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viernes, 1 de octubre de 2010

Lima, The Enlightened City

Lima, the enlightned city, center of the important Lima Culture of prehispanic times; the one over which the Spanish conquerors built what was once the center of the viceroyalty, the Virreinato del Perú, of South America; and which is now one of the most progressive cities of this side of the world, and is now and once more, the object of my wanderings.  I am here to discover and let everybody know what's new and what  peruvians are up to.
I have arrived to Lima in one of its most interesting moments of its present development: the peruvians are preparing for a most important ocassion in which they will cast their votes to elect their municipal leaders.  All along the roads coming from the airport and all through the most important vehicular arteries, you can see enormous signs advertising the different candidates of the diverse political factions. They even have a site in facebook and an e-mail address to contact them...modernization!!! Conservatives are very preoccupied with the possibility of a leftist leader which they want to impersonate in one of the candidates, Susana Villarán.  They will tell you that she has associated with  the communist party and that she is dangerous and will be negative in a time when Peru is starting to emerge as a very strong economic asset in Latin America and the world.
In a debate, the other candidate for the Municipality of Lima, of the more conservative wing, Lourdes Flores, went personal and attacked her opposer in a televised debate. The candidates with less preference, roam around these two very strong contenders. Also at stake are the elections for the mayors of the different districts of Lima. In the newspapers, the tv media and all public sites, people talk about defining a very important political moment in Peru. No drinks and no political meetings are allowed from early Friday to election day. Everybody has to vote!

Those who have been appointed to their jobs, because of "political favors" (that doesn't mean they are not doing good jobs) are already packing their offices and planning in what new jobs are they going to land.  Tough moments!!!  Am I going to vote?  I don't know.  I was assigned a place in NY. They say that if I don't vote I am not going to be able to use my peruvian privileges.
Another big event I was able to attend, was my mom's 92th  birthday.  Estelita cannot recognize me anymore, and she cannot breathe very well, but still was able to collect some energy and blow a lot of candles and sing happy birthday to herself with us.  After 8  tiring and tense hours in the plane coming to Lima, finding a very tasty array of sandwiches and sweets, and seeing my sisters, brother, nieces and nephews and my parents,was a great treat.  It's in these moments that one realizes the importance of having a real family and being so close to your roots.  You are never lonely!
My sister Monica, is a fun, fun person to be with. A woman of all trades...a well known photographer in our country, a journalist, a writer, a yoga instructor and cultor of somatic arts, she is constantly mingling with the most interesting people one can ever meet. Through her I have been able to participate in an oracle meeting in which they gather to consult the peruvian  andean ancestors of these mostly mestizo people, and ask them, under the light of the oldest traditions, some questions about their doubts.  The leading officer "tosses some sacred cards" sorrounded by coca leaves and placed over a native piece of textile and asks their ancestors a question which has been agreed by all the oracle group members.  This time they asked about the importance of melody and sound intensities in life and nature.  The "abuelitos (grandfathers) demanded an offering...they demanded that we sing.  The group united their voices to reach the highest pitch of some notes of the scale...and suddenly, Gabriel, a Shipibo native, started to sing the most beautiful song in his native language...a lesson about sound?  An answer to their questions or doubts?  I don't understand; but beyond this beautiful meeting, I met wonderful people, with so much to give and so preoccupied with making this world a better place through their studies and individual contributions..people who find spirituality and its expressions as they pace their world together. Great night, followed by a yoga session and great conversation at Monica's house.
Walk through Miraflores, and go to the different "Indian Markets" by the Marsano building, the last reduce of the Marsano family. I went to explore the newest artisan additions. I was delighted by the wonderful and colorful straw baskets and flowers, the creative and newest fashion of the textiles, the jingling sounds of the ceramic wind chimes, the knit puppets with their incredible detailed depictions of all the storybook characters and of many andean people, the Cusquenian gold and silver altars, the new wooden Niño Manuelitos, the intricate and creative name it!!!
As part the Miraflores revitalization plan...which of course has been acelerated on these days in all the districts, to justify the candidacy of the existing mayors, the Marsano Boulevard is being developed.  Around the famous Marsano building, you can find wonderful stores where current famous clothes and jewelry designers, are starting to promote themselves.  I even found a "gringo restaurant" offering Tex-Mex food...burritos, tortillas, fajitas,sandwiches and salads. "Somos", the magazine which the local Newspaper "El Comercio", publishes every week, has interviewed  the owners and wrote about their stores.  You should see the baby store and the prettiest clothes I have ever seen (I was thinking about Nyomi, my little granddaughter, and all the nice things I could buy for her). The silver jewelry is so original and creative, and the clothes are worthy of being shown in the mostly renowned fashion shows of the kidding!

