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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Sightseeing in Brasilia: Esplanada dos Ministérios

Well, it only took me pretty good 9 months after arriving in Brasilia, to finally come up with a quais-decent post. It does feel like I’ve reached the end of a long gestation. Work, kids, trips to Buenos Aires (Argentina), back to the USA, Rio, São Paulo, Curitiba (Paraná), Recife (Pernambuco, where we lived from 2010-2012, and the birthplace of our youngest child), Porto Alegre (Rio Grande do Sul) and the common lifestyle have taken much time away from blogging. Now, back on track, with the plan to do a much better job on “sharing” beautiful images. That said, here are the images of our current home, from our first “tour” as a family!


[From the Go Brazil site:]
A quintessential symbol of work by Lucio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer in the creation of Brasília, the Esplanade of Ministries (Esplanada dos Ministérios) is situated on Eixo Monumental, one of the avenues forming the core shape of Costa’s design for Brazil’s capital, commonly compared to an airplane.Costa’s project for the creation of Brazil’s new capital is still a source of wonder. It beat 62 other entries in a contest launched by President Juscelino Kubitschek and was implemented by Novacap, the company created to build the city, as Plano Piloto.Costa said of his plan for the city, “Nasceu do gesto primário de quem assinala um lugar ou dele toma posse: dois eixos cruzando-se em ângulo reto, ou seja, o próprio sinal da cruz. (“It sprang from the primary gesture of one who marks or takes possession of a place: two axes which cross at a square angle, in other words, the sign of the cross itself.”)Eixo Monumental and Eixo Rodoviário form that essential cross shape. The city’s ample scale, exemplified by the Esplanade of Ministries, was intended to express an idea of dignity, Lucio Costa said in an interview available on Casa de Lucio Costa.Those generous dimensions also guided Brasília’s residential “super blocks” (super quadras) which the architect designed with wide green belts.Brasília, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is also listed by Brazil’s National Historic and Artistic Heritage Institute (IPHAN). Lucio Costa’s original report for Plano Piloto is available as part of the Institute’s description of the city’s heritage. The 16-kilometer long Esplanade has 17 buildings which house ministries and other federal administration organs, placed on opposite sides of the Eixo (pronounced AYE-shoo) and separated by a lawn.

At the start of the long stretch is the Metropolitan Cathedral, an architectural masterpiece which reopened after a three-year renovation.At the far end, the towers and the convex and concave structures which house the National Congress as well as Praça dos Três Poderes, or Three Power Square.The best view of the Esplanade is from the lookout point on Brasília’s 230-meter tall TV Tower. Inaugurated in 1967, the tower was designed by Lucio Costa and inspired in the Eiffel Tower. Other landmarks you can see from this vantage point at a height of 75 meters – which is visited by about 1,000 people a day – are the Mané Garrincha Stadium, the Nelson Piquet Autodrome and Lake Paranoá.

Living & working in Brazil as foreign service family: Our fifth month.

After being in La Paz, Bolivia for the past 2 years, we followed our hearts [and our assignment!] to Brasilia, capital of Brazil. Before I go any further, my blogsphere apologies for the hiatus – being a full-time mom of 3 children, one not yet at school age, who have decided to [re] join the wonderful PEPFAR team, working 40+ hours outside the house, life’s still good.

We’ve adjusted quite well, I’d say. Kids are pretty satisfied with the school; weekend have been crowned with social events, ranging from previously arranged and impromptu play dates, to barbecues at friends’ homes, to endless trips to the grocery store.

 

For the average ‘ trailing family’, we seem to be doing well. With all that said, I believe I can get back into blogging, updating family and friends on our whereabouts….

Work has me traveling quite a bit, which could be seen as exciting, but nevertheless, requiring excelling logistics skills, and a state-of-the-art household managing plan! 🙂 One of my work trips brought the whole family to Rio… and how? Well, October is Children’s Month in Brazil. And because of that, one of the airline companies was flying kids for free. Taking advantage of the Columbus Day holiday, we packed our bags, and went to the Cidade Maravilhosa. This post showcases a few images from our visit.

