Growing protests attract tens of thousands across Brazil
For the fifth straight day, pent-up frustration has boiled over into protests over the Brazilian government’s skyrocketing expenditures in preparation for the upcoming World Cup and Summer Olympics, declining economic growth and a harsh response from police that has left hundreds injured.
In the city of Sao Paulo alone, an estimated 65,000 people clogged the streets for the “Free Fare Movement,” which has fought against a recent 10-cent hike in bus fares.
For some perspective on the issue of transportation costs in the country:
Two weeks ago, the Sao Paulo bus fare for a standard one-way trip increased to about $1.50. Workers on minimum wage who take two buses a day can end up spending more than 25% of their monthly income on transportation.
Photos: Marcelo Say’o / EPA, Victor R. Caivano / Associated Press, Christophe Simon / AFP/Getty Images
After it all, we’ve still got the sun and each other
Today I gave a short speech at my grandfather’s funeral. Words cannot express it all. Each word in here contains so much life, life lived together, in community, family, its hard to convey it all. There are life in these words and significance beyond understanding somehow. The experience I’ve had with my grandfather has both offered resolve and catharsis and simultaneously rendered me broken again, at a loss. I feel amid grief, yet at peace.
I came to Peru 4 months ago to get to know my family and culture. I am half Peruvian and I wanted to move to Peru for years. When I was a kid my family and I lost my mother, Dharcy. This is why, for the majority of my life, since the day that we lost my mom, I have not had the opportunity to get to know Peruvian culture well. My abuelito gave me the opportunity to come and live with him, in the house where my mother was raised. He told me many stories of my mother, of our family, of the jungle, of the ocean, of Huancayo and the mountains. It was exactly what I needed. We had good times together. We ate a lot of ‘menus’ in Surquillo and Miraflores. We were well known in those places as the little abuelito and his grandson from the United States.
Yo vine al Peru hace 4 meses para conocer mi familia y cultura. Soy la mitad Peruano y queria mudarme al Peru hace anos. Cuando era nino mi familia y yo perdimos mi mama, Dharcy. Por eso, la mayoria de mi vida - desde el dia que perdimos mi mama, no tenia la oportunidad de conocer la cultura Peruana bien. Mi abuelo me dio la oportunidad de venir y vivir con el, en la casa donde se habia criado mi mama. Él me contó bastantes historias de mi mama, de la famila, de la selva, del mar, de Huancayo y las montanas. Fue exactamente lo que necesitaba. Pasamos buenas horas juntos. Comimos bastantes menus en Surquillo y Miraflores muchas veces. Fuimos bien conocidos en estos lugares como el pequeno abuelito y su nieto de los estados unidos.
Our lives were very different. But we had each other. The times I came home to a dark house without my grandfather I didn’t feel normal. It made me happy when I arrived to a house where my grandfather was listening to the radio with the music turned up, sitting in the kitchen drinking tea. ‘Who is it?’, he would say to me (every time). One time, I said to him, ‘I’m a thief, give me all your money!’ and we laughed a lot. I love music, so I loved when my abuelito listened to music in the house everyday. He was a person of the night. He loved to dance, and he always listened to music during most of the night. Sometimes, I would have a class in the morning and have to say - Abuelito turn down the music please, its the middle of the night. He was like a young person, awake all night, taking naps all day. He would pass the days reading his favorite newspaper and taking naps, always with music or the news, always RPP Noticias.
Tuvimos vidas bien distintos. Pero, de todas maneras, tuvimos el uno al otro. Las veces que llegaba a la casa oscura, sin mi abuelito, no me sentia normal. Me dio alegria cuando llegaba a la casa donde estaba mi abuelito escuchando el radio con musica fuerte, sentandose en la cocina tomando te. ‘Quien es?’, me decia. Una vez, le dije, ‘soy un ladron dame todo tu dinero!’ y nos reimos bastante. Yo me encanta la musica, entonces me gustaba cuando mi abuelito escuchaba la musica fuerte en la casa todo los dias. El era una persona de la noche. Le gustaba bailar, y siempre escuchaba la musica durante la mayoria de la noche. A veces, tenia una clase en la manana y tenia que decirle — por favor Abuelito baja el volume de la musica, es la madrugada. El era como un joven despierto toda la noche, tomando siestas todo el dia. Los dias, el pasaba leyendo su favorito diaro y tomando siestas, siempre con la musica o las noticias, siempre RPP noticias.
