Pulpology: Mark & Sonia's Intercontinental Absurdities!

<< May, 2012 >>
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Re: Wanderfood Wednesday: Epicurean despot (by mark at 5/09 2:16 PM)
Re: Photo Friday: the kids are all right (by sonia at 1/03 11:20 AM)
Re: Photo Friday: the kids are all right (by krakestraw at 12/21 2:30 PM)
Re: Africa Always Wins (by lacyemartini at 11/05 3:01 PM)
Re: Africa Always Wins (by mark at 11/05 12:01 PM)
Re: WanderFood Wednesday: foxy overindulgence in Middleburg (by sonia at 7/18 11:27 AM)
Re: WanderFood Wednesday: foxy overindulgence in Middleburg (by cbheller at 7/18 11:23 AM)
Re: Top of the Loaf, Ma! (by sonia at 5/11 8:30 AM)
Re: Top of the Loaf, Ma! (by mark at 5/10 11:40 AM)
Re: Sugarloaf smooches (by wanderinglaura at 4/25 11:24 AM)
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17 May 2012
Mozambique in October

As some of you already know, my enabler friend Lisa King has convinced me to accompany her Habitat for Humanity team to Mozambique this October, to build houses for AIDS orphans. (She really had to twist my arm for all of about a millisecond.) When someone provides me with a fantastic opportunity like this, I simply must heed the call. I've never done a volunteer trip like this before, and I'm beyond-thrilled.

Lisa is mortar-fied
Lisa is mortar-fied

Our Global Village team will travel to the Xai-Xai district in mid-October, to work alongside villagers who need a decent, affordable place to live. Mozambique has been decimated by AIDS, and a staggering number of children in this region have lost one or both parents to the disease. It should be an intense and rewarding week.

Here's an amazing story published recently by HFH about the Manhica brothers, who live in the province we'll be working in:

And this beautiful slideshow is from Kelley Teague, who was on Lisa's team in Mozambique last year:

OK, here comes the request!
I'm in the middle of raising funds to cover the program fees. (Airfare I have to pay for separately, but I am currently accepting applications from sugar daddies/mamas.) My wonderful and generous family has already kicked in almost half the needed funds, and I must raise the rest by the end of August. Any and all contributions are welcome!

Please visit my fundraising page and consider chipping in a few bucks. Anyone who contributes at least $25 will get a postcard from Mozambique, perfect for hanging on your fridge and impressing your friends.

 I'm still working out the rest of the trip details, but they will likely include some diving (Mozambique supposedly has some of the world's best scuba spots), perhaps a bit of safariliciousness, and almost certainly a stop in South Africa to see my erstwhile coworker Karen. Stay tuned for updates and thanks for your support!

* Hope Regained | Habitat World May 2012
* Mozambique 2011 slideshow by Kelley Teague
* Sonia's fundraising page
* Habitat for Humanity's Global Village program
* Mozambique Chapter of HFH
* Lisa's 2011 Mozambique pics on Flickr

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Posted by sonia at 12:00 AM | Link | 0 comments

13 May 2012
Eat your veggies!

Mother's Day is among the trilogy of bittersweet days of my year. But what better way to pay tribute to my dear ol' mum than get out and garden? Most mothers extoll the virtues of eating your veggies, but mine also instilled in me a love of growing your own.

I'm pretty sure she'd be proud of this monster bok choy in my front yard:

bok choy

...as well as the spicy, garlicky stir-fry we made it into!

stir fry

The recipe is from somewhere on the interwebs, and essentially calls for an intoxicating mixture of sesame oil, fresh ginger, minced garlic, oyster sauce, soy sauce, some brown sugar, and a little crushed red pepper. Extra points if you toss in other veggies in addition to the bok choy. Om nom nummers!

Happy Mother's Day to all moms out there, past present and future.

Posted by sonia at 9:04 AM | Link | 0 comments

10 May 2012
Top of the Loaf, Ma!

Our last afternoon and evening in Rio was nothing short of magical. In a town where every other view is extraordinary, where you get tired of saying "wow," this took it to a whole new level.

