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Monday, January 31, 2011

First few days in Brazil!



I´m FINALLY writing my first official post from Brazil!--sorry for taking so long! The internet is kind of slow here and it´s so hot it´s pretty much impossible to do anything unless you´re sitting directly in front of the fan.

Everything went well with my flights. I flew from Minneapolis to Charlotte, Charlotte to Rio de Janeiro, and from Rio de Janeiro to Curitiba.  I met a girl from Brazil named Isadora on my flight from Charlotte to Rio--She had been living in California for the past year. Luckily, she was also flying to Curitiba so I had someone to help me through the airport and customs in Rio and on to my next flight. She asked the ticket agent to give us seats next to eachother too! We were both pretty anxious. She hadn´t seen her family in over a year and I was a little nervous to see Tiago as well since I hadn´t seen him since August! (my last trip to Brazil) We had a 5 hour layover in Rio so we spent most of the time chatting, sharing pictures, and watching NipTuck on my laptop(Thanks Jenna and Katelyn!).

 I arrived at the Afonso Pena International Airport in Curitiba at 6:10 pm local time, gathered all my luggage and made my way out the doors of the baggage claim. Unlike the MSP airport, visitors/family/friends cannot wait in the baggage claim. Instead they wait right outside the doors to the baggage claim. This is the third time I have flown in to this airport and every time I walk through those doors I feel like I'm walking the red carpet. The people waiting are in an anxious frenzy, snapping photos and letting out squeals of excitement at the sight of their loved ones coming through the doors. I always scan the crowd looking for Tiago-- and without fail, he is always there waiting for me with a bouquet of flowers. This time, red roses :) It takes about an hour to get to Tiago's house from the airport in Curitiba. Curitiba is at a much higher altitude and as we drove down the winding roads through the mountains to the coast of Brazil, I could feel the temperature rising. By the time we got to his house in Paranaguá, I was a sweaty mess!

Since my arrival, I have spent a lot of time with Tiago's family (Mom (Ceres), Sister (Gabi), Niece (Maria Eduarda, or "Duda") and friends. My family sent some gifts and they are always delighted to receive something from the US. Duda especially loved her "magic" expanding Dora the Explorer towel.
Duda saying "CHEESE" with her magic Dora towel.

Watching the magic towel grow!

I have also spent lots of time with the "boys" watching soccer or "futbol" as the call it on TV. Pretty much the entire population of Brazil can be considered soccer fanatics. I have never seen/heard such emotion while watching a game. They REALLY get in to it! 

At Heros Bar watching "futbol".

Manu (Manuela) and I at Heros Bar. (I'm still working on my tan...)


Just yesterday (Sunday Jan 30), we went to a futbol game at the new stadium here in Paranaguá. It was really cool! Paranaguá's team is called Rio Branco. We played against a team from a different town called Ponta Grossa. Our friend Elise is from Ponta Grossa but now lives in Paranaguá so we had fun trying to find her in the crowd on the other side of the stadium. 

Tiago and I watching the game!


Daniel, Manu and friends at the game. (The stadium looks empty but it
was actually pretty full on the main sides!)

video

Here's a video I took at the game-- Rio Branco missed a shot at a goal!


We ended up losing the game 2-1 but it was still a blast! I'm looking forward to going to another game...hopefully next time I'll have a brand new Rio Branco jersey to wear!


Finally... it wouldn't be a Brazilian summer without a "churrasco" or what we Americans would call a Barbeque. Every churrasco I have been to here in Brazil has three main components: Meat (and LOTS of it-- steak, chicken wings, pork skewers, and sometimes even chicken hearts), "maionese"- a delicious dish similar to potato salad, and Skol beer.


Getting ready for the Churrasco.


That's all for now! I think I've caught you all up on my first few days here in Brazil! I look forward to sharing new adventures with you all!

TCHAU!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Flight Cancelled

My flight was supposed to leave yesterday but it got cancelled due to bad weather! I called US Airways - the soonest they could reschedule me for is Sunday! I guess I get to enjoy a few more days of our wintery weather before hitting the beaches of Brazil!


In the meantime, here is map of Brazil:



I will be living in Paranaguá. This is the city Tiago's family lives in. It is a small port town in the south of Brazil, located on the eastern coast, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean.

Photos of Paranaguá:

*Photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/14221837@N06/3778798026/

*Photo courtesy of http://patrinadoestheglobe.blogspot.com/2009/08/paranagua-brazil.html

*Photo courtesy of http://www.ladycbarra.com.br/sul/parana.htm