Off-topic: Don't forget to play!

This post is not intended to draw any large or important lessons about the world of freelancing, other than the fact that most freelance translators need to have more fun. Here in Colorado, one of our ubiquitous slogans is Don’t forget to play!, a reference to the fact that the Colorado Lottery is the primary funding source for the Great Outdoors Colorado program. So this is just a fun post, about two really fun things that I’ve done this fall. If you’re here only for translation-related topics, feel free to skip this post and tune in next week!

Llama trekking: One neat thing about living in Colorado: it’s hard to exhaust the options for outdoor recreation. My family loves animals and backcountry camping, so we recently combined the two with a llama trekking excursion. We rented three llamas from Antero Llamas in Salida, Colorado, and I highly recommend them not only because their llama-related services are outstanding, but because the owner’s girlfriend is a translator. Maybe the only Finnish translator in Colorado, and certainly the only one in Salida! We had to attend a three-hour “llamas 101” course to learn how to catch, groom, load and lead the llamas and then we were able to do a self-guided camping trip to a lake up high (elevation 12,000 feet) in the mountains. Here are our three trusty guys hanging out by the lake:

and carrying all of our stuff!

We had a group of 11 people including five kids, and with the llamas carrying 60-70 pounds of stuff each, it was a pretty luxurious trip and something we would definitely do again! The llamas are very mellow and gentle, and also great for motivating kids to walk faster in order to keep up with them!

Making sugar skulls for Halloween: Even if you live in a country that doesn’t celebrate Halloween or Dia de los Muertos, this is a fun project.

  1. Procure some skull molds. Here in the US, many craft stores sell Halloween-themed candy molds that you can use for this purpose, or you can order them from Mexican supply shops online. I used Wilton chocolate molds: one skeleton mold (use just the head), one gravestone mold and one pirate-themed mold that had a nice pirate skull with an eyepatch.
  2. Mix three cups of granulated sugar and one egg white. You want the mixture to hold its shape if you squeeze a small handful of it together. If it’s too dry, add egg white. If it’s too wet, add sugar.
  3. Press the mixture into your molds, then pop the molded sugar out onto a cookie sheet and let it dry overnight. Make sure to pack the molds tightly; if the mixture sticks to the mold, add sugar and re-mix. If it crumbles, add egg white and re-mix.
  4. Make some edible paint by combining a cup of powdered sugar (also called icing sugar or confectioner’s sugar), a tablespoon of corn syrup and enough water to make a paint-like mixture. Separate into three or four small bowls and use food coloring to create the colors that you want. Paint your skulls!

Et voilà! My nine year-old made these:

and they are really fun to display, eat or dissolve in your coffee!

And on that note, happy weekend! Don’t forget to play!

3 Responses to “Off-topic: Don't forget to play!”
  1. ebodeux October 15, 2011
  2. Iza Kryjom October 20, 2011
  3. Angelica October 21, 2011

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.