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September 6, 2004

6/9/4 Segunda

I’m feeling much better today.  I think I just needed to work that bout of homesickness out of my system.  Not that I don’t still miss all of you terribly, but my emotions are back on firm ground again. 

I went to lunch at one of my favorite places in Porto Alegre this afternoon–Fonte do Sul, a whole/organic foods restaurant and grocer.  I make it a point to eat there at least once a week, as much for the delicious, healthy food as for the wonderful man who runs the place.  He’s very shy and sweet, but has the biggest smile and always greets me by name when I enter the restaurant.  It’s nice to have a place where I’m a regular

Later in the afternoon I went to my capoeira class, which I’m thoroughly enjoying.  For those of you who’ve never heard of it, capoeira is a unique form of martial art born in Brazil in the 18th and 19th centuries among slaves.  Since they were not allowed to physically fight, even just to keep themselves in shape, slaves turned their “fighting” into more of a fluid dance that looks like slow-motion karate without physical contact.  It’s beautiful to watch, and it’s a GREAT workout.

Man alive, though–if this heat continues, and I know it’s going to, I don’t know if I’ll make it through until December.  It was 100 degrees today, and HUMID!  I couldn’t even think without sweating.  At least it’s cool in the apartment since all of the windows have white reflectors over them.  Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about the architecture building, which is basically one big window facing west.  And stepping outside is like hitting a steam valve.  I’m going to have to start lugging my 48-ounce Nalgene with me instead of my 16-ounce waterbottle just to get me through my first class!

Alrighty, I’m going to go work on my Portuguese now.  I’ve discovered that the best way for me to remember new vocabulary is to write, not read, because I know what the words mean when I see them, but I can’t always recall them when I need to use them!  That’s been my biggest obstacle so far:  I can understand everybody almost perfectly, but when I attempt to speak back, I often stumble over my words, trying to fill in gaps in my vocabulary with awkward substitutions using words that I do know.

Boa noite, pessoal.  Até logo…


From → Brazil, Uncategorized

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