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Os peixes nadam o mar
by: Zanzibar

Bom Diem from BRaaaaaaaaaaaaasil!!!!!!!!

I am having a marvelous time in Brazil. I just love this country. Oh yeah, it’s pretty great. Even the buildings look happy! The streets in old town are made with cobble stones. The local girls still wear stilettos but our guide says that only they can pull it off and everyone else would sprain her ankle. Even he is mystified as to how they do it. It’s hot hot hot here and I’m working on my tan so I can fit in a little better. I went to a samba party but the kind of samba danced here is much different than any samba danced at Pomona College. I think that is partly because Salvador has a distinctly African feel, so the samba, like everything else here in the city, is Afro-Brazilian in flavor. I learned how to dance it, you have to dance the whole thing on your heels, so once again I am in awe of the local girls who can dance it in the stilettos! At the welcome reception we got to meet a bunch of Brazilian University students, who were nice but somewhat sketchy. Towards the end of the night I was sitting by myself (first mistake) at a table watching the dancing. A student came up and asked me why I was sitting there all alone and not dancing, so I told him it was because I was boring. I informed him also that I hadn’t had anything to drink. He said, “what is this, ‘boring’?” I tried to convey the gist of the expression with hand motions, sedentary, boorrrrring…. and he nodded his understanding and looked at me and he said in his best latin accent, “In Salvador, love is ‘boring’.”

After some time I solved the problem by running quickly away to go eat some more barbequed cheese.

One night we went to a reggae festival uptown. When I say ‘uptown’ I really mean uptown because you have to ride in a tremendous free-standing elevator which costs 5 centavos (about 2 cents). Olodum usually performs at these festivals but they were on vacation. At some point when I was following a parade of drummers and dancing French tourists down a narrow, over-crowded, cobblestone street in the middle of the night I wondered what it would be like if the folks back home could see me now for just a moment. Most of the time when I think that I think that it is probably better that they can’t because most of the time they would say, “are you crazy man! are you crazy?” The next day we went to the beach and I climbed a coconut tree and explored the tide pools and saw four species of sea turtle (in the sea turtle nursery). Harry the World Traveling Gnome came too! I sat for a little while in a café sketching the street with colored pencils, but the street is rather complicated so eventually I gave up and drank some Portuguese coca-cola. Speaking of Portuguese, everyone learns something about herself when she goes on a “Voyage of Discovery”. I learned that I know Portuguese. After a while I began to translate for my fellow semester at sea students. After being harassed by a little street child who I was indulging in Portuguese conversation (he tried to take my money (I didn't actually have any) and when I wouldn’t let him have 'it' he started cursing America in ‘American’ Spanish and Portuguese), I decided that knowing Portuguese wasn’t always an asset so for the rest of the time we were out at night Sarah and I pretended we were French because some people know English but nobody knows French so they would have to give up on us fairly quickly. (non, nous ne sommes pas de Paris, nous sommes de sud) We did have a good time talking to cute little shop ladies about why we don’t want to buy anything more for our mothers, however. Sarah can understand a fair amount of Portuguese now but she can understand me best when I speak in Spanish to the locals. Didn’t know I knew Spanish, you say? Well, neither did I… you learn something new everyday. I liked Brazil a lot because everyone assumes you know Portuguese and carries on extended conversations with you and you use your mind more than you ever thought possible. (certainly more than I’ve been using it in class on Semester at C-Average. ;))

So now off I go to Brazil, I’ll send some pictures now of Brazil and a few of South Africa.

Obrigada por tudos, amigos

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