 

*. Parque Lage

“Parque Enrique Lage” is a public park in the city of Rio De Janeiro, located in the Jardim Botânico neighborhood at the foot of the Corcovado.

The atrium of the mansion, has a lovely café, enjoyed by families and tourists.

The land was formerly the residence of industrialist Enrique Lage and his wife. During the 1920s Lage had the mansion remodeled by Italian architect Mario Vodrel, with interior paintings by Salvador Payols Sabaté.

 

In the 1960s the land became a public park, with walking trails through subtropical forest. The Escola de Artes Visuais do Parque Lage (Visual Arts School of Parque Lage) and a café open to the public operate from the former mansion.

 

*. Meeting up with friends in Leblon…. nothing like taking a pic at a bus stop in Rio… so classy!!! 🙂

 

*. A quick stop at the Girl from Ipanema Bar… the so famous corner where Vinicius de Moraes and Tom Jobim complosed the long-loved poem to the eternal beach-tanned beauty…

 

*. …on our way to the beach!

 

*. Moving on…. Looking at the city from the shoulders of Christ the Redeemer – Nothing like enjoying the view from the “Cristo”!

 

*. And finally… The Ipanema Hippie Fair… got get there to understand it’s size, dimension and unique flavors & colors!

Getting ready for Carnaval: Making food from Brazil!

Keeping this little tradition: Holidays, talk about food. This weekend, it’ll be no different.

Bolivia also celebrates Carnaval, and kids are off school, for a grand total of 5 days… (!). Work will also be off, for Monday and Fat Tuesday – the best thing to do? Get together with friends, and plan fantastic meals! Let’s see if I’ll be able to come up with a fairly decent Brazilian feijoada, using my Bolivian ingredients… More to come on this post, but for now, let’s just get our appetites ready for what could be in-store for us! 😮

Whenever I meet someone from Brazil, I ask them what their favorite food is. After steak (picanha), it is almost always feijoada. It’s an old bean, pork and beef recipe, brought to South America, like many foods in many places, by those intrepid, globetrotting spice traders, the Portuguese, and then enhanced, like many other foods in many other places, by African slaves and their descendants.

Feijoada Completa

1 1/2 cups dried black beans (turtle is preferred, for texture)
1/8 lb. carne seca/cesina (about the size of your flat hand)
1/8 lb. pork ribs (about 2 thick ribs)
1 pig foot, split
1-2 pig ears
1 pig tail (smoked, if possible)
4 strips smoked bacon, finely chopped
1 paio sausage, cut into thick slices
1/2 lb. of linguiça calabresa (Portuguese-style smoked pork sausage), cut into thick slices
1 white onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
2 bay leaves
1 orange, peeled (remove all of the white pith!)
8 cups water

The night before, soak the pig foot, tail and ear in cold water to draw out blood/impurities. Separately, soak the cesina in cold water overnight. In yet another bowl, soak the beans in cold water.

The next day, put the foot, tail, ear and cesina in a pot with cold water to cover. Bring to a boil, boilf for 10 minutes and then drain. Refill the pot with cold water, bring to a boil again and cook until the meats are tender and beginning to fall apart. Drain well.

In a large pot or dutch oven (preferred), place the beans and 8 cups water, bay leaves, and peeled orange. Bring to a boil, then lower to simmering. Cook for 45 minutes. Add all meats, and cook for 20-30 more minutes.

In a saute pan, fry the onion and garlic on olive oil. Add about 1 cup of beans from the pan, cook briefly and mash well with the back of a spoon. Return the whole mess to the dutch oven and adjust for salt. Let simmer for about 20-30 more minutes, until beans are tender and meats are falling apart willingly. Remove from heat and let cool about 10 minutes.

Serve with boiled, medium-grain white rice, orange slices, farofa and (chiffonaded) collard greens (that have been quickly fried in canola oil and drained on paper towels.

Farofa
2 tbsp canola oil
1 small onion, minced
4 slices smoked bacon, minced
1 cup toasted manioc flour (farinha de mandioca torrada)
1 bunch scallions – only the dark green tops! – thinly sliced
salt and black pepper to taste

Saute the onion and bacon in the oil over low heat until the bacon is fully rendered and crisp. Add the flour a little at a time, stirring to coat. Add the scallions when the flour has just begun to brown. Remove from heat, mix well.

