Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I See Clearly Now

I was having confused thoughts about this place called Angola. I knew it sounded like an African place, but as I have been adding "friends" to my hi5 page my thoughts became cloudy. Why were the men looking so "brazilian" and why do they speak Portuguese? I did a bit of searching to put my mind at ease.

Portuguese explorer Paulo Dias de Novais founded Luanda in 1575 as "São Paulo de Loanda" on the continent of Africa. In 1618 the Portuguese built Fortaleza São Pedro da Barra fortress and in 1634 they built Fortaleza de São Miguel fortress. Luanda was Portuguese Angola's administrative center since 1627 with one exception. The Dutch ruled Luanda from 1640 to 1648 as Fort Aardenburgh. The city served as the center of a large slave trade to Brazil from c.1550 to 1836. Slave trade was mostly with the Portuguese colony of Brazil; Brazilian ships were the most numerous in the ports of Luanda and Benguela. By this time, Angola, a Portuguese colony, was in fact like a colony of Brazil, paradoxically another Portuguese colony. A strong Brazilian influence was noted in Luanda until the Independence of Brazil in 1822. In the 19th century, still under Portuguese rule, Luanda experienced a major economic revolution. The slave trade was abolished in 1836, and in 1844 Angola's ports were opened to foreign shipping. By 1850, Luanda was one of the greatest and most developed Portuguese cities in the vast Portuguese Empire outside mainland Portugal.













Amigos Angolan

Click on photo for the links to Edgar, Fabio and Reginaldo.






Friday, April 25, 2008

MEET EDWARD




















Edward is one of those guys that disappear from the scene from time to time. But when he is around you know it. He is an imposing figure, about 6' 4" and 210 lbs, but is quite a gentle giant.

He is both unassuming and charming. He also speaks english fluently. I met him several years ago at Bar Friends. How nice to have such a tall dance partner.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Paying For Luggage

Flying to the DR anytime soon? When packing for your trip, only take the essentials. El Caribe, quoting an article in the New York Times, writes that five of the six major airline carriers will begin charging passengers US$25 extra for a second suitcase as of 1 May. El Caribe says that this extra charge is a way for the airlines to make up for skyrocketing fuel costs and a way to increase profits.

US Airways and United began the practice in February and Continental, Delta and Northwestern have all followed suit. El Caribe also reports that the airlines will charge US$50 for a third item, and could charge more for a fourth checked bag. A source at Delta Airlines told El Caribe that the policy would not be applied in the Dominican Republic right away. It is well known that local travelers take rum, local fudge, salami and some other foods to the United States and return with their suitcases full of clothes, shoes and other items that are usually much more expensive in local stores. American Airlines, the DR's leading carrier, has yet to announce if it will follow the trend. See www.nytimes.com/2008/04/22/business/22bags.html?ex=...

Monday, April 21, 2008

DIA EN LA PLAYA




What a glorious day for the beach. Mild temperatures, clear skies and only the slightest breeze.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

FRIDAY FANTASY 77


There are often huge benefits when dating a mature man. Uh...experience!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

HAVE A LOOK

No satellite, but want to see whats going on in the Dominican Republic? Here are some links for you to watch live television. Elcaribe and CDN have teamed up to broadcast news, special programs, etc. Colorvision features news, sports and information. They both broadcast in spanish. click on the logo












I'm still encouraging people to install webcams on the Conde and at Boca Chica beach. Keep your fingers crossed! In the meantime, this link has several cams in Cabarete, Dominican Republic.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

BARBADOS















One site calls it a haven of warm, welcoming hospitality. A destination for true travelers. A little more remote. A little harder to get to, And a whole lot harder to leave.

Barbados is the eastern-most island in the caribbean. It is mostly a flat coral island with excellent beaches (many of them), but there are rolling hills and deep ridges. There are a vast array of caves and underground lakes, which provide a supply of drinking water that is amongst the purest in the world.

Barbados has lots of art, nightlife, music and history. There are many nightclubs, mainly located in St. Lawrence Gap. Check out barbados.org for much more information and a great photo
gallery.















I'm not sure about the nightlife, but there seems to be a definite gay presence. I came across Barry on Hi5. I thought the other two "friends" appeared to be suspiciously chummy in their photos.

BEST OF BARBADOS

This deal is truly the "Best of Barbados." Barbados packages are nearing an all-time low when it comes to pricing. For example, starting at just $355 per person, you can get roundtrip air on American Airlines and 7 nights at the beachfront Silver Sands Resort.
That's not all. You also get complimentary daily breakfast.

Here are some sample departure cities:
Philadelphia ... $355
New York City ... $375
Washington, D.C. ... $395
Orlando or Pittsburgh ... $424
Boston ... $455
Chicago or Denver ... $460
Detroit ... $475
Los Angeles ... $540
San Francisco ... $573
Dozens of other cities also available

(sampled from June 5-12) Other hotels are also discounted with this sale. See link for details. The best rates are midweek departures in early June.
For more information or to book this offer: Click here to go to Expedia.com. Note: Click "$465" next to the Silver Sands Resort under the Best of Barbados featured hotel. Then click "Check rates & availability" to continue booking. Prices above do not include $40-$95 in air taxes per person. Book by April 15.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Amigo 8


Luis Alberto seems to be a nice young man. He resides in Samana, Dominican Republic.


Friday, April 04, 2008

RIVER FANTASY

Yes, I certainly enjoy excursions to the rivers in rural Dominican Republic. I can only imagine that sometimes bathtime becomes something else...


video

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

What do YOU think?

The Dominican presence is quite strong in the US. Here are a couple of stories I find interesting. What do YOU think?

The Dominican government is reportedly trying to purchase the Washington Heights section of New York City. Reports from anonymous sources explain that what was once a ridiculous proposition has now gained traction among city legislators and cultural groups. The purchase price could be around the US$1.2 billion range and would be paid out during a 20-year period. Dominican officials who support the project say that the purchase would then officially make WH the DR's second city and move Santiago to third place. Santiago residents have voiced staunch opposition to the purchase, saying that they would like to maintain their status as the DR's second city. Immigration officials have also voiced concerns about making WH a Dominican city, not knowing how they would control the flow of immigrants between 155th and Inwood.

Major League Baseball has decided to honor the participation of Dominicans in MLB by changing the name of one of the league's teams. Although no word on which team will have its name officially changed or when the change will come, MLB director of Press and Communications Dick "Bugsy" Malloy said that three teams are in the lottery to have their names changed. Among the possibilities are the Kansas City Dominicans, the Tampa Bay Dominicans or the Cincinnati Dominicans. Although there has been opposition to the proposed name changes, especially from baseball diehards, MLB Publicity director Johns Innabundle said it would allow for MLB to extend its base further into Latin America and recognize the tremendous work of Dominicans in baseball. Rollin Daround, VP of the Baseball Preservation Authority, argued that it was not necessary to rename an existing organization and welcomed a Dominican named organization, but only when a new team was created or when a team was relocated.