To start off, a Carioca is an adjective that the people of Rio de Janeiro call themselves, and it means that you are a native of Rio, but also a lifestyle. According to the Rio Convention Bureau, “Cariocas are free spirit people, naturally cheerful, responsive and friendly.” I have been lucky to meet some very nice people in some of the most informal situations. For example, when going to restaurants and grocery stores, others start conversations with me and then when I tell them I am from the United States, a lot of them start talking in English if they know it, and are in general very friendly.
Over the past two weeks in Rio, I have done a lot. I currently only have class until 1PM everyday, so I am able to explore in the afternoons, or take a short nap if needed. I have visited Pão de Açucar, Ipanema, Copacabana, and also the nightlife in Lapa. There is so much to do in the city of Rio, and I have been finding new things every time I walk around or take a bus. For example, I saw the other day while on the bus that people were constructing a large stage at Leblon Beach, so I looked online, and found that there is a free concert tonight, which I am attending!
Academically: I have completed two weeks of my intensive Portuguese class, and I have already had a midterm, before UW even started second semester. The class is going well, but a little challenging at times. Only two weeks remain of the class, and the final part is an oral presentation of a city in Brazil. I am researching Iguazu Falls, which is a city on the border of Argentina and Brazil. It is a major tourist attraction and it’s often compared to Niagara Falls. When the semester starts, I will be taking four classes, including the next level of Portuguese. Furthermore, last semester at UW, I did research on farmers markets, so I knew that I wanted to check out the markets here. I was notified by one of my fellow students that they are doing continued research in Brazil, so I am taking pictures at the markets I visit to help with comparisons. There is a very large market on Fridays near PUC, and the vendors let me try fruits that I have not had before. Also, the fruit here is much cheaper than at home. I got a box of strawberries for $2BRL, which is only about 85 cents!
I feel like I have done so much already, even though I have only been here for two weeks. I will keep updating with my next adventures.