28
Dec
2005
James

The Haitian side of things

!77240488[small][alignright] yeah, haiti. i didnt make it inside because i left my passport with the motorcycle rental company. a mistake, because i really did want to cross the border and see what it was like there. there are plenty of hatians here in the DR and from what i can gather from other travelers and locals is that its not really as dangerous as everyone (eg, media in the US) makes it out to be.

29
Oct
2005
James

Consumer downsizing

Today was an exercise in life simplification. The routine equaled any other saturday spent grounded in the city; slept in late… struggled through a midday capoeira workout… enduring the dreary ride back home across the city… and so it continued, but with one subtle difference. Today I began what is probably considered one of the more difficult tasks of preparing for liftoff: reducing clutter.

22
Sep
2005
James

Millennium Goals to Eradicate Poverty

Today I became inspired after reading about the Millennium Goals set in place by the UN to be achieved by 2015. The engineer in me decided to dig in a bit deeper and see just what kind of statistics are being used to back up these goals where i found some really interesting information.

For me, one of the most important of these goals is the eradication of poverty.

21
Sep
2005
James

Slippery when wet

Yesterday was my first ride in the rain. after a decent ride home from work, I proceeded to the dojo where i get my daily fill of capoeira on the other side of town, without a second thought to the impending thunderstorms that loomed to the north. As a matter of fact, i was in such a great mood to start the workout i left behind any kind of rain gear i might have normally tried to wear. as it was, the rain began to fall with cat-n-dog intensity half way through class, drowning out the instructors voice, and the berimbau on the tape deck.

15
Sep
2005
James

hello wordpress!

Welcome to WordPress. I just made the switch today to paid hosting at DreamHost.com and couldnt be happier living a free life. I highly recommend DreamHost over blogger, because they have dependable servers and a very affordable plan that now gives you 4700 MB of disk space, 120 GB/Month bandwidth, and tons of other great goodies to help you get your very own personally managed website. They provide easy “One-click install” of WordPress and many other useful web content management tools. But I have to admit that i did run into problems with the Blogger to WordPress Import mechanism.

01
Aug
2004
James

travel bug

Near the end of my trip (actually the day I was supposed to be back in the USA – ah the irony) I caught the south american travel bug after eating a seafood burrito. It was the most expensive thing on the menu and at US$4.50, I even found myself complaining about the price! (Almost as much as one night stay at my penthouse suite in the little beach town of Montanita Ecuador). It was a delicious plate, but it effectively ruined the next few days of my life in what was supposed to be a relaxing time at the beach with Carolina and her family.

08
Jun
2004
James

Asuncion Paraguay

The brilliant Rio Paraguay divides the country for which it is named into two distinct regions: the eastern plateau has well nourished grasslands and subtropical forests and the western Gran Chaco region offers a dry expanse of inhospitable plain, much the same as our american midwest. We found Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay, to be less than thrilling. Although it sits on the banks of the beautiful river, it offers no malecon (boardwalk) nor many views at all from city center.

07
Jun
2004
James

shades of green

!1384256[small][alignright]We crossed the Iguazú river into the town of Foz Do Iguaçu in Brazil first thing in the morning. This city was considerably larger than its Argentinean counterpart, Puerto Iguazú and passing through there was somewhat like stepping back into Ecuador, vendors on the streets jumping on and off busses selling their goods to the passengers… more akin to the pace of other third world frontier cities we had been through near the beginning of our trip.

06
Jun
2004
James

Into the Heart of Darkness

Iguazu Falls, from GreatestPlaces.orgThe two day journey from Colonia Uruguay to our inland destination of Iguazú Falls up the Rio Paraná wasnt exactly a trip into the heart of darkness, however it was rather boring and slow, just like the book. I guess also like the book the climax hit once we reached our final destination.

06
Jun
2004
James

garganta del diablo

The city bus picked us up at the same station where we arrived earlier that morning and hauled us and the handful of other tourists out of town about 8 km to the National Park. I was completely baffled at how few gringos there were aboard, as well as in the park. Most everyone around us were actually speaking Spanish or some indigenous dialect. There were many indigenous people in the park selling their carved crafts and jewelry spread out on small blankets, the same they use to wrap up their goods and carry on their back.

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