The worldwide Augustana College experience

Brasilia

Brasilia

We arrived in Brasilia late at night after a full day traveling, once again we got onto a mega bus. This one was exceptionally luxurious though – with reclining chairs, wonderful air conditioning and giant windows to see the city through – it was difficult to not be smiling and happy.

since we arrived in Brasilia a few days early, we had to spend the first night in a nearby hotel. This hotel was beautiful, the distribution worked out wondedfully and I somehow ended up with a room all to myself. there was a giant firm bed with multiple fluffy pillows (if you read my post about sleeping with no pillow for several nights you’ll understand why this was so amazing) and a clean bathroom. In the morning they provided a delicious breakfast with an array of juices. wonderful :)

Our first full day in Brasilia we moved to the hotel we would spend the rest of our time. The professors told us it would be much more humble than the hotel from the night before. This was perfectly fine for me, I don’t spend too much time in the hotels anyways and have lived in augie dorms for close to 2 years now… I can handle humble living situations. The hotel was actually quite pleasant, it has the simple minimums and a great breakfast. The only problem was the lack of pillows (I slept on a bundle of clothes for a few nights) and that our bathroom was never cleaned – which is pretty gross when you realize you cant flush toliet paper here… On the bright side though, at breakfast there is great coffee, granola and this strange but awesome avocado smoothie.

In Brasilia our classes picked up pace as the term unfortunately comes to its end. We had class in the basement of the hotel, which is also where you eat breakfast. I was assigned two papers and an art project – these assignments I have focused on for the ending days in Brasilia so that once ad get to Maceio where there is beaches, sun and carnival (Brasilia has been rainy every day) homework wont get in my way.

Brasilia is a very very interesting and bizarre city; it is unlike any other place I have been. The entire city was planned with extreme thought – yet to navigate the city takes, what seems like months, to learn. it is split up into districts that focus on specific things – for example, I am currently blogging from my hotel in the hotel district where I am surrounded by more hotels and a shopping center, there is also the federal district where all the governmental buildings are, and so on. While this does make some aspects of life convienent, it complicates others. In order to go out at night you would have to take a taxi to get the district with restaurants and bars.

One of the higlights in Brasilia for me was a night out to Fogo de Chao with a group of 5 others. Fogo de Chao is a chain Chuasscaria (basically meat house) that we actually have in the US as well. I had gone once before with my family when I was younger but all I could remember was the stop/go card you flopped to signal that you would like more food. We all dressed up since this would be a nice dinner and we had brought some nice clothes with on this trip but hadn’t had very many occassions to wear them. It was pouring rain, but the walk was only 15 minutes or so, and we had raincoats and umbrellas. After three hours of feasting on fresh vegetables that I haven’t seen in a month and delicious meat, with the occassional carmelized banana and sip of my very strong capirinha, we ordered dessert :) haha kidding, only a few people ordered dessert but I was too full by then. I went to the bathroom to rinse my mouth with listerine – yes, there were listerine dispensers in the bathroom – and I called it a night.

We also had some memorable tours of the president’s office, other federal buildings, Oscar Neimeyer’s famous church and the University of Brasilia’s campus. This leg of the trip was also particularly interesting because of my political science course. Being informed on the history of the government, as well as what has been happening with the current government, gave value to the visits and conversations I experienced in this city.

Overall, my time in Brasilia was surprisingly enjoyable. I’m glad. we had more time to see the city than planned but still hummed that we were unable to experience Cachoeira as well. When I come back (notice the when, not if) I don’t think Brasilia will be on my list of cities to return to though. I think with the aid of the school, I was able to conquer this strange place and there isn’t enough that I missed to warrant a return. However, that doesn’t mean I didn’t love my stay here.

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