My abuelito was a person always ready for an adventure, a trip, a night dancing in the park with the ladies. He had a charm. He was always ready to show me some dance moves, the right way to swim, to eat and dress. He loved the beach and the waves. And he also loved naturalism. He always taught me the foods that help the body. So, the secret is to eat only garlic, tomatoes and apples. This is how you will live a long and active life like my abuelito.
Mi abuelito era una persona siempre lista para una aventura, un viaje, una noche bailando en el parque con las chicas. Tenia un encanto. Siempre listo para ensenarme algunas movimientos de baila, la forma nadar corectamente, de comer y vestirme. Le encantaba la playa y las olas. Tambien le entacantaba el naturismo. Siempre me ensenaba las comidas que ayudan el cuerpo. Entonces, el secreto es comer puro de ajo, tomate y manzanas. Asi van a vivir una vida larga y activa como mi Abuelito.
You can see that we lost a great man. We lost a great grandfather. I lost a great friend. It was a privilege to know my abuelito. It was a privilege to live with him. It was an honor to hold my hand over his heart as he left us. The man who taught me what it means to be peruvian is gone. The man that raised my aunts and my mom has gone to heaven. I only hope that my mother and him are together again with God and the angels. As my mom would say to me when I was a kid, ‘sueña con los angelitos’ my dear grandfather. We love you always.
Pueden ver que perdimos un gran hombre. Perdimos un gran Abuelito. Perdi un gran amigo. Fue un privilegio conocer mi Abuelito. Fue un privilegio vivir con el. Fue un honor para sostener mi mano sobre su corazon mientras el nos dejo. El hombre que me ensenaba que significa ser peruano se ha ido. El hombre que crió mis tias y mi mama ha ido al cielo. Solo espero que mi mama y el esten unidos de nuevo con Dios y los angeles. Como mi mama me decia cuando era nino - suena con los angelitos, mi querido abuelito. Te amamos siempre.
E. Abelardo Verastegui Verastegui passed away at 12:50AM May 25 2013 at the age of 86.
THE SANTA CRUZ TREK, PERU 2013
with Miranda MACK and BJ HOLA
Two weeks ago two of my favorite people in the world and I embarked on a journey into the interior of Peru - to the Ancash region. We planned to go to the mountain city of Huaraz, as a jumping off point for a 50KM trek we wanted to do through the Cordillera Blanca. The trek is called the Santa Cruz Trek.
This post is to tell you: +how awesome it was, +how much it costs, and +how you can do it. But its gonna be all mixed up through the post.
This was my first venture outside of Lima. I moved here January 15, 2013. My Spanish is more or less intermediate. But it was more than enough to help us get around, ask all sorts of questions and get some good local knowledge on the Santa Cruz Trek.
We left Monday May 6th from Lima on an 8 hour bus ride to Huaraz. The bus company we used was called Oltursa. The service was excellent, it was extremely comfortable, and it was really cheap. On that bus ride we rode out of Lima (that took about 2 and half hours) through the desert, up the coast, through the Cordillera Negra into Huaraz. We paid 75 nuevo soles (S/.) for round trip tickets. That is something like 30 US$.
[ http://www.oltursa.pe/ ] The site is easy to use, the the station is easy to find, at the corner of Republica de Panama and Araburu in San Isidro. You could get away with passport copies, or probably even just memorized passport numbers. The stations have metal detectors and bag check (remember to get your checked luggage ticket so you can reclaim it). The bus line is super secure. Drivers switch every four hours.
We stayed at a SUPER awesome hostel, top recommended place in Huaraz, called La Casa de Zarela [www.lacasadezarela.com.] We could’ve found a cheaper place, but this one was very comfortable. We got shared a dorm style rooms for 14 US$ per night. It ended up being virtually a private room. No bunks. Everyone had a comfy twin size bed and there was a bathroom (with 24/7 hot water). Max of 4 per room. So we had it to ourselves. They have free wifi, free kitchen use, delicious in-house breakfast options, and will hold any bags or important belongings securely while you are in the mountains. The host, Zarela also speaks English, so you can get tons of free information about trekking or other stuff to do in/around Huaraz….
Boston Magazine knows where it’s heart is. Their stunning May cover has everyone chattering.
