I went running yesterday!! Hurrah! Don't worry Danielle, I went at 8am so there were lots of people around. I ran into another girl Laurel from the program, so we ran together for a little bit. She had been telling me how her host family sucked and that her host mom barely talks to her and doesn't make her feel welcome. I didn't realize how lucky I was with my family, but I really like them! They're soo nice, and they always include me in everything they do. My host mom always makes sure I'm not hungry (she'll ask me this even though I'll just have finished dinner 10 minutes ago), and my host dad always tries to teach me Portuguese.
At school, I got placed in the intermediate group! Haha I was pretty excited. The teacher, Carlos, is really nice and goes at a nice pace where I'm still being pushed. My friend Megan's also in my class, so that was fun to have her there. During lunch break, I ran home and changed into my swimsuit, then ran back out to meet Megan to go to the beach at Porto da Barra. We both didn't have phones, and I ended up being late because my host mom was so sweet and had asked her son's girlfriend (who sells swimsuits) to bring over some swimsuits for me to try on and see if I liked any of them! I was trying to tell them that I was going to be late to meet my friend, but my host mom was so excited and pulled out 8 different suits (all thongs) and wanted me to try them on. I finally got the message across that I had to go, so by the time I wen to find Megan, she had already left, so I went and took the bus (by myself!) and found some other friends at the beach.
Dear god, the water was fucking wonderful. The water was so clear and warm, I could have spent hours swimming around in it. I need to remember to bring my goggles next time so I can look at all the cool little sea creatures!! (I have such an obsession with tide pools and sea life) We swam around in the water, and then laid out for a little bit (tried to tan my white butt, but I think it sunburned a little) and then caught the bus back. The guys at the beach here are all super creepy. In the U.S. guys wolf whistle when they want you to look at them, but here in Brazil, they do this weird hissing thing that's really creepy. Some of them even touched me on the arm and hissed/said (probably foul) things to me in Portuguese. UGH gross.
After our 2nd class, the whole program walked over to thecapoeira studio (!) and we listened to a lecture about capoeira for a while, and then got to see it performed. It is so fucking cool!! It's like this weird mixture of martial arts and dancing, and I absolutely loved it. The capoeiristas kick, punch, attack, and fake each other out, but they never touch their opponent. That's what makes it so hard, because you have to be constantly aware of how far you are from the person you're fighting, to make sure that you could hit them, but also that you don't actually touch them. Thecapoeiristas are so talented (and so muscular it's kinda ridiculous), and they led a little group exercise so we all got to try it. I was pouring sweat just after the warmup, and it got so intense so fast, I LOVED IT. Check out this link for a taste of what capoeirais like, but it's SO much cooler in person:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJKR4cOt2Dc&feature=related
After capoeira, a lot of us went home and met up again at ACBEU to go out to Pelourinho. I didn't think I would, but someone told me there was live music on Tuesday nights, so I decided to go check it out. Some of us met at ACBEU, then walked over to McDonald's in between the three cities where most of us live:Vitória, Graça, and Porto da Barra. We then took cabs toPelourinho, which is a super cool place to go, but suuuper sketchy at night. I had met this kid Mike before during orientation, but I actually talked to him a lot on our way to Pelourinho, and he was super cool and funny. When we got to Pelourinho (taxi was only 3reais each!), there was a live band playing some weird (but really cool) Brazilian music. Everyone got drinks (minus me) and later went to dance in front of the band where there were lots of people already dancing. It was super fun! It was really different from IV, where parties are grinding-only, and it was fun to just dance and have a good time. There were Brazilian creepers everywhere, but the guys in our program were really good about watching out for the girls. When the music stopped, we all scattered and ran for taxis (apparently when the music stops, it's time to get the fuck out of Pelourinho because it's known for having shit go down) We took a taxi home, and Mike was really sweet and walked back to my house with me to make sure I'd make it back alive.
Even though I didn't drink, I still had a really good time. I didn't really think I was going to have fun tonight going out with people, because usually that entails taking shots of cheap vodka and getting wasted in some danky gross house with sweating people grinding all around you. Seriously, I hate IV parties, and I had so much fun tonight with cool people who didn't get wasted. People obviously drank a lot, but no one got shitty (sketch place + super drunk = you are completely fucked) and everyone was just out to have fun. One girl got tiiipsy and got her purse stolen. She lost her ID, phone, credits cards, and wallet. Sucks.
Today I went running again at 8am, and met up with Megan atCampo Grande and ran together for a little bit. Then we went home, showered, ate, went to school, went to the beach on our lunch break, and then went back to school. It was kinda sad because I dropped my stuff off at Megan's house when we went to the beach, and we thought that we told her host mom that we'd be back for lunch right before class started, but when we got back from the beach, we realized that Megan's mom didn't get the message and only set out one plate. I didn't want to be rude and just invite myself over (Clara told us not to just show up for meals, because the host moms like to be informed ahead of time so they can prepare more food or whatever), so I just went back to ACBEU and read some assigned reading for a while.
Our Afro-Brazilian Culture class is taught by an Afro-Brazilian woman, and she only speaks Portuguese, so we had a translator. It was really hard to pay attention and concentrate, because I would zone out while she was speaking and forget to listen when the translator began talking. Megan just started doing her homework, and I just ended up reading stuff out of the reader. I think the teacher and translator hate us and the people around us because we talk all the time, but next class we're going to try and sit closer to the front so we can actually hear and learn something. (We passed the time by picturing everyone in the program with cornrows)
After class, I went back home, changed, and met up with Megan, Cole, and some other people for capoeira class. We paid $60 reaisfor a month, and then got started. Capoeira is really difficult! (I knew this, but I didn't really think about how difficult some of their moves actually are) There were about 12 of us, and it was pretty funny during our warmup because we all kept running into each other. We practiced the ginga a lot because it's an essential move. It's kinda like a side to side dance while blocking yourself from harm. We then moved on to au (cartwheel things), front kicks, roundhouse kicks, and these drop-down lunge moves. I have theginga down, but everything else I need to work on. The class kicked my ass like no other, I haven't worked out that hard in ages, my entire body was sweating like crazy. My body's already feeling so sore, and it's only been an hour since I left the studio. It was like kickboxing/karate/dance class on crack and taught by really hot Brazilian black men. After class, we were all exhausted but excited about going back. I'm going to try and go back to the studio as much as I can.
I love Brasil! I've been keeping really busy, and having a lot of fun meeting and getting to know people. I've definitely adjusted, and I haven't even been here a full week! I promise I'll post pictures soon.
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