Sports

When soccer is part of your history

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Since I was 6 years old I watched the World Cup, many could say that I am a true fan, but usually it is a passion that I live without showing off. In 1986, when Argentina played against Germany and won their second Cup, I remembered Maradona taking the Cup triumphantly, at that time Maradona was one of the good guys.

I also remembered Italia 90′, I was 10 years old, one of my favorite games was looking at the mirror and singing with a toothbrush the song of the World Cup. I used to singing this verse:

“Notti magiche, inseguendo un gol,
Sotto il cielo di un’estate italiana.
E negli occhi tuoi, voglia di vincere
Un’estate, un’avventura in più.” (Italian version)

That was for me one of the best songs that have been made for a WorldCup “Un’estate Italiana” made by the italian musician Giorgio Morode and for the American lyricist Tom Whitlock. I watched all the games, I did not miss the final, I never missed a final. Germany won his third cup, I was fan of Italy, but they got only the third place at that time.

Then came the 94 ‘World Cup, which was held in the United States, by that moment the north-americans realized the potential that a World Cup had in many economics aspects. USA perceived the World Cup as a massive power mobilization with an endless opportunities for business. I felt close to that Cup, not only because it was in America, but because Brazil won. I remembered having gone to Las Mercedes in Caracas, Venezuela, to dance samba and celebrate.

Then came the 98’World Cup in France. There “Les Blues”won their First Cup. France won 3-0 against Brazil. In that Cup Zinedine Zidane became famous, without imagining that later on he would be even more famous for other reasons; as for example, his famous hit head in the middle of a game against the Italian player Marco Materazzi. That happened at the World Cup in Germany 2006. Zidane became viral on social media like You Tube and even at that time some people made a reggaeton about “Zizu” and the hit head.

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In 2002 came Korea-Japan and I remembered waking up at 3 am to watch the games in live time. That for me was the World Cup of David Beckham, he was the star, although England did not won everyone talked about the English team. That World Cup was also historic because it was a witness to the best Brazil team that ever played soccer so far, not in vain, they took the cup for the fifth time, being the country with the most cups won in its history.

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In Germany 2006, the excitement was unprecedented, Italy, one of my favorite teams won the final and in penalties. That had never happened to Italy to win in penalties, it was historic and a giant celebration in the Italo-Venezuelan Club, in Caracas, where I was watching the game at that time. I still keep the shirt that I wore that day and it says of course “Italy”, honoring my ancestors, because my last name is Fanti from my Italian great-grandparents.


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2010, I named it the Wakawaka World Cup, I called that way because the hit song of Shakira:Waka Waka. It was a World Cup of true passion. Shakira left De La Rua and became girlfriend with the famous Spaniard soccer player Omar Pique in the middle of the World Cup, they called it the waka rumor; Casillas the winning goalkeeper of the Spain team kissed on camera a reporter, Sara Carbonero, who turned out to be his sentimental partner. It was a World Championship with a lot of entertainment, including Cristiano Ronaldo in the package. I also baptized the World Cup “Hola”, for the gossip Spanish magazine Hola because Spaniards love gossip and Spain won for the first time in history a World Cup that year.


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And with the wakawaka we went to the Brazil World Cup 2014. With a host team that gave pity to others, it was unforgettable the match that Germans won over Brazil 8-0 and then 7-0 because in the end they annulled a goal to Germany. In that match was embarrassing to see the Brazilians play. Germany, on the other hand, crowned and won its fourth cup, being the European country with the most cups in the world to its credit.

And we arrived at Russia 2018. Where the unimaginable happened, Italy did not qualify. Spain, Portugal and Brazil left, Germany and Argentina that were favorites teams went even before the round of 16. No Latin American country succeeded, nor any African.The United States did not even go to the World Cup, Mexico lost. It was a World Cup full of great emotions, where Russia with help went very far. But, just could not do it until the end.


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Russia 2018 finished in a final with 2 championship teams. France vs.Croatia. In the first time France did not seem to deserve to be there. France was favored with a free kick and then with a totally unfair penalty, to the majority of the spectators it seemed unfair and among that group of spectators I included myself. Croatia gave the battle until the last minute. The second time came and France finally played and showed why it had arrived there. Demoralized Croatia continued to demonstrate incredible fortitude.

Two champions emerged, a victorious France that won the Cup for the second time in its history and then exactly after 10 years (remember that they won it in 1998) and a Croatia that won the hearts of the whole world, for its example of perseverance, to fighter through the end and for leaving a positive mark on history.

