Friday, May 9, 2008

Amazon Pictures

I officially have ALL my Amazon pictures up on Facebook. To check them out:

Album 1:
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=250&l=8b517&id=1588230003

Album 2:
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=252&l=109b2&id=1588230003

Album 3:
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=254&l=100d3&id=1588230003

Album 4:
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=255&l=80ece&id=1588230003

Album 5:
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=256&l=e30b1&id=1588230003

Album 6:
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=257&l=dae81&id=1588230003

Thursday, May 8, 2008

slowly but surely. ;)

It´s going to take me a while, but I WILL get the chronicles of my Amazon trip up on this blog thing... unless it kills me, lol. So, you have day one and two, and soem picutes, and now i´ve posted one more thing about the trip and here´s a link to another photo album: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=252&l=109b2&id=1588230003

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Amazon, Day 2



Sunday morning we got upon four hours of sleep and shoved our suitcases into the tiny elevator with some unsuspecting Brasilian and then sprinited down 15 flights of stairs to get them at the bottom, lol. After a crowded breakfast (there WERE 70 exchange students, lol)we loaded the bus and drove to the Opera House in Manaus. we took alot of pictures outside.. so many in fact, that some japanese tourist-group started taking pictures of US taking pictures.. LOL.

It was pretty much hilarious.We went inside and it was SO beautiful- can you say, "The phaaaaaantom of the opera is here!!!" LOL.

And upstairs we had to wear these gray slippers over our shoes to protect the floors. So we had fun skating around in those, haha. But it was nice to get out and walk down to a street market because it was incredibly HOT in there! And, haha, I totally bought blow-guns for my brothers at the market. :)
After the street market, where we also watched some guys doing Capulera, a sort of fighting/dancing thing that´s really popular here in Brasil, and ate chocolate-covered strawberries (i miss Apple Blossom Festival!! :/ ), we walked down to the harbor. There, Mrs. Knight would be so proud of me, I bought two giant water bottles and some plastic cups and made sure everybody was staying hydrated ;) as we checked out the Braislian version of Pike place Market... and, well, it was really lacking... not only all the cool stuff of Pike Place, but also standards of hygene.. it was pretty gross and smelled a wonder, so we moved on from there quickly.

After that, we hopped on the bus and headed to these cabins in the rainforest a couple hours from Manaus, where we stayed that night.

Amazon, Day 1




Mãe drove me to São Paulo and I caught the flight to Manaus where I met up with 70 other exchange students from around the world. We didn´t do much that afternoon, just getting to know everyone and hanging out in the hotel. For dinner we went to the mall and then we went to this concert that night with wierd samba/funk music and hilarious dancing that we all tried to imitate. :) We were definetly ready to crash once we got back to the hotel though because I thought that São Paulo State was hot??!! HA! The Amazon is INSANE!! It´s SO stinkin´hot and humid...whew!! However, my roomate- Sally from New York- and I ended up talking with Julio the mexican guy out on his room´s (which was next door to ours) balcony (with a great view of Manaus and the Opera House from the hotel´s 15th floor) for like and hour and then once we went to bed we eneded up talking for like two MORE hours... so that was fun, but we ended up getting only like 3 and a half hours of sleep that night, lol. But it was a good first day. :D

PS. I´ve started slowly posting pictures on Facebook, if you want to check them out..
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=250&l=8b517&id=1588230003