“We figured we’d need about 100 or so shoes, and we had very little time to get them. We were also going to have to interview every person who submitted a pair of shoes so we could tell his or her story. We immediately sent out tweets and Facebook posts asking runners to submit their shoes. At the same time, people from every department here at Boston magazine started reaching out to friends and family members asking for shoes. Every pair became precious. Every new email from someone on staff announcing that a cousin or an old school buddy had promised to drive their shoes to the office by the next morning was met with unrestrained enthusiasm.” —John Wolfson
Thanks for Music & Life.
Despite having a pretty dramatic and difficult last few days here in Lima, I’ve been reminded of all I have to be thankful for. I am thankful for music- for one- as it typically helps me think and reflect on my life. I usually come up with my best ideas while listening to music.
I was just walking through the streets of my new city listening to this song by Saxon Shore feeling so grateful for all the good in my life. The freedoms, the incredible opportunities, this amazing new country I’ve been living in for the last 3 months, the people I’ve met, the family I have a world away still supporting me as much as ever, the girl in my life who makes all good things better, the joy in feeling the sun shining on my back, sending me forward.
Sometimes it takes a low moment to highlight all the good ones. I am so privileged. I’m feeling humble and thankful. And its a good feeling.
Post #8 | 4.07.13 | PERU
[Into the Wild Soundtrack]
Absolutely one of my favorite albums to listen to on a long car ride or adventure into the mountains, or even just sitting on the beach somewhere. Anywhere I can enjoy some serious natural grandeur.
I love how free this music makes me feel. It slows down the mess of life and lets me think clearly about the things that are actually important. And it also enlivens the spirit of adventure in me…
These past few weeks in Lima, Peru have been pretty awesome. I’m honestly probably having a little too much fun. But I’m not sure there is such a thing. The week leading up to Easter in Peru is Semana Santa and its a long weekend for most Peruvians. It also is kind of the last week of summer here, so people love to travel to beachy places to celebrate and spend time with family. I really didn’t have too many plans, so at the last second I hopped on a trip down to Punta Hermosa to go surfing. I went with a Californian couple I met through Business Links (the company I teach english for), their German roommate Eric, and his english/peruvian buddy Emilio. We went for 4 days and surfed everyday and just had an all around blast. It was almost weird living so care-freely for 4 days on end. I bought my first surfboard for $60 in Miraflores the day we left. It’s pretty old and beaten up, and its name is Gomez, Gomy for short, because the prior owner wrote his name on one of the fins – but also because its a character from Breaking Bad, a show that my friend Matteo and I are deeply passionate about. Gomez and I bonded quite well in Punta Hermosa, and since then down at Makaja as well.
Coming back to teaching Monday morning was fine, normal. Unfortunately, a number of my students are pretty unmotivated, which is not cool. But I still enjoy it all. And so long as a keep a good perspective, I do really value the whole teaching experience. Its cool. This week I had a number of cancellations, which opened up time to chill and hang out and enjoy the sun.
I had this crazy day on Tuesday. Starting with two cool San Franciscans, Le and Chelsea, that my friend Eamon introduced me to. We planned to grab lunch as they were leaving for California that evening. So we got huge plates of ceviche, along with a cool Israeli guy they met at their hostel, and then we went surfing. We met up with a guy named Douglas from Germany and went to a cool cafe in Barranco after surfing. THEN, we went back to the hostel where our Israeli friend had prepared a huge home-cooked Israeli dish. We dined on the terrace of the hostel and talked about his and another guy from Tel Aviv’s adventures through South America. Nearly everyone I talked to at the hostel was backpacking through at least 5 countries in South America. Some had been in South America for years, exploring, living. I was so inspired. It is so cool meeting people from all over the world here. People that have come here to see all the beauty in Peru and South America. I’m so excited to get out of Lima and do some of this exploring myself. The freedom to do so is intoxicating.
Then this weekend I went surfing twice and went out to Barranco with Eric (germany) and his Peruvian girlfriend and our buddy - my peruvian half brother Emilio (who is also half peruvian like me, we aren’t actually half brothers), we had boatloads of fun. Then yesterday after surfing we went to a sweet flea market in the center of lima, in limalima. It was cool.
Also, exciting things are coming up - not the least of which is the arrival of Miranda MacKinnon (!!!!!!!!!!!) who is coming down to Peru for 8 months, and then there very next week, Brian Holahan, and we are going hiking in Huaraz for the better part of a week. It is going to be amazing. We will be celebrating friendship, as well as our reunion in Peru and all the beauty here (and my 23 birthday)!!!!!! SO. excited.
And that is all for now. Take care take care take care, friends & family.