Sunday, December 28, 2008
The ferry across the Rio de la Plata to Uruguay took about 1.5 hrs and Colonia is very much a tourist destination although it didn't feel too 'touristy'. It's kind of like visiting Barkerville although it's not so much a display as it is a real place where people live. Most of the vehicles in town are very old and we were able to rent a golf cart to get around which was a really good idea except for the time Ross drove it into an area we couldn't get out of except by driving over a curb with a crowd watching and no doubt shaking their heads at the crazy driver. I pretended I didn't know him.
Just as a side note - our dinner (nothing too fancy) cost $1107.00. Mind you that's Uruguayan pesos which are 1:7 to Argentinian pesos and about 1:20 to Canadian which makes it about $50 for the 4 of us with wine and beer included.
We climbed the lighthouse tower (about 100 narrow, winding steps) and kept our cameras busy with the beautiful blend of old, stone buildings, cobblestone streets and lush vegetation.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Apparently, Christmas Eve is a huge celebration here with Christmas Day being just a minor holiday and a chance to recover from the night before. Although the main streets were quite busy until 6 or 7 pm the smaller stores were all closed up by about 4 or 5.
We had our Hadfield traditional fondue (cheese followed by chocolate, not the usual meat) and managed to make do with the few things we had. The only thing missing was Mike! But we thought Sam made a worthwhile substitute :)
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Ross enjoying a cool one on the tiny deck. It's on the first floor which of course is the 2nd floor.
Today we did a bunch of grocery shopping for the aforementioned fondue as well as Christmas dinner. Ross is going to cook up one of his specialties - Chicken Parmigina - for the 25th. I think Christmas Eve is more important than Christmas and someone told us the shops will close by mid afternoon tomorrow so we thought we'd get it done today.
We also found incredibly cheap wine - about $3.00 (about $1 CDN) but we bought the better $10 bottle! We're doing a taste test against the more expensive $30.00 peso bottles (about $10).
Buenos Aires has a huge metal flower sculpture that opens at sunrise and closes at sunset. We walked the few blocks from our place last night but alas, we were too late - it had already closed. We may have to try again another evening. Buenos Noches.
[Not a great photo - taken from the bus - but it looks really cool.]
Monday, December 22, 2008
Scott and Sam flew up with us and we spent 2 nights there. This video is from Garganta del Diablo (Devil's Throat), probably the most impressive part. The viewpoints are incredibly close to the water.
I've also decided to actually make use of the Flickr account I've had for years so here are some more photos of Iguazu.
Friday, December 19, 2008
It may look like a party with balloons but it's actually a protest march. Every Thursday the 'Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo' march to protest the disappearance of their children in the 'dirty war' in the 1970s and 80s.
Eating out here is very inexpensive. Last night we shared a dinner for 4 from a takeout pizza place a few doors down from our apartment. Med. sized cheese pizza, 4 empanadas, 4 slices of faina (fried bread? It tasted ok with salsa) all for 30 pesos (about $10). Ross bought a big beer (1 litre) for 8 pesos and he though he got ripped off since he'd paid 3.80 pesos (about $1.30) at the store.
Our city tour took us to the Caminito district which is very colourful to say the least. Ross got a little taste of tango.There aren't many signs of Christmas here - no Santas in the mall for example. Every once in a while you'll see a store or cafe with a little tree with a few decorations on it and some of the shops have desperate looking strings of garland around the windows but that's about it.
Our city tour yesterday gave us an idea about the depth and breadth of this city and how much we still have to explore. There are many monuments and statues and plazas and museums and interesting neighbourhoods that we'll have to get back to explore.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
You know the rule about 'pedestrians have the right of way' well apparently that doesn't apply in BA. In fact the cars (mostly taxis) will actually race you to the interesection to see who can get there first. If you don't make an effort to get across you may be waiting all day (where there's no light in particular or where the taxis are turning). They certainly aren't going to stop or wait for you.
First thing this morning we went to the Brazilian embassy to get a VISA for our trip to Iguazu. We filled out the forms, had our passport sized pictures taken, printed off a recent bank statement, stood in line then discovered we couldn't get the VISA until Monday at the earliest. Since we're leaving Saturday it was actually all for naught. So we're just going to take our chances. Later today we'll take a city tour although the tour is an hour later than posted due to the heat.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Our first full day here and we slept a bit to counteract the jet lag then headed off to the Cemetery to see where Eva Peron is buried. The cemetery is huge and each gravesite is the size of our first apartment. There were also a bunch of cats that apparently look over the dead. This is one of the "streets" in the cemetery with a few kitties in the foreground.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
We took a few side trips to Niagara Falls and Cooperstown as well as Amish country apparently. One night while camping the Amish kept us awake all night partying next to our motorhome but that's another story.