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

So I know it´s been FOR-EV-ER

and you´re probably just sitting there thinking, "You´re killing me, Smalls!" lol, but hear me out. I was in São José dos Campos for over a week at my "aunt" and "uncle´s" house. Which was really fun. They lived in this 8th floor apartment and it had an amazing view. My cousin (a 14 year old girl)was a phenoiminal tap-dancer and I got to see her perform, which was cool. Mostly it was just nice that I didn´t have to go to school, lol. I read alot and helped out Chia (portuguese for aunt). Speaking of portuguese, mine is getting ALOT better- the Lord is good! :) I still have a long way to go and I still won´t be fluent or anything by the time I get back (I would definetly need another 4 or five months for THAT), but i can carry on decent conversation now. :) As for when I´m coming home, mark it on you calanders, jk, lol. It´s for sure ***JUNE 20th*** but then I´m off to my birth family´s house in Ohio for the fourth of July, so look forward to some quality robin-time in July ;) lol. And just an FYI this saturday I´m headed to *THE AMAZON* for 11 days!! WOOHOO!!! And I would post pcitures of all that I´ve been up to, but my laptop died, so you´ll just have to wait until I get home. :/ but I promise to take a TON in the Amazon... oh man, I´m so way STOKED! :D Pray for my safety please, there´s like anacondas and piranahs and alligators and yellow fever and malaria and dehydration to be worring about up there... but I´m still totally THRILLED! :D I´ll tell you all about it when i get back to Pindamonhangaba!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

step aerobics

I went to a step aerobics class last wednesday and ended up building more character than muscular endurance. I´m pretty sure I did not cover step aerobic vocabulary in my portuguese studies and was therefore left to flailing about "the step" while the other women moved in cordination around me. In an attempt to offer patrons the chance to show off, the designers of the room had placed huge windows where people who were coming into the gym or leaving could pause and observe the disaster that was me... Like interprative dancing gone wrong (though perhaps such things are just wrong to begin with)I pranced about the step as an indian about a fire, covered in war paint (or was that the mascara that had turned out NOT to be sweat-proof?), and emitting grunts and other unintelligable noises. Oh yes, that was a memorable afternoon. I think I´ll just stick with the cycling classes, thank you very much! ;)

Muitobridgada

I think that there are few joys in life so overpowering as knowing you are loved. Such was my fortunate condition this very afternoon when I recieved a rather colorful package from Bekah and Cora. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for my friends, my family, and my church. Part of me, I am ashamed to admit, was fearful that once I left the country it would be "out of sight, out of mind," but I am so humbled by all the emails, the letters (notable is Jaq DeJong, who´s sent so many I´ve lost count!:D ) and the packages I´ve recieved. But even more than that, is my gratitude for the countless prayers uttered for my safety, my sanctification, and my joy. My Heavenly Father saw fit to overflow my cup with the best family and friends imaginable- and I am so grateful... I think I might need to invest in a bigger cup, actually, because these are not gentle trickles down the sides, but it´s more like His Trevi Fountain of blessings is pouring into my disney character dixie cup... and sometimes it´s just a little overwhelming, you know? :) Anyway, I just want you all to know that whether you´ve been sending me letters and packages or writing random emails or checking in on my blog occasionaly or (though hopefully AND :) ) keeping me in your prayers, I really really really appreciate it. :)

The Return of Saturday Night Fever

On saturday night, my family went to this dance/function at the local country club and it turns out the theme was "The Return of Saturday Night Fever" and let me just say that we rocked the night away (until 2:30 AM!). Though it made me miss the Knights dearly, lol, it was alot of fun. We heard everything from "Play That Funky Music White Boy" to "Mach-o Mach-o Man" lol to "Survivor" (which I totally acted out for all those who didn´t understand english, LOL) to "Y.M.C.A." good times... good times... :D

Monday, March 24, 2008

rain check

It rains in Brasil. ALOT. It pours. Like no wentachee thunderstorm. Like tropical huricane (to me, lol) kind of rain almost every day. Rain is nothing new. It was barely drizzling when we drove home from Penedo on Easter sunday, So i was suprised to find that, as we pulled up to the entrace to the the first Brasilian National Park, in Rio de Janiero State, it was closed on account of rain.... I just thought that was kinda funny. :)

