So I landed in Rio Saturday night. Brian met me at the airport.
Rio from the airplane. You can see the big soccer stadium, Maracana:
Rio from the plane:
Timing was good again, as the next day was the second Brazil world cup match. For this, Brian and I went to his girlfriends apartment. There, many people came over for the game. Mostly family members. By that, I mean, mom, step fathers, step brothers, cousins, some children, and a few friends. Probably about 20 people in total. The whole afternoon, they had drinks passed around to everyone. The hosts made a good effort to keep everyone’s glass topped off with the Brazil beer Itaipava. So by halftime, everyone, regardless of age, was jolly. Also, by halftime, they had the food ready. They had a bunch of sausage that they had chopped up and basically pan fried. Also, they had a bunch of fried chicken that they topped with parsley and chopped green onions, and it was quite delicious.
With Brian, his girlfriend, and two of his friends before Brazil's second game:
The scene in the subway. People are heading to Copacabana beach:
Brian loaned me his dad's vintage Brazil shirt for the game, can't go without wearing yellow (the hat is a joke):
So, as you can imagine, being Brazil, everyone is basically nuts for soccer. Everyone, men & women, knew all the players names, and were pretty loco whenever there was a shot attempt or a penalty called. When a goal was scored, you could hear the air horns and car horns going off in the street. They also show the game at Copacabana beach on a jumbotron. However, they say that the beach at these times is populated mostly by favela kids. So, it just ends up being a lot of people, and maybe not the safest place. Anyways, lots of the streets are decorated with streamers, hanging flags, and things are painted. In fact, they actually have a ‘top 5 decorated streets’ competition.
Another street decorated for World Cup. This is one of the 'top 5':
The same street above at night:
Another Street decorated for World Cup:
Monday, I went with Brian’s mom to a school, where her Rotary club was sponsoring a play to the kids on biodiversity. I probably understood 10%. 20% when I was lucky. But the kids laughed a lot. They were probably no higher than 3rd grade.
I felt guilty for sitting in the front seat in front of all the little kids:
The play at the school:
That night, I went with Brian and his mom to her Rotary meeting. They had sponsored some people from Ohio to come live with their members for one month, so it was their final dinner. I was just the random American that was there it was pretty funny. In addition, I left my dress shoes and dress pants in Argentina when I found out I was not going to teach, so my dress clothes consisted of a decent shirt and tie, jeans, and tennis shoes. Nonetheless, very funny. During the meeting, they wanted to hear more about the project I was involved with with Rotaract Chicago to build emergency services in a town outside Sao Paulo. So I spoke in Portunol for about 5 minutes to 20 or 25 people. It was quite entertaining. Basically, I spoke Spanish and replaced words here and there and changed pronunciation of some words. But, they understood me, which is what counts.
Anderson, me, and Brian:
Today, I went out to lunch with Anderson. We ate at a really good buffet, where you pay by kilo. The last time I ate chicken hearts was here in February. I tried them again, and I must say, still delicious. But otherwise, lots of other good food. Went for a run along the beach (with the beautiful rock/mountains in the bay as a setting), and studied Portuguese and talked to Brians mom (Dulce) in Portunol the rest of the day. Rough, I know.
Friday, they are planning a little party for my Birthday. Dulce is going to make fejoida for us, as well as 6 or 7 of Brians friends that I have met at various times. Tomorrow, we are going to go shopping for the fejoida ingredients, so I am quite excited to learn how to make fejoida from someone who has been making it all their life!
In other random news, I am supposed to hear more official news regarding my scholarship to study fire protection engineering in Europe this week. We shall see.