Wickets and Guayaba

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Difference between Republicans and Democrats

Found this on Facebook and had to share..

If you ever wondered which side of the fence you sit on, this is a great test! If a Republican doesn't like guns, he doesn’t buy one. If a Democrat doesn't like guns, he wants all guns outlawed. If a Republican is a vegetarian, he doesn’t eat meat. If a Democrat is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone. If a Republican is homosexual, he quietly leads his life. If a Democrat is homosexual, he demands legislated respect. If a Republican is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation. A Democrat wonders who is going to take care of him. If a Republican doesn't like a talk show host, he switches channels. Democrat’s demand that those they don't like be shut down. If a Republican is a non-believer, he doesn't go to church. A Democrat non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced. If a Republican decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it.. A Democrat demands that the rest of us pay for his. If a Republican reads this, he'll forward it so his friends can have a good laugh. A Democrat will delete it because he's "offended".

Monday, March 14, 2011

Cachita by any other name smells as sweet..

I remember the first bedtime story I ever heard. I remember who told it. It was Mima Fela, my dad's stepmom, but she loved me like a "real" grandmother, probably more so, because her two children from her first marriage never gave her grandkids. She told me the story of La Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre, or Our Lady of Charity, the patroness of Cuba. In her version, one of the three Juanes was called "Danielito". A good storyteller knows how not to spoil a tale with facts. I figure anyone reading my blog is probably family and knows the story, but just in case, here is a quikie, wikipedia version:

The story behind the La Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre, began around 1608(sometime between 1604 and 1612 depending on the source). Two brothers, Rodrigo and Juan de Hoyos, and their slave, Juan Moreno, set out to the Bay of Nipe for salt. They are traditionally called the "three Juans". They needed the salt for the preservation the meat at the Barajagua slaughter house, which supplied the workers and inhabitants of Santiago del Prado, now known as El Cobre. While out in the bay, a storm arose, rocking their tiny boat violently with ongoing waves. Juan, the slave, was wearing a medal with the image of the Virgin Mary. The three men began to pray for her protection. Suddenly, the skies cleared, and the storm was gone. In the distance, they saw a strange object floating in the water. They rowed towards it as the waves brought it towards them. At first they mistook it for a bird, but quickly saw that it was what seemed to be a statue of a girl. At last they were able to determine that it was a statue of the Virgin Mary holding the child Jesus on her right arm and holding a gold cross in her left hand. The statue was fastened to a board with an inscription saying "Yo Soy la Virgen de la Caridad" or "I am the Virgin of Charity." The statue was dressed with real cloth and the Virgin had real hair and skin of a mixed woman. Much to their surprise, the statue remained completely dry while afloat in the water.

That is just the story of the apparition.

Let me tell you another story, about the patroness of Brazil, Our Lady of Aparecida, or as she is known here, Nossa Senhora Aparecida. Stop me if the story sounds familiar: (again, a quickie wikipedia version)

The official account of the Aparecida apparition took place in October 1717, when Dom Pedro de Almeida, Count of Assumar and Governor of the Province of São Paulo and Minas Gerais, was passing through the area of Guaratinguetá, a small city in the Paraíba river valley,[1][4] during a trip to Vila Rica, an important gold mining site.

The people of Guaratinguetá decided to hold a feast in his honour, and though it was not fishing season, the fishermen went down to the Paraíba waters to fish for the feast.[1][4] Three of the fishermen, Domingos Garcia, João Alves, and Filipe Pedroso, prayed to Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, and asked God's help.[1][4] They were unable to catch any fish, and after several hours in the river, they were ready to give up when João cast his net once more near the Port of Itaguaçu.[1][4] Instead of fish, he hauled in the body of a statue with a missing head.[1][4] They cast their net again, and brought up the statue's head.[1][4] After cleaning the statue, they found that it was a black version of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception.[1] Legend has it that when the fishermen recovered the body, then the head, the slender figure of the Aparecida Virgin became so heavy that they couldn't budge it.[2]

After that, according to the official account, they named their find Nossa Senhora da Aparecida Conceição (English: Our Lady of the Appeared Conception), wrapped it in cloth and continued to fish; now their catch was so great that they returned to port because the weight of the fish threatened to sink their craft.[5] This was the first miracle attributed to Our Lady of Aparecida.

