Tuesday, June 22, 2010

WORLD CUP

Dear 18 and 14 year old selves, you don´t know what you were missing by being completely ignorant about this sporting event. It´s SO FUN.

Can we talk about how the US should have won that last game?
Or the hottest hottie from Paraguay, Roque Santa Cruz?

Or the complete bull-shittiness of this call?
Or this Shakira song that made me cry today? (@ Stephen)

Surriously though Brazil is OBSESSED and it´s been hard not to join in. It´ll be sad to leave a country that has a team playing (Bolivz/Peru/Ecuador/Colombia nope) but I´m confident that I can continue the 24/7 WC coverage. It´s still South America, after all.

PIX from the Pantanal coming as soon as I have access to both a computer and my cam cord. Heads up: SO MANY CROCODILES!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

To Market, To Market

Photos from the São Joaquim market in Salvador, easily one of the best things I've seen in South America thus far.




My Mom is a Baller

Not only did she go with me to Rio's Friday night party capital Lapa (where we ordered two rounds of 2 for R$5 caipirinhias made on the street by a girl that couldn't have been older than thirteen) BUT in tiny Northeastern Lençóis, we went spelunking together. Twice. Proof below:




Cave 2 had stalactites.

Yeah thanks I wouldn't have seen them otherwise.

Tomorrow, she returns to the States, taking my lil baby (and by lil baby I really mean large, dinosaur-like) laptop with her. I'm therefore soaking up all the free, uninterrupted internet I can get tonight. It's hostels and internet cafes from here on out.

I'll miss you, Mom / uninhibited web browsing.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Channeling TLC

After a combined total of nine months in Argentina and Brazil, I finally made it to Iguazu Falls, the lil´(and by lil´I mean overwhelming) natural wonder that straddles the two countries. In the most expensive visa renewal that ever was, my ma and I flew from Rio to spend one day in Foz do Iguacu, Brazil and one in Puerto Iguazu, Argentina. While most people describe their Falls trips as ´sweltering,´´sunny,´and ´full of butterflies,´mine was none of the three, reaching a high of 54 and loaded instead with weird-ass coatimundis. Still, the clouds made it more dramatic, and I´m definitely glad I went (also because I stocked up on Frutigran and gulped down some Malbec and ice cream. My mom asked whether I was more excited for the waterfalls or the Argentine snacks. Not wanting to lie, I said nothing.)

Tomorrow, onto Salvador! Right now, pix (and vid!):

Brazil

Brazil

Surprise haircut! Surprise weird skin tone here!

Argentina.

Argentina.

GARGANTA DEL DIABLO, the climax, Argentina.
video

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Going hard before I go home

SO I've fallen off the blog wagon a bit (yeah I know that expression doesn't work because being 'on' the wagon is successfully quitting alcohol and this is the inverse and nothing to do with alcohol, but just let me use a tired cliche OKAY). Not much has been happening: I've been teaching oil execs the difference between past simple and present perfect, eating rocket pizza without tomato sauce, and feeling DISsatisfied with the LOST finale and the ensuing big gaping hole in my life. A hole that has just been filled with three bags of puppy chow and a visit from my mom!

Now starts the post-work travel binge, where I spend every dime of what I made teaching in South America (what are savings?). I'll break it down for you now, and hopefully not suck at actually blogging about it when it happens.

Nearest future:

Tomorrow morning, my ma and I leave for Iguazu Falls for two days of frantic waterfall photo ops and a border-crossing into Argentina that will save me $100 in visa renewal fees. Then on to Salvador (where all the food is spicy -- I'm screwed) and Chapada Diamantina nat'l park for my first real underground cave! Then back to Rio for more mom-time (read: eating in nice restaurants, actually going to Sugarloaf) until June 10.

What is even going ON in this photo? It is MAGICAL

Near future:

Literally the day my mom peaces, my good friend Nate arrives . From Rio, Nate and I'll head across Brazil to see the Pantanal for hopefully less of this and more of this. From there, we're Death Train-ing it into La Paz to chill in Nate's dope apartment, live dangerously, and try not to throw up from altitude sickness.

Remember that time we turned the champagne reception into a contest?
To quote Nate: 'I hope we're mocking our own large smiles here.'

Post-Bolivia, I'll island-hop over Lake Titicaca (lol. every time) with my friend Fresco (Matt --> Matteo --> Matteo Fresco. Props to Candida, queen of the nicknames) before continuing on the Gringo Trail up to Machu Picchu (because you gotta, right? summer of world wonders FTW). I'll ditch Fresco for Ecuador to do some solo travel including WHALE WATCHING and, like, climbing in cloud forests maybe. This part is still a bit sketchy. But whales!

July is humpback mating season!

In mid-July one of my fave SCIC compatriots, John Sears, is meeting me in Quito to head to Colombia. Imma be honest, I'm maybe most excited about this country than any of the others; every Colombian I've ever met is extremely awesome, and Colombia is on every travel org ever's top 10 places to be. A week in Cartagena will give me a little bit of a tan, too, before I ...

RETURN TO THE USA on July 23!

I'll be on the East Coast first before flying into Minnesota, so if you're in NYC or Philly or Minnesota (or Kentucky or Nashville or Baltimore or Houston or N/SC) I'd better see you. MMKAY?

Not so near (but near enough to be slightly terrifying) future:

I've been flirting for months with the idea of teaching in South Korea next year. I'm turned off for a number of reasons (teaching in SA has left me lukewarm and weary, another year without donuts) but I'm turned on (lol again) for others ($$$$$$$$! jk also enriching lives and getting to see Asia). I finally started the apparently grueling application process, so we'll see how that goes. This URL definitely will not be applicable if I'm in Seoul.

Well this is the longest post ever, I'ma go pack. xo y'all

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

This is Why You're Fat (, Brazil)

How do you make sold-on-the-street popcorn even unhealthier? If it's salty, add chunks of bacon among the kernels. If it's carmelized, top it off with about a twelve-second outpouring of sweetened condensed milk, then add a healthy dose of shaved coconut.

Guess what I'm eating right now?

(This is just a teaser for a longer post on street food that very well may be my blog masterpiece. I'm currently [and devotedly] sampling types and collecting photos. It's gonna be as big as I've gotten in the past two months.)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Most adorable translation of the day award:

In Portuguese, poxa means gosh

"poxa bem, eu querida..." --> oh gosh, i'd love to!

CUTE.