Friends and familiarity in Brazil

December 8th, 2011

While visiting the incredible Iguazu Falls, I was already only a few minutes away from Brazil, my next destination. Immediately I could see the appearance of the people change, they looked… Brazilian! I wasted a day in Foz do Iguaçu and got on the night bus (unfortunately, this time the seats weren’t so nice). Before I left I was able to catch a nice sunset.

typical Brazilian sunset

Since it was more or less on the way, I decided to visit another Twelve Tribes community (like I did in Argentina). There are three in Brazil, all in the state of Paraná, and I stopped at the one that’s located close to a small town called Mauá da Serra. It was really cool to encounter the same kind of life here, Read the rest of this entry »

Natural and human wonders in Argentina

November 17th, 2011

For the third and last time I arrived in Buenos Aires, this time to take the bus to a city called Rosario, about 4 hours northwest of the capital.

Jacaranda tree the National Monument in Rosario

A girl from there once added me on Facebook, we started talking and kept in touch, and now I was ‘in the neighborhood’ so I had the chance to visit her for a couple of days.

Read the rest of this entry »

Uruguay: the city, the countryside and the coast

November 6th, 2011

After taking the boat to Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay, I got on the bus to the capital Montevideo. I offered some cookies to a Uruguayan man next to me, which turned out to be a good way to start a conversation. Besides that I wasn’t feeling it. I had been moving around a lot the past week, and though I’d seen some beautiful places and met some cool people, I guess I’d been too much of a rush. I started wondering what I was doing here…
So it was nice to have someone (my CouchSurfing host) waiting for me at the bus terminal in Montevideo. We were supposed to go to a CS barbecue that night, but after tons of phone calls, instead we got into a friend’s car to head over to his place. When we were about to park, suddenly something bumped into the passenger’s seat. It was a motorcyclist that we’d cut off. Kind of a scary moment, but it everything was OK, save a few scratches on the car. After some talking and jamming we eventually ended up at an Uruguayan birthday party. So it wasn’t quite what I’d had in mind for the night, but surely it was another new experience!

at an Uruguayan birthday party, with my CS host on the left

The next day I visited the Church of the Nazarene here. Read the rest of this entry »

Cruising through Argentina, into Chile and back

October 30th, 2011

Just before I left Buenos Aires, I had an interesting experience. While entering a Subte (subway) station, someone sprayed something on my backpack and bum, and just a bit later a guy offered to help me clean it up. This may not sound that strange, but if you’ve been to South America you may know that this is a common trick to rob someone (while one guy gets your attention while he helps you clean it up, another guy takes your bags and runs). But I kept my cool and stayed focused, and nothing happened. Except that now I had shampoo on my bum.
Nonetheless it gave Buenos Aires a somewhat bitter aftertaste.

It took me 21 hours to get to Bariloche, it was interesting to see the landscape change while on the road. From steppe (this is what most of central Argentina seems to look like)…

this is what most of central Argentina looks like

…with some mountains and lakes added…

coming closer to the Andes

…to higher mountains and bigger lakes, and finally some trees…

Read the rest of this entry »

the simple way: life in a community in rural Argentina

October 18th, 2011

On Saturday the 1st of October I arrived in the center of General Rodriguez (a town of about 40,000 just outside of Buenos Aires). There I was picked up by some very friendly people who looked like hippies, I guess, with long hair, beards and simple, baggy clothes. These were the people of the Twelve Tribes (part of an international community) in Argentina, that I would be working with for two weeks, through Their main place, an old colonial house on a big piece of land with lots of trees and plants, looked like a little paradise.


This community consists of about 50 people, of all ages. Read the rest of this entry »

Buenos Aires

October 4th, 2011

After traveling for about 22 hours I arrived in the capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires. The trip had been fine. Funny thing was when I changed planes in Sao Paulo, and I didn’t have a boarding pass yet for my connecting flight. When I asked about it at the gate, one of the stewards just walked in: “Edwin? Here I have your boarding pass”.
The first day I wasn’t so sure about why I was here. It was cool and all but I felt I wasn’t as excited as I should be. Then, as I was on the subway, I started thinking: hey man, you’re in freakin’ Buenos Aires, an amazing city, you have a great place to stay with a kind CouchSurfing host, the weather is nice (about 25 C and sunny), and you can just get out there and explore! Once I realized that I got pretty excited, but in fact it took me a day to adjust to the idea. The last few days I’ve been really enjoying it here.

IMG_0099.JPG church of Nuestra Señora de Pilar

view over Puerto Madero from the Costanera Sur ecological reserve

Buenos Aires is a huge city with about 12 million inhabitants in its greater metropolitan area. Read the rest of this entry »

in between

September 25th, 2011

Ok, catching up!

My time in The Shelter ended with the end of August. I’ll write more about that another day, but to put it short: I had the time of my life.
The past few weeks I spent in Dordrecht with my parents. After a few days, Shelter-withdrawal set in and I felt a bit numb. There were also good things going on though, I got to hang out with a lot of people from home, went back to Amsterdam a few times, and had a new interesting experience: I went to my old highschool to teach some classes, as a part of a series on christianity.

But mostly I was occupied with preparing the next part of my adventure: my 6 month trip to Latin America! Tomorrow I am getting on the plane to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where I will spend a few days Couchsurfing with some people. And then.. you’ll have to wait ’till my next update.

Next update will be from the Southern Hemisphere!

er op uit

July 13th, 2011

Weer even terug, naar eind april..

Het is leuk om te zien wat voor verschillende mensen er hier in het hostel verblijven. De meesten zijn jongeren, uit West- en Zuid-Europa, Noord- en Zuid-Amerika, Australië en het oosten van Azië. Maar bijvoorbeeld ook: een bejaarde Australiër, een Frans gezin met kleine kinderen, een groep Nederlandse meiden (voor een vrijgezellenfeest), en vluchtelingen, vooral uit Afrika en het Midden-Oosten. Deze worden bij ons geplaatst via andere organisaties, en we noemen ze dan ook ‘organisatiegasten’. Vaak zitten ze in een moeilijke situatie en wij kunnen dan veel voor ze betekenen door er gewoon voor hen te zijn. Soms kunnen we ook wat delen over ons geloof. Zo heb ik bijzondere ontmoetingen gehad met mensen uit o.a. Irak, Egypte, Liberia, Sierra Leone en Iran, en ik heb mogen zien dat het ze goed deed om bij ons te zijn.


Koninginnedag/nacht hier was een gekkenhuis… Read the rest of this entry »

meer dan rozegeur en maneschijn

June 5th, 2011

We gaan even terug naar begin april.. tijd voor een inhaalspurt!
Ik heb nog geen moment spijt gehad van mijn keuze om in The Shelter te gaan werken, het leven hier biedt veel mooie en goede dingen. Maar intussen ben ik er achter dat het niet alleen maar rozegeur en maneschijn is; er zijn ook minder leuke aspecten, en ook de nodige uitdagingen (maar daarvoor ben ik hier ook!). Natuurlijk heel logisch allemaal, maar ik moest het even ervaren, denk ik.

Ok, een paar toffe dingen waar ik mee bezig ben geweest! Read the rest of this entry »

het ‘echte werk’

May 1st, 2011

Vorige keer had ik het over de nieuwe comfort zone waar ik in zit, niet lang daarna werden me al een paar mogelijkheden aangereikt om eruit te stappen. Dus dat heb ik maar gedaan!
Het begon met een hele rustige shift ‘s middags, waar ik me even afvroeg of ik nog wel echt nuttig bezig was.

Read the rest of this entry »