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Feliz Dia De La Cancion Criolla

Posted by Marco Antonio Mendoza Saturday, October 31, 2009 0 comments

For most today is Halloween however, here in Peru the 31st of October is also Dia de La Cancion Criolla/Cancion Peruana (Day of Criolla Music/Peruvian Music...I have seen both used interchangably).  Since 1944 this day has been used to pay tribute to musica criolla as well as many of Peru's famous musical artists.

Most bars and peñas in Peru will definately be celebrating the holiday and it is unfortunate that I will not be attending one because my friends would rather celebrate Halloween instead, SIGH......

Well in the spirit of the holiday I posted a few songs below from some famous Peruvian musicians, enjoy!





















There are so many others I could have posted but this should do for now.  If I think of any others I will surely post them.

Can Coca Leaves Cure A Hangover?

Posted by Marco Antonio Mendoza 0 comments

While working in Barrios Altos today I headed over to La Parada, all of which is located in the district of La Victoria.  There I came across this old lady selling what at first sight was a huge burlap sack of leaves.  It took a few seconds after I walked by to realize she was selling coca leaves (the very same leaf that provides so many of our worlds addicts with that extra pep for their step......you know C.O.C.A.I.N.E.).  Having realize what the old woman was selling I thought it would make for an interesting photo so I headed back to her stand and politely asked her if I could take a photo of her and her merchandise.  I laughed as she responded by saying:


"Depends on how much you're going to buy!"

Not really sure at the moment what I would do with a bag full of coca leaves I decide to purchase S/.1.00 of leaves.  She then asked me which kind of coca leave I wanted to which I looked at here with a puzzled expression.  Apparently there is more than one type of coca leaf, and here I thought they were all the same.  The two types she had for sale ended up being from two totally different regions, one sack of leaves was from the jungles of Huanuco (a department in the North Eastern region of Peru) and were smaller in size.  The other sack of leaves came from the sierra of Ayacucho and were much larger in size and had a brighter green color.  While she bagged my purchase I took the opportunity to take a few pictures:


 

With my coca leaves in hand I started to walk away when the old lady stopped me to say:  "one sol!", I had forgotten to pay her.  With coca leaves in hand carefully wrapped in a plastic bag I couldn't help but feel a little bad, afterall I was in posession of a product that is deemed illegal in the United States as well as many other countries.  It's moments like this I wished I had brought my Ipod so that I could rock out to Eric Clapton's famous hit song "Cocaine".  Luckily I was not violating any law by having coca leaves in my possession since it's not considered illegal to consume them/drink them/chew them/smoke them.  I am aware that many people in Peru grow coca leaves and am not entirely sure how the government deems coca leave production as legal or illegal,  it's rather a very controversial topic here in Peru so I won't even bother trying to go into detail about it at this time.

Not really sure what to do with the leaves I had pondered giving them away since but before I could make any kind of donation a thought came into my head in the form of a question.
"Can coca leaves cure a hangover?"

Knowing fairly well that tonights events will require the irrational consumption of multiple alcoholic beverages for the sake of entertainment, I pondered wither or not taking coca leaves the next day (either in tea form or just chewing them) would help to cure the inevitable hangover that is surely awaiting me.  For those of you who don't know coca leaves contain many different alkaloids one of which, Cocaine is very commonly relied on for its effects.  

Cocaine also known as benzoylmethylecgonine (for the biology/botany geeks), is classified as a stimulant as well as an appetite suppressant (perfect for those wanting to lose a few pounds).  Is cocaine addictive? Yes, it is but so is nicotine, coffee, alcohol, gambling, sex, pornography, and just about any other good time sin you can think of thats legal in most countries.



Coca leaves have been used for their nutrients and chemical properties for hundreds of years and were originally consumed by the indiginous groups of South America.  Since then the use the coca leaves properties have been exploited by man for profit and experimentation purposes making it one of the world's most popular plants.  The substance was even used as wonder drug to cure even the most common ailments like a toothache (where was this stuff when I was a kid?).  Does Coca-Cola ring a bell to anyone?



For those of you curious or interested in learning more about cocaine then check out it's wiki page HERE.

Getting back to the question originally asked "will coca leaves cure a hangover?"  My hypothesis is that consumption of the coca leaves will be able to alleviate my the effects of my hangover.  I base this hypothesis on previous knowledge that people have used coca leaves to cure altitude sickness, which has side effects similar to those of a hangover.  Tomorrow I will post a follow up After Action Report, depending on wither or not I am suffering from a hangover.   

