Brazil 2014! Rachel is beside herself with excitement at the thought of Brazil hosting the 2014 World Cup. We've done the maths: Nelson will be 9, just the age to be fully immersed in the wonder of an event such as this (I remember bawling my eyes out when England lost in the 1990 World Cup semis... but this is Brazil, they won't lose). Rachel is adamant we will be going to a game from wherever in the world we will be living at that time.
I spoke with some of my students today about this. They are all very happy with the news, but the debate for them is whether Natal will be selected as a host city. On the plus side Natal is safe, has a thriving tourist industry and an international airport. Some architect has already drawn up plans for a new stadium of 65,000 but if they have a stage in the north east it may well be in Salvador, Fortaleza or Recife - the bigger capitals.
Other Brazilians are concerned with the cost and investment in sports when the country has other more pressing concerns over education, security and healthcare. But, as another of my students - a university lecturer - pointed out, the money for infrastructure will come from FIFA and the project will create jobs and hopefully aid technological development in security as well as increase the profile of Brazil internationally.
Life is life. We've all had a bit of illness lately, Rach especially with the killer morning sickness. And for me, I have been gingerly putting on shirts and strapping on seatbelts after I got thoroughly lobstered at the beach on Sunday. It's also quite a busy time at work. As my Dad would say, life is life.
ACCORDING TO BOB: The view from the Andes.
According to Bob, Pinochet remained remarkably popular in Chile despite his despotic ways. Still, today the country has a very right wing, conservative bias. There is a socialist government led by a woman, but the opposition is storng and the most widely read newspaper in the country is ultra-blue. During Pinochet's time inflation got out of hand and the currency sky-rocketed. 1000 Chilean Pesas is 1 English Pound. Which means, that the Chilean version of "Who wants to be a millionaire?" is actually only (at least in English Pounds) "Who wants to be a thousandaire?"