Sunday, June 28, 2009

Kiki Saved the Dance

Me with my host mother and brother before going to Ester's Birthday Party

Mateus dressed up for "Festa Junina"

My costume!! :)

18 days

So yesterday Helena picked me up and dropped me off at school for the "Festa Junina". There were many people there and I met up with my friends from another school. I also saw my friends from my grade working there. The money earned will go towards their graduation party in around November. I ate a type of food made from corn that seemed to also have a taste of cinnamon to it. It had peanuts as well. It was a kind of a soup. It came in a cup. I liked it.
I left at 8:45 pm to go to Rotary. I put my blazer on top of my costume. I must have looked pretty darn rad in that outfit. During the ceremony they called my name once so I stood up then sat down. Then when it was my Rotary Club's President's turn he called my name as well. Except he asked me to come to the front. I was really not expecting that to happen. So I went up, flushed, to the front. Everyone looked at me in my strange clothing and laughed as I posed for photos. I can't explain what came over me but I made my monkey face for one. I hope it turned out good. My president talked about me and my exchange and thanked me. I thanked him and shook his hand. Then I went back to the table.
By the time my first host father dropped me off at school again the dance that I was supposed to be in had alreay begun!! I panicked at first but then tried very slyly to slip in the line with everyone else. The only problem was that my partner had found himself another partner! Although I do not blame him for it, I would have done the same thing if need be. That was not the issue though, the issue was that his new partner did not want to let me dance with him. I suggested that we should both stay and it would be funny because he would have two girls. He did not seem pleased at the idea and started making frantic hand motions from the line he was in on the other side of the floor. His facial expressions looked a bit panicked. To not cause any more confusion I bowed off the dance floor.
My friends came and asked me what happened. I explained. Without a second thought my friend Kaique linked arms with me and said "Vamos" (lets go). He lead me into line. The funny thing was he had no costume, didn't go to the school, and had never rehearsed. Yet he did everything right and didn't mess up once. Except for maybe when he started to lead me to the middle of the circle, which was not our part but I told him and we went back. But I was happy after because at least I got to dance.
I apologized to my first partner though, I feel really bad that I was late. I did my best though, I mean, I was almost two places at once. I guess it is still impossible though. Yet one can't help but try.
Thank goodness that Kaique is so spontaneous and had the guts to dance with me. He even managed to lift me up at the part where "the snake was gonna get me". Thanks Kiki, it meant a lot.

Today I went to lunch with Helena and Washington. It was at some sort of German Club or something. There was "Churrasco" (type of barbecued meat) which was good. I showed the Buddhist "Sensei" from Japan how to "Foho" (partner dance). He seemed to like it, he laughed a lot when I showed him the video. He has been in Brazil for five months. He tried to return to Japan but was put in quarantine because of the pig flu so never got to see his family. He has just returned to Brazil now and has been here for three days. I talked a mixture of Portuguese, English, and Japanese with him.
I went to Sergio-Toolio's house for the "Buddhism Class" except there was not translator this time so it was only in Japanese. Because of this my second host mom let me take a nap on the couch. Hehehe.
I went back to my second host mom's house and had dinner then returned to my third host family. Tomorrow I will go to school and then Tuesday I will go to school, then dance, and then go with my dance teacher to a city called "Patos" where I will be able to see some of my exchange friends. It is the city of "Ducks" because "Patos" means "Ducks" in Portuguese. I will return on Thursday. Until then!!

Remember: Brazilian's like their meat. Especially barbecued.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Festa Junina (June Fest)

20 Days

I went to school and during school I rehearsed the dance for "Festa Junina". My partner is a boy named Fabio-Lucas from the first year (grade ten). It went well and was really fun. I came home ate lunch etc. then returned to school in the evening to have another rehearsal. I saw my twin friends while I walked past the English school and talked to them for a bit. They are really nice. The rehearsal went well again. It is funny because in the dance the teacher yells out things that we have to do and everybody does them. For example, she will say "chuva" which means rain and our partners have to use their hands to shield us from the imaginary rain. Or she will say "cobra" (snake) and our partners have to pick the girls up. I think I may have hurt some of their backs. During the last rehearsal my partner just pretended to pick me up. Then near the end the guys have to go in turn and get out a present from a box for the girls. When Carol went up with Pablo he jumped into the box and then came out of it. Hahahha. Pri's boyfriend gave her a real rose and then kissed her. Everyone ooed and awed. I walked home with Mateus, Arthur, Fabricio, and a boy that I only know as "pear". I watched Transformers with Mateus and part of Spider-man 2 then went to sleep.

