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November 20, 2004


Hey folks, I’m back!  Well, back on-line that is.  Paul and I had a great visit; it was so much fun for me to finally get to share an experience abroad with someone I’m close to back home.  Now when I’m back I’ll be able to talk to him about the people and places I’ve seen and he’ll know exactly who and what I’m talking about–well, for the most part anyway.

One thing that I didn’t get to share with him that I really would have loved to share was the time that my capoeira group spends with the kids in Passo Dorneles.  We spent the whole day with them again today, going together to an encontro de capoeira in nearby Gravataí.  We spent the day with capoeiristas from all across southern Brasil learning about the history of capoeira vis-a-vis the history of slavery in Brasil; practicing movements; and eating lunch together and sharing chimarrão afterwards on the lawn of the public school where the even took place (chimarrão is the Brazilian version of the tea-like mate herb popular in southern South America). 

After spending about seven hours at the encontro, we hopped back onto our hired (or donated?) bus and headed back to Porto Alegre for a roda that was taking place in the big parking lot on Loureiro da Silva where the Saturday morning market is held.  The roda formed part of a picture-perfect scene with the palm trees of the nearby park swaying overhead and the tall buildings of downtown creating a glinting backdrop beneath the late afternoon sun.  I thoroughly enjoyed watching and singing along to the music.  My favorite chorus was the one that goes “ao lavar minha roupa não tenho sabão“–“when I go to wash my clothes I don’t have any soup.”  A cheerful capoeirista with dreadlocks initiated it after his partner left a footprint on his pants while they were playing.

Haha, even the busride home was tons of fun!  Since the bus was ours for the day, one of the kids sat in the cobrador‘s seat in the back of the bus, and some of the other kids and members of the group and I swung from the bars that ran along the top of the bus for when people have to stand (the cobrador is the guy who takes the fare–on Brazilian buses, you pay the cobrador and then pass through a turnstyle before entering the seating area.  On local buses, the cobrador is in the front of the bus; on intermunicipal buses, s/he’s in the back). 

Now I’m home for the night to relax before another fun day tomorrow.  I have plans to help my friend Dani practice the English part of an exam she has to take in order to work for the Brasilian foreign service.  After that, we–or at least I–will be heading to the park to chat and drink chimarrão with other students that we met two weeks ago at the Model UN.

And before I know it, I’ll be down to three weeks left in Brasil…



From → Brazil, Uncategorized

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