After 2,5 year of Amazon tropics Coen and I are happy to have returned to the colder and drier climate of the Andes Mountains. During these past 10 years I have never written, “Boy are we glad to be back in the tropics so we can wear shorts and bathing suits again,” yet I have expressed that, “It feels great to wear socks and sweaters again and to sleep under our down blanket.”
We’re cold-weather people. Continue reading
Corumbá Harbor at night
These are days 3 and 4 in the 30-day series “An Act of Kindness by a Stranger”. We are camping in the harbor of Corumbá, on the Brazilian border.
We have a problem: Yesterday Coen replaced the Land Cruiser’s oil but now the filter is leaking. When he takes it apart it becomes clear that there are a couple of punctures due to rust. He needs epoxy glue to fix it and chats with a couple of boatmen to find out where he can buy it. Continue reading
This is day 1 in the 30-day series “An Act of Kindness by a Stranger”. Today I did not encounter 1 but 2 friendly gestures worth sharing, which I consider a positive omen for this project.
We are camping at a petrol station near Campo Grande, in southwest Brazil. The Land Cruiser is being washed. There is no automatic carwash system where you put your car on a belt and the employee only has to push a button (a system that is practically non-existent in South America). Nope, washing cars is generally still done by hand, and so it is taking a while. Continue reading
Sharing Time and Knowledge with a Stranger, here in Bhutan, where the owner of a restaurant taught us our first words in Bhutanese.
So often we encounter kindness, and so often from people we don’t even know. For the next 30 days I will share these acts of kindness by a stranger with you. For me to become more mindful and for you how simple joys can make the day of a traveler. Continue reading
What were we going to do with 100 limes? An hour ago we thought we were going to be stuck with a bottle of cachaça and a kilo of sugar which had become useless as the main ingredient for our favorite cocktail had been missing: limes. And now we had 100. Continue reading
The waterfalls of Iguaçu have been credited with all kinds of superlatives: the best, the highest, the largest, the most spectacular, the deepest, the most impressive. They create expectations and because Coen and I like to get what we expect, we had no problem waiting two days for the weather to clear before we bought our ticket, walked through the gate and stepped on the bus that drove us to the catwalks. Continue reading
In wonder I stare at the gray-colored seahorse. I can’t remember ever having seen one before. No matter how I turn the bottle, the seahorse keeps its head turned from me. Later the opposite happens with another one and I figure that maybe they prefer facing` towards the sun. Continue reading
“I have some chicken on skewers left. Would you like one?” Marcel asked.
I looked at Coen; we just had noodle soup for dinner and aren’t hungry.
“With peanut sauce,” Marcel’s wife Sandra added with a smile.
Coen was lost: this guy lives for peanut sauce. The chicken, succulent thanks to a marinade, and peanut sauce came with a beer. We had already fallen for the charm of Pousada (guesthouse) Portal do Vento on arrival, but now we wanted to stay. Continue reading
Leaves of the carnauba tree are braided into a hat.
With his six brothers and parents, Marinaldo lived on fishing. Day in, day out. “We would leave on Monday, be gone the entire week fishing in either the lakes or if there was not enough water we’d go out on the ocean and return on Saturday. We’d have one day at home and we were off again.” Continue reading
“The sound of silence”
My parents had an album of Simon & Garfunkel. I loved listening to it and when I started learning English in highschool, one particular song triggered me: The Sound of Silence. I loved the melody and although I didn’t understand much of the lyrics, the words ‘sounds of silence’ made me wonder: did silence have a sound? It started listening to my surroundings and I concluded that the world was hardly ever silent. Continue reading
Curiosity is lying in wait for every secret.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Why did I not think of this before? I’ll just buy tapioca and we’ll make beiju,” I concluded.
It was such a simple solution to such a simple problem: staying in a village where I couldn’t find bread and needed something for breakfast. Continue reading
I love Brazilian coffee. There’s obviously the taste, strong but not bitter and incredibly sweet, but it’s the serving of Brazilian coffee makes me smile: in minuscule cups. I appreciate something small and excellent, like Meu Doce Pará cookies that are smaller than the tip of my pink. Continue reading
Meet Viktor, his wife Jacqueline, their daughter Isabella and their cookie business Meu Doce Pará. They make a living by baking and selling minuscule cookies, of which the baking is done in a small kitchen of their apartment. Continue reading
A forest is hardly ever silent. The soothing sounds of humming insects and scurrying lizards or other small animals, or the rustling of leaves brings a peace of mind that slows me down and makes me aware of my surroundings: Continue reading