19 Days

Helena came in the morning and I gave her my Rotary blazer because she would pick me up at the "Festa Junina" and take me to the Rotary Club so I needed her to have my blazer so I could change into it. I don't know how I am going to do it because I am supposed to be at two places at once; Rotary and the dance for "Festa Junina". Hopefully it will all work out.
I went with Mamãe and Mateus and got a traditional dress to dance in. I rented it for R$30.00. It is black with pink, green, and yellow bows and stripes. It is short and I wear frilly yellow shorts underneath and a blue fluffy thing, well, to make it fluffier. It is cute. I will wear my hair in two braids with colorful ribbons and have colorful make-up including really rosy cheeks with painted on freckles.
I watched "the End Times" with my host family on T.V before lunch. That is just the translation it makes into English but I don't know for sure if that is what it is actually called. It is about everyone dying because of this toxin the plants release. It was interesting.
After lunch Mateus washed the dishes wearing his old superman cape from when he was little. He took the dish washing soap and sprayed me with it...*sigh* brothers. I washed my undergarments after outside and hung them to dry. Now I am just going to get ready to go to my school for the party in a little bit.

Remember: People usually don't have dryers here but hang the clothes to dry. Sometimes they don't have washing machines either and the clothes get washed by hand. Mostly the maids wash the clothes though. So maybe you can understand why somedays I was a little more smellier, the guilt of making somebody sweat for me made me wear my clothes as many times over as possible.

Friday, June 26, 2009

My Host Dad's birthday,.....MJ's final day...

22 Days

I went to school and then Isadora's Dad drove Carol and I home. I ate lunch and watched some television when Filipe came over. I invited him in and then I walked with him to his school so he could work on a project. Many people were there like Marina, Nati-Yumi, Luiza, Lu, Yasmine, Matteus etc. Their presentation was interesting it was about how there is no wrong or right, just what is best for you in your life. I gave them chocolate after. Nati-Yumi talked to me about an idea some of the girls had about travelling to Canada when they turn 15. Instead of having a debutante party they would come to Calgary! I told them it was a great idea and of course they could stay with me.
I walked with them down the road until I turned to go to Carol's house. We talked and then watched some episodes from a series called, "Dexter". It was interesting but twisted, about a murderer who kills for "good reasons".
When I went to leave it was getting dark. I asked Carol if my host mom would be worried if I walked. She said it was ok. I tried to phone but had no credit on my cell. I ended up seeing my host mom in her car and she said it was too dark to be walking. I apologized. Then when I got home I made the house alarm go off because I got one number wrong in the code to turn it off and she had to return to help me! I felt so bad!! But we worked it out so that is the important part. I wrote down the code for the alarm on a piece of paper so that I will never forget it.

21 Days

I went to school, then home, ate, and then went to dance. I talked to my Dad in Canada on the phone. He is doing well, he told me about my little brother Sebastian who is in Colombia that when he saw the full moon he yelled my name at the top of his lungs. As if I were in the moon or something. It reminded me of when I taught him and my other brother Bryan about the moon. One night the sky was dark and there was a huge full moon and my little brother Bryan gasped and said, "beautiful!" I told him it was called, "moon". He repeated the word slowly and tentatively, "mooo-ooon." Feeling how it felt to make the smooth sound. And then ever since then when the moon came out he would point and say it. I guess they still haven't forgotten, even though it has been close to two years since I have seen them.
I called my first host father because it was his birthday. He said that he would come by to pick me up. My first host sister had also arrived from another city. I went to their house and there were many other people who came. We ate some delicious cake. Then I returned home really late, took a shower and went to bed.