So Stay Tuned!

**Update: SO IT TURNS OUT THAT COCA LEAVES CAN CURE A HANGOVER BUT MAY BE HARD TO TOLERATE ON A WEAK STOMACH.  GOOD LUCK FINDING COCA LEAVES IN THE STATES, I WOULDN'T RECOMMEND ASKING AROUND FOR IT EITHER, WHAT WITH IT BEING ILLEGAL AND ALL. 

Halloween is almost here!

Posted by Marco Antonio Mendoza Friday, October 30, 2009 0 comments




That's right folks, tomorrow is Halloween and for most of us this means an annual party where we all get to dress up in ridiculous costumes and get really drunk.  For the ladies this is an opportunity for them to dress sluttier than they would normally dress and there are no concerns on their part since no male is really going to object.  For us guys it's just another opportunity to get drunk with the added bonus of getting to see women in slutty outfits. 

If I were in Portland right now I would be definately be helping my sister and her husband Tyler to get the house ready for my annual Halloween Kegger.  A popular event that was started in my first year of college and was gradually adopted by my brother and sister.  According to my sister this year's party plans to be much larger than last year with three times more alcohol.  If you currently reside in Portland, Oregon and are looking for a good Halloween party with beer kegs then you should definately go and check it out. 

Starts at 10pm
Bring money for the keg and other alcoholic beverages!!!!
Address: 3312 SE 23rd
Located on 23rd and Powell Blvd.

The party is well known among PSU students and should be a blast.  It's too bad I am in Peru, oh well.  Fortunately I have plans of my own for Halloween.  A bunch of my friends and I are going to be going to the Cameo Bar in Miraflores on Saturday because they have this awesome special, but it requires that you reserve for a group of 10 people minimum to really take advantage of the offer.

Here are some more details regarding the clubs Halloween special:

*Entrance Cost is S/250.00 (soles) for up to 10 people.
*Entrance includes: Exclusive Zone (some kind of VIP), 2 bottles of Johnny Walker Whiskey Red Label, and Soda/Cola (however you called it).

The Cameo Bar is Located at : Calle Bellavista 247 – Miraflores

I have no idea what kind of music will be offered there but from the looks of some online flyers that I came across it looks like (UNFORTUNATELY) electronica/techno :(


I really don't care for this kind of music so I am really hoping that it won't be electronica or techno, otherwise two bottles of JW just won't be enough.  I have decided to nix the costume this year since I believe Halloween to be an American holiday (if it isn't please let me know) and to celebrate it in Peru just feels so out of place.  Personally I would rather go to a Peña but I have been told that most are already sold out, so I guess I am S.O.L.

I will keep you guys posted on how my evening goes with tons of raw footage of the druken dubachery that is sure to ensue.  

Song of the Day - Life ain't always beautiful

Posted by Marco Antonio Mendoza Wednesday, October 28, 2009 0 comments

Here is a classic country favorite of mine from Gary Allan.  I think we can all relate to the song.  Enjoy.

Yesterday was an incredibly boring/stressful day, especially thanks to the fact that I could not get my internet to work.  Apparently what happened was while I was out and about yesterday my aunt needed to access the internet from her computer in the office, sounds reasonable enough right?  WRONG, the downstairs computer in the office is not connected to the internet, therefore she got the idea to go the second floor and unplug all the cables from the modem and take it downstairs.  The problem is that when she did that all internet was cut off from the upstairs where my computer is as well as the phone.

Figuring it to be a simple task of reconnecting the modem turned out to be a huge fiasco, due largely to the fact that the second floor where the modem connects is full of unmarked Ethernet and phone cables.  It took me the better half of 3 hours to get the right combination down.  There was roughly a one hour period in that 3 hour span where out of complete frustration I decided to take a break (give up) on the internet connection.

It was during this time that I decided to brush up on my photography skills by doing some light reading followed by an interesting mini photo shoot.  While trying to find a photo subject in my home I managed to come across one of my brother's military caps from his class A uniform (back when he was a cadet at Leoncio Prado Military Academy in Callao).  I was looking at it when it accidentally feel on the floor.  Seeing the cap roll around on the sunbathed hardwood floor caught my attention and I was drawn to it instantly.  I took several test shots to get my exposure and metering down before I took my final and favorite shot.