São Paulo, part 2

Another thing that happened in São Paulo is that when we were in the mall (definetly bigger -and possibly nicer- than any mall I´ve been to before coming to Brasil); as we were walking down from the bookstore (I ended up buying Wuthering Heights, which turned out to be a pretty good book, but kinda bizzare at the same time, lol.) and we were on the stairs when the power went out... And it was immediately like the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere with no moon. So naturally, people started screaming unnatuarally. In retrospect, I´m quite glad that I studied postmillenialism for my senior thesis because if i hadn´t I might´ve thought it was the end of the world or the rapture and i was "left behind" or something... Anyway, It was pitch black dark. And I have to admit, somewhat sheepishly, that my first instinct was PANIC. My next was, "I want my Dad!!" And then soon after, I was finding it incredibly ironic that I had just read about the plauges in Egypt, in Exodus that morning... I guess God thought I needed a real-life demonstartion of what the ninth plauge would have been like for those not in Goshen. Not really sure. Anyway, I ended up reaching for minya Mãe ( my host mom) and minya irma (my host sister), Flahvia and we just sort of stood there on the stairs laughing nervously until some emergency lights made their dramaic, fashionably late apperance like 10 minutes later. So yeah, it was a memorable experience, to say the least. :)

PS: I later attributed the screming to a group of silly middle school girls who apparently thought that making such horrifying squeals was the wisest course of action at the time... idiots... (lol);)

São Paulo. part 1

Sunday through Thursday of last week was spent in an apartment in São Paulo.
Minha Mãe (my host mom) and minha irma (my host sister, Flahvia). Spent the week at Flahvia´s apartment in São Paulo. It wasn´t anything too exciting, but we had fun. :) There was one day in particular that stands out in memory... allow me to elaborate: My host sister goes to a high-end fashion school in a classy part of town. Tuesday she had a test so we all drove her there (me, mãe, and Beato, Flahvia´s boyfriend that came to São Paulo w/us) and just hung near the school for a two hours. Not only did they have a Starbucks (heaven on earth, I´m telling you- it just tastes like home! lol) but they had this area (several streets up and down) that was full of little botiques. I must say that I have never seen such extravagance in my life. There was all the american shops that are too nice for malls, like Coach, Armani, etc. and Brasilian and french and italian stores I´ve never heard of, but it was the people there that shocked me: They were these stunningly beautiful young men and women (most in their 20´s, it looked like) and they were all so "fashionably" dressed- they simply reeked wealth. And there I was with my half-finished frapaccino, wearing a Ross tee-shirt, JC Penny´s jeans, and muddy tennis shoes.... and I didn´t feel inferior. Which was kind of suprising at first- i though i would, but I didn´t. They looked like they were having alot of fun spending all that money and laughing with their super-attractive boyfriends/girlfriends, but It was so empty. I wondered if that was all they ever did. Just spend money on looking better and date the best looking person you can catch... I´d actually much rather be poor and satisfied in Christ and would much rather marry a really unattractive (by the world´s standards) man who is a MAN and a GODLY man and who is a leader and is tender and who will raise Godly children, than those really good-looking fools who flirt with the prettiest girl in the room and are selfish and rude and prideful. I would rather "have a dry crust with peace, than have a house full of feasting with stife" I would rather seek my treasure in heaven- in Christ!- than in clothes and summer flings and beautiful figures- for all those fade away and you´re left with nothing... I know I´ve said that stuff before, but I´ve never really been faced with it....I was afraid that I would secretly desire what those people in São Paulo had, but (by the grace of God) I see that it truly is, how did that one wise guy put it? "vanity and grasping for the wind." ;)

Feliz Páscoa!!

