Monday, 7 November 2011

Attending the Emirates Airlines Festival of Literature

The Emirates Airlines Festival of Literature have kindly invited me to join one of the events in March :) 
 
 
P.S. Click here to get more information about the festival. 

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

George Michael's "Symphonica" in London, Wow!


©independent.co.uk
There’s no idol like your teen idol, and as I watched George Michael on the first night of his "Symphonica" tour at the Royal Albert Hall yesterday, I realized that there’s no idol like one that grows with you.

George Michael has teamed up for this tour with classical orchestras from several parts of Europe to create new interpretations of many of his own tracks as well as covers of his favorite songs by other artists.

He was accompanied by a 41 piece orchestra and a massive screen, morphing shapes and colors in the background, yet he was so present, so intense, that he made the Royal Albert Hall feel intimate, almost like we were in a private surrounding and he was taking us through his playlist.

I attended George’s last tour “25 live” in 2007 which was an equally uplifting experience, but yesterday he looked healthier, more connected to the audience and happier to be there.

And his voice... his voice... I cried during “You Have Been Loved”, so did the lady sitting next to me and probably countless others around the hall. His rendition of Rihanna’s “Russian Roulette” gave me goose bumps; he also performed a new song dedicated to his ex partner Kenny.  

Overall, a superb evening with one of the best artists of all time. It's good to have him back. 

And the even better news? He’s planning to release a new dance music album next year!  


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Friday, 21 October 2011

My Heart Aches...

...for this shoe. Isn't she a beauty?


 
These are the Christian Louboutin Metallip 120 suede and metal pumps.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

At The Getting Published Event With The Writers Workshop

Last week was a big week for me in London. In addition to holding the signing for Summer Blast, I was kindly invited by the Writers Workshop to their published authors' event, where I shared experiences with fellow writers.

I also got the opportunity to catch up with my writing coach Debi Alper; and with Emma Darwin who taught me a creative writing course back in 2009. Debi and Emma are both established authors and as it turns out, they are quite the SWAT team in the writing world, having helped many an aspiring author get that all elusive publishing offer. 

Here's a video of my testimonial at the event:



P.S. The event was held at the Royal Overseas League, how fabulously British is that?

Monday, 17 October 2011

Summer Blast gets its London Signing!

My little book finally got its signing in London. It was the kind of event that writers dream of. I'm incredibly grateful to everyone who attended.

Waterstones were kind enough to support us with books.





Tuesday, 11 October 2011

My guest blog on Authonomy by Harper Collins

Authonomy by Harper Collins were kind enough to host me as a guest blogger this week. Authonomy is a  writing community site conceived and developed by book editors at Harper Collins. It's aimed at aspiring writers as well as readers and publishers.

You can click here for the full text.


Thursday, 22 September 2011

My guest blog at the London Writers' Club

The London Writers' Club have been extremely kind to host me as a guest blogger this week.

 
The LWC define themselves as "The publishing equivalent of Charlie’s Angels. Two über-babes who want to work with, and support, writers at all stages of their careers’. The group is managed by two professional agents and I highly recommend becoming a member if you live in London and are interested in writing. They host some of the most knowledgeable and powerful speakers in the industry and provide great tips.

Please click here to read the full post and learn more about the LWC.


Monday, 12 September 2011

Dietary Supplements: A Helpful Myth Buster

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The organic craze and its first cousin, the dietary supplements fad, are sweeping the globe, but you can't help but be a little skeptical. I do take my vitamins regularly and am even on a 10 day detox program as recommended by the Organic Pharmacy, but I try to handle "well being" recommendations with caution. If you think of it, our vegetarian, organic-eating, clean-air breathing ancestors had all of 30 or 40 years of life expectancy to look forward to, whereas since we started using chemical drugs in health care and ingesting all kind of hormones and preservatives through our nutrition, we've been actually living longer and generally healthier than our forefathers. 

So I wasn't surprised when I got a newsletter from The Johns Hopkins University (rated as one of the top  research institutions in the world) warning about the myth surrounding dietary supplements. I thought I'd share it with everyone so that we don't let ourselves get taken over by the hype.

