Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Top Pics

Things we will miss

1.     Grandma and the family

2.     Friendliness – the vast majority of people are super nice

3.     Beaches!!!!!!

4.     Bus adventures (aka arm workout)

5.     Sun-tanning (yay equator)

6.     Cheap drinks, esp. chope, agua de coco, caipiroscas

7.     Hammocks

8.     Cheap seafood (including lobster), fried balls, churros

9.     Traveling on a whim – “So uh, Salvador?” - “yea, ok”

10. Pretty bikinis and shoes

11. Centro– We started out thinking it was sketchy but now we LOVE it! Its crazy and full of stuff and you get the best deals if you bargain and just people watching there is a trip

12. Freedoms that come with “whatever, I’ll never see these people again”

13. Seeing each other every waking moment of every day – the boys better get ready for some double-dating

14. The music, most of it is fun and innovative and we’ll be hearing Beyoncé sing it in 5 years or so

15. Having a house maid – may sound awful, but its nice to have all cooking and cleaning done for us

16. Babies! People bring them everywhere and our research involves babies. (ok, this one is mostly Galina)

17. Drinking beer out of thermoses at home – how to drink in a Catholic household

18. Being the same height as the rest (guess who)

19. Our nightly soaps (esp. “Haji” from Caminho das Indias who may not look Indian but sure is a looker)   

Things we won't miss

1.     Little ants that are everywhere

2.     The cat calls, the 180’s, the “that’s niiice”, the honking, the staring

3.     Taking 2 hours to get anywhere (including the beach)

4.     The crazy driving (Fortaleza drivers live to the tune of Ludacris’s “Move bitch”)

5.     Sunburns (boo equator)

6.     Caipiroscas (it’s a love/hate relationship)

7.     Sloooooow to non-existent internet and therefore contact to the outside world

8.     Not having a choice of meals – grandma fries everything and dinner is always soup

9.     Going to sleep listening to our neighbor practicing percussion

10. Waking up to birds above her head (Galina), blenders and family bickering (Joana)

11. Forró music

12. Hannah Montana (our host sister is obsessed and as our host mom put it “no one deserves this”)

13. Brazilian time (between an hour and a month late)

14. The stark contrasts between middle class (our family and friends who own cars and can afford restaurants) and the lower class (frequently seen rummaging thru the middle class garbage)

15. The garbage – everywhere!

16. Being the only blonde within a 28475 block radius (guess who)

17. Risking our life every time we cross the street (see #4)

18. Mosquito bites

19. Cold showers (although we are used to it now and its better for sunburns)

Last week

Our last week was full of typically Brazilian activities: dancing till 5am, sun tanning and futebol. Why are we leaving again? Oh yea, med school....

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

We went out on a fishing boat and didn´t drown

Today we are still waiting for two experts to get back to us, so the research group meeting got postponed till Thursday. We took this time to go out to Cumbuco beach, about 35 km from the center. Naturally the beach was beautiful and a lot less developed than city beaches. While there, we took a jangada (fishing boat with a triangular sail) 1.5km out into the ocean, creaking and squeaking the whole time. Once out, where we got to go swimming in pretty big waves. The fishermen who owned our jangada explained that they fish 3 days and 4 nights out of the week and the rest of the time make money by taking beach-goers out on their boat.

We had to hold onto the rope while in the water so as not to lose the boat. Naturally, Joana went all the way to the far end of the rope, while the rest of the swimmers stayed closer.

Us next to our jangada. Galina’s life jacket was too big (well, ok, it was normal adult sized) and the fisherman had to basically wrap it around her instead of using the clasps.

Beach Parkie!

Beach Park (pronounced beach parkie) is Fortaleza´s new water park, which has something for everyone, including twisty slides for Galina and a 41-meter drop called Insano (its in the Guinness records) for Joana. As always with our family, the outing to Beach Park last saturday required three cars to carry everyone and their friends. That morning we were also informed that the reason our tickets were so cheap (besides bringing a group the size of a small army) was because they were for Ceará residents only. That meant that Joana had to wear a hat and sun glasses (ironically, it was Galina’s blatantly un-Ceara-like UVA hat) and both of us had to keep from talking. We passed!!!!!
Joana with Insano in the background.

Afterwards, the group split up and we ended up going on the rides with Manu, while the adults did their own thing. We’ll spare you details of how fun the rides were, but it was AWESOME! After leaving Beach Park, we (of course) went to the tapioca restaurant, where we (of course) split a chocolate-filled tapioca.
Galina and Manu with twisty rides in the background.

That’s just how researchers roll in Brazil…

Kai and David worked with the Brazil collaboration a few summers ago. Their take on our research?

David: similar to our "research experience" it seems to be at least 75% alcohol, fish, and suntanning
me: haha yes!
David: well, keep up the good work!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Vovo, Vovo!

Last night, we went to a Ceara v. Ipatinga (from the state of Minas Gerais) futebol game. Ana Flavia’s dad took care of the tickets (5th row – yep, VIP!) and jerseys for everyone. Being that close to the field was really exciting and we got to see the stadium where the 2014 World Cup will be held. As expected, Brazilian fans are very serious about their soccer games – they have cheers, songs, choreographed routines, fireworks, torches and hand-held radios to listen to the commentary while watching the game. A gol is followed by lots of cheering (vo-vo, vovo!), singing and hugging of anyone within your reach.

Evidently, pre-gaming is a universal concept. No alcohol is sold in the stadium, so everyone drinks before the game outside, on the sidewalks.
The stadium. In the background, the banner on the side of the stadium states "Ceara Sporting Club - My reason for living."
Ceara’s mascot is vovo (grandfather). UVa’s cavalier could stab his opponents with a saber; Ceara’s vovo could…bore them to death with his stories? But seriously, he is a very endearing mascot, who cheered his team to a 2:0 victory.

The game ended around midnight and we went out to get pizza and 2 beers (one for every goal Ceara scored). When leaving the restaurant, we joked about how Americans sometime have pizza for breakfast. This is what we got for breakfast this morning:
Joke FAIL.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Futebol game tonight. Ceara v. Minas Gerais.

Campeão da popularidade
Tua torcida hoje é toda cidade
É um grande povo a te estimular
É o Vovô Ceará vai ganhar.