Happy Easter! May you be filled with the greatest joy as you recall our Beloved Savior´s resurection this day! For He is risen indeed! :D

Sunday, March 9, 2008

old fashioned goodness

The power went out last night for like 3 hours, right when it got dark outside. I was just sitting down to read and so we got out some candles and I studied by candle light which was totally cool. It felt loke some Jane Austen novel when I wrote a letter, lol. :)
My new family is awesome. My host sister, Flavia, is 22 and goes to fashion school in Sao Paulo, but comes home every weekend and she is SO cool. I´m very happy with my new family. Please pray for opprotunities for me to share the gospel with them... also, for my portuguese, because though I can understand alot, I´ve just been having trouble speaking it. I´ve updated a few pictures on facebook, so check those out and I´ll try to write more later.
PS. I´m making plans to go on an 11 day expedition in the Amazon, so I´ll keep you update as to how that workes out. :)

Saturday, March 8, 2008

WOOHOO! + new address

I got accepted to New Saint Andrew´s College in Moscow, ID. WOOHOO! :D

In other news, I´ve switched host families (as per rotary tradition) and my new family is SO cool- but more on that later, I just wanted to give you a heads-up in case you were planning on sending a box full of sundry wonderful things to my old address... now you´ll have to change it to this new one ;)

Robin L. Bowe
497 Rodrigo Romeiro, Crispim
Pindamonhangaba, São Paulo
CEP:12402-060
Brasil

and the phone number is:
55-015-12-3642-7462

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

the weather

I got a pretty bad sunburn the other day when i walked to a market down the way- I was outside for only like a half hour and I have some seriously distinctive burn-lines on my shoulders- the weather's been pretty crazy lately. Last week it was rain storms on and off, and when we went to Campos on saturday it was like a Seattle springtime- wet and chilly. But Monday was when I got burned and it's been stifilingly hot ever since. You actually cannot go outside between 11 and 3 pm.
I think you might spontaneously combust... :D

An Angel, Frog Legs, and Mocha Frappicinos

Mr. and Mrs. Nelson, Molly's parents, are visiting her in Brasil these next three weeks. If you don't know who Molly is: she's from Chelan, WA and is an exchange student down here with rotary- she lives down the street from me. Anyway, They arrived on friday and so saturday afternoon/evening, we took them up to Campos do Jordao (which is like my favorite place in Brasil)- the city in the mountains that's alot like Leavenworth, but bigger- and we took a tour of Sao Paulo (state's) govenor's house, which was really really beautiful, and then we had dinner and some hot cocoa and chocolate at a shop (the chocolate in Campos is SO good, it's famous throughout brasil). After that we just sort of walked around the town and looked at the lights (they have white lights strung up everywhere, it was SO beautiful) and the was this guy pretending to be a statue of an angel and when you gave him like 1 R then he would blow you a kiss and give you a little paper with a "fortune" on it. He was really good (i'll hopefully get the pictures of all this up on facebook soon, so be on the lookout for a picture post!). We had alot of fun, it's incredibly beautiful there... it made me a bit sad though, too, because it makes me think of walking around leavenworth at dusk near christmas with all the lights... but yeah. it was a good time. :)
Sunday, we drove to Sao Paulo early and went to this amazing BBQ where I ate wild boar (which was really good), a frog leg (which honestly tasted exactly like fried chicken, some sort of blood sausage (which wasn't so bad, but for the fact I was eating blood), and a chicken heart (which was incredibly digusting) as well as other normal food that was really good... Then we went to two different malls where alll the women went and spent alot of money and me and the guys sat on various benches and talked about traveling and music and saved money, lol. It was not all boring though, because as we were wandering around the mall I saw what could only be called "a glorious light" but was actually a lit-up sign for starbucks. This of course promted an immediate ditching of those still shopping (they were still in the same store when we returned, so no harm doen, eh? ;) and the beginging of an expedition to discover the where abouts of the long-missed Starbucks. After a long and fruitless search (the mall was HUGE) Erico (Molly's host brother) and Mr. Nelson finally gave into asking a vendor where we might find the starbucks (what is it with men and directions?!? lol) and our search was complete at last. Apparently Starbucks is as popular here as it is in the US because the line was massive. I was not complaining though- for here was a beautiful piece of home. It's odd, that when I go into american stores here in Brasil it completely throws me off to hear them speaking potruguese behind the counter- it's like I expected them to have Americans behaind the counter of an american store... I know that's ridiculous, but it throws me off everytime! So maybe it was that similar feeling of inbalance that cause confusion, I don't really know, but when I got to the waiting area at the end of the counter: the woman with the screaming child in her arms got her steamed something; a bit later the man in front of me who spoke english (I discovered this because when I said, "Oh my gosh! I'm so sorry! I'm such a klutz!" after dropping a plastic cup on the floor that I had been looking at while waiting in line, he turned around and said, "It is good. You worry not, Nothing breaks." (which is true, nothing broke!)- we went on to talk about our lives in engl-uese) Anyway, he got HIS drink, and then the guy behind me with the weird hair got HIS drink and large cookie, then the two teenage girls behind him got THEIR drinks... and I was still standing there. Turns out that they wrote down my name as, "Laura" which... i guess could sound like Robin... lol, and had called out "Laura" to which, that not being my name, I had not responded. I wasn't too miffed because they were really nice about the whole thing and I got my coffee eventualy- it was just one of those things that's so easy to sort out in the US, but when you're speaking two different languages- it takes alot longer and is almost guaranteed to produce laughter. :) Plus Erico and Mr. Nelson spent the rest of the evening calling me "Laura," to the great confusion of the rest of our group- which was hilarious.