Serve at any temperature, and refrigerate any unused portion.

A look back at 2012: why people came to this blog? At the end, we’re all stats junkies!

2012 will be over in a couple of days!

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 Señora de La Paz, capital of Bolivia…

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

2012 will be over in a couple of days!

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 Señora de La Paz, capital of Bolivia

Expat Blogs

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 😮 – 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…. So, why visitors, readers, commenters, came to this blog? Most of them are expatriates, like our own ‘nomad family’, some belong to the Foreign Service community, and are well familiar with the challenges faced by the 5 of us. Others, are parents, travelers, adventurers, looking for images, photos, tips about travel options, or simply… curious eyes in search of a good reading, or a funny/intriguing/amazing image from our travels and/or not-so-fantastic daily life!

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

Now, I find myself with some time after the Christmas holidays, and with 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! A big thank you to all!

For a ‘visual summary‘ of 2012, please hop over to this other post, especially crafted for WordPress‘s weekly photo challenge, the last one of 2012: A year through images!

For all the ‘fellow stats junkies’ out there [don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about! :o] here it is, this past year, through numbers… Who came in, looking for what, and the most popular posts… 

Top visitors {countries}: 

United States

Brazil

United Kingdom

Canada

India

Australia

Popular Posts/Articles

Highlights of 2011: Blogging one day at a time… Thank you for reading!

About us

UPDATED: “Moving is the 3rd most stressful life event”…

Why “3rd Culture Children”?

Scientific investigation during Carnaval 2012…

The Supermoon and Cinco de Mayo

2012 displayed an average of 246 blog comments/month, averaging 186 views a day.

Here are the ‘top commenters‘ [thank you for the very positive interaction!] 😮

journeyman1977 – Lucid Gypsy – colonialist – eof737 – fgassette – travelgardeneat 

And which ones were the most commented posts? The ones with the strongest human interaction? [Again, my deepest gratitude for all the feedback received!]

Post/Page

Comments

about us

157

Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrast

86

Weekly Photo Challenge: Through

77

Weekly Photo Challenge: Waiting

70

Weekly Photo Challenge: Down

67

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sun

66

Weekly Photo Challenge: Two Subjects

64

Weekly Photo Challenge: Hope

63

Weekly Photo Challenge: Two Subjects [as one composition]

60

Weekly Photo Challenge: Celebration

59

See you all back in 2013! Let’s all have a great, peaceful and successful New Year! 😮

Thanks for stopping by!

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…so, the blog morphed into more than just a quasi-travel and photo journal. I liked the idea of organizing not only our travel notes, but also providing resources for other parents, and encouraging an exchange of ideas through comments, questions and suggestions from viewers. The name for the blog came from the term itself: “3rd Culture Children” (TCKs, more information here) are children whose parents come from distinct cultures, and grow up under a hybrid environment, experiencing diverse cultural growth. 

Travels in Brazil, posts related to outdoors activities, cultural events, such as attending the world’s largest open air theater for the Re-enacting of the Passion of Christ, as well as the ones showing scientific investigations and natural discoveries, seemed to be quite popular! 

‘Adventure‘ popular posts:

Visiting the Archipelago of Fernando de Noronha, swimming along with marine dolphins (Brazilian Atlantic coast, World Heritage Site, according to UNESCO)

Builiding a Hanging Garden using Recycled PET Bottles – teaching the importance of respecting the environment.

I’m grateful to Ruth Bailey, for the recent nomination – the 7 x 7 Link Award, where one’s supposed to highlight 7 recent important blogposts. Many thanks to Cyclingrandma, for offering the Good Apple award.

Nominated by a couple of bloggers in 2011 & 2012

Thank you, ClaudiaJohnson, for the nomination!

