Monthly Archives: November 2012

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections

Day 213 – February 20, 2012

Reflections is the theme from WordPress and their Weekly Photo Challenge.

As many of the challenge responses (I’m guessing) will use the element of water to some extent, I was reminded of the trip our family took in February of this year to the Amazon River (the second longest river in the world and the largest in terms of water discharge) section of Peru.

During that trip, we visited the town of Iquitos and enjoyed viewing the flora and fauna of the rich and diverse jungle.

In addition, we also journeyed to the town of Indiana, Peru. No, not Peru, Indiana, but Indiana, Peru. Find out how this village was formed and why it has the name it has by clicking here.

While there, which occurred during one of the more rainy days of our trip, I took this picture.

Volunteers in Indiana, Peru

The guy in red can’t see the tree for the leaves

The main part of this picture show residents of the village as they carry a palm tree from the docks to a main plaza area where the tree will be part of a local festival. My memory fails me as to what the actual ceremony and festivity was. It is entirely possible that the arboreal item in this picture has something to do with Ash Wednesday (which was two days away when this picture was taken), but I could be wrong. The boots of the men, the umbrella being held to the left of the picture, and the water soaking the sidewalk (and providing the reflection which is the hook for this here post) all show that this area of Peru is no stranger to large quantities of precipitation. That and the fact the town sits right on the river’s edge also shows the need for water-proof footwear. This climate is in stark contrast to the Lima, Peru’s capital city, where it rarely rains. As long as I have been in Lima, I have never heard the sound of raindrops hitting our windows.

Truth be told, citizens of Lima say it is raining when I would classify it as barely drizzling.

I also like this picture because it showcases the type of taxi common in the smaller towns and outlying areas. The tricycle taxi is used in those areas where regular taxis (think Chevy Chevette), combis (think mini-van) and large buses (think large bus) are too large. These smaller three-wheeled vehicles can either be motorized or human-powered. Either way, these tricycle taxi reflect the Peruvian traits of hard work and business acumen.

In(ca)side Joke

Day 494 – November 24, 2012

Those of you in the know will get this witticism.

Those of you not in the know should come on down to Peru and do your own research.


Here in Peru, there is a brand of gum flavored by the makers of Inca Kola.

The gum tastes like cola.

)and the rimshot goes here(

Travel Theme: Liquid

Day 358 – July 14, 2012

This post will finish up my trilogy of posts (here and here) dealing with my July 2012 visit to the capital city of the United States of America.

The website “Where’s My Backpack?” has the weekly photographic challenge theme of liquid. I have no pictures of standing water, rushing rivers, or majestic falls, but I do have this snap.

At the end of the challenge, the creator of “Where’s My Backpack?” has the following quote by English writer G.K. Chesterton

And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.

In that colorful vein, I give you the following rainbow spanning the Potomac River…

Rainbow over the Potomac River

Rainbow, river, and Jefferson Memorial

I’ll come back to my Peruvian locale in my next posts.

Perry Found

Day 358 – July 14, 2012

Tying together previous posts of mine concerning a visit to the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History (see here) and my fascination with the animated television show Phineas and Ferb (see here), I give you this visual gem from my July visit to that wondeful museum that sits on the National Mall.

If you are familiar with the show Phineas and Ferb then please join with me and say together, “Oh, there you are, Perry!”

Platypus skeleton at Smithsonian Natural History Musuem

He’s a semi-aquatic mammal of action

Museum Photography: Natural History

Day 358 – July 14, 2012

Following on the heels of a post I did concerning a series of photographs at Perufloral 2012, I wanted to share this other exercise in street photography that I created while I was on vacation back in the United States.

Our location today is the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History located on the National Mall. Yes, I understand that, technically, I am not engaging in street photography as I used my camera in a museum, but I hope that you will grant me some leeway.

Rather than walk around the museum snapping photos as I moved (which I did do, but that’s a post for another time), I stayed in one spot to see what would come into my viewfinder. To make it even more interesting to me, I decided to use one of the artifacts as a frame. Let’s meet our frame, a rai stone located on the lowest floor of the museum.

