Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The COUNTDOWN begins

So not much is new here in Brazil. The second round of elections for Brazil's new president are Sunday so we'll see how that plays out. Things have become very routine here for me, so I forget what interests you all back home. But here are the highlights from the past couple weeks:

I finished midterms today!
Black Eyed Peas concert!
Guitar jam sessions on the beach with Brazilian friends!
Gorgeous, sunny beach days!
Amazing Political Science professor (he studied abroad in Chile during the military dictatorship there)!
Dancing to music blasted from car speakers in a parking lot on the beach in the rain!
Package from home! (chocolate chips for chocolate chip banana bread!)
Reading books from my childhood in Portuguese with the children in the library where I volunteer!
Best Mexican food in Salvador!
Riding along the coast on a motorcycle!
Learning how to make brigadeiro! (traditional Brazilian dessert. condensed milk, butter, chocolate. YES)
Showing a Polish volunteer around the city!
Planning my future! (Nicaragua? Washington DC? Ecuador? Berkeley?)

Registering for classes back at Pacific for next semester and looking for a place to live have me missing home a lot! But two more months and I'm there!!

Love to you all!

PS. Movie you should ALL watch: Onibus 174. It's about a bus hostage situation in Rio in 2000 and gives the social background and reasoning that this event occurred. You can find it on Google Videos with English subtitles. I highly recommend it.

Monday, October 4, 2010


Well time flies on study abroad. I now only have three more months in Brazil! But I have been loving it so much and living it up recently! I am currently procrastinating on large amounts of school work to write you all, never good, but sometimes necessary for my sanity.

I have been learning cooking secrets from Lucia and will hopefully not be such a failure in the kitchen when I make it back to the states in January. I am going to be meeting up with my parents and Sierra in Ecuador for Christmas and New Years with my host family there!! I am extremely excited and will cook something delicious for everyone. I have dance class every Saturday and I have been dancing a lot outside of class as well. It's been wonderful and so much fun to actually know the steps now as well! My dance group had a fundraiser on the 26th called Forro dos Sonhos (meaning dance of dreams). We combined it with my friend Marco's birthday party and I danced for five hours straight. The pictures below are from that day.
My friend Tauá, amazing forro dancer and friend from school who introduced me to the group where I take classes, Forrozeando.
Friends from dance class (L-R): Luis Pedro, Danielle, me, Marco (the birthday boy), and Fernando (one of the dance teachers)
Pedro, Marco, and I at Forro dos Sonhos
I went to my first pagode and axe concert last Friday, popular music from my state of Bahia. It was CRAZY dancing, full of beautiful people, and great music. This made my third weekend in a row of more than six hours of straight dancing!! I will definitely miss all of that when I get back to the states. I feel like the northern hemisphere has yet to realize how dancing can be a great way to enjoy life.

My internship is also going very well. I am helping coordinate an essay writing contest for children of African descent, organizing the placement and arrival of a volunteer from Poland, and various other projects. It's become very apparent to me how difficult continuity and organization is with an organization run by volunteers coming in and out, but I'm staying on top of things as best I can and balancing it with school work.

Classes are great, but the next couple weeks are actually pretty stressful. Academics in another language is complicated, so we'll see how I manage to figure it all out.

I love you all and hope that things are good state-side for all of you. I have been following the attempted "coup" in Ecuador closely as well as the disturbing number of suicides in the states. It's scary and complicated to be a young person and I hope that we are able to band together in order to show support for those trying to understand their lot in life and find a place for themselves to grow and love in safety.

Take your light out from under the bushel basket!