sábado, 25 de julho de 2009


So I'm in Rio right now, at Tio Dudu's house, but it's raining and so kinda blah here.
I was going to post a few pics but I have very limited options because I only have whats already on the web since I don't have my camera cord with me. Oops. So here's just one, a picture from Guareí when we visited my cousin Pati. It was a fun time. =]

So Gabriel and Elisa et all are coming to Quinta today so in a while here we're going to make our way back up toPetrópolis. We came down to hang out with Julia, Inês and Marina, cuz it was fun with them visiting Quinta the other day, but then they all decided to get sick last night so we just went toa barzinho in the rain. Haha. oh and by we I mean me and Olimpia plus my cousin Zé, who is Pati's little brother and who lives at Quinta, his best friend Junior who is visiting from São Paulo for a week, and Amanda, Zé's girlfriend who is just absolutely wonderful. Junior I met 2.5 years ago when he, Zé, Pati and I coincidentally took a trip to visit Tia Margo in Guareí. Haha funny how things just go in circles.

Um yea I can't really think of a whole lot more to write. Bjs pra todos.

terça-feira, 21 de julho de 2009

In Petrópolis at last

So although my mom had said there was good internet here at Quinta da Paz, she was mistaken, because I’m writing this on word and sometime after dinner and after our movie I’ll use the dial-up to connect and post this.
This morning we woke up at 8:30 and got a 9:30 bus from São José dos Campos to Rio de Janerio, and then from there to Petrópolis. It was funny seeing the contrast between Rio and São Paulo—the rodoviária we went to was (I think) the main one of Rio, and is huge, with more than 70 “gates” if you will. But the entire thing is falling apart—there is construction all over the place, the escalators were nearly all broken, the paint was chipping off the walls so badly that at times you couldn’t tell if the real color was the paint or the wall underneath. Also it’s a lot hotter there and so people walk around quite often with very few clothes on, something ppl in São Paulo are a bit too uptight for. HOWEVER, while the building itself makes no aspirations to beauty, it was much cleaner than places in São Paulo. São Paulo has nice architecture and its buildings, in this case the rodoviária that I was comparing, are bright and new and well layed out (word is telling me that it should be “laid” but that doesn’t look right…). But they’re dirty. We all know I’m short and my pants are always too long for me, and walking around in São Paulo on any given day would get the bottoms of my pants up to my shins just disgustingly gross. So yea. Rio has its natural beauty so it doesn’t need these gorgeous buildings I guess, not that the buildings in São Paulo really help its inherent ugliness very much, but you get the idea. Even the outsides of buildings in Rio are shabby, and graffiti covers most of some of them and big parts of the rest. But driving through the city, my heart was happy. This is the Brazil I love. São Paulo really got me down a lot, I hate that city, but after being there I see Rio through new eyes—I see its failings and its beauty better now—being able to compare the two really was useful.
So like I said, we’re at Quinta now, which is the sort of “main house” of my mom’s side of the family, and is in Petrópolis. Petrópolis is an hour outside of Rio, high up in the mountains, making it lots colder and wetter. It’s called the Imperial City and there is a palace here, because Brazil had two emperors back a long time ago (Don Pedro I and Don Pedro II) and this was their vacation home to get away from Rio’s incessant heat. It’s in the mountains so it’s spread out and a bit hard to get from one part to the other, but I really really like it here. Our house isn’t in Petrópolis proper, but in Corréas, a bairro outside of the city but still within the municipality. As you drive you don’t ever feel a break from the city, so it’s all the same as far as I’m concerned.
My grandfather, Volamino, as my family calls him (the nickname stems from my older brother not being able to say Vô Padrinho when he was little, meaning grandfather/godfather), picked us up from the rodoviária here and we arrived a couple of hours ago to greet my Tia Nená and Titia, who both live here, along with Célia, the maid who we all love. Blungo, the golden retriever of gargantuan proportions that they have didn’t even get up to greet us until we called him over, and later on I was throwing his little toy thing for him to fetch and after 5 times he looked at me and plopped down, hahaha. Stupid dog, I really don’t like him that much.
It’s really nice to be back here though. When I lived here in Brazil for four months 2.5 years ago, this is where I was most of the time, and again a year ago when I brought my friend Ceci for my grandmother’s 80th birthday. So I know this place and the surrounding area pretty well, and it’s always wonderful to return somewhere where you’ve been absent for a long time. =]
Soooo yep. Tomorrow some cousins—Inês, Marina and Júlia—are coming up from Rio for a visit (they’re there for a while but they live in Belo Horizonte) and so we’ll conbinar with them about when, where and how we’ll go to Rio within these next few days. We’ll probably go down Thursday and spend most of the weekend there, but the São José clan is getting here on Saturday and we want to spend time with them of course so maybe we’ll come back Saturday, I’m not sure.
This is probably huge, typing it on word doesn’t help my sense of when to stop, but I just hit the second page and it’s single spaced, so maybe I’ll shut up now. I think I’ll go sort out my clothes, because I have almost no more because we haven’t done laundry in a looooong time. It sucks here in Brazil because things have to air dry and that takes a few days, so you have to be staying somewhere for a while, and knowing that at the beginning, in order to wash any clothes. Our recent hopping around, therefore, has made it so that I’m not wearing the cleanest jeans right now. Hehee.
Love to all.