Here's what the newsletter had to say:

" The nutritional supplement marketers and the pharmaceutical industry seem to be at war.
At stake: billions of dollars in revenue from the sales of pills -- medicines we take to protect and improve our health.
Advertising from the dietary supplement industry often makes out the pharmaceutical industry to be an "evil empire" -- raking in billions by poisoning consumers with expensive, dangerous chemicals they shouldn't be taking.
But some of the myths and half-truths all this expensive advertising has implanted in the public awareness can be downright dangerous to YOUR health...

MYTH #1: Dietary supplements are far safer than prescription drugs because they are "natural."
THE REALITY: The fact that a supplement is derived from an herb or other plant, and is therefore "natural," doesn't necessarily make it safe.
If everything that was made from plants was safe, we wouldn't be told to avoid eating certain berries or mushrooms while hiking in the woods. And would you consume arsenic or hemlock?

MYTH #2: Dietary supplements are rigorously tested, and their effectiveness backed by all sorts of studies and scientific proof.
THE REALITY: To gain FDA approval, any new prescription drug has to pass a series of strict clinical trials. But dietary supplements are sold without FDA approval.
Worse, supplements either undergo no testing at all -- or the "testing" to which they have been submitted typically does not meet the standards required by the scientific community.
Example: Supplement advertisements frequently boast that a particular herb has been used for a thousand years in Asia. In reality, some Chinese herbs can cause liver damage and other dangerous side effects.

MYTH #3: Supplement makers are knights on white horses riding to our rescue, while the pharmaceutical industry is "evil."
THE REALITY: Both the pharmaceutical and the dietary supplement industries spend millions of dollars trying to get us to buy their products."

I know some people may think that this warning by JHU is actually playing into the pharmaceutical industry's lobbying strategy, and that may be well be the case, but, IMHO, the dietary supplement industry and those promoting the benefits of organic living need to do a lot more hardcore scientific research to prove their claims. The worrying thing is that many people believe the hype and are making health care decisions for themselves and their families based on it. #justsaying

Monday, 5 September 2011

Recommended Read: "The Sand Fish, a novel from Dubai"



Set within fictional towns and tribes, The Sand Fish explores life in the UAE right before the oil boom.  Brought up in an isolated desert household (in a mountainous region that sounds like Ras Al Khaimah), Noora has been raised by her father to feel nearly an equal to her brothers. Yet, following her mother’s death, her father succumbs to mental illness and one day wanders off never to come back. Despite her feistiness, Noora finds herself sold off by her brother to become the third wife of a much older man in a far away city.  

The Sand Fish tells yet again of the unfairness of women’s condition in the Arab world.  Not only is Noora abandoned by her father and hawked by her brother, she is also betrayed by the two men she falls in love with, both of whom are quick to turn their backs on her at the first hint of social pressure. But it’s the other women who are the toughest:  two matchmakers “inspect” her before she is to be married off, her love interest’s mother loses her mind when her son declares his intention to marry someone of his own choice instead of the cousin intended for him, and her husband’s two other wives are nothing but jealousy and manipulation.

Yet, what I liked most were the insights about life in the UAE when oil excavation had just started and no one suspected the boom that would soon come to transform the Arabian Peninsula forever. The author, Maha Gargash was a TV producer in the UAE and the novel is based on the research she has done about her country’s history. I read comments online from UAE nationals who’ve read the book and questioned some of the insights and I cannot claim to know enough about the culture to agree or disagree with them, but Gargash’s writing did transport me into another time and space, whilst keeping to the story and not trying too hard to position itself as a historical resource. It gave me - an absolute lover of the UAE - that much more knowledge about a country and a people that I find fascinating.  

Click here for more about Sand Fish

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Anyone feelin' the Miu Mius?


Miu Miu's fall 2011 Crisscross Glitter Ankle Boots. 
  • Are they unusual? Yes
  • Are they comfortable? Probably not.
  • Do I want them? Yessssssssssssssssssssssssssss.
  • Will I get them? Maybe if they go on sale.




Monday, 1 August 2011

New signing for "Summer Blast" this Friday

If you're in Lebanon, please join us at a new signing for my novel "Summer Blast" at Eddeh Sands Miss é Boutique on Friday, Aug 5th. 5 p.m




Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Incendies: A beautiful and disturbing film


Based on the play of the same name by Lebanese Canadian playwright Wajdi Mouawad, Incendies was adapted to film by Quebec director Denis Villeneuve and received an Oscar nomination for best foreign language film in 2010.

