Thursday, May 28, 2009
Friday, May 22, 2009
We are visiting 14 countries on this trip. That is a hell of a lot of guide books, which seem absolutely essential in navigating our way through Latin America. We'll need road maps, camp sites, hostels, historical attractions, what to do and not do, must see, must avoid, practical information so we don't go in totally blind. There is so much to know and plan for, unless you truly want to go vagabond style and do no prep work. Sounds a little dumb to me.
Anyway, giving the number of countries, we are going to have to buy a lot of travel books.... Lonely Planet, Let's GO, Frommer's, Fodor's, etc...it seems endless. But because I am cheap...and maybe smart, I've decided instead to research, research and research free guides and information on the internet. There are sites such as Drive the Americas, BootsnAll, forums in Portuguese, Thorn Tree forum, they are everywhere and they are free. We are writing every consulate and asking for information.
Today I am working on Belize cause it is the first in the alphabet and the smallest country. It is still a lot of work but you also run the risk of finding much more interesting information this way. Just look at this amazing photo I found online and NOT in a quidebook. I am DEFINITELY going here.
I am copying, pasting, and printing to my little wanderlust hearts content. It may be burdensome but the fun is in the journey. And it is cheap.
Anybody have suggestions of internet sites to visit or books they would like to loan, let us know.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
One of the things I really want to investigate is the possibility of volunteering while we are traveling. Voluntourism, as it is known, is a great way to experience local culture and people while giving back at the same time. My travel experiences mostly consist of nonprofit/volunteer work abroad. What amazing experiences! I learned so much about myself and the world.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Como a Mellissa bem colocou, dia das mães esta chegando e então, eu resolvi postar também. O assunto a principio pode não estar muito relacionado ao blog, mas particularmente acho que tem tudo a ver. O apoio da mãe numa aventura será muito importante. Minha mãe sempre me apoiou nas minhas decisões e desta vez não ia ser diferente.
Mas neste post, eu queria falar um pouco da minha mãe. Falar da minha mãe é fácil. Diva, como seu nome já diz, DIVINA, MARAVILHOSA, ou simplesmente DIVA. "A palavra é uma derivação de “divina” em italiano, que por sua vez vem do latim “divus/diva”. Era usada principalmente para definir as prima donnas da ópera, cantoras com talento extraordinário. Segundo o Aurélio, diva é exatamente isso, mas também significa deusa”.
Com certeza, foi uma das minhas maiores dificuldades quando resolvi juntar as minhas coisas e me mudar para os Estados Unidos. Ficar longe dessa pessoa de quem eu admiro tanto e que tenho aquele amor especial, não é nada fácil.
Um dos maiores presentes que já ganhei, foi o grande momento do reencontro, quando você veio me visitar por alguns meses. Fazendo um esforço aqui, outra ali, ela conseguiu, juntamente com meu pai, comprar a tão esperada passagem para os Estado Unidos e assim, poder nos encontrar novamente. Espero que seja a primeira visita de muitas, porque eu quero que você esteja comigo todos os dias possíveis.
Mãe, eu espero que você tenha um ótimo dia das mães e que mesmo de longe, mando aquele abraço e beijo especial. Você, que tem enfrentado tantas batalhas, mas como sempre saindo vitoriosa. Eu te amo!
TRANSLATION: As Mellissa said before, Mothers Day is arriving and I decided to post something as well. It may not seem like this subject is related to the blog but to me, it means everything. A mother’s support in this adventure is very important.
My mother always supported me in my decisions and this time won’t be any different. But in this post, I would like to say something about my mother. To talk about my mother is easy. DIVA, as your name already says, Divine, Marvelous, or simply Diva. “The word is a derivation of Divine in Italian that come from Latin “divus/diva”. It was used mainly for defining the primadonnas of the opera, singers with extraordinary talent. It also signifies god.”
Leaving her in Brazil was one of the hardest things to do when I decided to move to this country. To stay away from a person who I admire so much and have a special love for is not easy as a son.