All in all, it was a pretty memorable weekend. :D

Rapunzel, Or Window Troubles

They've been doing stuff to the living room floor- making it shiny and such- I've no idea what it's called...but we weren't supposed to walk on it for 24 hours. This presented an insteresting problem when I came home from school last friday to discover that the workers HAD decided (contrary to their earlier decision) to do the part of the floor that led to my room and bathroom at the corner of the house. So that night and the following day I was forced to sqeeze into my room through my widow. Which wouldn't have been so bad if not for two things: one, the latch got stuck in my hair and i had to call out to worker guys to come help me get it out which was quite embarasing; and two, that next morning found us in a tropical rain storm (not uncommon here, but HEAVY HEAVY rain that you don't see in washington). So when I ran around the house to get to breakfast, I had to take another shower after I returned because i was so soaked. It wasn't horrid or anything, just a rather odd experience.... I always felt like some sort of criminal perched on the outside ledge, attempting to wrestle with the window's rusty old hinges in the pouring rain... It was pretty hilarious though. :)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

a second cry.

So I had my second official cry today (the first was on Christmas when I called my family). I don't mean those tears of awe that fill my eyes when I view God's glory on display in His creation (it is SO beautiful here in Brasil) or those bittersweet tears that fall when something makes me think of and miss my family and friends back home and wish they were here with me to see and experience it... nope, not those kinds of tears. This was more like when the Ents broke the dam at Isengaurd (The Lord of the Rings); complete with red eyes, a runny nose, and pillow-hugging. It was brought on so suddenly and under such unusual circumstances (for crying) that I think I might've just been needing a really good sob. It was when I read my name in the updated Trinity Church Directory that I just lost it. It wasn't a horrible, grieving sort of cry, but it was long and hard nonetheless. I know it sounds silly and you might not understand, but I was just SO thankful for my church family. SO thankful that I was a part of that family. So thankful that the people there love me and pray for me. And it was just sort of overwhelming when, while I was overcome by such gratitude, I couldn't be with them... I suppose I did not realize how terribly I was going to miss them...
Please don't worry about me though- I'm okay now. It was... refreshing.
And I want all of you at Trinity Church to know that you're constantly in my thoughts and prayers and that I miss you very much and with no small amount of joy do I look forward to feasting with you again at the Lord's table. :)
May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with each of you this week.

