The Blog of Alvaro

Alvaro expounds on his journey through Central and South America.

News – Robber in Buenos Aires

Written By: Alvaro's dad - Dec• 19•11

Family Al-Qasem went on a tube on the same stop as a robber. This coud cause a problem because the robber could just take the wallet ad walk quite nicely and then at the stairs he could run and escape. Or another way is the robber coud steal the credit card and then use it to buy a sofa and then the dad wouldont know why he has lost so much money. So this is what rally hapend. The robber went on the same stop as us. at the first stop he got 1155 pesos and then through the dads wallet on the floor and pointed to the wallet and then while the dad was piking it up the rober had time to esap and the dad told the mum what happend and then the mum chased the robber and she fell and the robber gave the mum

The police badge from the policeman

all the money he stole from the Al-Qasem family. So then the dad ran and he jumped over the barier and people was slowing him down and and the people was shouting robber and then the dad did a tackle and then a man in black helped the dad and then the police arested him and he got in prison for 1 or 2 months.
(written in the style of a newspaper article by Alvaro, posted by his dad)

Postcard to Chase Bridge

Written By: Alvaro's dad - Sep• 05•11

Dear Mr. King and school,

I have been in South America for 2 months and we are coming back to England in 4 more months. When we are coming back Yuri who is the head teacher from Aldea Yanapay is coming to our house. I really enjoyed feeding and talking to the parrots, snorkelling with the sea lions, snorkelling in Xcaret, having fun with Yuri, doing the superman. I thought that was scary was going down the rappel.

I wish you a happy term,
From Alvaro.

P.S. from Alvaro’s dad. The superman was a slide along a wire for 1 km on top of the rainforests in Costa Rica.

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Aztecs (well, pre-Aztecs mainly)

Written By: Alvaro's dad - Aug• 25•11

Although Omar and Alvaro started their trip here in Mexico, which is where the Aztec civilisation was centred, the areas we visited were not occupied by the Aztec. But Omar and Alvaro didn’t let that stop them finding out a little about the Aztecs.

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Mankind Gets to America

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The human race started out in Africa. People over several thousand years migrated (which means moved) into Asia and Europe, because these were connected by land to Africa, and so people were able to walk across with their animals. There were no humans in the Americas, because there was no way for man to walk across to there. In the last ice age, about 30,000 years ago, the water levels dropped and the land between Asia and North America became visible. This land is known as the Bering Land Bridge. Groups of people then walked across from Siberia in the East of Asia to Alaska in the West of America. They then spread down through the Americas, with civilisations settling in the Middle Americas around Mexico.

The Maya

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The longest lasting civilisation in the whole of the Americas is the Maya. They started out about 3,500 years ago, and are still in Mexico and Guatamala today. They were partially defeated by the Aztecs, but because they were spread over such a wide area, they weren’t completely beaten by them. These ruins at Chichen Itza were not reached by the Aztecs, for example. Today, the Mayan language is still taught at schools, and it is an official language of Mexico.

The Aztecs Didn’t Get This Far

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The Aztecs did not conquer the whole of Mexico. The Mayan town of Chichen Itza was never part of the Aztec empire. Some people say that this is because the Mayans were spread over such a large area, and also that some of their towns were in areas that were hard to reach, such as jungles.

Clever Steps

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The Mayans were clever builders. They built this pyramid with four sides, each side having 91 steps. At the top, there was one more step. What does 4 x 91 + 1 make, and what is the significance of that number?

The pyramids in the Americas were mainly step pyramids, not like the ones in Egypt. This was the same for the Mayans, the Aztecs, the Incas and many other American civilisations. This is because here, the purpose of the pyramids was for holy men to climb up to the top to be closer to their Gods. In Egypt, pyramids were mainly for burial, and there was no need to climb them.

Maya to Aztec

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The Aztecs started in a village called Aztlan in Mexico, and spread from there. They used to call themselves the Mexica, which is where the name of Mexico originates.

The Thirst for Human Blood

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The Aztecs sacrificed people by the thousands. It is estimated that by the time the Spaniards came, they sacrificed over 50,000 people every year.

Their main God was the God of war and the sun. This was a dangerous combination. It meant that every morning he had to fight away the monsters of the night, which were the moon and the stars. But to do this, he needed a cintunal supply of food and energy, and his favourite delicacies were human blood and hearts. To keep a supply of humans available to sacrifice, the Aztecs had to keep on conquering more and more tribes.

(commentary by Alvaro & Omar’s dad, videos by Omar and Alvaro with guest appearance from Aida)

The Galapagos Islands, August 2011

Written By: Alvaro's dad - Aug• 21•11

We whent to Galapagos Islands. Today we are going snorkelling so we put on are swimming suit and snorkelling gear. My dad saw a eagle ray and every one in my family exept for Aida and Tariq saw a sting ray because Aida and Tariq were to little. Their was a sea lion next to us but it went away. Me and Omar felt cold so Victor took us in the boat and gave me and Omar hot chocolate with milk. I asked if we can sit on the front and they said yes. So we went to the front and drove to the Leon Dormido. The Leon Dormido was a big rock that got cut. At the last day we played a football match. We lost the firs match and the second match. All the people in the first match are scouts.

