As the author of a mystery series I love to weave unique cultural gems into the plot. Most of the time I draw on my own world travels and experiences living in Mexico and Central America.

In these Friday Fiesta posts I highlight cultural stories worth celebrating. The unique, the odd, the thought-provoking. Join the movement and share your own good news stories on Twitter with hashtag #FridayFiesta.

Meet Mr. Fabulous

In a guest post for abduzeedo.com, the avant-garde art site, Brazilian artist Marco Torres interviews a fellow artist known as Mr. Fabulous. The Q&A about his evolution as an artist and sources of inspiration is quirky and fun, as well as surprisingly thoughtful. Mr. Fabulous makes art with simple markers and pencils. The rest of the abduzeedo site is equally fun; it’s a prescription to end the winter blahs and boost creative inspiration.

Art from an astronaut

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield photographed Earth from the International Space Station and posted them on Twitter. UK’s The Telegraph pulled a selection of Hadfield’s photos of Earth to create a gallery of Hadfield’s best on the publication’s website. Breathtaking and crisp, these photos of Earth truly give us a new perspective on this place we call home as well as Hadfield’s own experience as an astronaut.

Zipping in Nepal

Backpacker Becki is a self-described “a British solo female traveler and adventure seeker” and her website lives up to the description. She is currently on a two year tour of parts unknown and documents the highlights such as her zipline adventure in Nepal. She writes that the zipline near Pokhara is the world’s longest, fastest and steepest. It is over 1.8km long, with a 600 metre vertical drop that gets riders going at speeds up to 100 miles per hour. Unlike most other ziplines the rider sits in a harness foor the ride which swings over the Seti River. The pictures are great and while Becki admitted to being nervous, she clearly adored the adventure! While I envy Becki the experience, I’m glad it was on her bucket list, not mine!

The Kilimanjaro Restaurant Experience

It you have a bit of time mid-month, join a tour to Tanzania that includes an expedition to Mt. Kilimanjaro, a stop at a gourmet restaurant on the way down the iconic peak, and two days volunteering at a local school. According to website weblogtheworld.com, “Departing February 18, 2013, from Washington, D.C., this one-of-a-kind trek up Africa’s highest mountain boasts an amenity that no other tour provider offers: a gourmet feast prepared by African Chef Pierre Thiam, who will open a temporary restaurant at a base camp at 12,500 feet above sea level exclusively to celebrate the fund-raising climb. After summiting Mount Kilimanjaro via the scenic Machame route, climbers will descend to the base camp restaurant to dine on Chef Thiam’s African regional cuisine.” The core purpose of the expedition is to benefit St. Timothy’s School, a school and children’s home, and the climb and gourmet experience are great ways to generate interest. So if Kilimanjaro is on your bucket list, here’s the best way to do it!

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I'm author Carmen Amato. I write mystery and suspense, including the Detective Emilia Cruz police series set in Acapulco. Expect risk, power, corruption. And relationships with heat.  More

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