Sunday, 26 December 2010

Back from Ilhabela

I just spent the last week on the gorgeous island of Ilhabela, a 4 1/2 hour ride from Campinas, and about 2 hours from Sao Paulo. My dad drove us there in a rental car from here.
We rented an apartment about 2 blocks from the beach, and spent about half our stay there (unfortunately we had a bit of rain, but used those days to make super delicious meals at home, and visit some waterfalls). I also felt pretty good about being the main Portuguese speaker and getting to practice using all the portuguese I've learned in the last five months from my teacher Cassia. My folks were pretty impressed, and it made me feel like I'm advancing much more than it may seem to me.

The beach there is gorgeous, I had been there once before, but decided to take my folks because I knew they'd appreciate its loveliness just as much as I did the first time. I think Ben may have enjoyed it the most though, he came from Brooklyn where its super cold and blizzardy at the moment, so he was living it up in the sun and waves. He mentioned to my dad that it had been about 2 years since he last swam in the ocean. wowza.

Anyway, we did a baby hike and saw some waterfalls (and swam by them). Had some great meals in town, played Bananagrams, sunbathed, & read a lot ( a gift from Ben - Norweigan Wood by Haruki Murakami, my new favorite author). I think my favorite part was that I was motivated enough to wake up every morning at 7:30 and run 3 miles on the beach. Running is so much more fun on sand, while watching the sun come up. It was also nice to see the hotel and restaurants on the shore get set up for the day. I'd see the same people every morning for a whole week, so by day three I was saying good morning to all of them and evntually stopping to talk to some of them.

After my runs, I'd come back, have breakfast with my parents, and walk with them to the bakery and then a local fisherman's house on the corner. Every day we bought fresh fish from him, and for dinner my mom would cook up something super delicious. We had squid one night, shrimp another, salmon, large anchovies, and crab. Our Christmas dinner was amazing.. coconut shrimp curry, huge salad, cucumber yogurt salad, and salmon.
I love seafood so much, I wish it wasn't so expensive here in Campinas. eeesh.

I think that when I finally decide to settle down somewhere, like in a buying property and having kids kind of way, I need to be close to the beach. The nearest beach has always been about a 2 and a half hour drive from me since I moved to Gainesville (same with here in Campinas, and that's just to get to "a beach" not really a super nice one). I think I can only truly be happy to stay somewhere for years and years of I can wake up and walk on the beach every Saturday and Sunday, and not even have to put on shoes to get there because I just have to cross the street.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Feira do Sabado

Whenever I'm in town on a weekend, I make sure to visit the street market 4 blocks down from me. It's pretty fantastic because I get a week's worth of fresh veggies and fruit for about half the price it would be at the super market. Today I spent about 15 dollars and bought beetroots, apples, strawberries, onions, oranges, lettuce, cucumbers, hot peppers, grapes, 3 chicken breast fillets and a dozen eggs.
super muito bom, no?

I love the guy who sells the chicken too, and my Portuguese is finally up to a level where I can have a small conversation with him everytime I go to this stand. He gave me four eggs for free today.

The market also has pirated DVD's, coconut and sugarcane juice, candy, homemade sweets, and even homemmade jam. Here are some pictures:

sugarcane juice

taters and garlic
pastel stand (deep fried deliciousness, filled with a mix of sweet or salty combinations.. my favorites are banana and honey or guava and cheese)

feijao man
fig jam and guava jam- I have yet to buy some, but I'll get around to it eventually

Then I put all my lovely purchases together and made a bomba salad topped with chicken breast. All from the feira. woot woot!

Sunday, 21 November 2010

too excited.

I know I haven't posted in a month. I am getting back on the blog train.. and I'm serious this time. I'll be updating at least once a week, especially now that things have seemed to slow down a bit at EAC.
Major events:
I am going to Rio De Janeiro in THREE DAYSSSSSSSSSS!
Super. super. excited.
We're staying in Ipanema... and I plan to visit the Christo, Pao de Acucar, Lapa, and much much more. Lots of time for some samba and tanning on the beach in between. The best part is that we have time off for Thanksgiving, so for the rest of Brazil it'll be a regular week, and it probably won't be flooded with too many outside visitors. This will most likely be the first of many visits to Rio, as it seems everyone is totally in love with the place.
My Portuguese teacher told me about a restaurant called Apravizel where you can sit in a treehouse overlooking the entire city. I plan on having a meal there one night :)

- I also bought a ticket to Salvador to visit with Janelle and Lisa early next year. AND a ticket to Argentina for my spring break in April.

- I will be buying a ticket to the States soon to visit over the summer. I want to spend the month of July there. A week with Funk in Miami, a week in Gainesville/Ormond Beach, and then a couple of weeks in NY :) SOOO Excited for everything coming up.

