- You can be issued a 96h visa on arrival only if you are transiting from one location to another one. Meaning for me coming from Europe, I should be going to Asia or another location in Middle East in order to get it.
- Even if you are issued a transit Visa it will cost you some money.
- If you have a hotel reservation they can work out the visa for you, but in my case the hotel's night manager was not willing to come at midnight to sort it out, even after talking to the immigration officer and he confirmed they just needed my visa application form from the hotel. So I had to wait till next day
- Some nationalities can be issued a tourist visa on arrival, just check before traveling.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Monday, October 30, 2006
While the youth population grew by 13.2% between 1995 and 2005, employment among young people grew by only 3.8% to reach 548 million. From the 1.1 billion young people between 15-24 worldwide, one third is either seeing but unable to find work, has given up the search entirely or is working but living on less than US$2 a day.
The Developed Economies and EU region where the only ones to show a considerable decrease in youth unemployment over the last 10 years, but the report attributed this to a declining number of young people in the labor force rather than successful employment strategies.
The highest regional youth unemployment rate was observed in the Middle East and North Africa at 25.7%. Central and Eastern Europe (non-EU) and CIS had the second highest rate in the world with 19.9%. Sub-Saharan Africa's rate was 18.1%, followed by Latin America and the Caribbean (16.6%), South East Asia and the Pacific (15.8%), the developed economies and European Union (EU) (13.1%), South Asia (10%) and East Asia (7.8%).
With the persistence of poverty among as many as 56% of young workers - and the possibility that they may be facing long working hours, temporary and/or informal contracts, with low pay, little or no social protection, minimal training and no voice at work - it becomes clear that having a job is not the same as having a decent job. The ILO report estimates that at least 400 million decent and productive employment opportunities will be needed in order to reach the full productive potential of today's youth
Read the Communication from ILO.
Read the Report
Conclusion: Entrepreneurs, support for them and education availability is needed.
Friday, October 27, 2006
I have not been blogging for long and there's tons of things to say like: Stories from work in Morocco, stories from my personal trip with Perla and Daniela in Morocco, all the rush at work lately, my boss changing company, me not being promoted but only getting more responsibilities and work, Daniela getting Bronchitis, meeting Isabella - a great friend from Brazil whom I haven't seen for 10 years, my family from VZLA coming in December, etc. etc.
So I thought I would break the silence with this text I got from Tugba which I found very interesting
Professor was explaining marketing concepts to MBA Students:
- You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and say: "I am very rich. Marry me!" - That's Direct Marketing
- You're at a party with a bunch of friends and see a gorgeous girl. One of your friends goes up to her and pointing at you says: "He's very rich. Marry him." - That's Advertising
- 3. You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and get her telephone number. The next day, you call and say: "Hi, I'm very rich. Marry me." - That's Telemarketing
- You're at a party and see gorgeous girl. You get up and straighten your tie, you walk up to her and pour her a drink, you open the door of the car for her, pick up her bag after she drops it, offer her ride and then say: "By the way, I'm rich. Will you marry me?" - That's Public Relations
- You're at a party and see gorgeous girl. She walks up to you and says: "You are very rich! Can you marry ! me?" That's Brand Recognition
- You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and say: "I am very rich. Marry me!" She gives you a nice hard slap on your face. - That's Customer Feedback
- You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and say: "I am very rich. Marry me!" And she introduces you to her husband. - That's demand and supply gap
- You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and before you say anything, another person come and tell her: "I'm rich. Will you marry me?" and she goes with him - That's competition eating into your market share
- You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and before you say: "I'm rich, Marry me!" your wife arrives. - That's restriction for entering new markets
Sunday, August 27, 2006
Belgian Beers are divided into at least 6 different types, and following what I have found on the internet I will also give you the list of beers I have already tried separated, and my preferred ones are in italic and bold, so go and try them!!. If you want to know more about Belgian Beers you can go into http://www.bierebel.com/ or check wikipedia
White Beer: It is a turbid (un-filtered), refreshing, thirst-quenching beer and its taste is raised by coriander, generally they are fermented again in bottles. They made their appearance in Eastern Brabant in the 14th Century and the capital of this type of beer is not other than Hoegaarden
|Blanche de Bruges (Brugs Tarwebier)||Hoegaarden|
Strong Blondes: They are high fermentation beers with a golden color, a strong alcoholic strength and a bulky foam collar, they are referred to by certain specialists as the "virtuoso beers". The leader of this type is without any doubt Duvel, brewed by the Moortgat brewery in Breendonk
|Duvel||Hoegaarden Grand Cru|
Specialties: This category is for non classifiable beers, most of the time these beers are attached to a city or area. They are generally beers of high fermentation.
|Mc Chouffe Brun (The blond is still at home)||Kwak|
|Chimay Cinq Cents (Creme)||Chimay Grand Reserve Trappiste Ale (Blue)|
|Chimay Premier Trappiste Ale (Brown)||Westmalle Tripel|
Although the abbeys remain as the recipe's owner, and they give the name to the beer, over the years they have entrusted the brewing process to independent breweries.
