I apologize for all the typos and poor writing – im doing this from my iphone and its sifficult.
I believe I left off with the fanous stairs and going to a market and samba school that night. Little did I know I was about toembark on the best 24 hours of my trip. The samba school unbelievable. I’m glad I took videos of it bc Ithink that will be the only adequate way to express thenvironment. When we walked in the place was pretty empty – its like a massive warehouse with bars along the side and a stage in the back with a band playing. We learned how to samba from some of the schools teachers and then the show started to start… There must have been about 70 peopleband the percussion band, they played for about 20 min before the dancers came out. The crowd parted like the red sea for them as they danced to the center of the room. Groups of them would come out and dance for about 10 min – this performance is a “rehearsal” for carnival – seemed more like a party to me though : ) at the end of their exhausting performance the head master of the school came into thecrowd and grabbed Myself and a few other augie students and brought us into the center to dance with theprofessionals. It was awesome – ignoring the fact that we made complete fools of ourselves since none of us know how to samba – we were having so much fun. The 500 people that were watching us must’ve been jealous because this apparently is very unusual and never happens.
We got to bed that night at about 3am – typical for brazilians. We woke up at 5 toheat h the sun rise though.When we were leavingour hotel to go down the beach to some rocks there were still people out in the streets drinking and having a good time. Crazy brazilians. The sunrise was so incredibly beautiful – theorange reds and pinks reflected in the sky and water from the sun were unforgettable. It was sopeaceful and beautiful I completely forgot that I only slept for 2 hours the night before. After the sunrise we spent the day at the beach with new great friends! That night Rachel, Ellen and I went to a bar in copacobana! Overall great great day : )
Other highlights from last week… We went to a slave excavation site. Rachel and I joined the history class on this field trip because it sounded interesting – it ended up being really awesome. It was once a slave trading post and was recently found when the city wascoding some remodeling projects for theOlympics. We were brought into the temporary labs where the archeologists we’re bringing in artifacts fromoutside and cleaning them off. It was amazing – these artifacts will never be seen like this again, in a couple of weeks they will behind glass cases in a museum. It was incredible.
We also went On a visit to a favela, Santa Marta. It was a very unique experience ancovert rewarding to see how the majority of the population lives. I was a little unsure of going because I didn’t want to impose on someone’s home but the people that live there were very welcoming. At the end of the excursion some of us were playing around with a couple little kids – one of the little boys accidentally stepped his something and cut his foot. He was in a lot of pain and we didn’t really know what to do – then one of the girls pulled a Kleenex out of her purse and poured water on it to clean the wound. I realized I had band aids and antibacterial wipes in my bag (like the true mom that I am) and helped bandage up his cut. It was amazing - he was really reluctant at first but then was happywince he realized we were trying to help.
Later that day Rachel and Ellen and I went to the botanical gardens. We mastered public transportation on our own and made it there in one piece. The botanical gardens were by far one of my favorite experiences in rio. Not only was the place huge but so was everything in it. We felt like we were in the amazon – hard to believe bc we were still in a massive city but that’s really what it felt like. There was a orchid garden that was breathtaking. Thwere were so many flowers and trees that I’ve never seen before – I wasjust in awe. Absolutely beautiful – I filled up an entire memory card with pictures.