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At The Vatican

“So the last will be first, and the first last” – Mathew 20:16

That is definitely Pope Francis! Being a humble man, does not submit to the frills of the Catholic Church, but now holds one of the most important religious leadership in the world and was voted as Time Magazine’s Person of the Year in 2013!

Raised as a Catholic, I first learned about what the “Pope”  during the death of Pope Paul VI in 1978. Then Pope John Paul became leader of the Catholic Church. Since then, my impression of the Pope was a holy man, with emphasis on the MAN.

When my husband was invited to speak at the Vatican by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the first thing that came to mind was meeting the Pope! Yeah right! Like that would happen in my lifetime. I have walked around New York City a couple of times, and never crossed paths with a famous person! The Vatican is a city within a city and we had assumed that we would be staying in a hotel outside St Peter’s Basilica. I have lost the habit of reading Lonely Planet or Fromers travels books on places we visit, so

At the Vatican_video

Peru 2013

Song: 500 miles

By: The Proclaimers

Peru is gastronomically memorable. I can very much relate to the history of Peru because, like the Philippines, it was colonized by the Spaniards for a couple of centuries. The incas encountered Pizzaro, while the malays in the Islas of the Philippines fought against Magellan.


However, much of the incas heritage and culture are well preserved, especially in Cusco, Ollyantambo, and the Sacred Valleys of Urubamba, Pisac, and Moray leading up to Machu Pichu. While walking along the narrow streets of cusco, you will encounter quechuenos and quechuenas in their colorful traditional garbs and are most willing to pose for a 'foto' for un soles (0.40 cents US). You will also be surprised at how well they can speak English with clear diction and proper grammar. Not surprising if one day call centers will sprout in Peru, because the cusquenos and the 

Peru 2013_video

Chocolat, Belgium

Song: Chocolate

By: Tim Maia

In general, a trip to Europe is like a trip to history and medieval ages! But Belgium has something more to offer than their centuries old churches, castles and cobblestones. The window display of chocolate shops is "delightful" to see. The baklava shop was out of place but just as attractive as the other candy and chocolate shops. Window shopping for sweets in Belgium can make you diabetic! And do not forget the waffle shops! Great with coffee, at any time of the day!

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