I did some minor touch ups in Adobe Lightroom and I must admit that I am quite pleased with the results.  After I finished my photography practice I decided to give the internet troubleshooting one more crack.  I went downstairs to the dreaded computer room and reassembled the cable connections.  Fingers crossed I made my way back up-stairs where I sat down in front of my computer and stared at a blank Internet Explore page that read:

"Browser unable to find Internet connection"

Hesitantly I moved my finger towards the F5 key to refresh the page and closed my eyes out of fear that the connection would still be unavailable.  To my surprise when I opened my eyes I saw the most beautiful sight in the world, it was the Google homepage.  I almost cried at the sight of it but thankfully I fought back the tears and instead rejoiced in all the comforts that the internet provides.

I later came to the horrible realization that in today's modern world, technology has managed to make me it's needy bitch, and frankly that freightens me.

Gran Semana De Lima

Posted by Marco Antonio Mendoza Monday, October 26, 2009 0 comments

Ok for those of you who don't know (either because your not in Peru or because you live under a rock)since last Friday the city of Lima has been celebrating the Grand Week of Lima, a FREE 9 day event that encourages Lima's citizens to take back the streets in recognition of the City of Kings.  The festivities are being hosted by the Municipalidad de Lima and are sponsored by various established Peruvian businesses (Inka Cola, RPP, Cristal, etc.).

Most of the events will take place in the Plaza de Armas and surrounding areas including Jiron de La Union.  The Festivies include exhibitions of various local and regional art and artisan craftworks, as well as music and entertainment (from a dog show to a surprise concert to be held in the Plaza de Armas, word has it that Hermanos Yaipen and Grupo 5 will be there but don't quote me on that).

Here is a link to the main website where you can see the calender of events scheduled to take place.

Also for those currently in Lima, Chilean Artist Francisca Sánchez has setup a huge platform around the statue of Independence hero José de San Martín in the Plaza San Martin.  She titles it: "Yo y San Martín (Me and San Martín)".  This allows citizens and tourists the opportunity to get up close to the statue as well as receive a spectacular view of the city below.  The exhibit is available to the public up until the 1st of November and is open from 9am to 6pm.

Here is a cool video that talks about the project



IMPORTANT: LADIES IF YOU WANT TO CLIMB THE PLATFORM DO NOT WEAR HIGH HEELS.  THE SECURITY AT THE EXHIBIT IS STRICT AND WILL NOT LET YOU CLIMB THE STAIRS OF THE PLATFORM IF ARE WEARING HEELS!

Exhausted from a late saturday night of drinking and tom foolery, I chose to spend most of Sunday hibernating in an attempt to rejunenate my aging body.  When I did finally manage to crawl out of bed I decided to go get some outdoor exercise and headed with my dad to the local soccer stadium here in Chorrillos where the regular Sunday match was already underway.  There I found a few wonderful little ma and pa food stands selling the perfect Sunday morning meal Ceviche with Chicharron de Calamar (Ceviche with Fried Calamari).  Not really 100% in the mood for Ceviche I decided to go for the straight Chicharron platter instead, which was tender and delicious with just a hint of lime and ginger.



 


I then packed my camera gear as I normally do when I plan my weekend excursions and hailed a ride in a collectivo.  Once in Lima I met up with Zdenka and we headed over to the Plaza de San Martin where I rushed over to the monument platform eager to climb it to the top where I would undoubtly take several photos only to later rejoice at my photographic evidence.  Unfortuantely.........I was unaware of the NO HIGH HEELS policy and thanks to my beloved girlfriend was unable to wait in what was probably a 1 hour line.

Disappointed and anxious to take cool artsy photos we continued along Jiron de La Union which due to the festivities was packed.  It was there in Jiron that I spotted the most beautiful of all houses, a true work of art.  The ARCHITECTURE was like an architechs wet dream, I still have dreams about those columns and the 19th century hard wood floors. Saddly the beautiful shrine to artistic design and possible good old fashion slave labor had been converted as with most buildings on Jiron, into a god damn SHOE STORE of all things!
The thought still haunts me.






I managed to snap a few decent photos while in the Plaza de Armas and even passed through an open art exhibit in the Municipal building.  I really liked this painting.




The night finally ended in Jesus Maria where a craving for great, down to earth cooking came in the form of anticuchos and picarones.  The meal was put together by the local Catholic church on Av. Cuba as a fundraiser for some recently initiated sisters or something.