-Robin

Saturday, February 23, 2008

some more pictures

Here's some more pictures. Our internet's been really low for the last couple weeks so I haven't been able to upload them, but here they are:

http://hs.facebook.com/album.php?aid=236&l=b0997&id=1588230003

Nicloe Ballard came down to Brasil for one of her classes and I visited her while she was in Sao Paulo. We searched for Acai and walked (a rather long way) through town to it's main park. We then proceeded to get lost in that park and had to speed walk back up the hill to the hotel so she wouldn't be late for her evening class. Despite a few minor setbacks, however, it was all-in-all a really fun afternoon.

School

School has been... interesting. I try to pay attention. Ok actually I try to pay attention in three classes: History- which is really cool and my teacher actually has a teaching style reminicent of Mr. Welch's :) , English- which is boring, but she talks alot about grammar and stuff so it helps me practice my portuguese, and science- because my teacher is insane and has been known to make up a song and dance routine on the spot about cytoplasm... that was my second day. he's not dulled yet, lol.
Other than those classes, though I've done all of the following:
-LOTS and LOTS of reading
-studying my portuguese
-writing letters home (none of which have been delivered, however, because I've yet to go to the post office..)
-listening to my iPod
-Molly sleeps in class, but I really can't bring myself to do that, it's just too much... maybe in a couple months though.. ;)
-listening to podcast sermons on my iPod and taking notes in my bible/notebook
-I bought a new bible- ESV Widemargin REFRENCE Bible (yey-yeah! :D ) and so I've transfered some notes from my old Widemargin NIV bible as well as doing some "hermenuetics" stuff like highlighing old test. quotes in the NT and looking for "strands" etc. ....u River kids know what i mean... :) it's a totally cool translation. if you're looking to buy a new bible you should definetly check it out.
Today, for example, I read Don Quixote and my bible as well as listened to and took notes on two sermons by Tom Nelson and one by Doug Wilson
On occasion I will watch one of the movies on my iPod: Dirty Dancing and Meet the Robinson's
During the breaks, we can do whatever. Today during the first break (there are 3 breaks and they are each 20 minutes) I played volleyball with some kids who were really good at it. Thankfully I mostly held my own, but it was a much more intense game than I had anticipated, lol. then during the second break I talked with Molly, and the third break saw me watching the intense soccer game in the side yard by the boys from the upper forms- they are INCREDIBLE soccer (or should i say"futbol" lol) players. And none of them are even on teams. People take soccer here way more seriously that we take football i think. It was cool to be right on the field wathcing their fancy footwork though. :D
Well, I'm off to Thalita's birthday party. I'll write more later. :)
oh and did I mention that we have school on Saturday? yeah. so that's not too snazzy, but it's not horrid. I can't really complain in brasil, lol.

The Argentine Tango

So last weekend we went to Sao Paulo for this friend-of-the-family's birthday. They had all these relatives there from Colombia, Chile, and Argentina. We partied hard. It was SO fun! We had this kareoke machine that played classsic samba and bossa nova stuff (in portuguese, obviously) as well as 2 old american songs: My Heart Will Go On, from Titanic and All I Ask of You, from The Phantom of the Opera. They made me sing both english songs. Leticia sang with me on the Titanic song while this guy from Argentina sang All I Ask of You with me. He was SO much fun! He and his wife honestly looked like Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta Jones. And they danced like it too! His wife- and i feel terrible, but i forgot her name- she spent half the night teaching different salsa and tango moves to the Argentine music that her husband had blasting from his laptop. It was such a blast. When I get home I shall have to show you all my new moves, lol. ;)

*really* young love ;)

I just found out that there is this little boy (like 8 or something) -his mother works out at the same gym that I do- who after meeting me one afternoon, told his mother that when he grew up he was going to move to the America and marry me. I thought that was rather cute. :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

new email

Hey guys. I have been unable to access my hotmail account since my arrival in Brasil. I don't know (or really care) why- it just isn't working. Therefore I have opened up a new email account with gmail. My new email address is: robinlouisebowe@gmail.com ...thrilling. i know. but i couldn't really come up with a name that was both cool and not sound like i was in middleschool... so there you are.. but yeah. if you want to start sending me nice long emails, you are now free to do so. ;) ;) *nudge nudge*