Soccer is part of my life, is part of your history too, soccer is part of the walk of our humanity. Congratulations to all those who fought for this Cup and we will see what happens in Qatar 2022. Remember that in soccer as in life, for the true goals you have to fight. Always someone lose and others win, the important thing is the crossing, it is the battle that makes you stronger and inspires you to be better.

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Children, Education, Parenting

Stimulate culture in our children

By Maria Eugenia Fanti

@marufanti

Children have the ability to learn and internalize the knowledge of their environment very quickly; in this process parents play an important role. According to the Congress of brilliant minds of Madrid 80% of what children are learning happens in the house and not in school. The example of parents, especially of the mother is irreplaceable in the development of the child.

Help the child with the homework, readings, and stimulate their cultural training will determine the success of his academic life. Thus, it is necessary that parents have higher studies and try to maintain a high level of culture that will encourage the love of learning by the child.

Below are some tips to help children to have culture and good education:

1) Have many books at home and give example reading it.

2) Visit museums such as the science, the children’s museum, among others.

3) Go to art exhibitions

4) Go to theater and see children’s play.

5) Take the kids to Ballet and other dances show such as Flamenco or artistic performances by other countries, so that expand their knowledge about other cultures.

6) Watch documentaries with your children about nature, scientific topics, and the planets, among others.

7) Teach them a second language and encourage bilingualism.

8)Stimulate creative activities such as: art classes and games about new and interesting knowledge.

9)Teach them music from other countries, teach them to listen and appreciate classical music.

Children, Education, Parenting

Inspiring our Children

Communicating with our kids in a proper manner is a goal that does not escape from our list of how to be better parents. But we also have to remember a good example can define the course of their behavior to the rest of their lives.

By Maria Eugenia Fanti @marufanti 

Parenting by photostock

Sometimes as parents we lose the strength, hope that we’re doing the right thing. But, if we discourage how are we going to be able to inspire our children? Parents have to help them to love what they do, teach them to be happy with their lives. But, not only the happiness is the goal. Parents must teach them how to fall and how to stand up, explain to them that life have hard moments, difficult situations, but they cannot let themselves fall into despair. A friend once told me: “you can not walk the road for your children, you have to teach them how to walk the road by themselves”. Very wise words, nobody can live the life of other, that is a fact, every human being goes through their experiences and internalize them in a different way, but we can inspire others, especially our children.

Be a good example, do not say one thing and do another, be honest, sincere, always looking for spaces to communicate with your children, share time with them, play together, watch a sunset, playing sports, hug them, tell them “I love you” and also tell them that you will always be there to listen and they can rely on you.

Copyright © 2015 María Eugenia Fanti. Todos los Derechos reservados

Picture by Free Digital Photos

Children, Education, Parenting

“El Elefantico Perdido”: New Spanish Book for kids

Foto Elefante tomando solDo you want to practice Spanish with your children? Are you looking for a good book to read to them? We recommend you “El Elefantico Perdido” a children’s story that tries to transmit the virtue of obedience, understood as a principle of good conduct and a moral habit. Obedience is an essential element in the psychosocial development of the child who needs to be integrated into society that has rules and to live in it must comply with them.

Obedience is a virtue that is not in fashion today. It is mistakenly presumed to be obedient is a lack of freedom and the reality is that both values are interrelated. Hence, the premise of the story is summarized in the phrase of the philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre: “My freedom ends where it begins the other”. With this tale is transmitted to the child the importance of these two concepts: “obedience and freedom”.

Foto Elefante en PalmeraThe author of the tale is the Venezuelan-American journalist María Eugenia Fanti. This is her first book for children. Her main inspiration to write this story are her children and also two authors that from her childhood generated a deep love of literature, they are: the Nicaraguan Ruben Dario and the Venezuelan Aquiles Nazoa. “As a writer and mother, I would like to offer to the parents a book for the noble task of educating our children in human values,” says the author.

The illustrator of the tale is Hermann Medina. He was born in Caracas, Venezuela. Course studies in Electronic Engineering in France. He worked in Caracas Metro Company. Today, he lives in Houston, Texas and is dedicated to one of his passions: art. El Elefantico Perdido is his first job as an illustrator of children’s stories. He joined this project because he believes in faithfully teach the importance of human values to children, to build a better world.