In present day news, I visited an afrocultural art fair last night called Batucaloca, with Lisa. It was pretty excellent. We first got picked up by Ju, my most favorite Brasilera, and she took us to a Churrasco (BBQ) at a freinds house. Really friendly people, and a beautiful house with a pool. We ate some chicken, grilled cubes of cheese, salad, and popped open some bubbly. Then at midnight we left for the festival and stayed till about 3. The music was super awesome. We got to see some capoeira, dance to some African tribal beats, and socialize. I think I also fell in love with a band named Flautins Matua. The band consisted of about 6 flute players, and three percussionists. They music is traditional Brazilian flute music, but they stire it up by dancing while they play, and getting the audience to participate as well. We had so much fun, and Lisa and I are now officially groupies. I looked up their next show, and it's in Barao Geraldo in December the day after my family gets here. I think I'll be taking them to check it out, because I know they'd enjoy it a ton.

Also I bought this super cute headband. I wish I could make this kind of stuff. so cute

Friday, 24 September 2010

saooooo pauuuulloooo

I realized today it had been a while since my last post. The truth is that work has been keeping me pretty busy.. However, I will say that I'm doing a pretty good job of balancing the hard work with having a social life (that is when I'm not obsessively cleaning my apartment.. ha)

Last weekend I took a trip to Sao Paulo with Lisa, Janelle, and Myles. We were invited to stay at a new friend's place in SP, whom I met in Ilhabelha (that superamzingmostgorgeous island ever). We were both enjoying the really great band that was playing at a bar there one night, and started speaking in a mix of English, Spanish, and my terrible Portuguese. The attempt at communicating worked though, and we were able to get to know each other pretty well by the end of our second visit to the same bar. This ended in making plans to visit Sao Paulo, his hometown, and a super cool city too.

We got to SP a week later on a Saturday and spent the morning touring several museums in Parque Ibirrapuera. We wandered into the Afro Brasilian museum to ogle at some pretty sweet artwork, and a room dedicated to Pele and his World Cup achievements. We also learned about a folklore icon here named Saci. He's a one legged youngster who smokes a pipe and lives in the forest. He plays tricks on people and he can be pretty malicious. He also can appear and dissapear whenever he wants.... AND he has just one leg. If you steal his cap, you get to make a wish, too.

I think he tops Argentina's Raton Perez when it comes to extremely inventive children's story personalities. By the way, Raton Perez is essentially Argentina's version of the tooth fairy. However, instead of a fairy it is a rat, and he takes your teeth when you place them under your pillow and turns them into pearl necklaces!

back to our sao paulo adventure:

We also visited a Brazilian art museum at Parque Ibirrapuera, where all of us fell in love with the hundreds of artifacts from native tribes in the Amazon. I also really like figas, charms in the shape of a fist that are supposed to bring good luck to those who wear them:

I need to get one of these:
After our day at the park, we partied with our new friends at Vini's apartment. He made chicken soup for us all because he's an incredible host. We also bought delicious cheeses, wines, and bread and snacked and laughed and listened to great music all night.

The next day we went to a really beautiful house which belonged to two of Vin's friends. One friend was nicknamed "Mozzarella" because he's a vegetarian. I loved him. super nice guy!
In fact, everyone at the house was really sweet, and talented too. I met a contemporary dancer, yoga teacher, printmaker, & an actor/mime! The food was great too. We barbequed pretty much all day and had salad, grilled zuchinni with melted cheese on top, chicken, home made bread (in a round outdoor stove) and pão de queijo. By late afternoon everyone had an instrument in their hands, for some improvisational music making. I didn't want to leave!

But we had to leave :(
We came back to Campinas at 8:30 PM, just in time for sleep and then work. I want to go back though, I had such an excellent time.

Saturday, 11 September 2010


herbs on the balcony :) seeds and nuts from the hippie fair.

Last night I had dinner with Lisa. Really great company, she makes me laugh so hard I can't breathe sometimes. We got a little lost, asked for directions a lot (with no success), and then finally Ju found us in front of the grocery store. Not having a cell phone can be tricky... I think it's finally time to get one (my main task today). That also means I'm becoming more social. It's a very good sign that a cell phone is now necessary.

Juliana took Lisa and I to a bar where a band played Journey and Bon Jovi cover songs all night. SO Awesome! The band was called "Hollywood Way"
We danced a lot & made some friends. 4/5 of the band had super long hair. I also praticed Portuguese by speaking to tons of strangers, which is a plus considering my class had to get canceled this week because of Brazilian Independence day.

I have to give up sleeping in this country because if I even try to get 8 hours a night, I'm missing something terribly fun.

