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4D Ultrasound in Lima

Posted by Marco Antonio Mendoza Wednesday, November 24, 2010 0 comments

Last weekend Zdenka and I went to a well known clinic in Jesus Maria called "INPPARES", which is an acronym for Instituto Peruano de Paternidad Responsable or Peruvian Institute of Responsible Paternity.  The clinic is popular in Lima mostly for testing pregnancy and paternity, aside from other things however, we were there to get a 3D/4D Ultrasound of our six month baby Rosemary. 

In the US a 4D Ultrasound can range in price from as low as $50 to $200 depending on which private clinic you attend.  Here in Peru the cost situation is about the same, depending on where you go you will pay anywhere from S./150 to S./200 (remember that the Peruvian Sol is 2.78 to 1 US Dollar).  For us the 4D cost S./190 and that included gender determination, a DVD copy of the session (which I have included below), a 3D photo in a nice glass picture frame, a full diagnostic of the babies health, and the babies heart rate.  Now a 4D is not necessary and serves more of a novel function for the couple but I have been told does have some benefits.

The session was 10 minutes long and the video footage was displayed on a large flat-screen LCD.  Below is the video from that session. 

Life is Too Short

Posted by Marco Antonio Mendoza Wednesday, November 17, 2010 0 comments

As I write this email I am still taken back by the powerful words in travel photographer David duChemin's recent post about the reality of human existence.  "Life is too short", the title of one of his latest posts on his popular photography blog sends a strong and awakening message of the uncertainty of life and man's fallacy to truly appreciate his short time on this planet.

We have all heard this kind of inspirational prose before and while it might seem redundant to highlight one of the most commonly known and feared truths, the message still seems to resonate within us as our minds urge our bodies to take action, to make something worthwhile happen.

I personally never seem to tire from reading and hearing this message as it serves as a reminder to take advantage of what has been given to me.  Below is but just a paragraph or two of duChemin's post but I highly recommend going to his site and reading the rest.

"I had breakfast with a close friend of mine yesterday and it’s that meeting that is making me write this, because I can’t keep it in this morning. His wife, one of my favourite people on the planet, is fighting for her life against inoperable brain cancer. She’s fighting, but she’s not well, and the doctors are talking in terms of quality of life, not healing, not remission. My heart is breaking for her. My heart is breaking for him. A young couple that, like all of us, thinks they have forever together, have all the time in the world to chase their dreams. But we don’t. None of us do. It’s an illusion.

Life is short. We seem to think that we’ll live forever. We spend time and money as though we’ll always be here. We buy shiny things as though they matter and are worth the debt and stress of attachment. We put off the so-called “trip of a lifetime” for another year, because we all assume we have another year. We don’t tell the ones we love how much we love them often enough because we assume there’s always tomorrow. And we fear. Oh, do we fear. We stick it out in miserable jobs and situations because we’re afraid of the risk of stepping out. We don’t reach high enough or far enough because we’re worried we’ll fail, forgetting – or never realizing – that it’s better to fail spectacularly while reaching for the stars than it is to succeed at something we never really wanted in the first place."


Posted by Marco Antonio Mendoza 0 comments

Originally uploaded by marcomendoza136
Here is a recent photo I took last week. This photo was taken at an urban chicken farm well within the brick and concrete confines of Lima's old city center. In the city it's not uncommon to find many people who raise livestock within their property and it's also not uncommon to hear a rooster's wake-up call at 4am along with honking horns.

The chicken plays an important role in the limeñans diet and is therefore a core ingredient in most dishes served in the restaurants and homes with seafood and fish competing alongside it.

These however are roosters in the photo and are raised for the traditional and controversial "cock fights", a sport (if you can call it that) that was brought by the Spanish during their conquest / colonialization of the Americas.

A Moment of Luxury Visits Lima, Peru

Posted by Marco Antonio Mendoza 0 comments

Special thanks to blogger Juancho over at Camina El Autor, for posting this video made by PBS he discovered recently.  The film is from the PBS TV show "A Moment of Luxury" hosted by Bill Stubbs, which has visited Lima to highlight some of the cities beautiful interiors of some of it's oldest buildings, along with other popular sites.  The good news is that it's in English, something not always available on this site when it comes to videos.

The video is fairly interesting for it's footage and information if you can overlook all the additional side commentary.

Watch the full episode. See more Moment of Luxury.

Making Lime Pie in Peru

Posted by Marco Antonio Mendoza Sunday, November 14, 2010 1 comments

Once upon a time there was this guy who came to Peru to visit his father who unknowingly met a girl and got married....what was I talking about again....oh right PIE!  Married life is definitely interesting because you discover that things you once never did are now the things you spend time doing, like cooking and baking.  Now in the States I cooked every now and then and I enjoyed it but I never saw an interest in baking and therefore never did it, the same is true of Zdenka with the cooking part included.  So as a newly married couple we have been cooking and baking like crazy every weekend, trying new recipes and experimenting with cooking/baking techniques that are new to us. 