Don't get me wrong, we had our fair share of frustrations too. Say it with me: This country needs an easy button! Brazil has the power to take you to the absolute edge of annoyance, and just as you're about to throw in the towel it delivers the goods, and you're so dazzled you forget what all the fuss was about. Our journey up Sugarloaf Mountain was just that.

no lines!
no lines

We arrived at the ground level ticketing area with high hopes. Sweeeeet, no lines! It was like finding a secret ride at Disney World while all the other suckers waited in line for something obvious like Space Mountain. As we wound our way around the outside of the serpentine and bought our tickets, a huge busload of Asian tourists with fanny packs unloaded. Hah, we smirked, too bad for them!

ohhhhh, buzzkill!
ohhhhh, buzzkill!

And then, major buzzkillington. That was just the line to get the tickets! Now we'd have to wait in the really really long line to board the actual cablecar. Yes, that line. The one with all those fannypackers who just got off the tourbus, shiny tickets already in hand. Cue the sad trumpets, wah-wah-wah-wahhhhhhhhhh.

cablecar locked and loaded  to the Loaf!

The view was actually kinda cool, watching the two sets of cablecars come and go. One set connects the ground with Morro da Urca, the midway point. The second set takes visitors the rest of the way up Pão de Açúcar, aka Sugarloaf. However, standing in the merciless sun for over an hour, and then having a bunch of British asshats cut in front of us as we started getting closer to the front, was kinda not cool. By the time we got in our first cablecar, I was hella crabby.

helicopter rides
helicopter rides

Morro da Urca houses some historical exhibits and a lovely visitor's center that shows a film about the history and construction of the Pão de Açúcar cablecar system. The film even features a clip from the James Bond movie Moonraker where nasty henchman Jaws attempts to bite through the cable and send Bond plummeting to his death. Morro da Urca is also where you can catch a ubiquitous helicopter ride around Rio, although the price was a bit out of our range. Thankfully there was just enough shade to cop a quick respite and get a snack. Which, due to our limited Portuguese, turned out to not be a tasty milkshake but instead some vile noxious medicinal swill. Ewwww! Have I mentioned that This Country Needs an Easy Button?

final stretch
final stretch between the Morro & the Pão

Nevermind, onward and upward! My crankipants attitude finally abated once we reached our final destination, and breathtaking views of Rio unfolded across 360 splendid degrees. The view from the Pão is the bomb. Not only did we see some fabulous beaches:

Praia Vermelha & Copacabana
Praia Vermelha & Copacabana


great day for a sail
great day for a sail

...and of course, The Big J off in the distance:

ever present
ever present

...but also some impressive flora and fauna:

lounge lizards
lounge lizards

cheeky monkey
cheeky monkey


And then the sun began to set.

golden hour

All frustrations melted away in a glossy mist of pinks and purples and gold.




Worth a little crabbypatty 'tude earlier in the day? Absofrickinlutely.


And then darkness fell, and the view continued to get impossibly more beautiful.

bark at the moon
bark at the moon

All at once we realized we didn't want to go! Not down the mountain, not back home, not to reality. Who needs reality when you have this view???


Oh yeah, that's right, someone's gotta replenish the coffers for the next adventure. Back to reality it is. Beijos until next time, Rio.

* browse all pics from Pão de Açúcar
* browse all Brazil pics posted so far

* Sugarloaf smooches
* Holy Floats, Batman (part two)
* Holy Floats, Batman (part one)

* browse all posts in Brazil category

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Posted by sonia at 12:00 AM | Link | 2 comments

04 May 2012
Photo Friday: from Rio with love

night falls on Rio
night falls on Rio

There's a reason everyone who's been to Rio ranks it among their favorite cities. It's gawjeous! For Photo Friday this week, here's another snap from our trip up Pão de Açúcar/Sugarloaf. If you want a sneak peek, all Sugarloaf pics have been posted. And the full story is coming soon. Really. Soon. (What can I say? Spring is in the air, and real life has gotten in the way this week!)

For more fabulous travel snaps, check out DeliciousBaby's Photo Friday.

Holy Floats, Batman (part two)
* Holy Floats, Batman (part one)
* Snoof and fuzzles, tringlers and trappings
* We had trouble in getting to Solla Sollew
Fried, fried, pink stuff, fried
* Impersonal Jesus
* The sun sets on another epic trip
* Sambódromo favorites
* Dois Gringos em Dois Irmãos
* Samba till you drop
In a Rio state of mind
* browse all pics from Pão de Açúcar
* browse all Brazil pics posted so far

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Posted by sonia at 12:00 AM | Link | 0 comments