The Beers of Abbey are high fermentation, strong, malted, fruity and quite round ones. The term "Tripel" indicates a pale beer of approx. 7-9Âº of alcohol and the "Double" a dark beer of aprox. 6º
|Grimbergen Optimo Bruno||Grimbergen Blonde|
|Grimbergen Cuvee de l'ermitage||Leffe Brun & Blonde|
|St Feullien Blonde|
Kriek: It's a beer with cherry taste. To obtain this beer they macerate cherries in an oak barrel where lambic is being fermented, once they are added a new fermentation starts because of the sugar in the cherries. After 9 months of maturation the Kriek is filtered bottledtted.
|Belle Vue Kriek|
|Pilsner Urquell||Staropramen Light & Dark|
|Budweiser Budvar||Dark & Light beer from Novometsky Pivovar|
|Golden Pheasant or Zlaty Bazant||Topvar Light & Dark|
|Sakkara & Sakkara Gold||Stella|
|Asahi (Japan)||Baltika 13 (Russia)|
|Carlsberg (Denmark)||Kronenbourg & Kronenbourg 1664 (France)|
I received a email forwarded by a friend about a dyslexic artist who was able to create the most amazing art pieces in microscopic scale, his name Willarg Wigan. So of course I thought it was one of this internet era urban legends, but I was proven wrong!!
He was born in Birmingham, England in 1957 and his work is ground-breaking - partly because of the astounding beauty of vision which challenges the belief system of the mind and partly because it demonstrates that if one person can create the impossible.
He works in total solitude at a quiet retreat in Jersey mainly at night when there is a greater sense of peace in the world and less static electricity to interfere with the immeasurable precision and tolerances required to create the pieces.
The smallest sculptures can only be measured in thousandths of an inch which is why they can sit, very delicately, on a human hair three thousandths of an inch thick. When working on this scale he slows his heartbeat and his breathing dramatically through meditation and attempts to harmonize his mind, body and soul with the Creator.
He then sculpts or paints at the centrepoint between heartbeats for total stillness of hand.
Have a look at some of the pictures attached or on his webpage and be amazed.
|Barn Owl perched in the eye of a needle|
Elephant on a pin
The Statue of Liberty in the eye of a needle
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Thursday, August 17, 2006
This past weekend Brussels' Grand Place (or Groete Markt in Dutch) was beautifully decorated with its famous and traditional Flower Carpet. It's a tradition that started in 1971 by the landscape architect E. Stautemans, who having already made several flower carpets in other towns in Flanders took the challenge of building the first one to cover almost all the Grand Place with Begonias.
Taken by Anja+Andreas
Taken by guillaumeo
Thursday, August 03, 2006
It's amazing but July's almost gone already. It was a month that included:
- The hottest days of the summer in Brussels, a summer so hot that it beat all of the historical data reaching 38º some days without even a soft breeze. Thanks to god it is much cooler now and the forecast is that it will remain like that for the whole week
- 1 trip to Slovakia for 4 days to have some meetings with my boss, meet with Misho - my Trainer from ITC - a short hike to a hill near Zilina with some really interesting talks
- Me forgetting my camera on the plane after coming from Slovakia, but it was found safely by the crew of Slovak Airlines and now by boss is safekeeping it for me until our next meeting
- 9 friends coming over for dinner and to get to know our apartment, so that means I prepared 2 waves of sushi rolls and chicken salad; and now we are scheduling one training session for me to teach them how to make sushi (I hope that goes well)
- A virus infected our computer which meant we had to backup our data, format the hard drive and reinstall everything (the good thing is that it is running better now)
- Indian dinner in Brussels with AIESEC people on last Thursday, thanks to Kuntal it was a lovely night and dinner
- Problems with my publishing my blog, the reason for this and other postings to be delayed.
August will not include a lot oftravelingg but it will be a very busy month with a lot of preparations for the things to come, September promises to be a crazy month with at least 3 out of 4 weeks on the road and tons of stuff to get done, so let the work KICK IN!!
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
One of my passions has always been to solve puzzles, almost any type of them; and last October I decided to give myself a new puzzle from the collections of Tavern Puzzles to feed that passion. But I didn't want any puzzle, I wanted a really challenging one, one that will take me longer than 45 min to solve (as the Blackbeard's Revenge took) and will expand my horizons, I decided to go for the famous and traditional Patience Puzzle.
After 45 min more I MADE IT! and it is now at home waiting for anyone that is interested to take the challenge and try to solve it too, if that is your case and you are in Brussels, I will be more than happy to introduce you two.
Here are a couple of pictures ot the puzzle, the whole point is to let loose the long metalic piece in the middle:
PS: Feels good to finish one challenge and to be able to focus that energy into another one.
