Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Brasil: Branching Out

So I've been keeping a (sort of) blog for my recent trip to Brasil on posterous, and I couldn't stand the site, so I'm switching it over here so people can see what I've been up to.

I had to take summer classes this year to fulfill credit requirements and was lucky enough to go to Brasil to fulfill them. I stayed with my good friend Alec and a Brasilian host family in an immersion setting. I went in with no Portuguese training at all, and it was an adventure to say the least. Here's some stories and pics from the trip. Enjoy!

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Oi amigos! Welcome to my Brasil blog!
I have tried to hit the ground running here, experiencing as much of the city of Salvador as possible. Within hours of landing (a day late) in Salvador, some of us made our way down to the famous Porto da Barra - oft considered one of the best public beaches in Brasil and the world - to see what the hype was about. We were quickly blown away by the incredibly active culture that surrounds beach and city life in the region. Endless amounts of people, young and old, could be found running, playing soccer, swimming and enjoying the beach.
The beach itself was stunning, with clear and mild water and soft sand, a far cry from the beaches we have come accustomed to in the Northern Atlantic. It really was the perfect way to spend our first day in a new place.
For me personally the experience has been something out of a dream. Brasil has always loomed somewhere off in my distant imagination, always out of reach. Now however, I'm living it, and it really is something special. After just five days of language immersion, I'm beginning to grasp not only the spoken language but the body language that so regularly goes with it. My host family has been unbelievably accommodating and is dedicated to helping me learn the language and enjoy their beautiful country.
Trips to Ribeira, Barra, Rio Vermelho, Pelourhino, Cidade Alta and Cidade Baixa helped us gain a lay of the land in our new and sprawling city. I took some awesome photos and am excited to continue adding to my collection.
What has really blown me away during the first week of the trip though, has been the love for futebol (soccer). The Brasileiros really bring to light how beautiful and simple the game is, and as a soccer player, I'm smitten. Two posts and a ball, something the Brasilian people have taken to heart. I have seen creativity blossom in each of the different fields we encounter with goals made from the traditional metal, to wood, to plastic piping, to sticks on the beach. We are also fortunate to be down here during the Copa America, the biggest tournament in futebol outside of the Copa Mundial. For the last Brasil game Alec and I went out to a small bar with our host broder Paolo and his friends, a very real and very Brasil experience. I am looking forward to exploring the city's love of the game further in future blogs.
I had many more experiences this week (bartering at the market for jerseys, going for acaraje with our host mother, shopping at the mall and visiting a favela), but I think I should end my rambling before it goes too long. Ate mais tarde...
-Kade (Ca-Ji)

One of the endless beaches in Salvador, most just a walk away

Futebol on the beach in Itapirica..Salvador across the bay

Knockoff jerseys for the Copa game..yes please

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