Remember: Michael Jackson is really well known is Brazil and people really like his music. That is probably because he is well known around the world. R.I.P Michael.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I am happy because I am living "Estou feliz porque eu estou vivendo"

24 days

I went to school and accidentally left early when people went to get a drink of water. Pedro asked me, "Para onde você vai menina?" (where are you going girl?) and I just responded by asking the same thing. I thought he was joking. But then I realized once I was outside and nobody else from my class had left what I had done. I had forgotten we had an extra class. I was too embarassed to go back in. Lol. Instead I talked to some younger kids who were really funny. This boy named Pedro (different one) and a girl named Caroline. It was hilarious talking to them, especially Caroline because everytime she laughed she threw her head back and opened her mouth wide. Which in turn just made me do the same thing. So we had a chain of laughing fits. :)

23 more days

Today I woke up early and Helena picked me up at 6:30 am to go to a Rotary meeting. I was a little bummed at first because I was not able to open my Canada presentation on the computer and also they did not have a projector for me to show it even if I did. Because today I had to present about Canada. So I was sad because I would just have to talk about Canada without any accompaniment. I was also thinking about the fact that this means it was one of the last meetings I would attend. But then I decided to be happy. Because at the start at every Rotary meeting they pass around a basket and each person puts in some money along with saying why they are happy. For example, "I am happy because..." but in Portuguese it is, "Eu estou feliz porque..." I realized why I was happy and put the money in. I am happy simply to be alive and to wake up to spend one more new day here in Brazil. So then when they came to give me my Rotary allowance I put in R$50.00 because I really was just happy. I got up and talked all about Canada and it went really well.
I told them basic things like how Canada has roughly 33 million people, which is not that much more than the population of São Paulo here in Brazil. A small number considering Canada is the second largest country in the world. I told them how Calgary has about one million and that it is close to the Rocky Mountains and gets to -30 degrees in the winter and positive 30 in the summer. I mentioned the Stampede and the free Canadian breakfasts. Considering they eat mainly buns in the morning they wer shocked to hear about all the friend, eggs, hash browns, sausages, pancakes etc. I talked about how Canada is unique because people come from all over the world to live there and become Canadian while still keeping their original culture. So Canada has a lot of diversity. Many people have their roots based in some of the first people who came to Canada including French, Irish, English etc. Also the Aboriginals there. I told them that my ancestory came from all those different roots. I also mentioned how it is funny that Canadians have many different chilled drinks such as slurpees, ice caps, booster juice. While here in Brazil people drink steaming coffee in +40 weather! I also told them about my family etc.
I discovered how to open my presentation on the computer just now so have decided to film it and then I will be able to show it on the T.V that Rotary has!! So they will get to see it after all :)

I am going to eat lunch and then go to dance afterwards. Bye for now.

Remember: The decision to be happy is yours no matter where you are.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The days keep passing by....

27 Days

I went to school today and even wrote a letter to the editor in "Redação" class in Portuguese. I got Andressa to check it and there were not very many mistakes.
I tried on some of my host mom's dresses when I got home to pick out one to use for my friend's birthday party on Saturday. I still wasn't sure.
I went to Helena's (my second host mom) and taught dance and filmed the little girls dancing. When I came home my family was all there. I was able to figure out how to solve a trick of my father's where you need to separate two pieces of metal. I did it!
Then I went and had a shower because Mateus said I was a smelly, sweaty, monkey. It is a joke between us, he calls me a monkey and I call him a pigeon or "pomba". Kids at school call him that as well as a nickname.

26 Days

I went shopping for a present for Ester (my friend whose birthday it was) and bought her chocolate flavored lip gloss from this really nice shop. I accidentally slammed the car door on my thumb! It is a nice shade of purple. I didn't cry but started having difficulty breathing and almost fainted from the pain. Boy there are a lot of nerve-endings in fingers! I also went to a Roteract meeting, ate ice cream, and saw baby Pedro Olympio (nephew of my first host parents), walking back with my two friends from Roteract; Annabelle and Polly. I wore a borrowed red dress of my host mom's to the party. It probably clashed with the purple of my smashed thumb but other than that I think it looked alright. The party went really well. Ester looked very beautiful in her white dress as she danced with all the suited boys. I don't think I have ever been to a birthday party like that before in my life. It was her fifteenth birthday which is like sweet sixteen here in Brazil. It is a tradition, like debutante, that she gets "presented" to society. There are young men that she picked who each danced with her in turn. It was very fancy, there was even a chocolate know I liked that. :) We left at around 4:30 am.