Market day was last Thursday so Mike loaded up all the produce onto his bike trailer and headed the 3 or 4 miles into town. There were beets, cabbages, carrots, lettuce, squash, zucchini and whatever else you see in the picture below. Oh, the chanterelle mushrooms for $1/ounce which one of their friends had picked in the nearby forest. By about 11:00 only a few items remained and by 12:30 everything was gone. I made the mistake of wandering through the market and ridding myself of about $35. Although it's called a farmer's market there are many more baked goods, food stalls and craft booths.
Ross has been working hard in the fields and I did a bit of yellow bean harvesting but we're enjoying the restfulness and peace of country living. It poured rain one night and is always a bit wet with dew and foggy in the morning but otherwise the weather is great. The sunsets by the beach are a nice way to end the day. This view just a short walk from Mike's front door.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Landed tonight in Iowa in search of ancestors. Apparently Ross's great grandmother on his father's mother's side and his great grandparents on his father's father's side. The first one is easy to find - right in a cemetery in a small town south of the Twin Cities. The cemetery even had a chart so we knew where to look.
To find the second cemetery we went down several miles of dirt road with intersections precisely 1 mile apart and this warning sign among the cornfield:Eventually our GPS indicated we had 'reached our destination' but no sign showed us that we were in Brownville, Iowa. There are about 3 farmhouses there. We eventually found the cemetery tucked way behind some trees with no signage. You probably can't tell but from the road we could just barely see the tops of a few memorials poking up. It's a miracle we ever saw it. I got some pics of the headstones for our family archivist John.
Mostly this is the view we've had since we left the Rockies:
Needless to say I'm making my way through a series of books.
Mind you we did pass the geographical centre of North America a few days back:Does anyone have any idea how you'd actually determine something like that! Okay I just googled it myself. One more note - Ross refused to stop at the 16,000 sq ft SPAM museum in Austin, Minn.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
DL (Distributed Learning) is a combination of distance ed, correspondence, online learning and homeschooling.
Yesterday I was in an online meeting with a group of educators from around BC discussing an online student management system. The meeting ran a little late and I'd scheduled a meeting using our online classroom (Elluminate) with some students I have in New Zealand. They waited patiently while I finished up my other meeting then we met and discussed some of their curriculum. The grade 6 girl showed me her Sc. project using her web cam. Then, before that meeting was finished a Gr. 7 student IM'd me on Google Chat with some questions about dividing decimals in math. We moved over to Elluminate and did a few examples on the white board.
Another time a few weeks ago I was meeting online with my guitar student in Invermere (many miles away) demonstrating 6/8 time signature when my son Skyped me from South Africa where he was on holiday.
This is a world of difference from a 'normal' teacher's day. It's cutting edge, challenging and complex but I enjoy it. The downside is, because of the lack of consistent contact we lose the students that don't have the independence and motivation. We're putting some strategies in place to try to minimize that next year and our most important tool may be Elluminate.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Telemarketer: Is this Mrs. H..
T: I'm doing a research survey on respiratory ailments. Do you have asthma or allergies?
M: Who are you doing the research for?
T: I'm doing a research survey on respiratory ailments.
M: But who are you doing this research for? What's the name of your company?
T: Respiratory research.
M: That's the name of your company?
T: Yes. Do you have asthma or allergies?
M: What are you going to do with this information?
T: I'm doing research on respiratory ailments. Do you have asthma or allergies?
M: What are you going to do with this information?
Saturday, March 08, 2008
Thursday, March 06, 2008
|Jan 21, 2008||Delivered|
|Jan 18, 2008||8:03 AM||On FedEx vehicle for delivery||KELOWNA, BC|
|Jan 17, 2008||11:48 PM||At local FedEx facility||KELOWNA, BC|
|9:50 PM||Departed FedEx location||RICHMOND, BC|
|7:02 PM||Arrived at FedEx location||RICHMOND, BC|
|Jan 14, 2008||12:38 PM||Arrived at FedEx location||MISSISSAUGA, ON|
Monday, February 11, 2008
Sunday, February 03, 2008
And I wonder what happens to the ones I donated. It would be quite a task to follow the trail of the donated computers but would be nice to have some idea of that side of it.
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