Carnival was good. We went to a huge party in San Luis. I bought this sweet mask. It's covered in green sequins and feathers! :D We started school this week. It starts at 7AM and ends at noon. So far it's pretty cool (for school). Some of my teachers are neat while others are boring. I attempt to listen for like an hour or so to practice my portuguese, and then I just read or write letters or copy commonplaces from my books... for example, I read "The Importance of Being Earnest" by Oscar Wilde today and the day before that I wrote out in my CP journal all my marked passages from Paraside Lost (and there were a butt-load, lol. it's such a good book!). So now that I'm in school I get more time to read.... Monday after our first day at school Mae, Leticia, Molly, and I drove to Sao Paulo and bought a bunch of school supplies and then we went to a bookstore (as i had been begging them to take me to a big one that might have books in english) and low and behold they had a fairly good selection. I bought: "The Inferno," by Dante; "The Importance of Being Earnest," by Oscar Wilde; "Don Quixote," by Cervantes; and last but not least, "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through The Looking Glass," by Lewis Carroll. So it looks like I'm set for some good reading for the next little while :D . We then went shopping and got back to Pinda by 1Am... yuck. Well, I'll leave you there- now I'm off to the gym and then to bed because seriously- waking up at 6 is killing me! lol. :)

Thursday, January 31, 2008

An Interesting Road Trip

So we drove to Sao Paulo again yesterday. It was certainly an interesting ride. After sitting in traffic for like a year we arrived at a greasy run down gas station. After locating the bathroom around the back of the building (I didn't realize a building could get more disgusting than the front of that gas station... I was proved wrong when I saw the back of it... yuck!), I determined (thankfully beforehand... I've learned my leason here in Brasil) that there was no toilet paper. Naturally, when I had wandered back around to the convinence store side of the rotting hovel, I attempted to be rather discreet in asking for some toilet paper. Alas, when someone speaks in english quietly, here in Brasil, they feel in their excitement the need to repeat whatever was said, shouting it at the top of their lungs in Potuguese. I haven't quite figured out as to why, yet, I will however let you know if I ever DO determine the cause of such excitement. I mean, honestly, all I wanted was some toilet paper! Well, after the suprising crowds of people at the gas station (probably driven in from the hordes of traffic on the highway) had all acknowleged that I was yes, indeed, an American, and that I yes, indeed, was in desperate need of toilet paper, and that my face had just turned a rather interesting shade of red, I was informed that they were temporarily "out" of toilet paper at this time. How wonderful!
After a frantic scouring of the car for napkins, we were back on the road in no time. I was thrilled to see that the traffic had dispersed (to goodness knows where) and we were one of the few cars on the highway. But as you all might've guessed, all good things must come to an end and no sooner had we hit a patch of pavement that was blessedly clear of cars (and surrounding civilization as well) the car decided that it hadn't had enough of a break at the gas station and promptly jerked to a stop in glorious rebellion of all our cries for mercy. I don't know if I mentioned this earlier, but the passengers of this wonderful veihicle were as follows: me, sporting an "attractive" combination of sweats and a tee shirt with my hair in a messy knot upon my head, my host mother and her best friend, Honisey (and it seems that they celebrate haloween quite often here in Brasil, for that day their costumes were much resembling The Spice Girls- Honisey taking "Scary Spice," black nails and all, with my host mom pulling off a rather good impression of "Baby Spice"- not forgetting the "go-go" boots, of course. :) and then there was my host mother's sister, "Chia" (which is portuguese for aunt), who wore something much resembling a chemistry explosion and who liked to take alot of pictures(she was quite a character). So there we were, an ecclectic bunch to be sure, stuck on the side of the road on a lonesome highway in Brasil. And did I mention that we left the house at 5pm, so yeah, it was getting pretty dark by now. Anyway, after the Spice girls decided that the were mechanics and opened the hood of the car to survey the damage, I promptly removed myself to a safe distance. Unfortunatley, that distance was not as safe as I thought it to be. Chia, finding this a prime picture-taking opprotunity, started snapping away with her disposable Kodak. Wanting to get me in a few pictures near the ominously smoking vehicle, they motioned me over. I had, at the time been sitting on a center guardrail surrounded on both sides by corse grass. I trekked through "the wilderness" to the front of the car, quite relieved that the Spice Girls had stopped their tinkering with the car for the "celebrity shot" - it would have been rather horrid to send home a picture of me smiling with a car exploding behind me as a death condolence. Anyway, as were we taking the 100th picture something happened that might be paraphrased by this quote form Cobly Cailat, "It starts in my toes, makes me crinkle my nose, wherever it goes, I always know..." This phenomenon was quite unlike the rest of that song, however, because as horrid burning sensation stretched from my feet to my legs, I looked down to see hundereds of tiny red colored ants covering my feet and ascending my calves. With a mangled yelp and some choice words that shall not be repeated here for the sake of any young audiences, I began to frantically dance about in what must've been a rather amusing fashon. The Spice Girls, seeing my predicament, decided that an impromptu dance party WAS in order and joined me in my flailings while screaching even more choice words in both english and portuguese (this was to be a rap party i think, what with all the language). Chia, completely unfazed, just kept taking more pictures. In retrospect, I think that her rainbow explosion dress might've warded off the little beasts... maybe it glowed so bright because it was some sort of holy garment.... one can only speculate.. ;)
Looking back, I can't honestly say how we escaped from the savage hordes, locked ourselves out of the car (which was, ok, my fault), gained re-entry to the car by means of the trunk (don't ask), and eventually drove the rest of the way to Sao Paulo.... my only consolation is that when we got there I bought some really cute shoes. (they're the ones that the Austrailian girl in Transformers is wearing when she and the fat guy are stuck in the interogation room- they're black sling-backs with pointy toes). Unfortunately, what with all the battle wounds, I just won't be able to wear them for a while....