For a working mom, juggling with the work-life balance, in charge of anything from grocery shopping to planning trips, I’m honored. I’m so pleased to share with other expatriates, parents, and traveling families, the beauty and excitement of traveling, exploring nature (I’m a biologist!), languages (we’ve got Spanish, Portuguese and English in our household!), social/cultural adjustments, and our not-so-professional advice as “parents-on-the-go“ – imagine hauling this family of 5 around, raising multi-language TCKs, and keeping the passion for photography and story-telling?! 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: My 2012 in 12 Pictures.

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…. Here’s our 2012 through photos!

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!

“Lost in Time”: Flora of the Jericoacoara National Park, Brazil

Walks along the beach coast are one of the best ways to temporarily, leave reality, trading urban stressful images for exquisite coastline sites, immersing into natural beauty… Here are a few examples of nature’s hand, samples of the flora collection observed during one of our walks along the Monte Serrote, located at the National Park Jericoacoara (environmentally protected area, APA). Typical flora representatives are Caatinga and Cerrado.

[gallery}

Found a post I never published… don’t know exactly how it happened… and such a beautiful place, a paradisiac beach, surrounded by… nothing! Just unique natural beauty… the spot some 12 years back I met the one who’d became ‘my guy’…♥ Oh, well, these shots were taken during our ‘solo trip'[no kids!]

Sometimes, even memories fall thru the cracks… 😮 Glad I found it! With you all, the Flora of the Jericoacoara beach, in Brazil! This is the place some 12 years back, I found the one who’d become ‘my guy’… ♥

Walks along the beach coast are one of the best ways to temporarily, leave reality, trading urban stressful images for exquisite coastline sites, immersing into natural beauty… Here are a few examples of nature’s hand, samples of the flora collection observed during one of our walks along the Monte Serrote, located at the National Park Jericoacoara (environmentally protected area, APA). Typical flora representatives are Caatinga and Cerrado.

[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.

[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.

If “moving is the third most stressful life event”, let me turn it into a fun inspiration for Halloween!

Did you have any last-minute, crazy idea for your adult costume? I’d love to know! A year’s gone by since I prepared the original blogpost about packing and moving, focusing on the FS events… Over four months have gone by since we packed out from our last post assignment, Recife, Brazil.

This year, I even celebrated my birthday surrounded by bubble wrap & moving boxes – June was our pack out season – but husband and kids found a way to celebrate my special day, despite the craziness we’re all familiar with, when it comes to have your house taken down by movers, packers, filling endless forms and making sure you don’t lose track of your life during the process! 😮

So, now it’s the end of October, and sinc

The  “packed out”  couple.
“UNACCOMPANIED AIR BAGGAGE” & “HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS”
Memories from last June…

A year’s gone by since I prepared the original blogpost about packing and moving, focusing on the FS events… More than four months have past since we packed out from our last post assignment, Recife, Brazil.

This year, I even celebrated my birthday surrounded by bubble wrap & moving boxesJune was our pack out season – but husband and kids found a way to bring joy to my special day, despite the craziness we’re all familiar with, when it comes to have your house taken down by movers, packers, filling endless forms and making sure you don’t lose track of your life during the process! 😮

[UAB to HHE] “why are you taking so long to come home?”  [HHE]Sorry, dear… you know how it is at the port… you meet a couple of cool young boxes… begin chatting, talking about the midlife shipping crisis… and you lose track of time!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, now it’s the end of October, and since we STILL DO NOT HAVE (not yet! I’m always hopeful!) our household effects, I thought about turning the frustration into something, at least, fun, for this year’s Halloween at our local Marine Detachment House. Husband and I went as ‘pack out couple’... Well, a bit of crafting skills, an open mind and a good sense of humorwere the perfect recipe for this year’s costume!

Did you have any last-minute, crazy idea for your adult costume? I’d love to know!

Picture the World Project: Representing Brazil!

Four months have gone since we left Brazil…

A short stop for a well-deserved home-leave with family, and, now, we’ve been at our newest post/assignment for almost 3 months… Memories for our departure from Brazil? Many, but this post summarizes it. Four months ago, this photo was chosen to represent Brazil, and its unique landscape. Here is the original post. Enjoy…

Watching the sunset behind the "Morro Dois Irmãos" (Two Brothers)

Four months have gone since we left Brazil…

A short stop for a well-deserved home-leave with family, and, now, we’ve been at our newest post/assignment for almost 3 months… Memories for our departure from Brazil? Many, but this post summarizes it. Four months ago, this photo was chosen to represent Brazil, and its unique landscape. Here is the original post, and my appreciation to the country gifting us with such beautiful memories!

