Monthly Archives: January 2017

In My Own Words

Where to begin…

  • How does a country like the United States of America elect a president like Donald Trump?
  • How does a country of immigrants ban immigrants?
  • How do people blindly follow a racist, ignorant, sexist, xenophile, molester and think that he will be fit for the presidency?
  • How does a president call for a ban of visitors from Muslim countries while not including those that he has significant business ties to and were not directly involved in the 9/11 attacks that were 15 YEARS AGO?
  • How does the president not think through the potential risk for U.S. citizens abroad and domestically due to his ban? Does he not think there will be repercussions?
  • How does one ban all for the actions of a few? Should we ban all Americans from America for shooting up places here? They seem like a more plausible risk.

As a traveler, I have learned to judge little and listen. Embrace what is around you and learn from the culture you are exploring. Traveling opens your eyes to the world.

 
Why do I support immigrants and open borders for visitors?

Because we can all learn from them. And I would hope that they will follow the typical religious principle of “Love they neighbor as yourself” and let me across as well.

 
Why do I support women’s rights and reproductive choices?

Because I am a woman and I should be able to make the choice that I feel is right for my body. I’ve seen 14 year old girls pregnant with their second child, yes, their SECOND child. That is why I support reproductive rights and contraception for all because that child’s life is now permanently changed due to another child in her life. In a world where women are repressed and don’t have access to education or contraception, women cannot reach their true potential.

 
Why do I support the freedom to marry for all?

Because I want to marry and I did, fortunately after the rights had been issued for all in the USA. In other parts of the world, people can be killed simply for loving another human being. Whether that person be of their same sex or of a different religious background or ethnic background.

 
Why do I support a woman’s right to abortion?

Because who am I to judge that person’s situation. What if their spouse beats them every night? What if having a child could actually kill them? What if a young child was raped and having a child will rip apart their insides?

 
Why do I care about the environment?

Because my favorite thing to do in the world is go on a hike, with only my dog in tow, and see this great beauty of an earth that we have. I do not want it destroyed by us or by the high number of children we continue to produce. I will always support public transportation measures and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. I believe that every person has a right to enjoy nature and not to see it destroyed slowly but surely.

 
Why did I march last Saturday?

Because I believe that females’ rights should not be defined by the OLD WHITE MEN who make laws in our country. Because I did not change my name when I got married and I don’t plan on ever changing it. Why should a woman have to become the property of a male when they marry?

 
This administration’s policies cause me frustration everyday especially as they are not developed out of fact but out of an inflammatory reaction to hate. But I am fortunate, unlike some others. I live in a state and on a Coast where there is ample access to health care and a focus on human rights and the environment. We embrace diversity, rather than shunning it. A good number, but not all of his policies will not affect me. But it’s not me I’m worried about. It’s those who get into a tough situation, whose country is at war, whose skin color is different, who gender identity is not defined by terms others understand. How will they be affected? How can I help them?

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Buenos Aires, City Center- Free Walking Tour

One thing I always recommend when going to a new city, is taking advantage of a free walking tour. These of course aren’t free but they are based on the idea that people should be able to experience a city on any budget. There is a suggested tip as a result.

If you’d like to learn more visit this website: http://www.buenosairesfreewalks.com/

I was fortunate to be able to go on both of the free tours offered and started off with the City Center Tour, meeting at the Congreso Nacional. This building was made in Europe but assembled in BA. It took 50 plus years to build!IMG_9138.JPGIMG_9137.JPG

The guide showed us a lighthouse type building which was designed to specifically reference the divine comedy in as many ways as possible. It has a level for hell, purgatory, heaven, etc. The designed made a specific statue for it and went back to Italy to design it but it was stolen once it arrived. It was found years later but before it could be moved back to the building, it was stolen again. A copy is currently where the original was supposed to be.

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An obelisk monument was created to celebrate 400 years of Argentina. The porteños (word for people from Buenos Aires, referencing that they are from the “port city”) hated it and were calling for its removal as soon as it was installed. It was decided that nothing could be done since it was a national monument. For a campaign against AIDS, they put a giant condom over it, emphasizing the phallic shape.

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Some miscellaneous facts:

  • Argentina comes from the Latin word argento, meaning silver.
  • Inflation is currently at about 45 percent. As a result Argentinians will change their pesos into dollars so that their money is kept in a stable currency, otherwise their money is worthless soon after. The guide mentioned that when he was young, he was at the supermarket and prices were going up so fast that the price may have changed by the time you got to the register to pay. They were calling out prices.
  • 500 and 200 peso bills were recently added. Before 100 was the maximum bill. ATMs started running out of bills pretty quickly though because of inflation as you couldn’t do much with it. There are currently 4 types of 100 peso bills. One was created by the Vice President. Two are Brazilian as when they started running out of currency, the government asked Brazil to help make some. They differ slightly from the other model with letters in black and of a simple design. The last kind is more recent and celebrates Eva Peron.
  • A couple of years ago the “blue market” was really popular was/is where you can exchange currency but not through a bank. It used to have a better USD to peso rate than the banks so many people would utilize it – 15:1 vs 9:1 at the banks. Now both exchange rates are about 15:1 so its better to just get money at the bank so you know it’s not counterfeit which is more likely to occur with the 4 different types of 100 peso bills.
  • Uber has become popular in Argentina, especially due to the varying prices that cabs can change. However, there has been a battle over it. As a result, only people with non-Argentinian credit cards can use it.
  • It is always a good idea to carry around some Argentine pesos as sometimes credit cards don’t work. There’s no rhyme or reason as to when or why this happens it just happens. I always made sure to never order more than the amount in my pocket.
  • The San Ignacio Church is currently the oldest structure in Buenos Aires. It was built in 1722 by the Jesuits. IMG_9147.JPG
  • All Argentinians currently receive a free education from primary through college. Everyone can attend any college that they want but it is up to them to finish and succeed.

 

 

 

 

Mormons, they’re everywhere!

I write this headline in a very respectful way because wherever I travel, there tends to be one certainty – there will be a Mormon temple or church. I once saw 11 churches in a 2 hour drive in Ghana.

On my most recent trip to South America, I saw an enormous, immaculate temple on my way from the Buenos Aires airport to the city center.

In Ushuaia, I was wandering around town, a little off the tourist path when I had the thought – I haven’t seen a temple or church yet – and there it was! A much different style than normal with a brick exterior.

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