Friday, December 07, 2007
Venezuela saw Chavez accept the defeat without the rage or angry message a lot of people expected from him(Check BBC news).
Then Venezuela saw that expected reaction from Chavez while broadcasting with the Military. He qualified the victory of the opposition as a "Shitty victory", and mentioned that he didn't want to win in that way, and that he will put the reform through once more, even if it is not constitutional to do so. During his speech (check the video in Spanish) he mentions "Shit" 4 times, which is against the law; and then Venezuelans saw our "Communications Minister" say that the fact that the President did use the word will allow for it to be permitted in the future(check the video in Spanish).
Venezuela also heard his speech saying that "Here, the Sí lost, you let the Sí loose, Miranda owes me one, people of Miranda and Caracas you are in debt with me, I have it written down in my planner, let's see if you will pay your debt to me or not", while addressing the facts that his followers did not go vote massively on Sunday, as in prior occasions (best review in English I have read is in Caracas Chronicles blog)
To finish the week, Venezuelans wait for the CNE to give the full and final results of Sunday's polls in the next hours, while some analysts made note that the difference between "No" and "Si" might be significantly smaller that initially thought (Check Caracas Chronicles blog). And also Venezuelans are expected to roll back their clocks by 30 min next Sunday, as the "New Time Zone" for Venezuela gets into effect (Check Reuters for more details)
How much longer will this craziness continue? Well for that I recommend you read The Economist's article "The wind goes out of the revolution" it's worth the read!!
Monday, December 03, 2007
Today 01:19 (Caracas time) the CNE (National Elections Committee) announced that with a total of 97% of the acts already reviewed the "No" had won, it was a very close call though.
The referendum was divided into 2 blocks, 50.7% of voters voted against the first block while 49.29% voted for it. 51.05% of voters voted against the 2nd block while 48.44% voted for it.
There was an absenteeism of 44.11%. For the Spanish speaking out there, go check Globovision for further figures.
The first block included reforms like: Continuous Presidential reelection and presidency period extended to 7 years, the expropriation of goods with a payment to the owner done in parallel to the judicial process (not like before where the judicial process and payment had to be finished before expropriating the goods), increase in Presidential attributions or rights, lost of the autonomy of the BCV (Venezuelan Central Bank), lowering of minimum age to vote to 16 years, and diminishing of daily working hours to 6 hours instead of 8, etc. Further information on the reforms can be found in Spanish in El Nacional.
Venezuela has made history against the "Revolution" and the "Socialism of the XXI century", but Chavez will continue to push his reforms in any way possible. He has until 2013 (when he will have already 14 years of presidency) to do so, therefore everyone asks Venezuelans to be very cautious, it is a great start but it is not the end of it. Some quotes of reactions can be found on BBC.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
29 years ago on November 25th, I was born in Barquisimeto / Venezuela.
Of course, by celebrating the last birthday of the 20s I have been asked several times "How does it feel to be that old?" and well I can say that it does not feel bad AT ALL!!
During these short 29 years of life I have managed to: Graduate from high school and University, lead AIESEC in Barquisimeto, Puerto Rico and Guatemala; I have lived in 6 different countries, travelled through over 30 different countries, I have been blessed with some wonderfull parents and family, I found my "better half", we have a fruit of our love that grows each day faster and who already passed the 2 & 1/2 years; I have worked with 3 companies, 1 International NGO and several small NGOs; I learnt to play "cuatro", mandolin, Balalaica and a bit of guitar; I speak Spanish, English, Russan, French and several Spanish dialects (being the ones from Maracaibo and Guatemala as the hardest to perfect); I have made friends from all the continents; I have tested some of the "delicies" the world has to offer and some other "Not so delightfull" along the way, etc.
Looking at it from that point of view, it has defintely been some fruitfull years, and there are still many more to come with their own challenges and opportunities; many more changes will come and I can only say that I wait anxiously the 30s to come!!
Hace 29 años una mañana de un 25 de Noviembre en la ciudad de Barquisimeto / Venezuela que este su servidor nació.
Por supuesto al celebrar el último año antes de pasar a los "tas" (o 30) me preguntado constantemente ¿Qué se siente estár tan viejo? Y puedo decir no se siente nada MAL!!
En estos escasos 29 años de vida he logrado graduarme de educación media y Universitaria, liderar AIESEC en Barquisimeto, Puerto Rico y Guatemala; he vivido en 6 países distintos, he viajado por más de 30 países, fui bendecido con unos excelentes padres y familia, encontré mi "media naranja", tenemos un fruto de nuestro amor que crece cada día más rápido y ya pasó los 2 años y medio; he trabajado con 3 empresas, 1 ONG Internacional y diversas ONGs locales; aprendí a tocar cuatro, mandolina, balalaica y un poco de guitarra; hablo Español, Ingles, Ruso, Francés y diversas versiones del español (siendo maracucho y Chapín las más dificiles de perfeccionar); he echo amigos en todos los continentes; he probado algunas delicias que el mundo tiene para ofrecer y muchas otras "no delicias" en el camino, etc.
Viendolo así, definitivamente han sido unos años fructíferos, y todavía faltan muchos más por venir con sus únicos retos y oportunidades; muchos cambios vendran y puedo decir que !espero con ansias que lleguen los "TAS"¡
Monday, August 27, 2007
Although a bit late, here's the start of the story of our July's holidays.
Español: Aquí les traigo la historia del comienzo de nuestras vacaciones de Julio. Comenzamos con ir a la ciudad de "Le Havre" en la costa Normanda de Francia. Allí disfrutamos de esta joya arquitectónica que fue definida por la UNESCO como patrimonio de la humanidad, luego de ser casi completamente reconstruida entre 1945 y 1964, luego de ser dañada severamente durante la guerra.
