E entao amigos, como vao?
I'm wrapping up the academic portion
of the program here — took my final exam this morning, what a pain in
the butt, like we’re supposed to study while in paradise… de jeito
Although I must admit that paradise is sometimes an exaggeration
(somehow the stench of overworked sewage systems detracts from the
idyllic setting), it still seems absurd to spend our afternoons
studying… which is why many of us have perfected the art of studying at
the beach (that is to say, we pretend to study until someone else from
the group shows up to pretend study as well, which usually results in
happy, sunny hours with not a book in sight).
And so my academic program endeth, on the beach with coco water and a smile.
I did of course get a lot of work done on my research project
(despite the time at the beach) but there is still so much more to do.
I spent the past several weeks, making observations in an
elementary /middle school in Vitoria, speaking with teachers and
interviewing adults students (who attend at night). Unfortunately, I
had a limited amount of time to pursue my research (given the rigorous
academic schedule) and things in Latin America tend to meander along at a
very slow pace in any case, so… I think that if I truly want to use
the results of my research to write my master’s thesis, I’m going to
have to return to Brazil sometime over the next year (how very sad for
me, I’m sure).
And so my research stops, with too many questions for it to truly be at an end.
My crazy Brazilian family is already asking when I will return, so
they can welcome me with loud shrieks of joy. I of course am counting
down the seconds to when I get to leave their nut house, though I will
truly, TRULY miss the children (yes, even the whiney shrieky one). And so I leave the wacky Brazilian family behind, certain that my family has, in no way, ever approached their level of wackiness (and that’s really saying something!)
I completed Capoeira last night with a video camera attached to my
face so that I got out of actually having to perform in front of the
hordes of Brazilians our professors invited to watch our (or at least
my) shameful lack of coordination. Too bad I never thought to borrow
the video camera from my family sooner, maybe I could have avoided all
those crazy evenings of contortionist play.
And so my Capoeira days are over, leaving me covered in bruises,
hobbling through the streets of Brazil with a videotape and berimbau
clutched in hand.
Tonight I head for Rio de Janeiro on a bus. I begged my fellow
travelers to fork out the extra money for an omnibus semi-leito (partial
sleeping bus), but there seems to be a communal crisis of money at the
end of this trip – I really don’t understand how the crisis can be that
great when even I can afford to pay the extra TEN DOLLARS to travel
without another passenger reclining in my lap, but hey… at least
they all agreed to pay the extra two dollars to have three more inches
And so my time in Vitoria comes to a close. It’s been interesting
and fun and messed up all at the same time. I can’t wait to see what
Rio brings the second time around! One final excursion to end the trip