----I'm deep cleansing my apartment, and then posting pictures of it when its had its makeover.

Thursday, 9 September 2010


Last weekend I made some new Brazilian friends (two super cool Julianas) and traveled to the island of Ilhabela along with Lisa and Janelle( super cool American lady friends). I wish I could put into words just how AMAZING this place was.. but it's very hard. It was the epitome of beauty.

Some highlights:
- mountains at the beach
-drinking out of coconuts
-buying a whole freshly caught fish and grilling it with eggplant and peppers for din din
-Meeting Junior, a family friend of Juliana's, and Muni, his tiny shitzu dog
-Going on a hike to see three waterfalls and tons of exotic plants
- seeing a palm tree with bright red roots coming out of the ground like tiny snakes
-Visiting the same bar three nights in a row for a mixture of live samba music, surf rock, and 90's alternative rock.
-Making tons of friends at said bar, practicing Portuguese, and getting invited to sing in English on stage with the band.
-a very long car ride back (6 hours of traffic) yet spending it with good company, and laughing a lot.

I wish every weekend was like this. It totally recharged my batteries.. it makes me so excited to see more of Brazil :)

Lisa and Janelle
eu e MUNI!

two Julianas and one Camilee

we kayaked while the sun set
this is Ilhabela!

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Embu Das Artes

Last weekend, Lisa and I visted Embu das Artes. We started by visiting Sao Paulo, and going to the "Bodies" exhibit there, as well as going to Liberdade, the Japanese area of town. We ate the superbestotimomuitobom sushi there, and bought some pirated Dvds. The Bodies exhibit was also really interesting, and I loved most every part of it, except the parts that sliced the human body laterally, so we look like a piece of bacon (another reason I never want to eat bacon again, or most meat for that matter). The part where it showed a smoker's lung and a non-smoker's lung, also made me glad I'm not a smoker. pretty crazy stuff...
Here's a picture of the creepiest thing I saw there:

yep, that's the nervous system. looks like something out of the movie "Aliens"

The coolest thing was probably the alveoli of the lungs, and seeing all the circulatory system...SO MANY BLOOD VESSELS! Humans are amazing.
also, seeing just how many nerve connections there are from our legs/ feet to the rest of our bodies.

Then we made our way to Embu das Artes, a small town dedicated to showcasing artists and their many crafts. You could find everything here: paintings, homemade cachaca/cheese/wine/hot sauce (I bought one cachaca and hot sauce), paintings, clothing,jewlwery, puppets, food, etc.

I brought home tons of stuff. I dig going places with Lisa.. she's a pretty awesome travel buddy.

Capoeira in the streeeeeets

Yes we CAN represent in Brazil! And next to Jesus, no less...

Accordian player

artsy fartsy

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Things I bought today

I bought some things at various places today. The street market on Maria Monteiro, the centro, and the Convivencia hippie fair.

Biscoito de Polvinho= best. snack.ever. kind of like cheetos without the nasty fake cheese.

super cool looking fruit. I already forgot the name.. ugh.

They're for my kids, not me...
ok, these are for me. They smell like fruit!

super cute puzzle of love.
A tupperware shaped like cheese.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Ponte Preta Futbol Cloobi

I attended my first Brazilian soccer match tonight thanks to Pierre, the most wonderfully adorable Portuguese teacher ever. He took 6 of his students (Kim, Janelle, and I included in the mix) to see his favorite team Ponte Preta, which is the first emblem on the page. It was a pretty amusing couple of hours. Lots of cheering, non-stop samba drumming, jumping up and down, and throwing our arms in the air to show disagreement with the ref's calls on the team. The best part was how many times I heard the word 'PUTAAAAAAA!" yelled in the hour and a half I was there. The most popular phrase being the equivalent of "WHO IS THE WHORE THAT RAISED YOU?!?!" in English. I watched several kids, probably about 7 or 8 years old, yelling a string of cuss words every time the goal was missed on our part.

haha, I say "our", but in reality I do intend on attending a match for both of the Campinas teams before deciding which one I'll be an official fan for.. I think Pierre is trying to rope us into his club by making it out first game, and he may very well have a hand in my final decision. The other team is Guarani, the green emblem above.

We stayed till about ten minuted were left in the game, and the score was still 0-0. Literally a SECOND after we walked out of the gate, Ponte Preta scored. Although I wish we could have still been in the bleachers, it was fun to run back into the stadium and watch everyone celebrate. I guess I'll just have to go to another game to see it happen again.

Some pictures:

a HUGE flag that the crowd moves up the bleachers at the start of the game. No exaggeration here, It's really HUGE, like parachute style.
Their mascot is a gorilla with super sharp fangs!

Kim likes the band.