To buy the book online or print visit: El Elefantico Perdido  

Here a preview of the book:

El Elefantico Perdido
El Elefantico …
By Maria Eugenia Fanti
Photo book

Copyright © 2015 María Eugenia Fanti. All rights reserved.

Technologies and Social Media

Hello, oops sorry! I mean Ello

Internet by Stuart MilesI can tell you, Social Media is changing our lives no doubt about that. When we finally get it, yes we have thousand of followers on Twitter, we have many friends on Facebook, we have a blog, a website then, something new is coming up. So the only rule seem no rules, the message that Social Media and Tech Company are giving us is like: Hey! Don’t waste your time any longer in this, because we are going to change it. One perfect example of this is Facebook, how many times do they change the terms and policies of private or whatever they decide? Do not talk about how do they sell our private information…to talk about that I should write another article.

Now if you are opening a Facebook Page and you want to promote it yourself, you just waste your time, not followers at all will appear. Everything is made for you to spend money in Facebook advertisement, it seems the only way, but is it fair?

Some people think is fair, because is a company, a business and they have to find ways to get more money. Facebook is now working on a new version for 2015 “Facebook at Work”. This is going to help employee to work together in projects, have chats in real-time. For the beginning they will not charge you for advertisement, you know to catch new clients and followers, but if you have a business and you want to go there, you should go through a registration process. It supposes going to be complete independent from the Facebook Family & Friends. With this announcement LinkedIn should be scare! Maybe, but we will see what happen.

But, the thing is out there still a group of people who do not like Facebook at all, do not have profile and they think Facebook abuse us with all these advertisement campaigns. This people like “Ello” better know as The Anti-Facebook, What do they claim? “Your Social Network is owned by advertisement. Every post you share, every friend you make, and every link you follow is tracked, recorded and converted into data. Advertisers buy your data so they can show you more ads. You are the product that’s bought and sold (…) you are not a product” Ello Manifesto

We should take a break and think more about what we share, who is taking our data and why. We should be a Social Community that uses their power to put boundaries even to Facebook. I love Social Media, I think they are great, but I just want to share with you my reflection about to consider others ways to balance our lives and finally to really have the control of theirs, because at the end is our live, no Facebook, Twitter o someone else live.

Photo By Stuart Miles, Courtesy of Free Digital Photos 

Copyright © 2014 María Eugenia Fanti. All rights reserved. 

News, Uncategorized

The greatest of Latin America died: Gabriel Garcia Marquez

To old people I would say that death doesn’t arrive when they grow old, but with forgetfulness.”, Gabriel Garcia Marquez wrote this sentence. Latin America and the world hardly forget the work of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982, which died on April 17th of 2014. He passes away at 87 years old.

 Maquina de escribir by antpkrBy Maria Eugenia Fanti

Gabriel Garcia Marquez “Gabo” was the father of “Magic Realism” with his master novel “One Hundred Years of Solitude”. He has sold 50 million copies in more than 25 different languages. Garcia Marquez along with writers such as Julio Cortázar, Carlos Fuentes and Mario Vargas Llosa positioned the Latin American literature in the world.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez was born in Aracataca on 6 March 1927, Colombia. His childhood was spent in the care of his maternal grandparents, Nicolas Ricardo Marquez and Tranquilina Aguarán. For “Gabo” their grandparents were the source of inspiration for his stories, in particular for “100 Years of Solitude”.

At the age of twelve, Garcia Marquez won a scholarship to study at a boarding school in Zipaquira, near Bogotá. After he studied law at the Universidad National in Bogotá, but he did not finish. In 1947 he published in “El Espectador”, a Colombian Newspaper his first story “The third resignation”. From that moment he realize he want to became a Journalist.

In 1948 and 1949 he wrote for El Universal in Cartagena. Later, from 1950 until 1952, he wrote a “whimsical” column under the name of “Septimus” for the local paper El Heraldo in Barranquilla. During this time he became an active member of the informal group of writers and journalists known as the Barranquilla Group, an association that provided great motivation and inspiration for his literary career.

From 1954 to 1955, Garcia Marquez spent time in Bogotá and regularly wrote for Bogotá‘s El Espectador. After a while El Espectador sent Garcia Marquez away to Europe to be a foreign correspondent. In Europe, Garcia Marquez starts writing many of his novels: “No One Writes to the Colonel” (1961), “In Evil Hour” (1962) and some stories of “Big Mama’s Funeral” (1962)

He travelled and lived in several parts of the world until he came to Mexico City where he wrote the book that would change his life forever: “One Hundred Years of Solitude”.