Friday, January 25, 2008

pictures...

Here's a link to pictures of a church BBQ at Igor's house, our New Year's trip to Sao Paulo, and New Years on the beach (in Santos):
http://hs.facebook.com/album.php?aid=233&l=4fe14&id=1588230003

The Gym

So for those of you who don't know, I dicovered and subsequently joined a gym two blocks from my house about 2 and a half weeks ago. It took me this long to find it because it's in the opposite direction from my usual route into town. Anyway, I've been working out every day and I've met some pretty hilarious individuals there. One trainer whose nickname is "Guara" is really fun. Another trainer, Fabio, "Fabi" for short, (who is really really ridiculously good-looking, lol) and I decided to start calling Guara "Guarana" which is really popular soda here in Brasil. Well, guarana is also a type of fruit, so when we call Guara "Guarana" then it's kinda like calling him a fruit, or gay. He's a good sport about it though and simply retaliated by starting the running joke that Fabi is a binge drinker (which is almost as ridiculous as calling Guara a "fruit" since Fabi is super athletic and would probably be against showers if they suddenly became "bad for your health" lol) ... you just have know these guys.. they're hilarious. There's this other guy that is, get this, a professional dance instructor. He's actually moving to Oregon to start a buisness up there in April. Anyway, today I was working out and in this other section of the gym there was an aerobics class and they had Caribbean music up really loud. So after I got off the leg press, I hopped on over to where Guiston (the dance guy) was working out. As we were joined by Fabia and Guara and some other guys, I asked him how one would dance to this type of music. Imediately there was mob cry that he should SHOW us how to dance to this kind of music. So he did. It was hilarious. It was like this salsa-y/hip-shaking/sort of dance (that, when he did it looked really cool) and we were all trying to do it (and butchering it, lol) in the middle of the weight room. Oh man, I about died laughing! good times... good times... :D