Tuesday, July 28, 2009

First week in Rio..

So I´ve made it! Back to Brasil! to Rio de Janeiro! I´ve been here for a little over a week now even though it seems like it has been longer. I compiled a collections of images that highlight what I did my first week here.

Surprisingly from my first step out of the airport it has been a rather interesting trip. There was a little confusion with my friend at the airport so I was forced to put my knowledge of Portuguese to the test from the start. I arrived in Rio and realized my ride and friend hadn´t arrived and after awhile became concerned about where she might be. Unfortunately I didn´t have a phone yet or really any money. I had planned on waiting to exchange my money for heis later that day..and to top it off I didn´t have her phone number BUT I did have my cousin´s Katie. So after about an hour or so of waiting around I decided to start asking people if I could borrow their phones. I had some brazilian change we call them centavos. I had under one real so that didn´t really help me too much. I ended up finding someone who was nice enough to help me out and I got a hold of Katie, ended up taking a cab to her place and arrived in Barra da Tijuca.

Many things are pretty much the same since my last time here. I guess it has been about seis meses. mais ou menos. More or less. I spent the week walking downtown for bit which I always enjoy. I went to the Banco do Brasil which always has art exhibitions and took a look at the current shows that are there.

Now for my pictures...

These are some monkeys that Katie spotted in her yard the other day. Last time I was here she told me that she had monkeys come around sometime but I never had the chance to see any. We gave the some bananas to keep them occupied while I attempted to take their pictures. Strange little fellows. Wanted to come really close..freaked me out a bit.

My dear friend Luciana has moved since the last time I was here. She moved to an area called Tijuca which is in zona norte before she lived in zona sul in Botafogo. These are a few pictures from her place looking out the balcony in the front of her apartment building.

This picture is looking up from the balcony. There were some houses on the top of the hill and in the morning when the sun is shining bright it is really beautiful.

Luciana and the cow. My first night back in Rio and then this past sabado, Luciana took me to a festa junina. This is a festival that happens every year and all over Brasil but originated in Northeastern Brazil. It is one of the oldest and most popular celebrations of the year. Their are bonfires, folk dancing, fireworks, and typical refreshments served. I also had this delicious dessert called canjuica. Eu gosto canjuica. Eu adoro canjuica. It is so good. I guess it kind of tastes like arroz de doce. Sweet rice that is cooked with milk and cinnamon and is served hot or cold BUT instead of rice it is made with a white corn. Very very cook. I think I prefer it hot and sprinkled with some canela. (cinnamon)
These are some of the decorations they have for the festa junina. Lots of flags hang all across the top of the space and little booths selling food and games to play.

Wiki´s definition for the holiday: Portuguese St. John's Day, brought to Brazil during colonial times, has become a popular event that is celebrated during a period that starts one week before St John's Day and ends one week after. As this nationwide festival, called "Festa Junina" (June Festival), happens during the European midsummer, it takes place in the Brazilian midwinter and is most associated with Northeastern Brazil, but is today celebrated in the whole country.Usually taking place in an arraial, a large, open space outdoors, men dress up as farm boys with suspenders and large straw hats and women wear pigtails, freckles, painted gap teeth and red-checkered dresses, all in a loving tribute to the origins of Brazilian country music and of themselves, some of whom are recent immigrants from the countryside to cities such as Olinda, Recife, Maceió and Salvador, and some return to the rural areas during the festival to visit their families. However, nowadays, Saint John festivities are extremely popular in all urban areas and among all social classes. In the Northeast, they are as popular as Carnival.
We went to one in Botafogo and also one in São Cristavo. An area I had never been before but was nice. We went to the largest Festa Junina they have there. Rows and rows of people and lots of things to see and do.

I also had the pleasure of attending meu primo Jorge and his beautiful wife Beth´s wedding. I had a lot of fun. Danced a lot and was able to see a lot of family and friends there. Beth looked so beautiful and they both looked so happy together!

This is my friend and my cousin Paulinho´s fiancé Fernanda. A very sweet person. Always has a smile on her face.
The bride and groom´s first dance of the evening.
Paulinho and I
Crazy Katie and Victor´s sister

The handsome groom, Jorge. My cousin.

Group photo
On domingo, Luciana and I went walking around the mall and along the streets in Botafogo. This was our view. Marvelous. No wonder while they call this city cidade marveloso. Breath taking. The sugar loaf.

These last fotos are from Sunday night. A group of us went out for drinks and dancing! My kind of evening! Many more to come, this I am sure of!

And last and certainly not least..a video for your entertainment...

A goofy television show that does impressions of celebrities. Luciana loves this video. She can never stop laughing when she watches it.

I am going to São Paulo tomorrow noite and am looking forward to it!! I am sure there will be lots of pictures to post!! I will be there for the weekend and am anxious to see life outside of Rio and what it´s like in one of the largest cities in the world! São Paulo here I come!!

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