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Porto Alegre de novo

January 4, 2007

So I’m in Brazil again.  I’m in Brazil again!!  It’s exciting to be back in the place that I spent my last semester in college.  So many memories began flooding back to me yesterday as I traversed Porto Alegre in the Santos’ car from the airport to their apartment; it seemed as if I had only left a few months ago.  When we arrived at the Santos’, Sra. Santos informed me that her cleaning lady, Dona Zilá, had done a thorough “spring cleaning” of their apartment even though it’s the middle of summer.  Sra. Santos said that Zilá was so excited that I would be returning to visit that she scrubbed the house from top to bottom to make sure it was in tip-top shape for my visit.  Zilá even remembered one of my favorite dishes and prepared it for us
for dinner last night:  salted cubes of chicked cooked with onions and
poured over soft rice.  I really liked Dona Zilá, too, so when I heard this news I felt very glad that I had brought her a small gift from the States to show her that she`d been in my thoughts as well.  The gift is a small jar of Pennsylvania-tapped maple syrup bought at the Clark Park Farmer’s Market in Philadelphia, a treat unavailable in Brazil.

I already have almost a full schedule of meetings and activities planned for my short stay here before I head off to Paraguay to visit my friend Chris next week.  The first item on my agenda is an appointment at 16:00 today to peruse ONG (ONG = Organização não govermental, or non-government organization) CIDADE’s Participatory Budget library to do some research on the paper I’m working on with one of my former professors, and also to satisfy my own general curiosity.  Before that, though, I want to head down to the city park and to my favorite restaurant, Fonte do Sul, for another walk down memory lane

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