Lung Stolen From The "Bodies" Exhibition in Lima Returned

Posted by Marco Antonio Mendoza Friday, October 23, 2009 2 comments

Earlier this month a lung was reported stolen from the "Bodies" exhibition currently in Lima, Peru.  The manager Susan Hoefken stated that a theft of this kind has never happened before.  Her company even offered a $2,000 reward if the lung was returned, well that was two weeks ago and since then nothing was reported until yesterday.

Thursday the media revealed the author of the embarrassing crime to be none other than (DRUM ROLL PLEASE)..................................................................................

SUSAN HOEFKEN!!!!





Surprised I bet, I sure was when I found out that the alleged and reported theft was none other than a marketing stunt and hoax.  Susan Hoefken had taken the lund in an attempt to generate better marketing for her company and the exhibition.  According to the testimony of an ex-employee Javier Sánchez, Ms.Hoefken had instructed him to go and attend to a few journalists who had shown up.  It was in those 10 minutes while he was away that Ms. Hoefken seized the opportunity to take the lung.  When he returned he was shocked to find the display to be missing an organ. 

The PNP (Policia Nacional del Peru) reported that they recieved a tip from an annonymous employee with the US company of the exhibit which, led them to an email that implicates Ms. Hoefken as the author of the crime. 



For her dishonorable and illegal actions Ms. Hoefken was cited to appear in court today by the police.  For not appearing at her scheduled court case Ms. Hoefken could be looking at a possible four years in prison.  She has until next Tuesday to present herself before the Peruvian court or face harsher consequences.  Will she show up?  An interesting question given the fact that since she was implicated in the crime she has since gone AWOL, and aside from the police she also has the media searching for her as if she was Carmen San Diego.

It's no doubt that this woman has brought international shame and embarrassment to all Peruvians.  I mean it's bad enough that Peru and Peruvian's get such a bad rap in the Latin American community so it sure as hell doesn't paint a prettier picture of us when news spreads that a LUNG of all things is stolen from an internationally recognized and popular exhibition while in Peru.  If you ask me this woman deserves to be thrown in prison for four years for the crimes she has committed just like those parents of the helium ballon hoax should have their children taken away for that stupid stunt they created. 

Let's just hope that some other country does something even more embarrassing and shameful (which shouldn't be long) to draw attention away from Peru.

Photo of The Day

Posted by Marco Antonio Mendoza Wednesday, October 21, 2009 0 comments



This photo was taken on the Av. Paseo de La Republic that runs parallel to the Via Expresa.  I love color blue in this photo.

Black Bear Heads to Grocery Store for a Six Pack!

Posted by Marco Antonio Mendoza Tuesday, October 20, 2009 0 comments




Ok, I had to post this when I read it the other day.  A black bear in Hayward, Wisconsin walked into a local grocery store, as freightened shoppers witnessed the bear head straight to the beer cooler. 

The bear then climbed atop the 12 foot beer cooler where he hung out for an hour until animal control arrived to tranquilize him.

It looks like Hamm's Beer decided to take their promotional marketing to the next level and bring in the live talent instead.





Here is a link to the article posted on MSNBC 

*photo taken from MSNBC site

San Lorenzo Megaport Project

Posted by Marco Antonio Mendoza 0 comments

Peru is a country that is continuously in the process of advancement and development in an attempt to rise from their economic status, therefore it's not uncommon that such a proposed (2006) project like the San Lorenzo Megaport came into existence.




The $12 billion USD project would convert the San Lorenzo island off the coast of Callao, Peru into South America's largest and only megaport.  The megaport would be created using land reclamation techinques with completion of the project estimated over sevens years.  The companies spearheading the project are under the authority of two retired Peruvian Naval Captains who envisioned a project that would allow Peru to reclaim its position as one of the strongest ports in South America. 


 


The Project would be carried out in four stages:
1. Construction of Megaport's infrastructure including: 3km airport, naval base, hub port, shipyard facilities
2. Construction of freeways and roads, parking, and other vehicular services
3. Construction of tunnels, bridges, and high-speed railways that will connect the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic via the Amazon River
4. Implementation of various utilities and systems (ie. water drainage systems, lighting and communication systems, river transportation systems, etc.)

The project would also include the construction of a financial center similar to the one in Callao, as well as airport hotels. 

