts, volleyball and hockey quarters. There is also a big aquatic complex, a training center and the house of all “rubro-negros” (red-and-blacks): the Adelmar da Costa Carvalho Stadium, commonly known as Ilha do Retiro.

Today’s match, the first one of the 2-legged final, happened at Sport Club’s home. It was a home game for Sport – who lost! This small victory tonight made the Santa Cruz’s gain new hope: hope that everything is possible, and miracles may happen – at least in Brazil. At least in Soccer.

And, if my Mother’s Day celebration had to include a couple of guest friends home for the game, so be it. If the price (if any!) for having a peaceful in-doors Mother’s Day Sunday was to rejoice my two boys during the match, I’ll take it. At the end, Mother’s Day is about family, and being together with the ones you love. Even if surrounded by loud screamers and over-excited kids.

Next week is the “final-final”. The second final game. And it’ll be on Santa Cruz’s grounds. I hope I have the same pleasant Sunday I had today: surrounded by my “amateur soccer fans”. Won’t care for the full house. Won’t care for the screaming at every wrong or crazy pass… Won’t really care for who wins or looses – just wanna hold on to this “Mother’s Day” feeling for another Sunday. Happy week to us all and good luck to both Santa Cruz and Sport Club!

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


Golfing for Japan: expats in Recife (Brazil), united for Japan

Living overseas brings you countless opportunities. Today, my family enjoyed a wonderful morning with other diplomatic and expat families. Helping is fun and rewarding.

My husband was one of the 36 guest players. The tournament included representatives from the US Consulate, French Consulate and from the host Japanese mission… All players were asked to provide an “entry fee” for the tournament, which would be transferred to the Japanese Red Cross.

I’m proud of my husband, as an amateur player and as an example to other parents, and brought our kids to support the effort in helping the Japanese Consulate in Recife to raise money to help the victims of the recent tsunami…

The participants were greeted with a great luncheon provided by the Japanese Consulate and we all enjoyed a great performance offered by the musical group Ren Taiko, which means “Lotus Opium“.

Event: Fundraising Golf Tournament, coördinated by the expat community in Recife, PE. Including representatives from the Consulates in town, expatriate families, businessmen.

Venue: The Caxanga Country and Golf Club in Recife

Date: April 3, 2011.

 

Pictures to come soon! In the meantime, I’d like to show my gratitude to the Consulate of Japan in Recife, for allowing us to enjoy a very nice Sunday, surrounded by friends.