Monday, August 27, 2007
Monday, August 20, 2007
I am having a wonderful time here doing all kinds of neat things. this weekend my host sister, her boyfriend, and one of my friends and i all went to this little city called Barra do Jacuipe. It~s this remote beach with all kinds of neat scenery and amazing waves. we stayed there from saturday morning until sunday afternoon. it was beautiful (i got a little burnt, but it was totally worth it). it´s definately my favorite beach so far. you´d be proud of me guys, i tried new things! haha...food i mean. we were waiting for the rain to stop *it´s been raining a lot, cause that´s what winter here means, more rain, but still hot* and it was lunch time, so we stopped at this little bar on the beach and ordered food. they asked me if i liked crab, and i was like...of course! i love crab! i had eaten it at various restaurants in the US...well i didn´t really think about it, but eating crab here means they bring out the entire crab! they just pluck it out of the ocean and throw the whole thing in a boiling pot of water. they brought us like 4 or 5 entire crabs for only R$2.50. which translates to $1.25 US. They taught me how to tear off the legs, pound them with a mallot and get the meat out. then my host sister grabbed one of the head/bodies and said that it was the best part. she showed me how to tear off one part, break off another, separate the top from the bottom and where to find the ´good stuff´. when i saw what the ´good stuff´ was, i wasn´t too excited. it was a greeny-brown gooey paste stuff that was located between the brain(s)-the two hemispheres were separated in the crab...one on either side. anyhow, i was like...ummm no thanks. she insisted so i stuck my finger in it and tasted it.. disguisting. never again. she laughed and then ate the entire thing. gross. anyhow, you probably didnt want to hear all of that, but it was an experience for me. i liked the legs and pinchers though. those were good. the head/body, i´ll leave for someone else. after the crabs, they ordered something else that i didn´t recognize in portuguese. it came out and it was clams! i was not too keen on trying those either, but i thought, well it surely can´t be too much worse than the crab head goo i tried, so i tried it and really liked it (once i got over the fact that i was eating something chewy like that). anyhow, away from the food aspect, the place we were at was where a river met with the ocean, and that meant that the waves were incredible. the river was coming in to the ocean with a pretty strong current and then the ocean had it´s waves heading towards the beach as usual, so once my friend, Michelle, and i got out there, we had a current pushing us one way and the waves pushing us another. it was like we were being pushed left and back at the same time. it was crazy. and when the big waves would collide with the current of the river...wow. big splashes and crazy surf. it was great, but after being in there awhile i looked back towards the beach and realized we were kinda far out, so i got a little nervous and told my friend i wanted to head in. she´s crazy and really adventurous with basically no fear, so she wasn´t nervous, but i´m a little bit more of a weeny than she is, so i told her to come in. we were too far out and i didn´t want the undertow to put us out any further to where we couldn´t get back. it was a lot of fun though, and we´re all safe, so life is good. it was a great birthday weekend.
Friday, August 3, 2007
Since then, I´ve had to say goodbye to many of my american friends from here who went off to continue studying in Sao Paolo instead of Salvador, or who were only staying here for 5 weeks. It was sad saying goodbye to everyone, but we had a blast while it lasted.
The other day I went to our regular beach here, called Porto da Barra, and was getting ready to leave when it started to rain. Not just a friendly rain, oh no, this was a downpour. I was huddled under a beach umbrella with five other people. Have you ever tried to stay dry under those while rain is coming in from all directions and being crowded by so many people?? No? Go figure. haha. It was funny though. One of those times where all you can do is laugh because the rain and wind are making you wet and cold as you´re huddled under something trying your best to stay warm and dry. brrr.. anyhow, the point of the story is that after the downpour, I looked up into the sky and saw what I thought was a tornado! It was on the coast just a little bit down from where I was standing. I looked up and said `Oh my gosh, a freaking tornado!!! This is awesome! Look at it!´ Have you ever seen one of those home videos on world´s most dangerous storms or some crazy show like that when the person is just standing there watching and admiring and then next thing you know it´s right on top of them tearing their house apart? I would have totally been that person, and I probably looked like that kind of person that day standing on the beach being totally amazed at what I was seeing. I found out after gawking that it was sort of a tornado, but not exactly. It certainly looked like one as the funnel was winding up and down to the ocean, but my friend told me it was some sort of water funnel that comes down to pick up water from the ocean. Cool huh? Apparently she had seen some in Florida before. I´ve never heard of that, but boy was it stunning!
Yesterday I went to the different campuses around the area that I will be going to take classes and then today, I got a list of all the classes offered at all of those places. OK, so I don´t know if I´ve told you about Brazil´s way of doing things, but it´s completely different from the US. It seems so unorganized and chaotic. They don´t have simple listings and descriptions, oh no. You have to look in 10 different books that are categorized differently to just find what classes might look interesting, and then look to see if they´re even offered, and then look in a different book and decipher their codes to see what day of the week and time they are offered. Well, it doesn´t stop there. The days could vary, the times don´t have to be the same each day of the week even though it´s the same class, and the prof doesn´t show up half the time. So, for example, if I wanted to take a contemporary literature class, I find it in all the books, look at when it´s offered and it could be on Mondays at 7am, Thursdays at 10:40am and Fridays at 8:30am . So, I have to remember what day of the week it is and what time it starts on that day, and then hope that the Prof shows up. Holy cow.
Tonight, I´m going to a birthday party at some bar with my host sister. I´m really excited for it because I think that it´s going to be a blast being completely surrounded by Brazilians without any Americans with me. Wait, what am I saying!? Haha, jk. It should be fine, but I hope I can speak well enough to hold their attention when they try to talk, or at least to get them to even talk to me. This should be interesting. I´ve definately hit a plateau in my language learning where I don´t feel like I´m learning anymore. I´m sure I am, but it´s hard to judge. Hopefully, I´ll have another steep increase soon. I´m kind of losing patience with myself when I can spit out what I want to say or find the correct verb tense I need to use.
Today, actually like an hour ago, I went to the post office to send a package to my mom because her birthday is the 15th of August....all you who know my mom, send her some love on that day...anyhow, I bought some silly things to send but it was going to cost like 50/60 US dollars. yeah right, that´s way more than I wanted to spend on that, so I sent a card. Sorry mom, I´ll bring it back with me in Dec. I promise. Well, gotta run!