The story is set in Canada and an unnamed Middle Eastern country where Moslems, Christians, “refugees” and “enemy war planes” fought each other in the seventies (hint, hint).

Incendies is a family drama that tells of the savagery of war and bears witness to the way in which personal tragedy leads to political extremism. The plot kicks into action when a pair of Canadian twins meet with the notary for a reading of their recently deceased mother’s will. She asks to be buried naked in an unmarked grave with her face down so she “can turn away from this world”. She also reveals to her children that their father, whom they’d always thought dead, was alive and also that they have a brother in the Middle East. Only if her twins can find their father and brother, she states, would they be able to give her a proper burial.

The plot shifts between the present-day story of the twins trying to retrace their mother’s past, and the back story of the mother herself. The painful discoveries, twists and turns are riveting and the Middle East imagery (filmed in Northern Jordan) provides a near-desolate, yet fitting, backdrop to this disturbing tale. I loved the fact that they kept the languages real: Canadian French or Levantine Arabic (with subtitles as needed), so the script felt genuine and resonated with me as a local of that region.

With two powerful plots intertwining, I was taken aback on a few occasions when the pace suddenly moved to a slower, “impressionistic” (as a review on Rotten Tomatoes called it) tempo, but most people seemed to like it because it reflects the mood of the original theater production.

Bottom line: if you haven’t seen Incendies yet, you definitely should. If it’s no longer playing in a cinema near you, get the DVD asap.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Vintage Madonna

The Queen of Pop as she prepared to take over the world way back when (and doesn't she totally look like Lola?)


Copyright may apply to this picture
Note: I received this picture in an email chain so I'm not 100% sure of its credibility, although this does look like Her real Madgesty.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Rant: Corporate Jargon And Annoying Meetings

Don’t get me wrong, I like my corporate foibles as much as the next office drone. But on days like today, (caffeine withdrawal in an attempt to embrace a healthier lifestyle) my tolerance goes down to zilch. Or maybe I've sat in so many meetings and conference calls that I've developed mental allergies to corporate BS.

I'd love to know the psychology behind herd-like business behavior: Does using acronyms make us feel smarter? Or is it a sense of belonging since companies like to think they have created their own "dictionary"? Buzzwords are picked up faster than a high street dress photographed on Kate Middleton.
This picture may be subject to copyright
website: customersarealways.com
More than the jargon it's also the behavior. Have you noticed how we all copy each other? Especially in meetings and on conference calls. It's like our vocabulary shrinks to only a few words and we all start our presentations and questions with the same expressions, body language and jokes (or attempts to joke).

Here’s my peeve list and what I think these expressions really mean:
Quick question.” It’s NEVER quick!
Let’s make this interactive.” When you hear this, get ready to be killed by PowerPoint and video.
How can my team help you?” Generally, this comes from people trying to justify their existence in the organization AND make themselves seem helpful. If you really needed them, chances are you both know how they can help you and therefore the question is not required.
We need to work closely …” As companies get bigger and more matrixed, this question is often the prelude to a whole bunch of people getting involved in everything and sending accountability flying out the window.
Let’s move on from this point in the interest of time.” I love it when people say this, it usually means that this topic doesn’t fit their agenda and they won’t waste their time answering you.
I will go on mute”. Heheh, this is where you know a person (including yours truly) will stop listening to a conference call.
I will go over this point very quickly.” If only I could claim back the time I lost sitting in presentations where people said this then went on and on for centuries. See point 1: it’s NEVER quick.
I am aware that I’m the only thing standing between you and lunch”. The first person who said this in a presentation must have been funny, but by now this expression is sooooo tired. Find another joke if you’re in a comedic mood.
Good morning, good afternoon or good evening no matter where you are in the world”. We get it, people have dialed into this conference call/webinar from all over the world, hardly a first. Why don’t you just say hello and get going?

