Friday, August 3, 2007

On my own

A little catch up: the other week I went to an island called Itaparica with some of my american friends here and it was awesome! So beautiful, but I ended up losing my sunglasses in the water. When am I going to learn to stop wearing those things in the ocean!? Oh well. After losing them, I was wearing someone´s goggles trying to find them and finally gave up. Right when I gave the goggles back to their owner, I stepped on a starfish! I grabbed the goggles again, went under, and picked it up!!! This wasn´t just any starfish though, it was black and cream colored with like 7 legs! it was really cool! I wanted to keep it, but they wouldn´t let me because that would mean killing it. Yea ok, I didn´t really want to kill it either, so instead, I threw it further out into the ocean. Swim my new found friend, swim!

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!

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