Today is only my second day with an actual Internet connection in Brazil, but I’m well overdue for a post. Things are going pretty well: we’re settled in now, I’ve had my full experience of culture shock (yesterday was “I want to go home!” day), and I’m getting more Portuguese thrown at me than my Pimsleur tapes could have ever prepared me for. I promised to post some pics for the folks back home, so here we go:
Tanya crazy and wild-eyed after no sleep and a successful landing in São Paulo.
Me crazy and wild-eyed after no sleep and a successful landing in São Paulo. And Ali, totally oblivious to the excitement.
Apparently, we were lucky enough to land in Brazil during an air traffic controller strike…
After waiting in line for 2 hours, the news and camera crews decided to show up.
But we still managed to make it! Salvador here we come!
Salvador is one of the oldest modern cities in the Western Hemisphere, and its expansiveness shows it.
Welcome to Bahia, where all our signage and t-shirts are in English (and here I thought I’d be reading sooo much Portuguese).
“ORDEM E PROGRESSO”
I almost thought I was in Florida… those sneaky palm trees are everywhere!
First day at the hotel, and already Ali has snuggled up in the hammock with her buddy, Lil.
The Barra Guest House, a great hotel in the Barra neighborhood of Salvador. This is where we spent our first four days in the city, waiting for our host family to get back from vacation. We happened to come down during the big festival season of Brazil, called São João.
All of the hotels, guest houses, and residences are walled and covered in spikes. If good fences make good neighbors, then spikes on your fences must be the reason Brazilians are so touchy-feely.
And for our first Brazilian meal… PIZZA! There is a saying in Brazil “tudo acaba em pizza”, meaning “everything ends in pizza”, implying that when people don’t make decisions, people end up just ordering pizza by default. Truer words were never spoken.
The restaurant we ate at. I’m not really sure if the pizza was as good as I remember it to be, or if I was just that sick of airplane food.
Ah, the Barra Shopping mall, where during São João they flood and freeze the central area of the lower level and let Brazilians ice skate. Hilarity ensues…
In Brazil, they start teaching them how to put on skimpy bikinis at a young age. These were basically giant magnetic colorforms covering a shop they were remodeling in the mall.
Ah, the beach. I was the whitest dude there… I almost blended into the sand.
Ali had fun though, except for when she tried wiping sand off of her popsicle… using her sand-covered hands.
Totally the perfect beach day.
Ah, we’ve finally made it to the host family’s house! Here’s the kitchen (PS: their fridges open on the wrong side).
On the 20th floor, we have an amazing view.
Priscila, the lady housing us, has a little open terrarium in the house. There’s a turtle in there somewhere.
More amazing views.
Invest in duct tape, because that is the only thing holding this country together.
More awesome views.
You learn rather quickly that 20 floors up is very, very high up.
I think they installed this gating over the windows more for my benefit than for the children’s. Luckily, this is the closest I’ve gotten to the windows since I’ve been here.