Photos of Manaus, Brazil

I decided to take some time to upload some photos from our July trip to Rio de Janeiro and the Amazon in Brazil.  Tonight, I uploaded photos of Manaus, Brazil, a city in the heart of the Amazon basin located at the confluence of the Rio Negro and the Rio Solimoes, which meet and form the Amazon River.  Manaus was forgettable.  It’s a gritty city in an otherwise wild and fairly unspoiled area of the Amazon.  We spent the day in Manaus to tour the city before jumping off to our Amazon adventure.  It wasn’t a very fun day.  Unless you want a taste of a typical Brazilian city, there’s no reason to spend more than a couple of hours there.  The highlight is the Theater of the Amazons, a beautiful opera house.  Other than that, Manaus leaves the impression that it has seen better days.  Indeed, it has.  During the heyday of Brazil’s rubber production, it was one of the country’s most affluent cities.  While it is now home to several electronics companies — thanks to the Brazilian government’s efforts to make Manaus a manufacturing hub — it is definitely not a high-tech city.  Enjoy the photos, shutterbugs.

Checking in Again

Dear Reader, I was away in July for awhile.  My family and I traveled to Rio de Janeiro and Manaus (in the Amazon Basin), Brazil for a little over a week.  Work has also been ridiculously busy.  I’ve been working something like 70 hours per week now.  I made a conscious effort to slow down this weekend and breathe a little bit.  One of my goals was to go through all the photos I took on our Brazil trip and post some here for your to view, but I didn’t have time (as usual).  I thought I would write a bit tonight and get to work tomorrow or as soon as possible.  More to come…

Tragedy in Sao Paulo, Brazil

We arrived just two weeks ago in Asunción, Paraguay via a TAM Mercosur airliner inbound from Sao Paulo, Brazil. When news of today’s airline disaster in Sao Paulo reached my ears, it hit close to home. Authorities still don’t know how many people were killed or injured when the Airbus 320 airplane inbound from Porto Alegre, Brazil carrying 140-170 people skidded off the runway at Congonhas Domestic Airport and crashed into a gas station, incinerating the plane. The runway was wet, and the news is reporting that the runway was in need of repair and situated in an urban area of the city giving airplanes little room to maneuver.

Although we flew out of Sao Paulo through Guarulhos International Airport, we departed under adverse weather conditions. Our inbound flight was delayed by an hour due to fog, and we waited two hours on the tarmac to depart in our TAM Airbus jet.  These kinds of tragedies always remind me that we could have been on that plane. I’m grateful that we lived to see another day. It makes me appreciate life all the more.

Our home Internet connection went down again overnight.  I’ve heard that that is quite common here, especially after the ferocious lightning storms that frequently bombard Asunción. Connections sometimes remain unavailable for several days. Así es la vida. I am thankful for what I have.

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