This weekend we decided to bake since we hadn't done it in a while, not since we baked that orange cake (which could have used a little more orange).  I naturally came up with the idea of making a lime pie (not a key lime pie but a lime pie), especially since in the past Zdenka has never been really fond of lime pies (which they call lemon pies?).  Neither one of us had ever made a pie so we had to do some research (makes me glad there's the internet).  We found many different variations and picked the one which was the simplest but we couldn't find a pie crust recipe that we liked so I called my grandmother who is a veteran at baking.  She sent me a few photos which she scanned from an old cookbook.

She gladly passed on her recipe and it required the following:

Basic Pie Crust
*to make one(1) pie crust

1 cup of flour
1/2 salt
1/3 cup of lard
1/8 cup of water

Looks simple enough right?  Well at first it started off rather simple but as we mixed all the ingredients together the end result was a little bit like cake batter so we added more flour until we got the consistency we figured was right for dough.  The dough itself was very sticky something both of us were not prepared for and we had a bit of difficulty forming it into a ball.  Through trial-and-error we got the hang of it and we proceeded to roll the dough using an empty wine bottle since we didn't have a rolling pin (very useful alternative).   Once the dough was rolled out enough we placed it into the pie tray and poke a few holes in the base to keep it from rising/inflating.  The crust went into the oven at 425 F for about 10 minutes and was then removed and left to cool while we prepared the filling.

The filling itself wasn't to complicated but it did require some work to get the end result.  the filling recipe is the following:

Lime Pie Filling:

4 large eggs
2 14oz cups of condensed milk (though I would recommend 1 and a half)
1 cup of lime juice (about 25 key limes/other small limes)
a good quantity of lime zest

The most time comsuming task was probably cutting and squeezing all the limes along with removing the zest.  Once all the ingredients were in the mixing bowl I whisked for about 10 minutes and then poured it into the pie crust.  Then the pie was place back into the oven at 325 F for another 10 minutes where it was then removed and left to cool before being placed in the fridge to set overnight. 

It was a lot of fun to prepare a pie and a lot of work but the end result was good and we had pie for breakfast today!

An Entire City Painted with Light

Posted by Marco Antonio Mendoza Thursday, November 11, 2010 0 comments

This beautiful photo above was taken in Toledo, Spain by La Asociación Fotográfica de Toledo or the Photographic Association of Toledo.  What makes the photo even more amazing is that it's not the work of a sole skilled photographer but 50 skilled photographers from Toledo!

The association's website has also included an article that details in both Spanish and English how this amazing feat was accomplished.  Well worth a read!  Read More >>

A La Vuelta de La Esquina - Old Mansions & Houses of Lima

Posted by Marco Antonio Mendoza Wednesday, November 10, 2010 0 comments

One of my favorite Peruvian blogs written by Vladimir Velasquez called "Una Lima Que Se Fue" or "A Lima That Once Was", has recently posted a video from the popular Peruvian TV show "A La Vuelta de La Esquina".  The video shows beautiful footage of some of Lima's most famous and oldest mansions along with some great information regarding their fascinating history.  Unfortunately the video commentary is in Spanish but the footage is well worth a view.  Enjoy!

Cargado por vladimirvelasquezgonzalez. - Mira más videos de TV y películas.

Cargado por vladimirvelasquezgonzalez. - Mira películas y shows de TV enteros.

Peruvian Burglars Hieroglyphic Code

Posted by Marco Antonio Mendoza Saturday, November 6, 2010 0 comments

While on the other day I saw a photo taken by Peruvian photographer Christian Vinces, which illustrated how thieves/burglars use their own form of hieroglyphic-esque code to identify potential targets.  As the photo shows below this is done on the target home/building itself usually with the use of chalk, pen, pencil or even a chisel/screwdriver.  These drawings help the other burglar associates understand the possible dangers they might face once inside the property or know how many people occupy the dwelling along with the hours that they are normally present.  The fact that this information is public now probably means that they have adapted and altered their code to protect their illegal activities.  

The symbols in the photo on the right side cover the following: big dog, not very interesting, easy in the morning, easy at night, their away - no difficulties, old woman alone all day, easy in the afternoon, children alone in the morning, abandoned, woman alone, home of rich people, children alone in the afternoon, good objective, recently observed, very interesting/lucrative, and home of businessman

On the left of the photo the following symbols mean: Unoccupied home + the months unoccupied, generous people, don't bother/insist, people available, Sundays, and nights

Surfing in Miraflores

Posted by Marco Antonio Mendoza Friday, November 5, 2010 1 comments

Here is a small compilation of photos that were taken a few weekends ago.  Zdenka and I got up about 7:30 on a Sunday to head on down to the beach right in front of Miraflores Tennis Club.  The weather was overcast and a bit chilly but that didn't seem to keep several Limeñans from donning their wetsuits and diving in the ocean.  The waves weren't very big but everyone seemed to be having a great time.

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