Other important novellas are: Leaf Storm (1955), The Autumn of the Patriarch (1975), Love in the Time of Cholera (1985), The General in His Labyrinth (1989), Of Love and Other Demons (1994), Chronicle of a Death Foretold (1981) and Memories of My Melancholy Whores (2004).

Also he wrote great non-fiction Works such as: The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor (1970)The Solitude of Latin America (1982),The Fragrance of Guava (1982, with Plinio Apuleyo Mendoza), Clandestine in Chile (1986), News of a Kidnapping (1996), A Country for Children (1998) and Living to Tell the Tale (2002).

In 2007, for reasons of health, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, has declared his retirement from public life. He has terminal cancer and sends this letter of farewell to friends and lovers of literature, I publish here in memory of “El Gabo”:

By Gabriel Garcia Marquez

If God, for a second, forgot what I have become and granted me a little bit more of life, I would use it to the best of my ability.

I wouldn’t, possibly, say everything that is in my mind, but I would be more thoughtful l of all I say.

I would give merit to things not for what they are worth, but for what they mean to express.

I would sleep little, I would dream more, because I know that for every minute that we close our eyes, we waste 60 seconds of light.

I would walk while others stop; I would awake while others sleep.

If God would give me a little bit more of life, I would dress in a simple manner, I would place myself in front of the sun, leaving not only my body, but my soul naked at its mercy.

To all men, I would say how mistaken they are when they think that they stop falling in love when they grow old, without knowing that they grow old when they stop falling in love.

I would give wings to children, but I would leave it to them to learn how to fly by themselves.

To old people I would say that death doesn’t arrive when they grow old, but with forgetfulness.

I have learned so much with you all, I have learned that everybody wants to live on top of the mountain, without knowing that true happiness is obtained in the journey taken & the form used to reach the top of the hill.

I have learned that when a newborn baby holds, with its little hand, his father’s finger, it has trapped him for the rest of his life.

I have learned that a man has the right and obligation to look down at another man, only when that man needs help to get up from the ground.

Say always what you feel, not what you think. If I knew that today is the last time that that I am going to see you asleep, I would hug you with all my strength and I would pray to the Lord to let me be the guardian angel of your soul.

If I knew that these are the last moments to see you, I would say “I love you.”

There is always tomorrow, and life gives us another opportunity to do things right, but in case I am wrong, and today is all that is left to me, I would love to tell you how much I love you & that I will never forget you.

Tomorrow is never guaranteed to anyone, young or old. Today could be the last time to see your loved ones, which is why you mustn’t wait; do it today, in case tomorrow never arrives. I am sure you will be sorry you wasted the opportunity today to give a smile, a hug, a kiss, and that you were too busy to grant them their last wish.

Keep your loved ones near you; tell them in their ears and to their faces how much you need them and love them. Love them and treat them well; take your time to tell them “I am sorry,” “forgive me, “please,” “thank you,” and all those loving words you know.

Nobody will know you for your secret thought. Ask the Lord for wisdom and strength to express them.

Show your friends and loved ones how important they are to you.

Send this letter to those you love. If you don’t do it today…tomorrow will be like yesterday, and if you never do it, it doesn’t matter either, the moment to do it is now.

For you, with much love,

Your Friend,
Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Photo by by antpkr / Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Sources consulted:

Wikipedia

BBC News

The Pacific Rim Review of Books

 

 

 

 

 

 

Education, Parenting

Creative kids: born or made?

What is creativity and why is so important to have it nowadays? Why should we help our kids to be more creative? Did you know that we should allow them to get bored so they can develop their ability to be creative?

Creatividad  by Idea goBy María Eugenia Fanti

When we take time to appreciate some pieces of work from masters like: Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night, Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 or when we read masterpieces as King Lear of William Shakespeare, Ulysses of James Joyce, we ask ourselves how these artist did such a great job? And the answer is: creativity.

What is creativity and why is so important to have it nowadays? The concept of creativity is wide because is an association not only of thoughts, but values. Laura Tobi, an expert in Education and New Technologies explain to us: “creativity is an interesting and novel way to solve a problem. People can be creative in a positive or in a bad way. As parents we should plant in our children the desire to be creative, but with moral values”

Continue reading “Creative kids: born or made?”