im doing very well and really starting to enjoy brasil and salvador a
lot. i love the city, feel very safe, and find the poeople to be very
friendly. i havent yet gotten to go to the beach bc it s been raining
i decided not to take the culture class that is an additional 6 hours
per week. i~d rather spend my time exploring the city.
yesterday after class i took a 3 hour nap and then went back to school
for another amazing baina dance lesson. i really enjoyed it. for an
hour and a half we learned typical dances of the carnaval blocos afoxe
group type stuff. not sure exactly but it was all sambaish and reggae
stuff. theres a huge band here called olodum that started the samba
reggae movement trend in music. they place in the historic area called
pelourinho on tuesday nights. the trombone player from the band was
the guy that my friend margaret (the brazilian music instructor -22,
fsu) danced with at the dois do julho celebration on tuesday.
after dance class, we had a light dinner and hung out at acbeu until
it was time for our capoeira class. margaret and i headed over to the
academia mandinga for our first real capoeira lesson here in bahia.
margaret has been practicing capoiera in talahassee for a while but
they made her start in the beginning class. it was really hard and
great fun. i prefer capoeira to tae kwon do becuase there is music
throughoout the class and you get to feel the rhythm and also the
moves are much more applicable. at the end of every class we form a
hora in which four capoeiristas play the berimbau, a long sick-like
instrument with a string and a large gourd attached ot the bottom,
that creates a sort of hollow sound, and one caller chants the songs
while playing his instrument and a large drum. then a pair of
jogadores (players) begin to fight (but they only say play) in the
middle of the hora (circle). one by one people take over for the
players so that you are continuously playing a new person. it~s great
to watch and learn and apply the moves youve just learned and also get
to participate. also, a lot of women play capoeira. i think a
majority, but about half at our school. with the music, rhythm, and
energy of the hora, it~s a much more satisfying ending to a class.
during the demonstration two days ago, i took a lot of video, which my
friend jen put on cd for me so i~m very happy to have it. i~m also
looking forward to making friends with the capoeiristas, who are all
young, and uising it as a way to meet brazilians. they~re all very
nice and relaxed people.
today we found out a little bit about the trip to rio. july 21-24 and
then i~ll stay until the 27 for the conference. it should be great and
very cheap. the hotels will cost US$100 and the flight only US$225. it
should be great to get to tour the city and familiarize myself before
attending the conference.
tonight i~m going to the one synagogue in salvador for services. my
neighbor is jewish and a fascinating woman of 71 years, very freilich.
it sort of became clear why i~m having trouble with my host mom, and i
htink it~s just her personality. i have no trouble talking ot other
people in portuguese. i htink we live very different lifestyles and
its hard for us to find things to talk about. she seems to be a sort
of uptight rich old lady and also sort of bitter and sad about losing
her husband a year ago and doesnt do much or go out or have too many
friends and isnt too intellectual. my neighbor on the other hand, is
the complete opposite. she talked to us for 2 or more hours the other
night and could have gone on forever. i really understood her, too.
for some reason, my host mom uses the most unfamilar vocab of anyone i
know. great. but my host sister is 21 and very sweet. she wants to
take me to the beach, the movies, the clubs. she~s also about as
gorgeous as they come here in brazil. the guys in the program are just
drooling from my description of her. anyway, back to my neighbor. she
was so friendly and talked to me about everything. her religion - her
dad was jewish, mother catholic baiana - and her personal mysticism
and love of theology and how she hates the rabbi (which i can see why
already not even talking to him - he seems very strange - wanting me
to call to tell him all the personal information just to go to
services and also telling her that her sons and grandkids arent jewish
and couldnt have bar mitzvahs) - and she talked about politics, and
business, and globalization and america. fascinating. i really liked
her and want to go tlak to her a lot more. she offered to drive me
over to the synagogue tonight for services even though she doesnt
really like to go any more bc of the rabbi. i told her that i was in
the same situation at school where i began to hate judaism bc of
hillel (we both agreed that our religion and been taken from us
^tirado de nos^). so my host mom said she~d like to go too and jen is
also going to come.
now i have to go home for lunch and then go get a $3 pedicure so i can
go to the beach with ~unhas aceitaveis~ (respectable nails).
tchao and grades beijous,