segunda-feira, 20 de julho de 2009


Ooops so it has taken a while for me to blog again. We've been travelling almost constantly though, so gimme a break.
Well we're done now with the ISSLP, and aare currently in São José again and will be travelling to Petrópolis tonight I think.
I'm glad to be done with the ISSLP. It was a great experience but now I'm happy to be relaxing and to be with family and to be out of São Paulo.
During our last few weeks we did various things, including spending a full 6 days in a tiny town called Guareí with my Tia Margo and cousin Pati, who is one of my favorite people in the world. We got there on the 9th, and it was a constant churrasco (barbeque, literally, but that doesnt really do justice to the whole-day event of eating and drinking and laughing and talking) that whole long weekend, and we all enjoyed ourselves lotsss. So that was fabulous, and from there we went and spent more time in Ibiúna wth Chad et all. Had some adventures including working at a soup kitchen and hiking through the temperate rainforest, and it was all very cool. Returned to São Paulo for half a day to pick up bags and say Bye, and then my aunt and uncle came and got us and we came here to São José. My cousin Inês had her birthday that night, so I got to experience Brazilian kareoke, which has lots of American music mixed in, to be sure.
I'm not in the mood to write very much, for some reason I'm having lots of allergies here (which is weird cu I come to this house relatively often and have never had problems before) and my face is like a faucet, which makes typing a bit difficult. Hehee. Love to all and I'll try to upload some pics in Petrópolis.

segunda-feira, 6 de julho de 2009

music and books

Quick update:
Saturday we went to a Roda de Samba with Raquel, who is one of Heidi's friends and works with juvenile delinquents (or jovens presas in Portuguese, which is so much nicer sounding). I loved it, the barzinho was in a sort of higher-class area full of rich brasilian hipsters, hehe, but it itself was really simple and super tiny, with a wide variety of people there, old and young. The band that played goes every saturday from 4 to 8pm, and it's the music that draws people, because whie the band is relatively young their style of samba is classic and beautiful. They play mostly songs of their own composition but they also play classics from famous Sambistas who are these old cute men who go there a lot (there were 3 while we were there) and are very respected and often jump in fo a few of their old songs. Somewhat needless to say, the music was fabulous.
A "roda" means that the group, which in this case had 6 people, sits in a circle while the audience is just sort of around them. Hardly anyone was sitting down, and there was a fair amount of dancing going on. Samba-ing is incredibly hard and only some people can do it, but when they can my god it's gorgeous to see.
We went afterwards and visited and old used bookstore of a friend of Raquel's on Avenida Paulista, which is the nicest most famous avenue in the city. It was in an apartment and wasn't at all advertised, you just had to know it was there. There were all sorts of things, books in tons of languages (I bought one in English), music books, travel books, textbooks, there were records and to encyclopeadias, hehe. We spent a long time there, just absorbing the old book smell and enjoying it. =] It was really cute and nice.Speaking of books I'm reading right now a book by Margaret Atwood abon the subject of writing. It's really great, I'm loving it. Found it at Heidi's and hasn't proved to be what I thought it'd be at all, but in fact much much better. Of course I forget the name of it, but hey I remembered the author of ththe other book-- Woman on the Edge of Time is by Marge Pierce. Or Piercy. Lord. When I get old I'll either never notice a difference or be wholly senile and won't remember a thing.
Oh also I'm reading a bit of Flannery O'Conner here and there but am having a hard time getting through most of it and so mainly I quit and turn back to one of the 8 other books by my bed. Hehee.
So yep. There's always more to say but that's what you'll get for now. (Pap hope that was enough paragraph breaks. I tried by my mind doesn't think in paragraphs. hehee.)

quarta-feira, 1 de julho de 2009

happiest moment of my summer

ND gave us money to give to the Casa for letting us stay there.
We gave the first half of the money the first week.
Last night we were handing in the second half.
Heidi had told us Vitória was thinking of getting a washing machine.
So Olimpia was like "here's the money, now you can buy a washer!"

And Vitória said...
"We already did! It arrived today!!!!!"

Throwing our clothes in that washing machine was the most satisfying feeling ever. One hour of us eating dinner and we went downstairs and hung the clothes on the line. One load fit all of our clothes which combined would have taken close to three hours to wash by hand.

=D I'm content.