I feel like I haven’t done one of these in a while, I can’t quite believe I’ve been here 2 weeks now, it’s absolutely flown by so fast!
Last weekend was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had, you haven’t lived until you’ve been to a Brasilian Formatura! It was insane, they really know how to throw a good party! Finally one of my expectations of Brazil comes true. Hopefully you’ve seen the photos by now, I don’t think they do it justice but its the best I could manage.
I also now have an adopted Brazilian family which is more than I could ever have asked for! I’ve promised to learn Portuguese and come back to visit! It’s uncommon for the older generations to speak much English here, it’s mainly school and uni age that do so my adopted brother, sisters and cousins had to facilitate conversations with my adopted parents, aunts and uncles! All the more reason to learn Portuguese before coming back! The whole family, all 18 people stayed in a ranch just outside Campinas where we had a pool, treehouse, trampoline, outdoor BBQ and kitchen area thing and even 2 chefs! The food is really good out here, lots of carbs though. Big on rice and chips. Although the chips aren’t quite the same, they’re like crushed up crisps that they seem to sprinkle over everything else to make it crunchy. Mayara then made brigadeiro’s which is literally the best thing I’ve ever put in my mouth. Apparently they chill it and roll in into balls but we ate it warm from the pan with a spoon. It’s the kind of thing that makes you feel really sick but you just can’t stop eating. I’m bringing it back to the UK fo’sure!
Adding to my dance knowledge, I have been taught almost how to waltz and samba now. Apparently I have good rhythm? Not sure where I get that from… They actually played a lot of music in English at the graduation and prom parties (yeah, 2 parties!) they even had a Beyonce and Gaga impersonator! (I’ve got a video of Beyonce for you Sam, I think you’ll approve) and lots of retro fruity style music actually, Grease and the Macarena (obvs). Then a Brasilian genre called Certanajo towards the end where I could mine the words but was too drunk to really care. Lots of the songs have dance moves so I ended up sort of learning a few of them. Definitely bringing one song back to the UK. Soon to be the new Harlem shake/gangnam style.
During the day on Saturday we took a little trip to Pedreira, a small town famous for gift shops and hand crafted things which was nice, we browsed along the row of shops in the sun for a few hours. I was offered the chance to stay at the ranch and nap but I figured I’d get more out of not napping. As much as it’s fantastic to nap in a hammock next to a swimming pool in 30 degree heat. I had a nap when we got back anyway. Rushed to get ready as the minibus was already there when I woke up but the girls Karina (Bruno’s sister who was graduating) and her mum and sister weren’t back from their hair and make up day so I didn’t really need to rush. I didn’t brig any smart clothes with me so I had to buy a shirt in Renner, the M&S of Brasil, and a belt so I could borrow some trousers that were slightly too big for me. Mayara’s mum and grandmother stitched up the hem for me though so they didn’t drown me to much! I also had to borrow shoes which I had to stuff with socks so they didn’t slip off. YOLO. Actually in Brasil, I’m living every day. So take that.
The Prom was in the same venue, Espaco Ype, in Holambra but had been transformed into much more of a party with an Absolut vodka bar and a mini Hard Rock Cafe Bar complete with classic cars and motorbikes. I think really you had to be there to appreciate the epicness was of the whole thing.
I had another 11 hour bus journey home by myself, I did get quite anxious I’d slept through my stop before realising Maringa was the final destination. Had an unproductive day of not sleeping, losing my entire session on PowerPoint and having to re-do it and then a lovely goodbye to Andrea, the girl who taught me salsa (or tried to teach me) who is leaving after her 2 month exchange from Columbia. A night full of beer, bad German accents and probably even worse Portuguese pronunciation.
‘Teaching’ I think is going quiet well, it seems to get a good reaction but we now have to pass out feedback forms so the proof will be in he pudding/on the form. We are switching pairs after this week so ill no longer be with Frankie and instead be teaching with Matthias (ze German! … See, bad accent) which will be good for the students I guess.
Finally had to use a cash machine today. That was an adventure, only certain machine accept international cards so we wondered around campus looking for one, thank god the instructions were in English as well as Portuguese!! Our first little group trip out of Maringa has been booked, we paid R$156 for a return bus journey to Foz De Iguacu which should be a good tester for future trips as its apparently very tourist based.
Ill wrap up now, and leave you waiting with baited breath for my next instalment about the falls and other adventures!
Also, check out my youtube for vlog updates aswell http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k58bURmExm8