Rai at Smithsonian Musuem of Natural History

Our subject

And now, the photos…

Subject through rai hole at Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

Subject through rai hole at Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

Subject through rai hole at Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

Subject through rai hole at Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

Subject through rai hole at Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

Subject through rai hole at Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

Subject through rai hole at Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

Finally, just in case you wanted to know what a rai actually is…

Info card about rai at Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

Different Makes and Models

Day 475 – November 8, 2012

In addition to being exposed to new words, new locations, and new food stuffs, there is another aspect about living life in another country that I did not appreciate until now.

Outside of the United States, there appears to be a whole other world of automakers. Yes, I realize that besides Ford and General Motors that there are other companies around the globe that make cars such as Mercedes Benz, BMW, Nissan, Toyota, and Kia.

However, (and these are real car names that I have seen around the roads of Peru) I had never before heard of…

Great Wall (China);
SSangYong (South Korea / India); and
Brilliance (China)

Here’s an insert about the Brilliance FSV Sport that came with this edition of El Comerico.

Ad for the Brillance

Sporty, elegant, & spectacular

My attached image may be a bit small, but the text of the advertisement says the car costs $15,490 or (in the coin of the realm) S/. 41,048.

In addition to being exposed to new auto manufacturers, I have also seen a new (to me) assortment of car models such as the Gol (Volkswagen) and the Avy (Daihatsu).

That’s the wonderful thing about overseas travel and living. I find something new almost every day…as long as I keep my eyes on the road.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Green

Day 157 – December 26, 2011

With all due respect to Kermit the Frog, it definitely was easy being green, which is the theme from WordPress for their Weekly Photo Challenge.

While I have posted photos before about our December 2011 trip to the Incans ruins of Machu Picchu, these are all new snaps that show off the green of the area.

We start off with another look at the Christmas tree / Nativity scene displayed in the main square of Aguas Calientes, the town at the foot of the mountain where Machu Picchu resides. This tree is composed of empty soda bottles.

Christmas tree comprised of soda bottles

Reduce, reuse, re-celebrate

Below is a photo I took on the bus ride up to the ruins. The small ribbon of brown in the center of the picture is the Urubamba River. I wanted to use my camera to take my mind off the relatively scary ride skyward. The road from Agua Calientes to Machu Picchu looks barely wide enough for a pickup truck, but large buses scale this road going both directions at the same time. When two coaches meet, one vehicle has to move towards the edge. I don’t want to say that as your bus moves closer to the abyss that you can see all the way down, but you can see all the way down.

The scenery on the way up

Green scenery, white knuckles

In addition to breath-taking and awe-inspiring views of mountains and architecture, the area of Machu Picchu also harbors some interesting wildlife. Below, find the caterpillar.

Caterpillar in thicket at Machu Picchu

Green is always a favorite camo color.

People walk all around the ruins and sometimes they simply need to stop and rest.

People resting at Machu Picchu

Resting and enjoying the view

The woman below is standing in the entrance to Machu Picchu. It is called Intipuncu, or the Gate of the Sun.

Gate of the Sun at Machu Picchu

The door is always open

Since this is a blog about Peru, here is the mandatory shot of a llama…

Llama at Machu Picchu

Cuidado! Llamas!

…and the obligatory shot of a tourist wearing a chullo.

Tourist at Machu Picchu

Cuidado! The first step is a doozy!

Not everyone who is at Machu Picchu is a tourist.

Worker painting signs at Machu Picchu

These helpful signs don’t paint themselves

And finally, a parting shot of Machu Picchu.

Machu Picchu

Slopes of green

Come on back now, y’hear!

To The Power Of

Days 479, 481, and 482 – November 12, 14, and 15, 2012

The Power of Position
On Monday, my daughter and I played another spirited game of the French card game, Mille Bornes. Over the past few weeks, when we have played this games, we have been seated at our dining room table. This table is a long oval with one end near some windows that open to our backyard and the other end is closer to our kitchen. We have normally been playing at the end by the windows with my back facing a cabinet that contains some curious. On this particular day, the sun was coming in through the windows and making me squint, so I moved our playing area down to the other end of the table.

After two hands and a close score, my grade-school daughter made the following admission. She said, “I like it better when we play in our old spot. There I can see your cards in the mirror behind you.”