A bit similar to the first story right? Also a bit similar with the "black" virgin, La Virgen de la Regla.

There is more....

Look again carefully at the image on the left, and Cubans reading the blog, tell me who it is...

See where it says NS Navegantes? It is Our Lady of Navigators. The image is identical to the one Cubans use for La Virgen de la Caridad! Same aparition, different name. For some reason, even though the story says it was three boys, the image has changed over the years to show a somewhat older dude in the boat. Don't know how or why. Anyways, I always thought it intersting how the stories were similar in the case of the patroness and how the same image was known by a different name.

BTW, yes, yes, I know and understand, there is only ONE Virgin Mary and all are the same, just different manifestations and apparitions of the same person.

Monday, February 28, 2011

When it rains, it pours..

I found a job, and that is wonderful. I am greatful, I really am. But for the rest of it, I kinda feel like this:

See, at this point in the series, Martin Sheen, the president has just lost his personal secretary. He is about to disclose to the nation he has MS and is unsure if the public or the dumocRATS will accept him. He is having a crisis of faith and conscience.

Things here right now are rough too. But hey, that's life sometimes. Thumbs up to those who know the latin without having to google it.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Life in a Bigger City

Well living in a larger city does have advantages. Now, in Garanhuns, the job market was very informal, meaning I really did not need all the documentation. Here you do. Now I went after these docs in Garanhuns, but the delay and lack of informed public servants was frustrating. Here, I was able to resolve one document a day, which is incredible compared to what I went through in the Northeast. I got my CPF (kinda like a Social Security card) yesterday and the reason I never got it before was because in Garanhuns everyone I spoke to was unsure of the procedure for people from other countries. The Federal Police here took care of a log jam and rerouted my card here. I got a document from them with my "real" ID card number too. Today I get my "work permit". Slowly but surely things are moving along.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Goodbye Garanhuns...

After close to 5 years, I must bid farewell to Garanhuns. I mentioned it earlier, but my wife has gotten pretty sick. Leukemia and cancer of the uterus. She went ahead with the kids to the city where her sister lives where the hospitals are better equipped and in fact one of them specializes in Leukemia. This is all bittersweet for me. I've only lived in3 places and Garanhuns by far was my favorite. But things change, nothing is permanent, and it's not like I really have a choice in this one. No one knows what will happen as far has my wife goes. New place, need to make new contacts, look for a job, start over, and hope for the best. I don't know how often I will be able to post in the beginning, but I will try to do my best. So long Garanhuns and thanks for the memories,

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Why I haven't posted in a while..

A lot has happened, and is going on. My (common law) wife has been diagnosed with leukemia and uterine cancer. Double whammy. Earlier this year she moved to another city where her sisters live and the hospitals are better equipped to treat her. In the middle of December I am moving down to be with her.

So how am I dealing with all this?

I remember this:

And if you fancy the original:

ENJOY!! :)

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Brazilian Tom Jones

FIG/ WinterFest 2010

The main acts for "Festival de Inverno", the WinterFest, have been announced. This is the huge 10 day music festival here in Garanhuns. The main acts appear at Praça Gualadajara.

July 15 = Alceu Valença

July 16 Neguinho da Beija-Flor e Gal Costa

July 17 Skank

July 18 The Fevers & Adilson Ramos

July 19 Elba Ramalho

July 20 Reginaldo Rossi

July 21 Devotos, Pitty

July 22 MV Bill & Marcelo D2

July 23 Paralamas do Sucesso

July 24 Lulu Santos

You need to take my word for it, these acts are HUGE here in Brazil. Each has its own following, and the crowds should be bigger this year. The Tourist Board estimates that over a million people visit throughout the 10 days of the festival.