25 Days left

I remarkably woke up at 11:00am. I watched T.V then Mateus got up. Carla (my first host mom) phoned and said she would pick me up for lunch so I showered. We met Matteus (my first host brother) for lunch and also brought Eduardo (the brother of Pedro Olympio) who brought his rollerblades. We went back to the house and I showed them what I filmed from my Rotary trips but it was very long and Matteus was tired from the night before so he fell asleep. Then we watched "Blood Diamond". Afterwards their friend from Belo Horizonte (another city) showed up and they talked and then she drove me home. I had made friends with her family before they moved.

Remember: The water really does go down the drain in the opposite direction here.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

25 daysss..I think?

Sorry for not keeping my word and posting daily, I really am trying though!
Just busssyy :)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

28 days.... second blog entry

Just a thought: Why do they shower so much when the showers electricute them sometimes to turn them on? You would think they would want to shower less because of this...hmmm...interesting.

28 days

I went to school today, I spent some of it reading my textbooks out loud but directly translating them into English to see if I could do it. It worked! Even Rafael came and listened to make sure it was correct.

Right now Mateus is brushing his teeth and reading this. He is telling me to take a shower. I guess I should. And then sleep. I think this has got to be the shortest blog entry ever. Cool.

Remember: People like to shower a lot here. I guess I am a dirty Canadian. :)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

29 days

I managed to sleep in because my alarm didn't go off. I got out of bed around 12:20, just around when school was ending. I will make sure my alarm is set for tomorrow. I can1t lie here though, it was delicious to be able to sleep in.

I ate lunch and then went to buy some more silm for my camera. I want to film my city before I leave. As well as lots of people, my house, dance class etc. I saw Carol in her video store on my way to the town center. I stopped to talk to her. She said to pass by again on my way back.

When I came back we talked for a bit and then she invited me to go to the super market with her. So I waited for her to get off. We snacked and then went. We stopped by her mother's work in a clothing store. I checked out the outfits for little baby girls. I am thinking for buying some for my new niece in Canada! I also stopped to look at some flipflops to see if they had a pair to fit my brother Max's enormous hobbit feet. Unfortunately they didn't, apparently all the bigfooters had already been and snatched them all, but they said they would get some in.

When we got back from the store we ate. Then Carol's mom came home and Carol's little sister woke up. Her name is Ana Flavia and she is turning three on Sunday. I had a fun time teaching her some English. She was so excited when she would get it right and clapped her hands! It was very cute. Her little dog Bia was sitting with us too. She is just a little ball of fur.

My host Dad came and said that he would pick me up in a bit on his way back from his Rotary meeting. We got a movie from their video store and watched it. Then my pai came and picked me up.

Now I need to sleep. Because I actually have to go to sleep tomorrow.

Remember: How most houses here have jars of biscuits, and there are many different kinds. Like that type with cheese that is kinda hard and crunchy.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

One Month Count Down!!!

One month from today I will be returning to Canada. I have decided to start a daily blog until the day I leave. I will put anything I think is important in them. Like things that I want to remember about Brazil etc. They are probably going to be different than my previous entries, they are going to be completely random. It will just be an inside view for you about how things are winding down for me.

So today I went and bought some keychains at "the house of culture". It is this store in a really old building. I will bring them back to Canada as souvenirs. I went there after my Jazz dance class. I also bought some "brigadeiro" which was yummy. I have to remember to bring back some "toddy" to make it. Haha you are probably lost in reading this if you don't know what any of this food is. All you have to know is that it all makes for chocolaty-goodness. lol.

School was somewhat interesting. I have stopped sleeping in class. I have learned how to harness the willpower to stay awake. It is quite impressive actually. I think it all started after the time where I accidentally fell asleep during literature where my teacher had been talking about a woman who got tortured. In my dream I was hooked up to a machine and getting electricuted. I was zapped awake, and strangely after that have not been able to drift off again. Maybe it was some psychological thing.

I watched some Billy Elliot today and helped my host brother Mateus (new Mateus, not the other Matteus) with his English. Then Filipe came and I walked with him to his English course. Gosh, a lot of English today, I didn't go to the class though. I met a boy named Lucas there. He did not believe that I was from Canada.

When I came home mamãe had returned from work. Then my Dad came and we ate some soup. Then I went on the computer. I also petted Rufus (their labrador dog) for a bit. That is about it for now. Everything is just pretty serene.

Oh yeah, I finally finished writing in my first journal that I brought here! It has 256 pages, if you can believe it!

Remember this: how some showers in Brazil will give you an electric shock when you turn them on, use a towel!