Sure enough, the curio cabinet that I previously sat in front of does indeed contain a reflexive glass surface from which my daughter could see the cards in my hands.

She wins points for honesty.

The Power of Font
On Wednesday, the newspaper Peru21, ran a story detailing how Spotify, the Internet music provider, released a study that listed the top twenty songs to play while having sex.

As listed in the Peru21 story, the top five songs are…
Time of My Life from the movie Dirty Dancing,
Sexual Healing by Marvin Gaye,
Bolero by Ravel,
Take My Breath Away by Berlin, and
Any Of His Songs by Barry White.

Why I am writing about this story is because of the italics used in the Peru21 story. An italic font is used to denote the name of a song. When this story was translated from English into Spanish, something was lost in the transmogrification. If you look at the discography of Barry White, you will notice there is no such song with the title “Any Of His Songs”.

If you jump over to the actual release from Spotify, you will see that the actual notation for Mr. White is…

Barry White – Anything from his collection”

That’s the power of the italic font.

For anybody in the Peru21 audience who wants to find the song Any of His Songs, they will be somewhat disappointed when all they really needed to was look for any song by Mr. White.

Nice to see that I’m not the only one who has trouble with the whole translation thing.

The Power of the State
On Thursday, I went with out empleada, J, to enroll her in the state-run insurance and retirement program. What I found interesting was one of the documents J needed to bring. It was not that out of the ordinary for her to bring her national identification card that all Peruvians carry. What raised my eyebrow was the requirement that her ID card needed to have the mark on it that showed that she had voted in the last national election. Voting is mandatory in Peru and this is one way the State ensures its citizens vote.

And with an opposite view…
A Power Failure
Lima’s free newspaper, Publimetro, ran a story that shows even fame has its limits.

Lady Gaga is having a concert in Lima next week and the organizers have announced a two-for-one deal. Buy one ticket to the performance and you will receive another ticket free.

According to the story, this is being done because only 15,000 tickets have been sold for the 50,000-seat venue.

Maybe her little monsters (that’s her fan club) need to get on the telephone and get the word out.

Field Trip Strike Out

Day 082 – October 12, 2011

I’m not sure where I should file this under.

Should I place this item in the bin entitled…

a) Signs you definitely know you are in Peru;

b) Things I never had to deal with in middle school; or

c) Events that only broaden my son’s experience and will give him interesting stories to tell when he is college.

(Technically, I could have offered up option d) “Miscellaneous”, because when you truly think about, everything and anything can be filed under “Misc”.)

Our oldest son, in eighth grade, was scheduled to go on a field trip next week with his School into downtown Lima to see the cultural, historical, and political sites.

The field trip was cancelled because it was scheduled on the anniversary of the foundation of one Peru’s labor unions of construction workers and there were fears that there would be public protests and demonstrations in the heart of the city.


Just so you don’t arrive at the wrong conclusion that the School was being a “Nervous Nancy”, here’s a news story about a protest in Lima from October of this year.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Renewal

Day 413 – September 7, 2012

I’m guessing there will be a great deal of plants with this week’s theme from WordPress, which is renewal.

Add one more to that list.

Early September south of the Equator means spring is a few weeks away. Before the season changes, the municipal workers in our district are hard at work preparing the greenery.

Who am I kidding? Regardless of the season these folk are always hard at work.

This end-of-winter task involves laying down new grass on traffic islands and planting bright flowers along those same medians. It also includes trimming the trees and shrubs so that all the old growth can be pruned away to make way for the new buds and shoots just itching to come out and enjoy the vernal sunshine (when it decides to take its sweet ol’ time to arrive).

The workers maintain the trees on traffic islands in steps so that as one drives down the road, one can see a progression. Sort of like watching a time-lapse video from the comfort of your car.

We take some typical trees (please contact your local botanist or use the Leafsnap app to identify the variety)…

Trees on traffic island in La Molina, Peru

The Before Picture

…give them a haircut and leave the debris, and…

Trees on traffic island in La Molina, Peru

The During Picture

voila! Neatly coiffed shrubbery ready to show off their springtime colors.

Trees on traffic island in La Molina, Peru

The After Picture

All done for the renewal of the flora around Lima.