The project has been proposed to the Peruvian government in previous years but has yet to be approved and is still in the process of locating investors.  There is some opposition to the project which claims that the San Lorenzo Island is a natural habitat to thousands of sea birds as well as a large colony of Sea Lions.  The construction of the Megaport would obviously encroach upon the wildlife habitat and pose a threat to the animals who inhabit it. 


The San Lorenzo Island is Peru's largest island with a size of 16.5 sq km and maintains an interesting history.  The island was once used during Pre-Hispanic times by the natives as a cementary where many remains and indiginous artifacts have been discovered.  In 1866, the Spanish utilized the island to repair their ships and bury their dead during the Battle of Callao.  Even the famous Charles Darwin explored the island!

**images taken from the www.megapuerto.net website

Sunday Morning Hangover

Posted by Marco Antonio Mendoza Sunday, October 18, 2009 0 comments

Ugh, I just stumbled out of bed at 10:40am and feel a little light headed.  You know you have partied hard when you wake up the next day still drunk.  Last night Zdenka and I met up with my father at Milenium Karaoke located on Av. Aviacion near Av. Javier Prado in San Borja.  My father decided to meet up with us after having just returned from a wedding in Chaclacayo.

Milenium is by far one of my favorite karaoke bars in Lima, though I must admit the karaoke bars here don't have the same charm as Suki's or the Cheerful Tortise in Portland.  We ordered a bottle of Johnny Walker Red Label (it's one of the most popular brands of whiskey here in Peru,  I miss Jim Beam, Wild Turkey, and Crown Royal) which is brought out with a bucket of ice and a small pitcher of water, very classy.  I did my best to sing Billy Joel's "Just The Way You Are" and did alright I think.  After about 3 hours of karaoke goodness we headed off to Pueblo Libre to pick up Zdenka's sister Almendra who was at some house party.  In our inebrated state it took us like 25 minutes to locate the street where the party took place (well more like 40 minutes if you count the small fight + pistol whipping that broke out over a controversial photo I took of a certain someone publicly urinating).

After we finally found her we the munchies finally took over and headed to a late night Anticucheria for some anticuchos and picarones.  I ate like four HUGE anticucho skewers and most of Zdenka's picarones, BEWARE of the hungry drunk skinny guy!  Bellys full and late night desires satisfied we dropped Zdenka and Almendra off at their home around 4am and head home where I would crash half naked on my bed only to awake the next day with half my pillow in my mouth with face covered in droll/saliva.  GOD I love Saturday's.

On a side note, I came across this video on JD's Man Stories, one of my favorite websites.  The video is fairly PG13 so it shouldn't offend too many people.  I don't normally get British humor but this sketch definitely made me laugh.  Enjoy!

Song of the Day

Posted by Marco Antonio Mendoza Friday, October 16, 2009 0 comments

This song is dedicated to my good friend HJ Cho who is currently serving in Iraq as an Army Combat Medic in the Oregon National Guard.  "I know man life sucks, huh"



Good Luck Cho and I wish you a safe return home.  Keep Our Soldiers Alive Out There.

Diego Maradona's Website defaced by Peruvian Hackers

Posted by Marco Antonio Mendoza Thursday, October 15, 2009 1 comments

A Peruvian hacker managed to hack the website of Argentine national soccer coach (well not really, I don't think he knows anything about coaching) Diego Maradona (or Maradroga as he is often referred to), following the close match between Peru (1) - Argentina (2), which took place last Saturday.

On the Website (www.diegomaradona.com)the hacker who referred to himself as the "Elite Peruvian" posted a large photo of Maradona from his younger years crying with the following phrase: "we made you cry".  In the background Peruvian folkloric music could be heard with another dedication to the coach stating:

"to the biggest crybaby of all time. They beat us in soccer, but we beat them on the internet"
Below the phrase the Peruvian national soccer team is displayed along with one of Peru's most famous if not patriotic and protected by law quotes of all time:

"Viva El Peru Carajo!"
It's unfortunate that Peru was unable to beat Argentina in the match last Saturday and many seem to blaim the Bolivian referree for the bad call that was made.  In my opinion the extra-time should have never lasted as long as it did (5 minutes).  All I can say is that Argentina barely escaped being eliminated from the finals and I am sure Maradona felt the pressure.  With Peru out of the way the Argentine Soccer team needed to beat 5th place Uruguay which they did on Wednesday in Montevideo (1-0), Fortunately qualifying them for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.