At Dorita's, my friend, today, I had my first taste of the most incredible peruvian swordfish sorrounded with a scrumptious mushroom sauce and a side of rice! The freshness of our fish is astonishing. My sister in law brought an out of this world version of Suspiros de Limeña; a dessert typical of Lima and made in the fine Club Nacional... Oh my God!  What a taste!  Peruvian food, no offense, is the best of the world.
Tomorrow is another day and I have wonderful plans, which I will tell you to later.  It is wonderful to feel that everyday you can discover something new in this Lima where I was born and through which streets I have walked thoroughly and yet not known completely.

Continúan multiplicándose los carteles políticos en Lima | El Comercio Perú

Continúan multiplicándose los carteles políticos en Lima El Comercio Perú

domingo, 26 de septiembre de 2010

The Crossfit the Rock Party: a celebration of our two years anniversary

Today, "Crossfit the Rock" turned 2 years old and Larry and Carlo their founders and all of its members threw a big bash for the occasion. Carolee and her mom shared their home with us for the evening...and boy, was it a wonderful one!  We sat under a fancy tent with a bronze chandelier and we admired the beautiful landscaping in the yard.

 There were beer pong games and other games of skill.  The beer cups were aligned over the ping-pong table and the kids were excited as they threw their ping pong balls into the other team's cups. So much fun! 

 Larry is throwing his best shot!
One more time!

I even got to "funnel" some beer while everybody shouted with excitement.  Since I had to drive, I only did this once at the beginning of the party; anyway I don't like beer that much so, who cares?  They even had arranged to hire cabs to ride home the "disabled"!

I am tired of Barbequing!

                                                                                                      The birthday cake

Everybody brought food, desserts and all kind of goodies. I have never seen so much food! The pulled pork was excellent, and the chicken and ribs were out of this world. The barbeque tender, as I called him, kept making hamburgers and hotdogs forever...and Jamie's Cake was so artistic and out of this world. But what is mostly appreciated is the time that everybody that cooked something spent so thoughtfully in order to make this occasion a great one.
Debbie, Carolee's mom pampered us so much! Cleaning the tables, making coffe and tea to soothe our rumbling stomachs, getting out of her way, together with her daughter, to make of this a memorable night.


In what concerns me, It was difficult to recognize some of the members dressed in their clean and neat outfits..we usually look sweaty and tired!  But beneath all this appearance, what really matters is who we are! It's nice to get personal for a moment and get to know each other and exchange all kind of ideas, instead of only plain old physical fitness and crossfit talk. I did not know that the people which whom I share some hours a week are firefighters, Long Island Railroad employees, pharmaceutical representatives, lawyers, nurses, teachers...all members of a greater community, who everyday contribute in very important ways to make a better world!  I am so proud of being a member of their team and very grateful for their patience with people like me, that need to scale their workout...for obvious reasons!! Take a guess!! I am proud of being part of this great family which I joined almost two years ago and even though I get discouraged sometimes because of the hard work involved, I still want to go back, because they have already dug real deep into my heart.
Here are some other pictures of us!


Beca and Will

      Larry and some of the kids.

Matt has two beautiful girls by him

In case you are not familiar with the Crossfit program, I paste here a description of the program as posted in their web:
CrossFit is an extremely efficient and effective way to get into great shape. The CrossFit training system started at a maverick gym in Santa Cruz and quickly spread to Olympic and professional athletes, police and military special operations units, champion martial artists, and – like most of us here at CrossFit “The Rock” – everyday people looking for a superior way to get in GREAT SHAPE! ( my note:I AM WORKING ON IT!)
CrossFit workouts involve constantly varied (we can go months without repeating workouts), functional exercises (we do Olympic lifts, pushups, pull-ups, running, jumping, kettle bells, burpees, box jumps, etc.), done at high intensity (relative to your physical and psychological limits).
CrossFit is challenging, fun, and delivers incredible results. It’s also scalable so that anyone – from highly trained athlete to hardly-trained couch potato – can participate and achieve their fitness goals.
Our program delivers a fitness that is, by design, broad, general, and inclusive. Our specialty is not specializing. Everyday life, sports, combat, and survival reward this kind of fitness.
We can almost guarantee you that CrossFit is like no other training system you have ever experienced!
To find out more about CrossFit “The Rock,” please stop in or call 516-208-5894.