Where to even begin…..Brazil is so beautiful and sunny that I have been spending all of my time outside and have been slacking on my blogging! Since we have already been here for a week and I could practically write a novel about all of our adventures so far, I am going to highlight some of my favorite parts of the trip during our stay in Rio.
After arriving in Brazil on January 11th, we did not waste any time and we embarked on our first trip to visit Corcovado (the Christ the Redeemer statue). The statue was beautiful and the view was absolutely amazing…we were all a bit tired and hot since we had not yet been to the hotel to shower, but it was still a great experience.
We had the opportunity to to visit Escadaria Selaron, where we met the renowned artist Selaron himself and got to create our own piece of artwork, which he then added paint to and then signed it! It was really neat to admire his artwork so that we were inspired to create something of our own. After adding his own touch to our art, we were able to take a picture with him with his signature pose (with his tongue sticking out!).
That same night we visited a samba school, which I think for a lot of us was one of the most memorable experiences in Rio. There was a band playing music on the stage and then there were a countless number of people doing the samba or just moving to the beat. Most of the locals were very friendly and tried helping us out. After dancing the night away, there was a performance in which the samba dancers came out in full costume and did their routine…the women danced for over an hour in heels, which really impressed all of us girls on the trip! Watching the dancers gave us a small preview of what to expect during Carnaval!
Just the other day, we went to Sugar Loaf Mountain, where we rode in cable-cars to the very top of the mountain. The view was breathtaking and really portrayed the natural beauty of Rio. A few of us were enjoying the view so much, that we were a little late meeting the rest of the group so we had to run to catch the bus..oooops!
Sometimes our days can be a bit exhausting since we are very busy with class or visiting different sites and museums, but I am glad that we are not wasting a moment while we are here. Lately the weather has been beautiful, so after class we all head to the beach to go in the water or play volleyball…it can get really hot, so I now understand why Brazilians shower 2-3 times a day!
Using the public transportation is quite an experience because since there are about 40 of us in the group most of us end up standing and holding on to the bar….this may not sound very hard, but that is because you have probably never seen how fast Brazilians drive, so the bus ride is more like a roller coaster ride and sometimes I find myself holding on for dear life!
Even though we try to speak Portuguese, the language barrier can be very difficult sometimes and I now know how non-English speakers feel in the US when they are trying to communicate.
Tonight is our last night in Rio, early tomorrow morning we will be traveling to Salvador where we will be living with our host families - I will try to write more often while I am there!