**********************

What an honor! Great gift for our departing family – we leave Brazil with our heart filled with emotions and wonderful memories. The best way to celebrate our departure is knowing we’ve contributed to a fantastic project: one of our travel photographs will be part of the Picture the World Project.

The Departure Board website has a great initiative to create a gallery of wonderful photos, one from each country in the world.  I am so honored to be nominated to offer a photo from my collection to represent Brazil. What to choose from? I went with nature – one of the most beautiful beaches my ´Brazilian eyes´ have ever seen! 😮 The picture chosen for the website is the one presented earlier – a unique orange-toned sunset, overlooking the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean…

Just like the Atlantis, the Fernando de Noronha archipelago has caught the imagination of travelers for centuries and many urban myths are associated with this gloriously surreal island. With its powdery beaches, lush rolling greens and crystalline azure waters, Fernando de Noronha is a tropical paradise of sublime beauty that is steeped deep in mysticism and mystery. The archipelago – named after a 16th-century Portuguese nobleman who may never have actually set foot there – exists in the proud Brazilian imagination, as well as a beautiful group of a main island and several islets. The archipelago of Fernando de Noronha, with its 20-something volcanic rock islands, pictured here. Made up of one 11-square-mile chunk of volcanic rock and 20 smaller islands, three degrees south of the equator, 220 miles from Brazil’s north-eastern coast, Fernando de Noronha’s claim to fame is its diverse and rich ecosystem. Here’s another reminder of the archipelago’s beauty, now during the early morning hours:

It’s my duty to nominate two people to submit photos of another country.  I would like to nominate Heather, from  The Wandering Drays, who has moved with her family to Egypt. I would also like to nominate Carla, from Carla Runs the World, currently in the Philippines, and getting ready for their next move in January 2014, to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil!

Thank you so much, Catbirdinoman – “a nomad, a pilgrim, a vagabond, a wanderer… who’ve discovered the art of living and working abroad, and now is hopelessly addicted”, as she likes to describe herself –  for the nomination! 😮

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? 😮

Weekly Photo Challenge: Purple.

This is an experiment in blogging motivation from the folks at WordPress.com. Every week, they post blogging ideas and tips to help you get the most out of the blog. The challenge from WordPress is purple, and here is the ‘closest to purple’ photo I found among our collection! a purple house downtown the Old Dutch Brazil… Very unique!

Picture the World Project: Brazil!

Picture The World Project, BrazilPosted on July 3rd, 2012

Brazil-PTWP

Photo by 3rdCultureChildren

I am so honored to be nominated to offer a photo from my collection to represent Brazil. What to choose from? I went with nature – one of the most beautiful beaches my ´Brazilian eyes´ have ever seen! The picture chosen a unique orange-toned sunset, overlooking the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean…

It’s my duty to nominate two people to submit photos of another country. I would like to nominate Heather (of thewanderingdrays.blogspot.com.br) who has moved with her family to Egypt. I would also like to nominate Carla (of carlarunstheworld.com) currently in the Philippines, and getting ready for their next move in January 2014, to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil!

Thank you 3rdculturechildren for this beautiful photo for Brazil. Looking forward to seing Heather and Carla’s contributions.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Fleeting Moment – Just be spontaneous!

Never easy to say goodbye… why not party with friends, and just keep the sweet memories of these 2 years together? 😮

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

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Paraíba, home of the Brazilian blue tourmaline, encloses the Easternmost point of the Americas

Family day trip to Cabo Branco, in the State of Paraíba. Hidden in one of the Norteastern Brazilian states, it’s possible to discover this ‘gem‘, the geographic place, corresponding to a cape on the Atlantic coast of Paraíba state, which forms the easternmost point of the American continent, five miles southeast of João Pessoa, the state capital. It is surrounded by beautiful white sand beaches bordered by flat-topped forms of sedimentary strata called “tabuleiros“, which rise sharply above the beaches to heights between 150 and 500 ft, and enjoys abundant rainfall. The name of the State comes from the combination of the Tupi words pa’ra (river) and a’íba (unsuitable for navigation). The Ponta do Seixas, on Cabo Branco beach, where, according to a traditional saying, “the sun rises first” is the land of the sun indeed, and of an enviable shore — but also of other historical, ecological and cultural beauties.

