Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Summer Time in Uruguay!

No hay nada mas lindo que estar con toda tu familia en las fiestas!
Estoy en Salto, Uruguay celebrando felizmente con calor el fin de año.
Como extrañaba estar aca en esta época. Les muestro unas fotos de los primeros días :)
Con todos en el aeropuerto de Carrasco.
Yo la Abuela. 
Papa y Julieta.
Maca, yo, Mariana, Belen, y Mercedes. 

Casa Tolosa-Barla.

Yo con mi Madrina, Ines.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

O Little Town of Bethlehem

I'm back in the USA now, and my trip to Israel was truly amazing. It flew by, but I had a great time. It’s now almost Christmas! My favorite holiday! Literally, after Thanksgiving I begin to only listen to Christmas songs (which usually annoys my sister on long trips in the car.)

I’m totally into Christmas… but being in Israel it was a bit hard to do that. Obviously, it is a predominantly Jewish society, and not many people celebrate the Christian holiday. It was weird not to hear “Jingle Bells” in every store, not to see X-mas trees decorated in every corner, or sparkling lights in every window.

However, we found a way to feel a little bit of Christmas… we went to the place where Christmas began… Bethlehem. It was a bit of a trip, I mean, the small town is in the West Bank. We had to take various methods of transportation and cross the border to get to the town, but it was worth seeing the birthplace of Jesus.

We went to the Basilica of the Nativity, which they built over the presumed spot where Jesus was born. Also, we visited the Church of St. Catherine, and the Milk Grotto. In the Nativity Church, there is star which marks the spot where tradition says the Virgin Mary gave birth to Jesus… needless to say, very interesting.

Church of the Nativity
Apart from that, it was interesting to be in the West Bank. The wall separates these cultures because of long-standing tensions. The thick cement wall is covered in messages of hate and messages of peace. Many people cross the border daily, for work or travel, but at the end of the day, they are still separated, and every day, the separation grows larger.

We can only hope that one day, we can live in a world where ethnicities, cultures, and religions can exist peacefully together. Where we live in peace with our neighbors, and not need these divisions. We can only hope :)
West Bank side of wall
Israeli side of wall

Monday, December 13, 2010

World Press Photo

World Press Photo, Eretz Israel Museum

Cuando estas paseando o de vacaciones, lo ultimo que querés es que llueva. Bueno, creo que traje la lluvia cuando llegue a Tel Aviv. Hace tres dias que llueve, pero no es solo lluvia, es un viento constante y horrible. El puerto fue totalmente destruido y las calles se inundaron.  Pero igual nos divertimos con este tiempo tan feo. 

Fuimos a la exhibición de el World Press Photo. Todos los años, las imágenes ganadoras del concurso de World Press photo se muestran en todas partes del mundo. 

La exposición revela la creatividad en el fotoperiodismo y es una plataforma para la evolución de la fotografía. Es un récord artístico de los acontecimientos mundiales del año anterior. 

Era duro aceptar la realidad de muchas imágenes; una cantidad de las fotos en la categoría 'noticias' era de guerra: gente muerta, gente matando, gente por morir. Verdaderamente era difícil no llorar. De todos modos, el profesionalismo de la exposición y de las fotos hermosas era impactante. 

Podés ver estas fotos, están en la página web de el World Press Photo.  Mirálas a ver que pensás vos. Impresionan no?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Not-So-Scary Place

Greetings from the Middle East! 
(Or should I say, Shalom!?)

I came half way around the world (literally). Over the summer I also visited, and traveled all around Israel, and even Jordan. We went north, south, east, and west, and there is one thing I learned quickly last time I came to this country the size of New Jersey… it's not as scary as you think it is. 

Sure, the conflict with its Arab neighbors is all over every major international newspaper, and most of us have a vague understanding of the scary Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But I think very few people realize how first world this country really is. Everyday life for an Israeli (not living in East Jerusalem or the West Bank) is pretty "normal." I would even go as far as to say Tel Aviv, Israel's hub of everything modern, industrial, and fun, is safer than most major U.S. cities. You can walk in Tel Aviv's "Central Park," Hayarkon Park, at night and not be attacked by bums. Israel maintains historical and religious’ sites sacredly (pun intended).

So I would say to all those who are holding back on coming to Israel because they think its dangerous, sandy, and full of daily terrorist attacks… come! After all, (if you are American) a large chunk of your tax money is going to this country anyway…

Here are some photos of last summers’ trip! :)

Jaffa, oldest continuously-working port in the world
Haifa- Bahai Gardens
View from Tel Aviv's tallest skyscaper

Dead Sea

Sunday, December 5, 2010

No computer... what to do?

So, my computer crashed today.
I'm sending it in to get it fixed, but who knows what's going to happen. It's like the Apple doctor is going to diagnose my sick baby. Hope it's not fatal...
It makes me realize how dependent I am on that 13-inch piece of white plastic. I know its just a material object and I shouldn't be worried, but I really do base my life around my computer! I mean, with skype, word, facebook, email, everything. My college success, and therefore life success, depends on a functional computer.

This is what my computer is doing. A folder with a question mark? :(
(Luckily, I am now using one of the computers at school. I know I cheated.)
Actually I happened to watch a very interesting story today on CNN called Exploring the anti-social side of social media which made me realize it's not that bad.
The story's about social media isolation, and how our dependence on technology and social media can become our biggest nightmare. An artist in Oregon conducted a personal experiment in which she spent 30 days locked in a room only with computers!
Imagine replacing your friends, your family, oxygen, trees, your bed, your dog... with your computer.
I'd rather be computer-less!