Archive for the ‘Potpourri’ Category

Some Adventures Are Internal

December 8th, 2011 at 11:21 am (AST) by Jake Richter

It’s been about a year since my last post here, in small part because the Traveling Richters have done very little of the regular traveling we had done in prior year, and in greater part because one of life’s not so great surprises, well, surprised us. In March of 2011 I was diagnosed with Stage IIIB melanoma, and my treatment plan ultimately involved finding temporary housing in Boston, Massachusetts close to Massachusetts General Hospital. We’ve been learning about the benefits and detriments of living in an urban environment as part of that process. Details on the evolution of my cancer and the treatments I’ve been going through, including most recently radiation treatment for brain tumors, can be found in another blog: Jake’s Take. Here’s hoping your year has been less exciting than ours.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Traveling Richters.


Sometimes, Adventure is Near Home

September 9th, 2010 at 3:25 pm (AST) by Jake Richter

There are times when you don’t have to get on a plane, or even into a vehicle, to find adventure. Sometimes you can experience it from the comfort of your own home.

For us, that’s the case today as a lightning strike set a large fuel storage tank on fire at the BOPEC facility on the northern part of Bonaire. The incident happened yesterday, and if anything the fire is larger than before. Official news has been difficult to come by. The word on the street is that our island is completely out of fire extinguishing chemicals at this point, but the fire has been contained to one tank and will be allowed to burn itself out. From our house, 9.5 miles as the crow flies from the fire, it is stunningly visible and huge. We hope that reports are right and that there’s no chance of other tanks catching fire from this one.

In case you were curious, BOPEC is the Bonaire Petroleum Corporation, owned by PDVSA, the Venezuelan oil company. The BOPEC facility is used as a storage and transshipment facility for Venezuelan crude. BOPEC is not a local source for fuel, which is a fortunate thing in this situation.

Fire at the BOPEC facility on Bonaire, from my roof, 9.5 miles away

Fire at the BOPEC facility on Bonaire, from my roof, 9.5 miles away

More live eyewitness reports and some amazing night time photos can be found on BonaireTalk.


We Now Have A Facebook Fan Page

August 27th, 2010 at 8:27 am (AST) by Jake Richter

We just launched a Facebook fan page for The Traveling Richters. Come join us there and please click the “Like” button at the top of the page to become a fan:

We plan on use Facebook as our public, interactive forum for conversations on relevant topics. And, whenever we add a new post here, we’ll share news of that on our new fan page too.

Note that the creation of the new Facebook fan page doesn’t change the fact that comments are still always welcome on each of our posts here on the blog.


Advice For New Parents From The Traveling Richters

August 26th, 2010 at 10:27 pm (AST) by Jake Richter

Friends of ours recently had a beautiful baby girl, and in our e-mail exchange they asked (jokingly perhaps) what lessons The Traveling Richters might have for them and for their new child.

We responded, and in retrospect, our response seems appropriate to share with everyone, so here goes:

1) Make sure that as she gets old enough to go to school you find one with liberal time-away policies so you can travel to explore the world and show her adventure and culture when it’s convenient for you. If your local schools are too rigid (all too common), contemplate homeschooling (easier said than done, though!).

2) Expose her to multiple languages early on. I’ve heard that having each parent speak a different language to a child helps with multiple language adaptation (assuming the parents can speak multiple languages, of course). We opted for the move to a different country instead to achieve the language exposure.

3) Never be afraid to show her affection, regardless of others around you (it’s always macho to hug your kids, with the occasional kiss on the head). That’s part of what’s kept us Traveling Richters very huggy and close, even as our kids become teenagers.

4) As she grows into her toddler years and beyond, explain things to her and talk to her using real people language (big words), not baby talk (although during the first couple of years, lapses into baby talk are common and acceptable, as they are just too cute to do otherwise with). If you don’t think she understands the meaning of a particular word in context, explain it to her.

5) Give her responsibilities as soon as she’s old enough to comprehend how to fulfill those responsibilities – folding laundry, drying some dishes, feeding pets, etc. Ultimately helps increase maturity earlier on, as well as make your lives easier when she’s old enough to really help out around the house and on trips.

6) Save money to pay for experiences more than saving for material things. And then make sure to spend the money on travel fantasies after you’ve saved a bit.

Do any of you agree? Disagree? Think we missed something?


Avoid Regrets, Seize Opportunities

August 9th, 2010 at 3:53 pm (AST) by Jake Richter

I came across a nice quote from author, social commentator, and humorist Mark Twain today which I think perfectly reflects my journey through life:

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

– Mark Twain


Is ‘Robert’ A Girl’s Name in Hong Kong?

July 18th, 2010 at 9:50 am (AST) by Jake Richter

I was looking through some of the photos I took in the last week here in Hong Kong, and found the one below, of a movie poster for “Eclipse”, the third film in the Twilight saga.

Gender Name Confusion in Hong Kong?

Gender Name Confusion in Hong Kong?

Either the actors now have new names, or someone creating the Chinese version of this movie poster hasn’t a clue about the gender of names like Robert and Kristen.

I shot a few other confused/amusing signs that I will try and dig up and post in the coming week or two.