How exactly did Maradona respond to all of his opponents and critics in his latest press conference that followed the match with Uruguay, simple by eloquently telling them all to go and suck it!  Yup, he told them not ONCE, not TWICE, but told them THREE times to blow him.   In his defense, he did excuse himself to the ladies present in the room (Maradona always the gentlemen).  You have to admit like him or hate him the guys got balls to such a statment, he backs up his comments by saying:

"I'm black or I'm white, but I will never be grey in my life, Eh!" 

Clearly that statement should have absolved him of his remarks, right!  Well some folks did'nt seem to think so, some would go as far as to say that they were offended by what he had to say.  Needless to say there were some journalists and others who did'nt like what Maradona had to say and even sent complaints to FIFA pleading that he should be suspended for such remarks or at the least censored.

I'm curious as to how his speech would have played out had he lost to Uruguay?

For those of you interested in seeing the video, the comments are made at around 1:38.



**Coach Maradona's website has since been restored to it's original state.
*** Photo: Screengrab taken from www.sophos.com; Graham Cluley's blog

What is Love and Why do We Need It?

Posted by Marco Antonio Mendoza 0 comments

I know I usually write about topics relating to Peru and photography but today I want to talk about a subject that as a psychologist and a human being has always baffled me.  The subject is none other than love, something we are all familiar with and have or will at some point in our lives experience.  Why do we need love?  Why do we pursue it? 

**TECHNICAL BABBLE** Love in terms of an interpersonal relationship involves a dedication and devotion towards an individual wither it be a family member or a partner/spouse.  Love is difficult to define and is a very complex emotion that has provoked many research studies over centuries.  In Psychology love is referred to as a cognitive and social phenomenon.  An interesting theory about love was proposed by the Psychologist Robert Sternberg, who came up with the Triangular Theory of Love.  The Triangular Theory of Love deals with love in referrence to interpersonal relationships and is comprised of three components: intimacy, passion, and commitment.  The theory basically states that the amount of "love" one experiences is dependant on the strength of each component.

Love can be a wonderful experience that can bring feelings of happiness, comfort, affection, attachment, and security and at the same time love can be a painful and sad experience that can bring feelings of depression, anxiety, insecurity, hatred, anger, uncertainty, and fear just to name a few.  The question is why do we as individuals submit ourselves to love?  Why do we take the risk of giving ourselves to another?  Love is such a strong emotion that it enables individuals to accomplish feats that otherwise would have never been possible or even attempted.  Love is what gives us passion for life and a desire to push ourselves harder than we normally would.  Love can even bring about change, it can cause a person reflect upon who they are and allow them to decide who they want to be.  These are but a few effects that love has on people, and it is easy to see why so many of us seek partners in life.

I have often felt that love is like a coin on one side you have love, what we all wish to attain and on the other is fear, which tends to work against love by bringing out our insecurities.  In fact, love cannot exist without fear because the two share an almost symbiotic relationship and thrive off of one another.  A strong love will produce fears and insecurities that cause us to make decisions that might seem irrational or even desperate to our peers and family, in an attempt to keep the one we love in our lives.  I can state with certainty that just about everyone in their lives has at least once contemplated why they were with their partner/spouse.  It's these thoughts (our insecurities/doubts) that lead us to reflect about the individual we love.  Interestingly enough when we are engaged in a new relationship we often don't think much about our partner when we are consumed by love.  This is common and might have to do with the fact that we tend to feel excited and happy to have found someone we fell compatible with and therefore tend to see our partners as flawless creatures.  It's at that point when we become comfortable with our partner that we let our guard down and except vulnerability.  Relationships often end because we are unable to control our insecurities and a bad break up has all the potential to compound our insecurities causing us to doubt wither or not we will ever find someone.

At times I believe that we as individuals cognizant of our own mortally are driven to find ways to make our lives more comforting to deal with the reality of a temporary existance.  I have even come to the conclusion that religion in some ways is a coping mechanism as well as a tool of power that serves a larger majority of the worlds population offering security and guidance.  There are very few people on this planet who are content with living alone, for the rest of us it is something we desire, even need.

"Why do we pursue it?"

The question is why as individuals do we continue to look for love when so many of us have experienced bad relationships?  It is a hard and complicated question to answer and is one that each of us answers differently. I think that even though we experience bad relationships and hold negative views and fears of heartbreak and betrayal, we still continue to put ourselves on the line, hoping that the right person will someday come along and remove all those fears.  The good news is that we as humans are very resilient beings who can adapt to life's most unforeseen events.  Granted that adjustment takes time but in the end we all seem to bounce back and our life seems restored anew. 