Sunday, July 08, 2007
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
It's brand new and I am auctioning it for a very good price: Start bid at € 950 against € 1,350 that a comparable one would cost in Belgium.
So if you know of anyone that might be interested in buying it please forward them to http://cgi.befr.ebay.be/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=150136216704&ssPageName=ADME:L:LCA:BEFR:11
I will transport it if needed inside Belgium for free, if it needs to be sent to another country inside the European Union I can do that too for a very good price, it's negotiable.
If you or your friend are interested in settling the business out of eBay and negotiate the price that we can also do.
The information in eBay is in French, although I can provide it in English, Spanish and even Dutch (although I will not be able to answer your questions in Dutch). I can always be contact through the blog or eBay website.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Monday, May 07, 2007
So following the suggestions from family and friends we went to the Netherlands to check their famous Flower Fields now that Spring is fully here.
It's definitely worth it to go to the Netherlands at this time to enjoy the scenery!!
Starting the update on places visited in the last 2 months I'll start with Namur (Or Namen in Dutch).
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Although a bit belated, this is a congratulations to my little "angel" for her 2nd Birthday, which was back in April 21st.
Este fue un pequeño arreglo que hice para celebrar el 2do cumpleaños de Daniela, en él se puede ver una foto por cada mes de vida que tiene, comenzando con Abril 2005. De derecha a Izquierda y de arriba a abajo.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Monday, April 16, 2007
While in Kenya you have to try the Carnivore restaurant, originally you could get all types of game meat (antelope, gazelle, zebra, etc.) and normal meat; but since the government has put a ban on game meat you can only get 2 "exotic" meats: Alligator and Ostrich. Anyways where else would you try that?
Definitely worth a visit, although I was told that "Pampas" restaurant has better meat, but no "exotic" ones
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Fist some General information of Kenya taken from CIA World Fact Book:
Location: East Africa bordering Indian Ocean and between Ethiopia, Uganda, Somalia and Tanzania
Area: 582,650 sq km (about 64% of Venezuela's size and 19 times Belgium's size)
Population: Approx. 35 Million (Compared to 26 Mill. in VE and 10 Mill. in BE)
Life Expectancy at birth: 48.93 Years (compared to 74.54 at Venezuela and 78.77 in BE)
Languages: Kiswahili and English as official
GDP per Capita: USD 1200 (USD 6900 in VE and USD 31.800 in Belgium)
Some Other interesting facts about Kenya:
- Was a British Colony up to 1963 when it was declared independent, the independence movement was led by Jomo Kenyatta who became Kenya's first president until his death in 1978
- After that president MOI took power and ruled for 24 years until he stepped down in 2002 ( 24 YEARS!!! That's Chavez dream). From that time most of the people I talked to said that money was taken from the Country into his and his close people's pockets
- Since then president Mwai Kibaki has been ruling, most of the impressions I heard of him are positive, although there's still a long road ahead of Kenya for development
- They will have elections this year, and the impressions I received was that the current president will not be reelected as results have not been as quick as expected in the Country's economy
- There are about 24 different Ethnic groups in the country
- It's famous for it's wildlife, Mt. Kenya (with its 5199 mts), it's tribes and the Masai Mara Natural reserve
From a personal perspective of the short time I was there I can say that:
- The people are very friendly, outgoing, like to party a lot, enjoy going out and having fun. They are very proud of Kenya and being Kenyan, although they realize the challenges they face.
- Even if the impression I had initially is that it is really dangerous and unsafe, there was a lot of people walking on the street up to 10-11pm. So my impression is that you should be careful not to go out with expensive clothes, watch, camera, etc. and not to enter certain areas, for the rest it's OK.
- There's a big gap between rich and poor (as on the street you can still see BMW MIII, Toyota Prado, etc. and people without even shoes)
- Their Handcrafts are amazing, specially the sculptures made out of ebony, soapstone and other types of wood
- Public transport is heavily used and semi organized. I could see very long lines of people waiting for the buses next to the hotel at the bus stop, but they were queuing in an organized manner (something you don't see that much in Venezuela)
- They could benefit a lot more from Tourism but insecurity is the major concern for travellers
- There's a big Indian Population in Nairobi (but more of that in next posting)
Saturday, March 31, 2007
Esa aventura de descubrir un nuevo país y cultura me provoca incertidumbre y a la vez ese entusiasmo que se siente al lanzarte al agua, al vivir una nueva experiencia, pero como toda experiencia nueva trae consigo ese poquito de miedo y preocupacion.
Sin importar lo que pase en Kenya, estoy seguro de que este viaje me traera retos que no imagino todavia, pero ver de cerca una parte de la realidad de otro pais en "Vias de Desarrollo" me acercara de nuevo a mis raices Latino Americanas; y a pesar de los retos regresare con una sonrisa en la cara, mas pasión y energia por mi trabajo y este continente que conocere mas y mas durante este año.
Que viva la aventura y el descubrir, porque ellas te mantienen vivo y energizado!!
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Perla (my wife) got injured when walking from French Classes to school; we went to our normal doctor who checked her for € 27, then she recommended to get an X Ray in a clinique and get that checked. So we went, got the X Ray, reviewed by the Doctors, they called our Family Doctor and agreed to get her to Emergency and get a Cast (Plaster or POP) on her leg.
For that initial visit to the Clinique we paid € 0 NOTHING!! Yesterday we went back to check on her leg, they took the Cast out, checked her ankle, agreed not to put a 2nd one but gave her a special ankle support and instructions to go to Kynestherapy, in total € 54 and they will pay back to us 75% of it, so I must say:
The Health system WORKS!! I am not complaining about it anymore