-- End Of Rant ;)

Please feel free to add your own h8ted expressions.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Shoe crush of the month: United Nude

I’ve been crushing on United Nude Shoes since I got their Möbius boot this past winter. They have the most unusual fun designs, and I like the story behind the brand: It was founded when Koolhaas, “an architect with a broken heart” (as their website put it) who decided to create something innovative for women. Following a meeting with designer and entrepreneur Galahad Clark (of the Clark shoe dynasty), Koolhaas launched a new footwear company, United Nude, which produces shoes that that are inspired by modern design concepts.


Object of my covetousness: United Nude's Lemon Ultra Möbius Sandal


Each pair is inspired by an architectural object and uses different materials and colors: the first shoe created by United Nude was the “Möbius”, which was inspired by the Barcelona chair created by Bauhaus director Mies Van Der Rohe for the International Exposition in 1929. This design is unique because the sandal is characterised by a single strip that forms the sole, heel, foot-bed and upper of the shoe. The “Eamz” series is based on the aluminum office chair by Ray and Charles, and integrates in its heels a detail of the chair foot. Both the Mobius and Eamz series seem to suspend their wearer in mid-air, kind of like Gaga’s heal-less boots but in a more wearable (and actually quite comfortable and stable) way.
Here's a link to their website: http://www.unitednude.com/

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

"Love Never Dies" to close in August



One of my favorite West End shows, “Love Never Dies” is set to close on August 27, 2011. This musical’s brief history (it was launched a little over a year ago) has been one of controversy and ups and downs. Love Never Dies is a sequel to the much beloved “Phantom of the Opera” and purist Phantom fans (or Phans as they call themselves) were opposed from the beginning to a sequel for this love story which was penned by French writer Gaston Leroux in the early 1900s and turned into a stage musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber in 1986.

Although many have called the score of Love Never Dies one of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s best, the production was marred from the beginning by negative reviews and low earnings. It was suspended for a week last year to go through a number of modifications.

I saw both versions, the one before and the one after the changes and although I agree that the first one had some shortcomings, I enjoyed it. What got me were the production (one of the best theatrical productions I’ve ever seen) and the music. If like me, you’re a sucker for impossible love stories, the song “Beneath a Moonless Sky” will become your anthem.

The “Love Never Dies” storyline itself leaves a bit to be desired, and that’s where I understand the Phans’ reservations. The plot is predictable, and, most importantly, there’s too little tension in the love triangle. Also, what’s with the title? Couldn’t they have thought of something more imaginative?

Still, if you’re in London I highly advise watching this musical. I saw it in May for the second time and I’m tempted to go again before the show closes. On the other hand, if you’re in Sydney, you can treat yourself to an apparently better version.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

My little book is in Waterstone's!!

My little lebanese story has made it to Waterstone's, one of the UK's largest book retailers.

Granted it's only in one branch so far (Kensington High Street) but it's still exiting!

Friday, 17 June 2011

Elle Magazine calls Summer Blast "the ultimate chick lit novel"

OMG! Elle Magazine wrote this amazing comment about my book: "Dania El-Kadi signs the ultimate chick lit novel. From war torn Beirut to glamorous New York, the lives of her three main characters (two cousins and their friend) echo a Lebanese rollercoaster ride, filled with blind dates, annoying uncles, diva fashion designers and Kuwaiti divorces. Trust us, you will not want to put this book down." 


Click on the image for a larger view


Friday, 10 June 2011

Mourning a little boy I didn't know

May Nemo rest in Peace and may God help his friends and family in their grief. My thoughts and prayers to everyone who’s ever lost a child.

I went to a funeral this week, that of a 10 year old boy I’ve never met, nor do I know anyone in his family. But Yat Yeung “Nemo” Tin’s story moved me the minute a friend of mine told me about a child who had died in a road accident. He said he knew Nemo from church where the little boy had been a regular ever since, eighteen months ago, his mother brought him there for the first time. But she only spoke Chinese and not English, so she didn’t come back and Nemo took to walking to church all by himself every week, striking up a friendship with adults and kids alike. The friend also described the way in which Nemo would go smiling and waving to people on the street. He’d even made friends with the grumpy corner florist whom he would startle by jumping from the back and poking him in the ribs.
Something about this, the idea of a little boy who only had ten years to live and went so far to reach out to perfect strangers touched me to the core. It’s like he knew his time was limited and made the most of his short life. The fact that someone like me who'd never met him reacted with such emotion to his story reinforced the thought that Nemo was indeed special. London newspapers covered his death because it brought to light an unsafe crossing near Royal Albert Hall.
So I found myself at Nemo’s funeral, surrounded by others who didn’t know him but felt the need to come, by his friends of all ages and walks of life and also by school children who should never have to mourn a fellow pupil. Nemo’s mother stood stoically in her devastation, even as she kissed her son’s casket goodbye when it was taken away by a horse pulled hearse.
When I told Nemo’s story to my driving instructor, he said “that boy must have been an angel”. Exactly my thoughts.

