Brazil is HOT and WET

Trip Start Jan 19, 2010
1
4
11
Trip End May 17, 2010


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Flag of Brazil  , State of Sao Paulo,
Saturday, February 6, 2010

Bom Dia!

All is well in Sao Paulo. It is about 31 degrees out and there is no AC in this internet cafe! Yay! Hope those in DC and New York are some how surviving the several feet of snow and everyone is having a happy first week of February!
Sao Paulo is fantastic! It is the biggest city in the Southern Hemisphere and the 3rd biggest city in the world with a population of about 20 million. The actual city itself is absolutely HUGE about 600 square miles! I don't know how I will get to see all of it!
The first few days were definitely hard. Fewer people speak Spanish let alone English so communicating is difficult and frustrating. Its a pretty American mindset that no matter where you go, people will speak English and our group is dealing with this. My approach when I'm really desperate to be understood is to speak Spanish with a nasal-y accent. For example, in Spanish no is no but in Portuguese its nao. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. In Spanish mas means more but in Portuguese it means but. I'm working hard at it though. My host mom Sueli is very patient and teaches us new things everyday. So far Ive got all the numbers and days of the week!
Speaking of Sueli she is really great! She is an orthodontist and has a son named Felipe. Neither are around very much because he is on summer break and with his girlfriend a lot and she sleeps late and then has class at night. She asked if we wanted to come to one of her classes, shes studying the "laws of the world" and physics and things that I don't even understand in English!
Sueli told me yesterday that in London people have tea at 5 and in Sao Paulo it rains at 5. And when it rains it pours. Trying to get home on Wednesday I walked through water that was up to mid calf. Yuck!
These IHP days are pretty long. We start at 8:30 with about 45 minutes of Portuguese tutoring. Then we have classes and speakers till 2 or 3. And usually in the afternoon there is a site visit or city tour. I wish the day was reversed a little so that we do the trips in the morning when its less hot and before it rains but oh well. We've had speakers on the history of Brazil, current politics, social movement organizers, development secretaries, City Council visit, and tour of downtown. Sao Paulo is not a perfect city. The poor people are pushed to the periphery of the city with no access to schools, jobs, hospitals, and other necessities of life. The transportation system doesn't reach them out there. Additionally, transportation in the city needs some work. There are only 60 kilometers of the metro - no where near enough to help the city!
Last night we had a get together with all of the host families IHP students are staying with. It was a lot of fun and a few of us went out after. It's nice to finally have the weekend! Tonight I am going to a soccer game. A local Sao Paulo team is playing and it will probably be crazy! Cant wait!

My time on the computer in the internet cafe is running out! Missing everyone lots!

Sarah

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Comments

Randie on

AM loivng reading your commentary. Keep it coming, with pix!
love
R

mom on

great talking to you and reading your blog to fill in details! Glad it's going so well; hard to imagine it's hotter and more humid than Miami before an August hurricane! Stay well, stay dry. Love, mom

granma or *G* on

so happy to hear from you and about your trip and I want to wish you a most happy and Healthy Birthday and Year...keep on moving, as I do , love always....*G*

Cheryl Rubel on

Your trip sounds amazing; perfect for someone young, energetic and flexible.

dad on

stinky-
we love talking to you & reading your travel-blog
your trip is off to an amazing start
keep enjoying & stay safe!!!
L n K
dad

Bev Schwimmer on

It is so interesting to hear all about your trip, so glad you are enjoying it so much. Happy belated birthday.

Aida on

Hi Sarah, I love reading your blog. Now that you are "legal" enjoy the caipirinhas.
Besos, Aida

susie skolnick on

what a delight to read your vivid descriptions!!! i wish i was there! we are bracing another major snow storm!!! they have canceled school before a flake has fallen!!! have fun fun!!!! stay dry...lots of love!!!! have a happy valentine's day!!! do they celabrate in brazii? glad you are doing well!!!!xo

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