June 24, 2005

Pics from São Paulo

And here are some photos from São Paulo.

And here´s the photo of me and Lissu with Manu Chao.

Esta chuvendo

It is São João, the middle of winter here and the rain is coming down. After last night's parties the city lulls in a morning-after calm. All the shops are closed and even the kids seem to lack the energy to run around. I spent last night at the house of one of my capoeira mestres, Mestre Cobra Mansa, in Fazenda de Coutos in the suburbs of Salvador. It was beautiful; people having a good time with friends, dancing to forro music and enjoying all the wonderful and oh, so fattening São João delicacies. By the time it was time to leave my stomach was so full of manioc cake, canjica, corn, peanuts and different kinds of licors that I could hardly walk. And then, of course, we were invited to the neighbors' house to eat some more.

June 22, 2005

São João in Salvador and São Paulo

Finally, I have a few more minutes on me to sit down and update you all on what I´ve been up to since I left Chicago almost a week ago. It´s been a pretty crazy and full week and now I´m feeling completely beat. I think I´ll go grab a guarana soda after this. I have a capoeira class in just a bit more than an hour amd after that I promised to go listen to my friends' band play some forro. That´s the only kind of music you can hear here now. Like carnival everything else but the parties pretty much stop in the city, but this time instead of axe and samba, its all about Brazilian country music. The kids are dressed in straw hats and checkered shirts or floral dresses and the food is delicious; corn, peanuts and all kinds of sweet cakes.

My friends with the forro band picked me up at the airport here in Salvador- a wonderful surprise - took me to their house and have been taking me around the city for the past three days almost now. It´s been great just hanging out with them, sitting in small neighborhood bars in the evenings and listening to them play their guitars and sing.

Sao Paulo, where I stopped over last weekend was a lot of fun too. My friend Lissu and her friends really showed me a great time. In only four days we went to a Sao Joao party at the University of Sao Paulo, shopped at a fair, went out to a pretty wild gay club and saw Manu Chao perform live in a park for $1.50. And we got to meet Manu Chao in person, which was pretty incredible. Me and my friend Lissu even got to take a photo with him. So as soon as I find an internet cafe that has a computer with a USB port I´ll put it on here along with some other photos.

June 14, 2005

getting ready to go

It looks like my MAPSS year is starting to come to a close. I bought myself a robe and cap yesterday for graduation and returned most of my books to the Reg. The atmosphere in the library was almost eerie. It was so quiet without last week's frantic hordes of students trying to finish their finals. Pretty much the only people I saw were a couple of undergrads sleeping in the comfy chairs that I'm guessing had come there in search of respite from their overheated apartments.

I still haven't got my thesis draft back. So I guess I'll just have to resign to work on it in Brazil. I leave day after tomorrow, and there's no way I could finish it before, even if I got it back right now. But a little more exposure to Candomble probably wont hurt the paper at all. I'm just afraid that I'll end up wanting to re-write the whole thing after having talked about it with the people down there.

Going back feels strange though. I can't wait to go and be back in my beloved Bahia, but this year has been so intensive that last Spring in Brazil seems like another life already. But I know I'll be back in the swing of things in no time, visiting my Candomble friends, going to dance classes and doing my capoeira. I'll do my best to keep you all posted on how things go and what I'm up to down there, south of the equator. I even bought myself a new digital camera, so you'll be in for some pictures too.

By the way, if you have any comments on how I put this blog together, I would really like to hear them. I'm completely new at this and so, experimenting with what I can do. The background pictures turned out pretty cool, don't you think :)