Friday, March 30, 2007

The Valley of Caracas

This is a view of the Valley of Caracas. El Avila (the big moutiain) is to the north. It's like a big built in compass! What a beautiful place. Perfect weather all year long, big green beautiful moutain, beach on the other side of the mountain, amazing exotic animals like tree frogs, parrots and iguanas. Imagine never having to prepare for winter. Imagine never needing heat or insulation. I think this plays a large part in laid back attitude of the locals. It's also why so many can afford to live beneath what many societies see as 'our standards'. You can hang out in the hammock 365 days a year. It costs maybe two dollars to fill the tank with gasoline, fruits and vegetables grow all year long with the perpetual summer, and beaches are all around. What? Me, worry?

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A Photo Contest At Fuel My Blog

Fuel My Blog is having a photo contest, and this is my submission. We were leaving Caracas on the way to the airport and I looked out my window and saw this! Once the shock subsidesd enough, I was able to put the window down, grab my camera, and snap these photos as we drove. The first one is my submission to the photo contest.

Welcome to Fantasy Island!

I found this while surfing the net recently and couldn't resist sharing it here.

For those who don't know the characters: Meet Fidel Castro and His little friend, Hugo Chavez.

View Outside My Window

The view outside my window was ever-changing when I lived in Maracay. Especially since we did not have winter, spring, summer and fall, it was amazing to see so many varied views. Here are a few pictures from the apartment in our everlasting summer.

Here's a bird trying to get his lunch to submit, taken from my bedroom window:

Here is an iguana in the tree taken from the balcony off the bedroom:

Here is my daughter sitting on the balcony off the kitchen/dining room.

Same balcony, view from the other side, late in the afternoon:

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Perception of Wealth: Now You See It, Now You Don't!

It is difficult to know where to begin when describing what I know about Venezuela. In order to paint as full a picture as is possible, I think it has to include what goes on in the country politically, economically, and socially. It has to include the beauty and riches. It has to include the ugly and the extreme poverty so many living in Venezuela endure. So, to make it easy on myself I'll take my first post from somewhere else: My very own (other) blog.

The first time I ever went to Caracas my plane arrived after dark. As we rode from the airport at the beach up to the valley of Caracas the mountainsides shimmered with lights. I imagined the glory that must be the homes residing on prime real estate. Wow... there must be so much wealth in the oil-rich country of Venezuela. We arrived in Caracas that night and dined on a rooftop patio at a romantic restaurant.
We stayed at a very nice hotel. For a few days I went to places around Caracas. The largest mall in South America, many nice restaurants, etc. When it was time to leave the ride back to the airport happened in the light of day. Prime real estate, indeed! Once the shock had worn off enough I was able to grab my camera, roll down my window, and take this picture from the car.