(copied directly from the original notes by dad)

Volunteering at the Children’s Eternal Rainforest

Written By: Alvaro's dad - Aug• 01•11

Today we are at children’s eternal rainforest to volunteer and volunteer means to help do some work without getting paid. First we met Wendy.

Wendy gave us 4 pairs of gloves, 5 rakes and 4 bags. We had to brush the leaves and put them in a pile. Some of us had are gloves on and put the leaves in the bag to make compost.

Then we went to the green-house and we left the bags their and when we were at the greenhouse Wendy told us about Willow. Willow is selling plants from this area to the hotels so that they font bring in plants from other countries.

(Copied directly from Alvaro’s notes by his dad).

Zip wires in Costa Rica

Written By: Alvaro's dad - Jul• 30•11

Today we are in Costa Rica at EXTREME Canopy. A man who works here told us how to put the harness on and were to put your hands and feet. On the second ride I got used to it. The first few rides were practice rides and they were 30 or 40m. The rappel was so scary that 2 people went in front of me and it was like the ride in thorp park. The rappel is when you go down. The superman was last and the one that I thought was the coolest. After we drank water and ate pringles.

Che Guevara

Written By: Alvaro's dad - Jul• 18•11

Che Guevara was a argentinian doctor. He had a trip around South America on a motor bike. While he was travelling around South America he saw some poor people and some rich people. The poor people were working hard and not earning very much money from the rich people, and he saw that the rich people were treating the poor people badly. So he decided to help the poor people.

We went to see the fight at Santa Clara. Their was 350 soldiers and 19 guerillas. The soldiers were on 5 train carriages to bring weapons t their friends. While they were going their, Che surprised them by breaking the track from the bulldozer. The 19 guerillas and Che attacked the soldiers by using the Molotov cocktails. Some soldiers got killed some didn’t but then the soldiers said stop fighting we give up you win we loos.

We went to the Che Guevara museum. We saw his writing. We saw a chair from his grand other’s dining room. Che was a very good rugby player. We saw a machine gun and a gun that he brung with him. We saw 11 guns, a lamp, old fashioned Xxx, a ginormous walky talky, a sword. His hat had a star on it. Che died in 1967.

(typed by Alvaro’s dad from Alvaro’s notebook)

Pedal boat in Trinidad, Cuba

Written By: Alvaro's dad - Jul• 16•11

On a lovely sunny day we went to the beach. At the beach we had to put some sun-cream on because it was so sunny. I was the first to go in the water, the water was see through. I told my mum if we could go on the pedle boat. She said yes but the man that is a staff said that we had to wait for 5 minutes. Omar, me, Aida, Tariq, Iyas and Paola went on the boat. I went in for the longest in the water. After that we ate at a folded pizza. After we went to the sail boat.

(brief memoir copied into blog from Alvaro’s notes)

Havana,Cuba July,2011. Partagras Cigar Factory

Written By: Alvaro - Jul• 13•11

Today we are at the cigar factory. Cuba is the most important country for cigars. The difference between a cigarette and a cigar is that cigars are brown and cigarettes are brown and white. Cigars are fatter and longer than cigarettes. cigars and cigarettes are very bad for you and can kill you.

At the cigar factory we had to follow a lady. First she showed us the leaf that they use for cigars. some people were taking part to take a vein out of the leaf. Then she showed us the school were they learn how to make cigars. Then we went up stairs and they were making cigars. They pick a man to read a newspaper at the morning for 45 minutes a day and he reads a chapter of a book every day in the afternoon.

The beach and pool in Mexico

Written By: Alvaro's dad - Jul• 07•11

We went to have lunch in a Mexican restaurant. Then we had a fabulous ice cream. I had cookie with cream and a fabulous cone with m&ms on top. Then we went to touch a cute monkey, it was free. Next I watched TV, next I went to the swimming pool and I met a new freind. There was a bar in the swimming pool. After the juice I played a race with my friend. After that there was Thunder!!!

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At the thunder we whent home to eat pasta with cheese and oil. After that me and Omar felt tird. So we went to sleep. Then we woke up at 4:30. So then me and Omar read a book, and we read so much. So then we Quit and wached TV. After that I played on the DSi on pirates and the Carabean. After that we went to the Taxi to see the hotel then we went on the golf kart.

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Then I went to this fabulous swimming pool. Next I went Inside to eat lunch. I had grapes, beacon, chips. For pudding I had waffles. Next we went to the swimming pool and the pool bar. then me and Omar whent to see their match on the water. Next me and Omar went to play soosi monster. How to play.
1. Go in a swimming pool.
2. Try and get someone (only one person)
3. If you get some one then thier on.

My dad told me that Maya is a special word in Mexico. My dad spoke to Rayan, Rayan is trying to sell the hotel.I felt too tired of playing soosi monster. So we stopped playing.

After that Omar and me played in the aqua bubble then it was time for dinner. We had pizza. After the yummy pizza I had to put suncream on my face then I went in the swimming pool. Next I went to play ping pong I played Omar. I lost by 16-14, then we ate dinner. After dinner we went to sleep in are hotel.

At the morning we went swimming till 10:00. At the knite (lunch was Mcdonalds, for dinner I ate pizza). Then I went to sleep -zzz. At the morning I went to the swimming pool, I ate a hot dog for lunch it was very yummy.

(transcribed from the original handwritten diary by Alvaro’s dad)