We got to see the famous lighthouse of Ponta Seixas, and enjoy the idea of being by the farthest East of the Continent.

Ponta do Seixas é o ponto mais oriental do Brasil e da América continental, localiza-se na Parte Leste da cidade de João Pessoa, capital do estado da Paraíba, a 14 quilómetros do centro da cidade e 3 quilômetros ao sul do Cabo Branco, que já foi considerado o ponto mais a leste do continente e que devido à erosão marinha que ao longo dos anos fez com que suas ondas desgastassem o Cabo Branco e depositasse estes sedimentos na Ponta Seixas (fazendo-a aumentar) e passando a ser atualmente o ponto mais oriental das américas.

Do alto da Ponta do Seixas, erigido sobre uma falésia, fica o formoso Farol do Cabo Branco, no formato de um pé de sisal, de onde se tem uma bela vista da orla e do oceano Atlântico. Muitas pessoas confundem a Ponta do Seixas com a falésia do Cabo Branco. São duas formações geológicas diferentes. A ponta é que representa o ponto mais a leste da América e não a falésia do Cabo Branco. A ponta do Seixas é uma estreita faixa de terra mais ao sul da barreira que se prolonga para o leste.

Taking advantage of the opportunity to teach the kids a bit of Geography:


Collecting Brazilian states: the mystic city of Juazeiro do Norte

 Brazil is famous for its ´mystic´places… Some believe, some others, don´t… Another well-know ´mystic place´ is the country´s capital – at least, unique on its beauty and touristic sights… Believing or not, all the sites are great for visiting, and for learning about culture, tradition and stories…

From Recife, Pernambuco
To Juazeiro do Norte, Ceara, Brazil
Distance: ~ 309 miles or 498 km

The city of Juazeiro do Norte in the state of Ceará has approximately 212,133 inhabitants, with an area of 248.56 km2, resulting in a very dense population for a city in the interior of Brazil.  Juazeiro do Norte is becoming a center for artisans, with a large vocation for the production of souvenirs and mementos. One of these mementos is the little rag doll or “boneca de pan”,  whose primary materials are cloth scraps, corncobs, thread, needles, cotton wadding, and a lot of imagination. The city has become famous for its religious pilgrimage. Here is a little bit of historical background, from Wikipedia:

“Juazeiro do Norte is best known as the base of the charismatic priest and politician Padre Cícero (Cícero Romão Batista) (1844-1934). A pilgrimage in his honour takes place every November, attracting thousands of followers. It was initially a district of the nearby city Crato, until a young Padre Cícero Romão Batista decided to stay as a cleric in the village. Padre Cícero was then responsible for the independence and emancipation of the city. Because of the so-called “milagre de Juazeiro” (“miracle in Juazeiro”, when Padre Cícero gave the sacred host to the religious sister Maria de Araújo, the host became blood), the priest was associated with mystical characteristics and began to be venerated by the people as a saint. Today the city is the second largest in the state and a reference in the Northeast region thanks to the priest.”

Find below a series of peculiar images from this mystic city, a site visited by tourists all-year around – religious or not…

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Greenpeace in Brazil. Visiting the Rainbow Warrior Ship.

2 biologists

The Greenpeace ship, Rainbow Warrior is in Brazil.

We had the opportunity to go on a guided visit through its compartments, talk with the captain, and learn more about the current projects involving the Greenpeace Initiative and Brazilian NGOs.

The visit also included the solar kitchen installations and the solar panels.

 

The Captain

  

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! 😮

Hiking trail
Exploring the open waters

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!

“Deep within a forest… exists an extraordinary world… where something else is possible… called Varekai…” Snapshots from Cirque du Solei in Brazil.