As a child my father once told me that he wasn't sure if there was a heaven but the one thing he was certain of was that the people who left this earth never came back.  Such a bold and still scary statement led me to realize that life is short, and challenging, which is why we should try to make the most of what we have been given and live.  Bad relationships will come and go but we push ourselves to find the one relationship that means the most to us and is worth risking it all for.  

Love Jazz and Blues Music?

Posted by Marco Antonio Mendoza Wednesday, October 14, 2009 0 comments

If the answer is YES and you have access to the internet (or live in Portland, OR) then you will love listening to KMHD Radio.  It is one of my absolute favorite stations for Jazz and Blues and everytime I listen to that station I am reminded of all the fond memories of weekends up in the mountains by Mt. Hood listening to this station in the car.




If your interested then check out KMHD's website and listen to their live feed.

Here is the link: KMHD Radio

The Old Lima

Posted by Marco Antonio Mendoza Tuesday, October 13, 2009 0 comments

While searching the internet for information and photos on the old Tranvia train system I came across a website called SkyscrapperCity.com

This website has a forum that is dedicated to Lima where the users post old photos of the city. It's a great place to see the what the City of Kings used to look like before it became an over-populated megalopolis.

I have posted a few of my favorite photos from the forum so you can get an idea of what the people are posting there.



a photo of miraflores



Av. Grau and Via Expresa



Plaza de Armas - NOTICE THE AMERICAN FLAG ON TOP OF THE BUILDING, WHY IS IT THERE?



Agua Dulce Beach in Chorrillos

Here are some more photos





Malecon in Chorrillos



Erection (hehehe....) of Statue of Bolognesi in Plaza Bolognesi



Plaza Bolognesi



Barranco - an old tram system that allow citizens to reach the beaches below



Then: Av. Colon - Now: Av. Grau




Puente Trujillo - The arc is no longer standing due to an earthquake that caused it's unfortunate destruction.



Old Plaza de Armas - with beautiful palm trees, what the hell happened!







Before



After - How tragic

all photos were taken from the SkyscrapperCity.com's website and I have no clue who the original photographer's are but I take no credit for the above work.

It's A Girl...Sorry Tyler!

Posted by Marco Antonio Mendoza 0 comments




The above images are x-rays of my sisters baby currently under development with an expected completion time for February 2010.

For those of you who don't already know my little sister Monique has been pregnant for like the past 3 months now. Since then I have observed my sister transform into a parent which I will admit has been kind of scary to witness, not because I don't think she will be a good parent but because as her brother it is hard to imagine your siblings growing up to become adults.

Tyler her husband has long since hoped for a boy and even went as far as to purchase athletic baby apparel. Well I'm sure Tyler was just as pleased to find out yesterday that he would be the father to a baby girl, instead of the future sports star athlete boy he had anticipated.

Last night I spent the better half of an hour discussing female names for the baby with Monique. Let me just say that naming a child is probably one of the biggest responsibilities facing a parent, it literally dictates the child's future (not really but it's still important). There are a lot of terrible names out there which makes me wonder what people were thinking at the time that they decided to bless their child with a name that later would be legally changed in spite of the all the years of countless ridicule and shame.

I am sure that my sister will do the right thing and give her child a reasonable name instead of trying to name it after a stripper I once met at the Cabaret in Downtown Portland.

Congratulations Mike Lynch!

Posted by Marco Antonio Mendoza Saturday, October 10, 2009 0 comments

Phi Delt brother and friend Mike Lynch has just finished his police training and is now an official Washington DC Police Officer (or Capitol Police).

He sent me a photo of him the other day with some of his relatives.

Adios Arturo "Zambo" Cavero

Posted by Marco Antonio Mendoza Friday, October 9, 2009 0 comments


Peru-Lima, 29 November 1940 - † Peru-Lima, 9 October 2009

Today the Famous musician Zambo Cavero died at 12:55 in the Rebagliati Hospital after several painful days battling against infectious sepsis that had consumed his body.

Zambo Cavero was known for his wonderful and soulful voice as well as his amazing ability to interpret some of Peru's most traditional songs. Cavero was seen as a representative of Afro-Peruvian criolla music.