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
|BMW is developing a Turbosteamer: An overall 15% improvement could be obtained by using the energy from the exhaust gases (heat produced) of the traditional Engine to power a steam engine. The best part of it is, that it's designed to be installed in the current cars.|
|Do you want to have cool, flat, flexible, big, digital clock? Even if it is being sold by $4,000? Well Then you should try out Citizen's upcoming flexible digital wall clock, which measures 21-inches high by 52-inches wide and can wrap around corners, so you'll always know either the hour or the minute depending on where you sit.|
|US and Canadian Skiers to get body armor: I know, it is not winter anymore, and it is actually quite hot, but how cool will it be to have a body armor that whenever it is hit it gets hardened? I can imagine about a 1000 usages for it, but I am sure at least dody will enjoy it for the horse riding lessons!!|
|PQI packs an amazing 16 GB|
into a credit
3 mm thick!
Robot surgeon performs world's first unassisted operation. Physorg.com has the story of a robot which using the experience of over 10.000 performed operations, it has learned the procedure and made a 50 min surgery in Milan Hospital on his own.
|Honda's Asimo gets mind control interface. Developers have made an interface that gives humans the possibility of controlling the robot only by thinking. In the tests the robot copied the action of doing a fist after his commander. Do you think any time soon they will do some cool stuff?|
|How much would you pay for an self suspended (as a matter of fact levitating) bed? Would you pay 1.2 million Euros for an out of this world sleep?|
Well Dutch architect Janjaap Ruijssenaars thinks his bed is worth that much, and is preparing a scaled version for 115.000 Euros, Anyone?
Thursday, June 22, 2006
- I cut my hand 1 day before leaving to Venezuela, a deep long cut in my left hand while chopping some fruit for Daniela, which translated into me having a bandage over my hand for 3 days(now there's almost not even a scar).
- The Flower shop did not arrange for the calla lilies to be delivered before the wedding, so 3 days before they had to run and find them; we almost didn't have any flowers nor bouquet.
- The van in which we picked up my wife's family had no air conditioner but only a hole on the roof. I take my hat off for them as they made the best out of that situation, but we were really afraid on what to do if it rained.
- Money Exchange: It was truly a challenge, because if you change dollars in an exchange office they would pay you about Bs 2000 per dollar, if you do it in the black market about Bs 2300 per dollar, and my family wanted some dollars and they were buying them at Bs 2500, but they ran out of cash on the 3rd day.
- We did not have much time to go to the church before the wedding, so we did not rehearse the ceremony or had any idea what to answer during it, it was truly an adventurous experience with the priest telling us softly exactly what to respond during it.
- The priest had written in his agenda that the baptism was at 9:00am but told us at 9:30, so he left after 9:15 as nobody arrived and we had to wait until 11:00 for some friends to pick him from his residency and return to do the ceremony.
- Due to several intercultural misunderstandings, my wife's family ended up not even wanting to enter our house for the celebration of the baptism, which resulted with everyone being uncomfortable and not feeling welcome. But hey at the end it worked out.
- The road to go down to La Guaira Airport was closed several minutes before us leaving Caracas, so we had to take the old 2 way street through the mountains, but thanks to god for that extra toast in my sister's apartment, otherwise we would have been stuck in the traffic without making it to the airport on time.
- On the flight back a crazy Portuguese guy that was sitting next to us read the newspaper for 7 HOURS straight, thus not letting Daniela or anyone else in the part of the plane sleep properly. You never know where you will meet the next asshole with insomnia.
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
But let me clarify, there weren't any fireworks close to the office or outside the office, they were IN the office.
So it was a normal summer morning in building 6 when at about 10:45 there is a power surge and all electricity goes out in our half of the 3rd floor. Everyone starts to walk around, get some tea, do any paperwork, talk, anything that is not computer related.
Suddenly 10 min after there's some kind of ZZZZZ sound and a colleague starts saying that her monitor just got cooked!! Of course I went there to get a look at the bizarre event and it was definitely fried, with smoke coming out of it and the smell of burnt capacitors (which I know closely from my University years).
5 min later another colleague comes in with the same problem and while standing there an talking about it, another one just gets cooked in front of us too - ZZZZZ.
30 min later we all have power, the monitors were already replaced and things are back to normal. Some people that were in meetings didn't even realize all of these happened, but for us the smell is here to remind us of it.
Is there a better way to have a short break from work? It has Drama, mystery and surprise elements! Definitely something to keep in mind for future power surges: If the power goes off, just unplug everything for security reasons!
Monday, May 29, 2006
So after 4 amazing days of Wine tasting, 1200 Km of road, tasting typical food of the Region, almost going crazy due to the works on the road to Luxembourg I am now back in Brussels with a ton of pictures to finish to upload, so more from Alsace and Venezuela soon.
By the way, I am also celebrating as I have just finished putting together our new desk, so from now on blogging from my desk at home. Pictures of the apartment and a little inauguration dinner to come.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
I have finally uploaded 73 of my wedding pics into my flickr account. If you want to view them all click here.
Our wedding took place in my old church (Sacred Cour) in Barquisimeto, it was a rather small celebration with close friends and family. Although we arrived late and the priest was in a hurry it turn out to be a quite beautiful celebration.
From there we went to a reception in the Hosteria Hotel where we had the chance to dance until 3am, enjoy our time with family and friends and follow some of traditional ceremonies as the bouquet and Garter tossing ones. Here are some highlights of the wedding, enjoy the pics!