Showing posts from 2009

A Window into Latin America - slide show videos

Following on from our last blog, we are posting the video of the slide show, A Window into Latin America, that Alex put together for the Renew the Spirit fundraiser we held in November of this year. In its original format it's about 35 minutes long. Alex has broken it up into five parts for easier viewing. All of the videos, except for the introduction and the last one, are also posted on You Tube, grab yourself a cuppa or refreshment, kick back...and comment if you wish!

Introduction and photos to the Renew the Spirit Foundation:

Part 1. A Window into Latin America, covers the following countries:
Peru, Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands (which are part of Ecuador) , Colombia and Panama.

Part 2. A Window into Latin America, covers Costa Rica, Nicaragua , Honduras, Belize and Guatemala.

Part 3. A Window into Latin America, covers Guatemala, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.

Part 4. A Window into Latin America, covers Cuba and Mexico.

We hope you enjoy the vide…

A Window into Latin America

Well, it has certainly been a while since I have blogged. Busy, busy, busy! Well, that's my excuse. 2009 has been an incredibly full on year for me, with lots of changes and adjustments. But, would I want it any other way? More on this in the next blog.

This blog will focus on the fundraiser that Alex and I are currently involved in helping out with. Like everything else in my life, this too has a story. Way back almost two years ago, when Alex and I returned from our 16 month trip around the world trip, we told our dear fried, Phil West, that we would help him out with some fundraising for the foundation he started and directs: "Renew the Spirit Foundation - Healing the Hearts of Child Survivors of War and Terrorism". Well, one thing led to another, and nothing ever happened...Alex and I were both looking for work...then it was Christmas... then we went to Ecuador and the USA for five weeks, and then we started to think, "Hey, it's almost Christmas 2009"…

Goodbye Ecuador; Hello USA beauracracy.

Our last week in Ecuador was a flurry of activity! We were invited to Marcia and Gustavo's house for Alex's cousin, Valeria's birthday; we were invited to both Gladys and Patty's respective houses for both lunch and "cafe y pancito" (coffee and bread, which is a tradition over there and happens at around 4 or 5pm, after lunch, but before dinner). We were also taken out for dinner by Bolivar and Lily my brother-in-law, Christian's parents. Prior to this last week, we had also been to Christian's parents' house to celebrate Jonathan (Chris's brother's) birthday. Everyone had been so open, warm and welcoming. In my last few days, I could feel the walls closing in on me!

Oh, and the list goes on...I caught up with my friend, Manuela and her mum Ana, whom I actually had not seen in years. It was great to be able to pick up where we left off. We were also invited to Alex's Tia Norma's apartment (actually his mum's auntie), with sw…

Still more to do and see in Ecuador

So, we had spent time with family, caught up with some of our friends, and done a whole lot of other stuff, but there was still so much more to do! So many friends still wanted to catch up with us, but time was a tickin'!

Now, we couldn't possibly leave Quito without going for a boogie. So, one Saturday night we got a little group together and off we went to Flashback. As the name suggests, the music played was from the 70s and 80s. Our little group was Alex and I, Jean Pierre, Karen and Christian, Jonathan (Christian's brother) and his girlfriend Naty, and Andrea (his cousin) and her husband Paul. Oh what a night! Oops, no pun intended! It was lots of fun, and we had a great time dancing. In my usual fashion, I was on that dance floor and goin' for it in no time at all! And Christian was my partner in crime. What took a bit of (more like a lot actually) getting used to was the cigarette smoke! Apart from gross and repulsive, it seems oh so very yesterday to…

Home is where the heart is.

We had a great flight over to Quito, with a stopover in Miami. As we checked in, we were told that we would not be able to be seated together on the New York to Miami sector. I was not particularly fussed, as I figured that I would be able to swap with someone, although Alex and I were several rows apart. As it worked out however, I ended up sitting down next to a lovely lady called Louise. After chatting briefly, she asked if I would like her to swap with Alex, so that we could sit together. She seemed like such an interesting person, that I declined the offer and we ended up chatting all the way to Miami. As we parted company, I had a new friend, whom had already asked me to visit next time we were in Miami. I told her to beware, as I often took people up on these kinds of offers!

As we we approached Quito, I began to feel anxious.........with excitement! It's always an amazing feeling flying into Quito, but quite frankly, it's not the safest! Mariscal Sucre Airpor…