One of the best gifts I have received was the great moment of our reunion, when you came to visit me for a couple of months. You struggled hard, here and there, to be able to buy a plane ticket together with my dad, so we could see each other and finally hug again. I hope this is the first visit of many cause I want you to be part of my life every day.
Mom, you have always been very strong in facing your battles and will end up victorious. I hope that you have a wonderful Mother’s Day and even from far away, I’m sending you a big hug and special kiss. I love you.
When J and I went to pick up our Solio - today is the first sunny day by the way - and we had to pass by Gillette Stadium, home of the Patriots and Revolution. Well, neither of us had ever been to the stadium before so we decide to pull in and look around Patriot Place shopping center.
We, of course, gravitated towards Eastern Mountain Sports and checked out the tents, travels packs, water filters. Man that stuff is expensive....good thing we have a year to plan. We will probably split time between camping and hosteling - definitely need to do a little more research on hostels, where, how much etc - but that is still way off in the distance.
The EMS lady asked us if we were going to the soccer game....game...soccer...Juliano's ears definitely perked up and that was it. Juliano, son of Brazil, home of Pele only the greatest soccer player ever known and named Athlete of the Century by the International Olympic Committee, had not been to a soccer game in four years! Oh what his father must have thought! This is massive trauma for a sports guy.
Off we went to the ticket booth to see if maybe just by a slim chance they would have some tickets for the Revolution. Well wouldn't you know it...it appears that Major League Soccer is NOT that popular in the United States and there were seats everywhere. We chose the cheaper ones but sat in the more expensive seats. No one cared cause no one was there. HA!
It was a bit chilly, so I had to go buy a $15 sweatshirt at Old Navy. Man, I really wanted to stay there cause they were having an awesome sale but off we ran to the soccer game. I love spontaneous fun!
The game was fun to watch, the Revs were terrible and lost, well I shouldn't say terrible since I couldn't do it but....lets say... they were off. And it rained, the whole time, we were soaked but smiling. It was most fun to watch the rowdy soccer crowd who thought they were British punks at a Manchester United game and the little boys in front with binoculars who were checking out the women behind us. All in all is was a fun, fun day.
Also on Sunday was the Rio de Janeiro State Championship in Brazil between Flamengo and Botofogo. Now if you really want to see how soccer is player, watch those Brazilians. We watched it on the Brazilian Channel when we got home. Did you know Comcast charges $20 alone for the Brazilian Channel? One channel!
Anyway.....Wow, was it an impressive game! And the fans?? Something wonderous to behold, all those tens of thousands of soccer fans, it is enough to make you cry....some of them did!Juliano's team Flamengo won the game and he was happy. It was fun to watch his excitement and anxiety.
I hope we get to go many soccer matches up and down Central and South America and not have to waste $30 a ticket.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
With that being said, I think it will make my mother and Juliano's mother much less anxious if we have SOME sort of plan. I will do my best to provide our thoughts of a rough path.
Basic Route for Central America:
1) Baja Mexico, ferry over the Mexico proper, 2) make our way across the Mexican countryside to Belize, 3) visit a program of the World Walk Foundation ( a group I volunteer with), 4) west to Guatemala, 5) visit a doctor friend there, 6) head south to El Salvador, which I sort of missed in my fabulous map making, 6) 0ver to Honduras, my cool mom volunteered in a bilingual school there, 7) down through Nicaragua to Costa Rica, some R and R and 8) then to Panama and Boca del Toro.
From there we will have to head to South America by boat if we want to continue to drive ...but that will have to be tomorrow cause just explaining our CA trip made me tired.
So J and I got our Solio solar charger! We actually purchased it from a guy in Wrentham. We figured since this is all about recycle, reuse, restore - or whatever it is - we might as well buy one off of someone else. Turns out he had never used it and we got a good discount.
Here we are, a year and a half out from our trip, with our Solio , driving down the road so excited to charge something, anything, phone, ipod - and the sun is nowhere to be found. Hasn't been around for days. No Solio charged from the sun, only the wall socket, which seems to defeat the purpose.
Isn't that just a kick in my recycled pants?