August 12, 11:06 pm Sao Paulo time
Night time is always the hardest. I remember that from Italy. I miss Nick and I think he’s upset because we can’t talk…no wifi here…as per usual right? I always forget how much I take internet for granted while home. I’ll probably go back to taking it for granted within a few weeks of me being back.
I got through customs pretty quickly at the airport. The taxi driver Mariana sent was waiting for me when I got through. It was warm outside, way warmer than Newport would have been at that time in the morning…and it’s winter here. I met Mariana, Barbara, and Barbara’s mom, who had spent the weekend in Sao Paulo. I think it was to make sure I wasn’t a serial killer. That’s what my mom would have done I think, if I lived only 2 hours away and some random foreigner was going to move in for a month. Anyway, we had a breakfast of mangos, melons, fresh orange juice (like legit squeezed fresh), bread with cream cheese, and these cheese filled breads that Ronnie and Nick would love. I am going to take some back with me if I can.
After that Mariana wanted to show me around. I have a feeling I am going to be getting lost ALOT. We went to the Parque Ibiquerika, the Sao Paulo version of Central Park. It was beautiful! I had a vat of coconut water and ate coconut fruit from a vendor who used a machete to crack the coconut, pour a juice into a cooler and then gave me the emptied coconut and a piece of the top to scoop out the fruit. The constancy was like clams. It tasted super good though, way better than the coconut you use in cooking. I hate that stuff.
After that we continued exploring. I stubbed my toe on a rock and started gushing blood everywhere. I hope I don’t die of malaria or something.
We went to one of Mariana’s friends’ house after and hung out with her family. They have three super cute kids. It’s fathers day here today, so they were having lunch. I had a cappherina. I can see why it’s dangerous. It was delicious, but I could taste the alcohol pretty intensely.
From there Mariana and I went to dinner at a restaurant near her house. Things are so crazy expensive here! Dinner for two was lie 90 reias. That’s nuts right?
Mariana is a really good person. She pretty much told me her entire life story today and I was fascinated. Basically she studied in America when she was 17 in Kentucky. Her american mom taught her the importance of community service, and it really stuck. She works at the bank, teaches english, and also volunteers as a social worker at a public school and in the favelas in Minas Giras.
She told me some really heartwarming stories and it’s really great how passionate she is about helping people. She said the saddest thing is when she gets a group of five year olds together from the Favellas and asks what they want to be when they grow up. They usually say a maid or a bus driver, even a beggar, which is apparently a profession in Brazil as much as it is in San Francisco. She helps by asking her coworkers and friends to come talk to the children about what they do, and introduce them to a realm of possibilities. She spends time teaching them english, teaches them how to dress and how to speak to adults. The results are crazy. Apparently one student now has a great job and often attributes his success to her lessons.
After dinner Mariana and I went to the cultural theatre and saw a really cool dance performance. It was like Brazilian ballet with a mix of samba and modern. It was AMAZING. I recognized a lot of the choreography from the Afro Brazilian tradition I studied my senior year in college. It was really cool to see it live in Brazil.
Now I’m home and I’m exhausted. I haven’t slept in almost 40 hours, minus an hour nap at the airport. I feel dead but the more I lay here the more crazy I get. I really miss Nick. I think this is the longest we’ve been without having a real conversation in like…i don’t know since March or something. I don’t like it.
Tomorrow I start teaching at 10:30 in the morning. I have a class from 10:30 – 11:30, then one at 1:30-2:30 and then one at 6:30 – 7:30. After that I will probably try to explore somewhere. Scratch that. Tomorrow I am going to find a way to get internet. So I can post these silly blogs, and talk to Nick.