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Great restaurant: Le Colimaçon in Paris

I’m no restaurant critic, but my dining experience at Le Colimaçon restaurant in Paris this weekend was so good that I had to rave about it. With its old stone walls, exposed beams and floor tiles, this restaurant (44 Rue Vieille Du Temple, 4eme arrondissement) mixes rustic and modern, featuring the added bonus of friendly service that can be so elusive in Paris.



The food doesn’t disappoint either; it’s French cuisine as you may have guessed and I’m told the menu (there are no printed menus, just a blackboard listing available dishes) is updated seasonally and uses only regional ingredients.

Make sure you work up an appetite and turn off the calorie counter in your head. Dishes such as the burger of foie gras and the rib eye steak (which is served in a huge portion) with its bone marrow won’t make you any thinner, but may get you squealing in delight.

Le Colimaçon is also known for its carefully selected wine list so, if you drink alcohol, do ask the waiter for recommendations. We loved the bottle they recommended to go with our steaks. The wines are sorted by price brackets (25 €, 35 € or 50 €) which is a good way to keep your bill under control.

Now... back to my diet...

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Monday, 9 May 2011

Shoe addict's fix of the month: Aruna Seth Butterfly heels

Guess what the mail man delivered this weekend? The object of my latest shoe desire: a pair of Aruna Seth Farfalla Royal Blue Satin Butterfly heels.

I can't remember how I came to know about this designer (probably online), but since I bought this pair, I've done more reading and it turns out that I've been under more Royal Wedding influence that I care to admit: Inspired by Kate Middleton’s sapphire engagement ring and blue Issa engagement dress, these shoes have been described by fashion bloggers as "the height of style" for brides this year.


So there you go ladies, if you're planning your wedding, or like me you're just intent on loving the shoes you live in, start prepping that credit card!

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

I diiiiiiiiie. Special Mag calls me "Our Very Own Candance Bushnell"!



This makes me one very happy little writer! The clipping is from this month's "Special Magazine" one of the top lifestyle mags in Lebanon. The headline translates into "Dania El-Kadi, Our Very Own Candance Bushnell".

If you haven't heard of Candance Bushnell, chances are you're not a chicklit fan :) She's the writing genius behind the "Sex And The City" book on which the TV series and movies are based.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Cool kids' book: "Diaries Of An Ant" by Diala Arslan Talhouk

The best part of my trip to the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (#ADIBF) was of course that I got to launch my novel “Summer Blast”. The second best part is that I caught up on book shopping :-). So I’ll be posting about my favorite reads.



Even before having a kid, I found myself reading Diala Arslan Talhouk’s ديالا ارسلان تلحوق books cover to cover because they’re so cute and enjoyable.

Diala has written 5 Arabic kids'books (published by Educart Middle East). My two favorites were “Diaries of an Ant” يوميات نملة and a “Queen’s Story” قصة ملكة.

“Diaries of an Ant” tells the story of Loulou the working ant who would be queen. “A Queen’s story” is about busy bees who decide to overthrow their queen for being lazy.

I liked the quality of the Arabic writing and, of course, the environmental theme. I would love to know that our kids are getting an early education about living species and the importance of conserving them, especially in Lebanon, where there’s absolutely no consideration for wildlife. Insect, reptiles and birds have been brought to extinction by the over-spraying of chemicals and most other animal life has been hunted, fished or smothered by pollution, not to mention loss of habitat etcetera etcetera etcetera (sorry about the rant, but this drives me MAD).

