Posting about giving isn’t something I would normally do, but in order to spread the word about Toys4SmilesLasVegas.org a non-profit 501(c)(3), so I must. Passing through the airport in Las Vegas on my way to Peru, and time to kill, I spent a few hours at the USO (United Service Organizations) while waiting to check my bags and process through security.
On a shelf, there were wooden toys, stuffed animals, and dolls that were donated for service members by local Las Vegas businesses. The USO volunteer staff told me to help myself, but I didn’t have much room left in my bags, so I only took one wooden toy. On Christmas Day, I headed to downtown Lima to cover the protests, and took the beautifuly hand crafted wooden toy with me to give away.
He was shy and reserved. I didn’t receive a smile in return, but I figure it’s not a normal occurance to have a gringo approach, and be handed a toy. Nonetheless, I think he liked it, and should have many years of enjoyment out of it.
Toys 4 Smiles Las Vegas.Org is in need of donations, weather it be with your time, materials, or cash.
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Below are some of the photo’s taken during a photo-shoot for shoe designer Willy Lopez and his company Puro Lopez, of Lima, Peru. The shoes are modeled by Miamy Horna, also from Lima. Not every shot here is a winner.
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Yookoso, Bienvenido, Welcome.
This year I attended the 24th annual Matsuri AELU. Matsuri means “Local Festival” in Japanese, and nearly every shrine celebrates its own Matsuri. According to AELU (Asociacion Estadio La Union – Association Union Stadium) land for the club was purchased sometime after WWII, and a community effort ensued for several years to clear the land and build the club. The Japanese colony in Peru began arriving as early as 1800 for various reasons.
During the festival, many different musical talents took to the stage, Karate, Judo, Aikido exhibition, raffles from Air Canada and Delta Airlines for a Lima-Tokyo-Lima flight. Also, an anime orchestra concert, a procession that is an important element of Japanese festivals, in which the local Shrine’s kami (Shinto deity) is carried through the town in mikoshi (a divine palanquins, or portable Shinto shrine). It is the only time of the year when the kami leaves the shrine to be carried around town.
Following the procession, Sake for everyone was passed around. Then the artistic shows began with a traditional dance and eight other dance acts, a special Musical Okinawense and followed up with the grand finale of fireworks. Here are some of the pictures and video, from the event.
Click on Pictures to Enlarge:
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The Temple of Pachacamac is an archaeological site located 40km (25 miles) SE of Lima, and predates the Inca by several hundred years. Inca construction is visible however as they were the last to inhabit Pachacamac. The site is impressive, but being made of adobe, it is not as lavish as the stone sites in and around Cusco. There are many other Huaca’s (adobe structures and pyramids) scattered around Lima.
Located near the entrance are a museum, and where a guide may be hired. The tour lasts over three hours at the site, with approximately a half-day in total. Book your tour in Lima with a tour agency, and transportation and a guide is provided or public transportation can be taken directly to Pachacamac.
Bullring, Panamerican Highway, and Pacific Ocean.
View from the Temple of the Sun.
For further reading and study on Pachacamac click here
I’ve worked, lived and traveled in 30 different countries, and lived in Lima for four years without incident, until Wednesday 8, July 2015. While no place is ever 100% SAFE, there are places safer than others, and in Lima it’s no exception. My intention is not to scare or deter tourism in Lima, only to give advice to tourists on venues not to go, or use extra vigilance when visiting these places.
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Expats Have Double the Holidays
This year I decided to invite a few of my Peruvian friends over for dinner to help me celebrate the United States 239th birthday. I didn’t want to go with the stereotypical hamburgers and hotdogs, but rather show them, you know, what REAL cooking is! Besides, I don’t have a grill 😦 Peru’s Independence Day is 28 July.
Here’s the menu and recipe’s…
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