July Monthly Roundup

I loved Greece and visiting the Parthenon was a dream come true!

I loved Greece and visiting the Parthenon was a dream come true!

I have been very busy this month as I finished up my trip across Europe, editing the 2500+ pictures I took in Europe, packed in every minute of fun with my family and friends in the past 15 days that I’ve been home in Portland, and tried to squeeze in shopping for all of the stuff I can’t find in Venezuela.  It has been crazy but fun!

It has also meant that I’ve neglected to post over the past couple of weeks since I had originally thought I would have plenty to write about (I have SO MUCH TO WRITE ABOUT) and didn’t prepare posts for these past couple of weeks.

I’m leaving for Venezuela this evening, and despite needing to set up my classroom, needing to become familiar with a new textbook (Journeys Common Core 3rd Grade Reading), and needing to get to know the newly hired staff members at CIC, I fully expect to have more time to write and post on the blog.  Not leaving my apartment after dark usually affords me plenty of time to write!

So be on the lookout for posts about what went down in Europe and Portland in the coming weeks!

Around the web:

This summer I’ve managed to use the internet less than any other time in memory.  Having only brought my phone with me I was hardly online in Europe and then while I’ve been home I have been too busy to really spend much time online.

As an expat who came home for the summer, I thought it was really interesting to read an article about that very topic! I especially agree with how I sometimes feel like I need to work to reconnect with family and friends.

I am constantly debating with myself about coming home next summer or backpacking through all of the countries in Central America.  On one hand I will miss my family and friends and I could pay even MORE toward my student loans if I just went home. On the other it would be another dream trip since I want to travel to all Spanish speaking countries in Latin America before I leave the region.  While I have been reasearching I came across this blog about travel in Costa Rica (and I read many of her posts about other countries in Central America).  Should I go to Costa Rica if I am trying to stick to a budget?

This arctic drilling protest is the biggest news in my city: Greenpeace Protest on St. John’s Bridge.

Something that always interests me are travel hacks and this post refers to beauty hacks. I’ve never really thought of eyelash extensions, nor have I received a gel mani/pedi. Hmm.

Books:

I read two Pulitzer Prize winning books this month (amongst many lesser novels), and neither of them were new!  I have no idea why I didn’t read them earlier.

The Color Purple– I watched the movie years ago and kept telling myself that I would read this novel. I really don’t know why I waited so long to read it!

The novel addresses the lives of women of color in the southern US during the 1930s.  The language and times are really brought to life through the honest and painful thoughts of Celie. She was oppressed in every way and yet managed to scrape herself together and become a strong, successful woman by the end.

A word of warning: it is not an easy read due to the harsh language, sexual abuse, and violence.

The Fixer You immediately feel for the central character who has had a really tough life and only wants to work hard to better himself. Once things started going right, this Jewish man was wrongly accused and thrown into Russian prison while his accusers fabricated a case against him.

Sometimes I had to turn away and put the book down because I was so furious for how unfairly and inhumanely he was treated, but I still managed to finish the Pulitzer Prize winning novel in two days because I didn’t want to put it down. Read this book!

Music:

I just heard this bilingual song for the first time by one of my favorite bachata guys, Prince Royce, “Back it Up” (ft. Pitbull and JLo) and it sounds nothing like I expected! Not a bachata, but still fun to dance to.

When I return to Venezuela I fully expect to hear Enrique Iglesias sing, “Noche Y De Dia” on the radio.  It is another really fun dance song that is just perfect for the summer.

TV:

I have happily been following my favorite summer tv show, So You Think You Can Dance, which I love and watch faithfully each season. Get up and dance everyone!

I was pleasantly surprised when I decided to try out something that is a little more sci-fi than I normally go for: Wayward Pines.  I managed to watch the whole series in the 15 days I was home because my mom had it On Demand.  The show follows the story of a family who is having a rough patch and all of a sudden the father just disappears and inspires his wife and son to track him down.  They all end up in a mysterious town where time travel, surveillance, strict rules, abnormal beings, and a twisted scientist vie for your attention.

Movies:

Trainwreck made me laugh until I cried.  I totally appreciate this feminist take on the traditional romcom!

I am not proud to admit it, but Magic Mike XXL kept me VERY entertained.  XXL was everything the first Magic Mike should have been.  The music, men, and dancing were sexy (and Twitch from SYTYCD is in it!).

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