Source: Varekai, Cirque du Solei Fan Page

From the sky falls a solitary young man, and the story of Varekai begins.

Parachuted into the shadows of a magical forest, a kaleidoscopic world populated by fantastical creatures, this young man sets off on an adventure both absurd and extraordinary. On this day at the edge of time, in this place of all possibilities, begins an inspired incantation to life rediscovered. [Find Icarus at the end of this post!]

The word Varekai means “wherever” in the Romany language of the gypsies the universal wanderers. This production pays tribute to the nomadic soul, to the spirit and art of the circus tradition, and to the infinite passion of those whose quest takes them along the path that leads to Varekai.”

I’d like to state my “big thank you” for the Show’s production, it’s official website, from where these quotes are borrowed. We were fortunate in having the opportunity to watch the “trupe” in Recife, Brazil, during their last presentations. What a treat! Enjoy the images! [photographic shots were not allowed during the show/performance, but permitted during the 25 min. interval, and at the outside areas…] Most of the photos presented here were taken with our camera. Some pictures (all indicated as such) were borrowed from the Cirque du Solei official website and/or its official Fan Page. My deepest appreciation!

Source: Varekai, Cirque du Solei Fan Page
Source: Varekai, Cirque du Solei Fan Page
Source: Varekai, Cirque du Solei Fan Page
Source: Varekai, Cirque du Solei Fan Page

Source: Varekai, Cirque du Solei Fan Page
Source: Varekai, Cirque du Solei Fan Page
Source: Varekai, Cirque du Solei Fan Page
Source: Varekai, Cirque du Solei Fan Page

http://www.cirquedusoleil.com/en/shows/varekai/show/video-music.aspx?splash=http://www.cirquedusoleil.com/en/shows/varekai/media/CD/Track_16.aspx

Source: Varekai, Cirque du Solei Fan Page
Source: Varekai, Cirque du Solei Fan Page

Communications from the past: Post Office and Wall Telephone

Post Office building, with its respective collecting box - still in business!
Brooklyn wall telephone

Horizontal tree?! Árvore da preguiça or lazy tree in Ceará

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

This “horizontal tree” has been called ‘lazy tree’ or “árvore da preguiça” 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!

Where all the Havaianas in the world come from…

Paraíba, Brazil

…they come from a single factory, located in a little place called “Campina Grande“, in Paraíba, one of the Northeastern states of Brazil!

Currently, there are more than 40 models of Havaianas and with all the colors available, that adds up to about 350 variations. It makes for any woman’s (or man’s) wildest designing dream!

Finding Havaianas in Brazil isn’t hard – since they’re available at 150,000 points of sale in the country

(I imagine right now my mother-in-law is so jealous…)

However, not every store will have all the models, since a lot of Brazilian retail is based on small stores with a limited inventory. It’s possible to find a pair of the famous flip-flop anywhere you go; even at the most remote beach village in the country – it’s guaranteed that, in the absence of a formal “store” or “market”, somebody would be selling them out of their house! And why? It seems these flip-flops are so much loved that owing one pair, just isn’t enough! It didn’t take long for Brazilians to realize that the frugal design of Traditional Havaianas was great for creative intervention.

Women customized theirs. Surfers started a trend when they removed the straps from Havaianas and put them back on with the sole side up. Tops are currently available in 20 solid colors. They, too, are popular for customizing. Brazilians use them to make Havaianas “bordadas” (embroidered) and “silkadas”, meaning, printed with silk-screen. Images say more than words: take a look at this video!

Even super-models wear them! Luckily Brazil’s got a Brazilian supermodel to showcase the flip-flops – it goes out of the stores like water! Just to top it off, the best reason to have them in your closet: Havaianas give back to the Brazilian  community (and before my husband’s visit to the factory, I had no idea about it!). They’ve done some amazing work through celebrity contributions and donations, and it feels good to buy shoes that help others…

Here are some images from the most recent visit to the Havaianas Factory, in Paraíba, May 2011. And a quick and surprising piece of information: 7 pairs of havaianas are produced per second, and the factory produces 645,000 pairs per day!! Here is where the magic happens:

And guess what my dear husband ended up forgetting to bring from his trip??