Therefore: Strong recommendation, get these books for your kid(s). If I enjoyed them, your kids definitely will.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Object of my desire

This Balmain studded leather gilet retails at over £5k. I won't be buying it any time soon, but I think it's F.I.E.R.C.E.


Friday, 1 April 2011

Great time on the TV program Talk of the Town, حديث البلد


I was lucky to be hosted on one of Lebanon's top TV shows: MTV's "Talk of The Town" to discuss "Summer Blast". I was even asked who would make good actresses if my book was ever turned into a movie!

The episode ran on March 31 and you can watch it here



Sunday, 27 March 2011

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Bromance and Frenemies, hearting the 10 new words in the Oxford English Dictionary

•Catastrophizing: view or present a situation as considerably worse than it actually is.
•Overthink: think about (something) too much or for too long.
•Matchy-matchy: excessively color coordinated.
•LBD: little black dress
•Frenemy: a person with whom one is friendly despite a fundamental dislike or rivalry.
•Cool hunter: a person whose job it is to make observations or predictions about new styles and trends.
•Bromance: a close but nonsexual relationship between two men.
•Exit strategy: a preplanned means of extricating oneself from a situation.
•Defriend: another term for unfriend (remove someone from a list of friends or contacts on a social networking site).
•Soft skills: personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people.

Friday, 25 March 2011

I had the wonderful opportunity to discuss my novel, Summer Blast, with MTV Lebanon's Karen Boustany yesterday. Check it out here:



Wednesday, 23 March 2011

From the launch in Abu Dhabi

We had a great time and a wonderful launch at the Abu Dhabi book fair (#ADIBF). I got to meet amazing readers, including some who had been stranded in the 2006 war in Lebanon and identified immediately with the story.


Sunday, 13 March 2011

Book launch at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair #ADIBF

It's almost time :)! I'm planning to fly on Tuesday for the launch of my novel at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair and I’m getting all kinds of jittery.

We're also planning a signing event in Dubai. Details below for both events. Please do join us!

Abu Dhabi: Thursday, March 17th, 2011 from 5-8pm at Ciel Stand (Hall 12, L18), Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC)

Dubai: Friday, March 18th, 2011 from 3pm-6pm at Kitsch Cupcakes, Gate Building, Marble Walk, Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC).

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Authonomy kindly host me as a "publishing success" on their blog


As an aspiring writer, I took to the web 2 years ago to help me polish my work and understand the publishing industry a bit better. Authonomy, Harper Collins' hugely successful (and very competitive) social networking site for writers was crucial in this journey.

Since my book is coming out next week, Authonomy kindly asked me to contribute a blog to their community. You can check it out here

Sunday, 6 March 2011

If you like theater (and you're in the UK), try to catch "Jekyll and Hyde"

My favorite part of living in London is the theater. From commercial musicals, to dramas and the odd comedy night, I love all things thespian in this town.

We were lucky to get last minute tickets to “Jekyll and Hyde”’s last London performance at the New Wimbledon Theater last night. Wet Wet Wet’s front man Marti Pellow is brilliant in the lead role and the play was engaging from start to finish.



"Jekyll and Hyde" is currently touring the UK and a visit to Abu Dhabi is planned.
Click here for a full review
... and here for the tour dates.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Loving my book cover!

This must be every writer’s dream come true. Just received the final cover for my book and I’m absolutely loving it!  

Summer Blast is planned for release at the Abu Dhabi Book Fair on March 17th.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Bewildering Brazil

Just came back from an amazing holiday in Brazil. It must be one of the most beautiful and diverse countries in the world. From Rio to the Amazon, Iguacu falls, the city of Salvador and the resorts of Bahia state, every stop was breathtaking and had its own flavor.

Yet, the history of the country is quite sad when you think about the natives who were eradicated when the colonials invaded. I couldn't help but think about how, throughout human history, peaceful peoples who were able to live in harmony with their environment lost out to more aggressive cultures, not only in the Americas but everywhere around the world. If these peoples had been the ones ruling the Earth, our planet would have been much cleaner and peaceful.

But let's go back to happier thoughts and some fun vids & pix from the trip:

We were (kind of) attacked by a Caiman during a nightime animal spotting in the Amazon


video
Sunrise over the Rio Negro river (Amazonia)


A little peak into Heaven (Iguacu falls)