Wednesday, February 27, 2008


So, how much do you believe in superstitions?

This is a picture of the sea goddess, Yemanja.  She is very much believed in here in Brasil.  

My husband found this statue of her floating in the sea outside of where we live.  He thought it would be fun to have it in her house.

WELL, the maid made sure that it was understood that it was bad luck to keep her in the house.  She said that only the person who found her could put her back where she belongs; into the sea.  She gets very upset when she keeps coming back to our house and the statue is still here!

On New Year's Eve, many people throw offerings of flowers and I guess statues like this one into the sea.  It must have just floated back, but I guess we do plan on throwing her back to "where she belongs".  

So, do you believe......

Monday, February 25, 2008

Ode to Maracaibo

Para mis amigos Venezolanos, Maracuchos....
Los extrano a todos!
and for my non-speaking Spanish friends and family
these are Arepas from Maracaibo, a popular staple.  My friend brought me the harina pan, a special type of flour for making these treats. They are a type of bread that is often eaten with a chicken salad they call Reina Pepiada, or how I like it with butter and marmalade!
They are not the easiest to make, and every Maracuchan I know does not have an exact's kinda like Grandma's recipes....oh put "some" flour, "some" water, "some" salt....

Well, they take practice and every time I make them they get better!
Now, if I only had the recipe for Reina Pepiada!  hint hint....
mis amigos, alguien pueden darme la receta para Reina Pepiada?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Mi Maracaibo

After Carnaval I travelled to where we used to live, Maracaibo, Venezuela.  Los Maracuchos son maravillosos y mi segunda familia.  Les extrano muchisimo.  
Gracias por todo alma y felicidad de me dan.
I went to the Carnaval of our Lago Maracaibo Club.  It is done a little differently there than in other places.  There are two Carnaval Queens, a younger girl and an older girl.  The older girl picks her theme for the evening, arranges her costumes and music, and dances the night away on stage (it is choreographed) with the help of whomever she invites to join her.  Usually, it is her friends and others from the club.
This year's theme was New York and Broadway.  They danced to many hits such as music from The Moulin Rouge, Cats, Hairspray and many more.  A favorite of mine, and it is becoming an annual hit, is a group of guys doing different themes related to the year's theme.  Such as, this year they did a version of Stomp...and boy was it great!  
Now, there are also the guests, (us), who can dress up in costume if you feel inclined to, and possibly win a prize.  I have a group of girlfriends, we call ourselves, The Bufalas, that like to go and try to win every year!  This year, 8 of us went as The Venetian Carnaval...trying to imitate those in Venice, Italy.  What fun...and to think we won!!  Here is a picture of us:

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Carnaval 2008

Wow, where do I begin...
Carnaval 2008, the first day.  Some background information:
The Sambodromo was built specifically for Carnaval because the processions started getting to big to keep in the streets of Rio.  It seats 70,000 people.
There are 12 Samba schools that compete for the prize....which is basically recognition.  There is no monetary prize, no vacation prize....nothing.
Thinking about that, it makes it even more unbelievable.  These are the poorest people in the country that spend their days, months, and practically much of the year designing, decorating, preparing, and finally, showing their work.  There are anywhere from 3,500 to 5,000 people parading for their school.  There are two nights, Sunday and Monday.  6 on one night, 6 on the other.  The top 6 schools get to parade again the following Saturday.
Each group has a theme which they try to depict in their song, which they compose new every year, their costumes and their floats.
We went Sunday night and saw the first 6 school as follows:
1. Sao Clemente- 200 years since the Portuguese came to Brazil

2. Porto da Pedra- Japanese influence on Brazil

3. Salguiero-Love of Rio

4. Portela- Saving Nature (my favorite-their theme was well defined, beautiful)

5. Manguiera-100 years of Frevo.  Frevo is a dance from the northern part of Brazil, near Recife

6. Viradouro-Emotions an the feelings they provoke....I do not have any pictures because we ran out of batteries after 7 hours....but I can truthfully say that this group was awful.  They started out really cool with actual skiers and snowboarders down a manmade slope on a float, but then afterwards, it was all downhill from pun intended!  The costumes, the floats the ideas were all very inappropriate....cockroaches crawling over food...a newborn baby with the umbilical cord still attached, "Chucky" dolls with knives on top of people's heads...need i go on????

So, that was Carnaval for us.  It was one of the best experiences I have interesting, so see so many people involved with all of their heart and soul for one title.
I will blog more with some more fotos of other interesting happenings from the night...but at least I finally got my Carnaval experience going!  It's not easy uploading all these fotos!  Enjoy them!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Flying high

Wow!  What a way to wake up!

Can you actually believe that this is possible?
So, we have friends visiting from Venezuela.  We all decided that we wanted to go hang gliding. So, we all went up, including my 6 and 9 year old!  My husband had done it before...and I figured it was going to be ok.
Well, better than ok, my friends!  Absolutely incredible....if you have the chance...DO IT!
The view was so pretty.  I used to be one of the ones driving from below, watching the hang gliders...and now I was one of them!  The kids did it too and LOVED it!  I have to say, watching your two young children run off a platform, which is better called, a tin roof, then jump into thin air is a little scary to say the least, but they loved the experience.  
We all got to fly today, and what a feeling it was....

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Downtown view

Everyone always puts the "famous" pictures of my city, Brazil.  So, I decided to put one of downtown.
I'll add the other ones later, but....for now,
Here is a picture outside of my husband's office window.  Good view huh?!
The square to the bottom right is a church.  
Brazil has the largest population of Catholics.  Yep, and you thought it was Italy!
There are churches everywhere...

Friday, February 1, 2008

Welcome to my Roller Coaster Ride!

Good morning and welcome to my blog!
First of all, I would like to thank my friend Gabriela for introducing me to blogging.  I hope that I can write as creatively as you!

Now, about that title....
I choose to call this Roller Coaster Ride because of the movie Parenthood.  Not that it's a favorite, but I love the Grandma when she is giggling and says that "Life is like a roller coaster go up and down..." and to me that describes my life perfectly.  I am always on a fun track, but of course, it has its ups and downs!

I am living in Brazil currently for the past 6 months.  My family and I moved here from Venezuela, where we lived for 4 1/2 years, loving almost every minute of it!

We have two children, a boy and girl, and dog and cat.

Our animals are very lucky pets....we found our dog, while living in Houston, wondering on the street at about 6 weeks old.  
Our cat joined us from our club in Venezuela.  I found her when she was a little kitty, abandoned, like most of the cats in the club.  My husband was not certain he wanted a new cat in the house about 2 weeks before we left Venezuela, but luckily he let me take her home and on to Brazil.

This is just a starter kep checking it out and I promise to write more exciting news!  Carnaval is coming, so I am sure there will be plenty of pictures and tales to tell!!!