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  • Beautiful Cooking (Traditional Chinese: , literally: Beautiful Girl's Kitchen) is a Hong Kong variety show broadcast on TVB. The show began broadcasting in May 28, 2006 hosted by Ronald Cheng, Alex Fong and Edmond Leung. The second season began broadcast from April 5, 2009.
  • Look at or observe attentively, typically over a period of time
  • a small portable timepiece
  • Keep under careful or protective observation
  • look attentively; "watch a basketball game"
  • a period of time (4 or 2 hours) during which some of a ship's crew are on duty
  • Secretly follow or spy on

Beautiful Urkupina Dancers
Beautiful Urkupina Dancers
Occurring annually Cochabamba, Bolivia during mid-August, the Festival of the Virgin of Urkupina is an amazing blending of Catholic ritual and local indigenous culture and religion. The Fiesta is a multi-day affair. The first day is the Entrada, which is a sixteen hour “parade” with absolutely beautiful costumes and participants. The energy exhibited in this pageant is astonishing and physically challenging for all. They do not march the route, they literally dance the route, and not just a little shuffle; the dances are strenuous, vibrant and testaments of faith and dedication. These young ladies in particular, but all the participants, have dedicated three years of their lives—at least—to the festival, and in return, they make requests of the Virgin of Urkupina. It is kind of a quid pro quo prayer: “I promise three years of practice and dancing, and a dedication to the rosary if you, Virgin, will accept my prayer.” The costumes are all handmade; and the riot of colors, the marching bands with their bass drum-driven music, the smells of cooking food, beer and chicha (the local corn-based home brew) and the unique mix of spiritual adoration and physical overindulgence in alcohol and food cannot be adequately captured. The next day is the Calvario. This is a holiday in Cochabamba; there are perhaps, 500,000 to 750,000 people moving very slowly up to the hilltop known as the Calvario, then proceeding around the top, stopping to drink, or eat, or watch. All are there to pray for their future or to break rocks as a symbol of their willingness to work for their part of the bargain with the Virgin. It is not going to happen only by prayer, it takes action and a willingness to work hard—and Bolivians as a culture are incredibly hardworking. They then take the rocks home with them, and the following year, return them to the Calvario as part of the process of promise and action on both parts. The day is a particularly moving day, filled with a kind of quiet, reflective revelry. However, the peace is frequently shattered by brass bands hired by individual families that loudly accompanied the prayers and transformed the requests into celebrations of the future. Strange, but incredibly Bolivian, and incredibly hopeful. This day is really one of hope for the future of the family, for the entire family is involved in the work and the prayers and the celebration. With frequency, they halt the pounding, and pour beer on the ground and sprinkle some coca leaves as an offering and a sharing with Pachamama; and then they drink—or chew—some themselves. The line of people up and down the Calvario was approximately two miles long, and it was solid people, with no pushing and shoving, just a steady shuffling up and down the hill. Many Bolivians start their walk in the early morning hours, arriving at the Calvario in time for a 6:00 am mass. Thousands walk 15–20 kilometers throughout the night, personally asking or thanking the Virgin. We witnessed an incredible event, an incredible fiesta, filled with prayer, anticipation and thanksgiving.
The Incoming Fog (Story)
The Incoming Fog (Story)
Shadows stretched themselves out to twice their normal length as the sun set, leaving the world suspended in a gray-blue luminosity that would soon turn to the darkness of night. Any normal person would have found themselves at a bar or a poker table, surrounded by friends and affable strangers. But one man stood alone in a dark alley, just beyond a downtown bus stop. His clothes portrayed his immense wealth, but his dreary surroundings seemed a stark contrast to the finely-tailored suit and silk tie; said alley was remote and dismal, and the man was beginning to feel ill-at-ease. Still, he knew that he must wait. Time would yield to his patience eventually… He began to pace, feeling slightly unnerved by the sound of his own footsteps echoing off the brick walls of the buildings on either side of him. It reminded him of a blunt and simple fact that somehow toyed with his mind more ferociously than a cat with a half-dead sparrow: He was alone. There were no windows facing the alley, and the street beyond was deserted. A row of graffiti-marred dumpsters lined the opposing wall. A rusty old fire escape loomed over his head. The windowless walls of the two buildings flanking the narrow alley may as well been the bars of a cage. The world had a way of making cages. The man knew that fact quite well. Too well... Only a dim streetlamp lit the scene. How much longer? he thought to himself. He would have glanced down at his watch, but it was broken; frozen at half-past nine. Minuets dragged by, but they seemed like hours. Years, even! Once again, he realized he was trapped in a cage—a world confined within another world; where time and space may as well been nonexistent from the start. All the while, a mounting fear was tearing its way into the man’s mind. The shadows were shifting in his thoughts. He saw them. Like creatures lurking just out of his peripheral vision, wary and hungry, white eyes glowing like vivid stars. His fears now had become real. A physical manifestation of something his own mind had created... --Sarah Baretell. 2007 Image and story are both under copytight. Do not use without permission. © All rights reserved. Any unauthorized use of this photo is illegal and strictly prohibited.

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