Not only was he a musician, he was an artist whose music captivated many Peruvians who admired and loved him. It's tragic to have to lose someone that was important to us but the memory of Zambo Cavero's music will continue to live on in the hearts of his followers. He is that of Legend now.

I thought I will post a few video's for those who might not be familiar with his work and to pay respect to Zambo Cavero. He's playing that Cajón in heaven now.







Today I stumbled out of bed and went about my daily routine of personal hygiene followed by a 30 minute internet session where I see what the rest of the world is up to. That of course is when I stumbled across a video that was posted on the Strobist's blog that discussed the possible future of magazines that combine photography and video into what can only be described as an interactive reading experience unlike anything I have ever seen. The video was put together by photographer and artist Alexx Henry.

GEEKS AND TECH NERDS BEWARE THE FOLLOWING FOOTAGE YOUR ABOUT SEE CONTAINS MATERIAL THAT MIGHT CAUSE YOU TO WET YOURSELF!




Imagine what this could do for Playboy and Hustler!

Another cool video was of Sony's latest product currently in development but with some interesting potential for future applications.



The advances in technology will never cease to amaze me and yet the fear of a possible humans vs. robots scenario continues to perpetuate.

8th of October - The Battle of Angamos

Posted by Marco Antonio Mendoza Thursday, October 8, 2009 0 comments




Yesterday was a national holiday here in Peru which meant no work :). In Peru the 8th of October is a celebrated holiday that pays respect to the famous Peruvian Hero and Legend, Admiral Miguel Grau Ceminario.

The 8th of October is the historical date for the Battle of Angamos which took place in 1879. The naval battle took place in Punta Angamos, which once belonged to Bolivia and is now part of Chile. El Huáscar and La Unión (peruvian ships) were traveling north along the Chilean coast after having completed several offensive operations on Chilean ports in an attempt to disrupt the countries war economy, when they noticed the smoke of several enemy(Chilean) ships in the distance. The Chilean Naval 1st division which comprised of Blanco Encalada, Covadonga y Matías Cousiño had been heading south along the Pacific coast when they spotted El Huáscar and La Unión traveling in the opposite direction and proceeded to close the pass. In response to Grau's operations in the south the Chilean Navy had put out an order of engagement and capture against the Rear Admiral.




Grau taking into account the size and superiority of the opposition decided to use evasive maneuvers to outrun the enemy. As El Huáscar and La Unión sailed north in attempt to reach Peru they ran into more opposition as they spotted the Chilean Naval 2nd Division (Cochrane & O'Higgins) about 22 miles (Not sure what this is in Nautical terms) away. Grau realizing that La Unión could outrun the other ships he gave the order for La Unión to push on ahead.

Here is a link to an interactive illustration of the battle, click on animacion to view: LINK

Left with no other option but to fight, El Huáscar opened fire on the Cochrane who didn't retaliate. Instead the Chilean ships waited until they were in range of the Peruvian ironclad before they opened fire (the Chilean Ships were of the latest in English design and technology and were armed with the latest weaponry...Armor piercing rounds that explode once they penetrate). One of the shot's from the Cochrane pierced the bridge of El Huáscar killing Rear Admiral Grau and 1st Lt. Diego Ferre. The heavy shelling of El Huáscar left the vessel's armaments destroyed and it's crewmen dead and injured. One by one the ship's officer's took command of the ship and one by one were killed. By the time Lt Pedro Garezon assumed command of El Huáscar, the ship was in an inoperable state with the wheel damaged and the ship unable to be controlled. The remaining officers decided to sink the ship before the enemy could take hold of it. The order was given and the ship's valves (cockholds) were opened to allow water to enter and flood the ship. The Chilean's noticing that the ship has slowed down in its paced decided it was a good opportunity to capture El Huáscar. The Chilean's managed to board the ship and quickly ordered the remaining crew to close the valves (the engine room had about 1.2 meters of water in it).



With El Huáscar out of commission and in the possession of the Chilean forces the seas were open for the Chileans to proceed into Peru and Bolivia where the war would be taken to land.

For his heroic actions in the face of innumerable odds, Rear Admiral Grau was promoted to Admiral and is to this day recognized and celebrated as a Hero to the Republic of Peru.

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A travel blog about living abroad in Lima, Peru and my travels to cities like Cuzco and Machu Picchu. Inti Aperture is a blog about travel, Peruvian food, culture, adventure, jobs, tourism, travel, news, teaching English, photography, and living abroad, making it a perfect resource for the traveling expat.
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