The Adventures of April

We shall not cease from exploration - And the end of all our exploring - Will be to arrive where we started - And know the place for the first time. -- T.S. Eliot

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Videos from Central America

Here are some interesting videos from my trip this fall. Enjoy!

Here is a video of my favorite form of transportation - pickup truck. It's me, my friend Joel, these two hilarious Swedish girls and the driver's son.

At the top of the carter of Volcan Tajulmuco at daybreak.

Howler monkeys in the forests surrounding Tikal, Guatemala. When I lived in Belize a pack would come and scream into our cabana every night! Oh, sweet memories.

I just have to say that all of this makes me feel very technologically advanced. I'm going to try and post more videos while I'm in Peru, which will be easier because I will have my computer with me.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Blogging 101

Here are a few quick tips for happy blog reading:

* Blogs are written in reverse chronological order. What that means is that the entry at the top will be the most recent. Be sure to scroll down or look at the recent entries list to the right to make sure that you haven't missed an entry.

* Please include your name if you post a comment. While it was fun to figure out who wrote what last fall, it's nice to know definitively who posted!

* I always appreciate it when people take the time to send me updates about their life. I try to reciprocate, but sometimes it can be difficult. Please know that I love reading your emails even if I can't get back to you right away!

Thanks for reading!

Peru 101

I've made it a personal goal of mine to try and help clear up some of the confusion regarding Latin America geography, specifically, the difference between Central America and South America. I understand that for those of you who aren't geographically inclined that this can be confusing (don't give yourself a hard time, the US educational system pays scant attention to our closest neighbors and allies to the south.)

Central America is the southern-most part of the North American continent, and it includes countries like Guatemala and Costa Rica. It narrows to an isthmus at Panama. That's where I was this fall.

South America is its own continent entirely - you guessed it - south of North America. That's where I'm going now. Peru is on the western coast of South America just below the equator. I've been to Brazil and Ecuador in S.A. already and I loved it.

Peru is notable for many reasons including it's sizable indigenous population and geographical diversity (deserts, rain forests, the Andes, etc.). Most people equate Peru with Machi Picchu (pictured) and if you've seen 'The Motorcycle Diaries,' you know what I'm talking about.

Peru is also in the same time zone as Grand Rapids! I know it sounds weird, but Lima (the capital city, not pronounced like the bean, but Lee-mha) is directly south of the US East Coast.

Hope that info was helpful! I'm sure I'll have more to post as I learn more as well!

My Nephew, the Author

I am pleased to announce that my nephew, Marek Wolf Remtema, has become a published author. After taking such a scholarly photo at the Sears Photo Studio, it became obvious that the young man's inclinations and sweater vest collection were geared towards one career: writing. Indeed, at such a young age, Marek has captured a superb "About the Author" photo despite the fact that he can neither walk nor read.

Marek W. Remtema's upcoming titles include:

"The Art of Making Screeching Noises"

"The Birth Experience: See You On the Other Side"

"Successful Strategies for Combating Infant Pattern Baldness"

"Dress for Success - It's Never Too Soon!"

"Stalagmite Crystal Formations in the Mines of Mongolia & the Influence of Nocturnal Organisms on their Growth"

Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Low-Down on Peru

Some of you may be saying, why is April going to Peru? I know at times I'm hard to keep up with, so here's the bullet point version of my life:

- Graduated from University of Toronto in August. Wahoo!

- Traveled to Central America for 3 months. (See previous 46 posts...)

- Chilled in G-Rap with the fam for 3 more months.

- Leaving Saturday to work in Lima, Peru for four months. I'll be working in the US Embassy for the Foreign Agriculture Service. Exciting! I won't be blogging about my job, but if you'd like some details, email me!

- Traveling for a month afterwards with my friend from college, Anna Springsteen, to Machu Picchu, and Lake Titicaca (come on, say it out loud, it's fun!). Anna and I took a road trip down to New Orleans after we graduated with Val and Kelly. Anna likes to go to bed at 9:30 and has the driest sense of humor. I think we'll get along fine.

- Arriving home in Michigan June 24th. Start planning the airport party now!

- Life after that... TBD.

My Life in Bullet Points

Thanks again to everybody who read my blog this fall. If you'd like to see my pictures and haven't been sent a link yet, just email me and I'll forward that to you.

Highlights of my extended stay in Grand Rapids:

* Trying out interesting restaurants on Division. Delicious, cheap, and adventurous!

* Coercing my friends and family to play social games like Apples to Apples and Charades.

* Carbon monoxide leak in the basement... that's why I had such a horrible headache!

* Staying on various beds and couches, including my parent's basement, my sister Deidre's, Terris', Kari-Leigh's, Grandma Gibson's, Emily Arents', and others. I've lost track and haven't had a permanent bed in six months. Thanks for your hospitality!

* Hanging out with/writing fake biographies for my nephew. See upcoming post for the hilarity.

* Getting a brutal stomach flu.

* Visiting my friend Val who is still in remission! And has a beautiful wedding dress!

As you can see, it's been quite an exciting three months. I'm just sure if Peru is going to be able to measure up. ;) It's been nice to be at home but I'm looking forward to the adventure and the challenge!