It is hard to believe that I am almost two-thirds of the way done with my time in Rio. It has been amazing so far, and looking back I realized that I have learned so much living here. When I first arrived, I only knew a little bit of Portuguese, such as saying my name and other basic vocabulary. I still am not fluent, but I now have a much easier time understanding and speaking. I don’t want my progress to go to waste, so I am trying to fit a Portuguese class into my schedule next semester, but either way, I will definitely be attending Bate-Papo more often next year at the KK on Thursday nights.
Since my last post, I have done a lot, and also had some time off for Easter. I didn’t know until a few days before that for Easter most people have almost a week off, so it has been great to go to the beach and do some exploring with my parents while they are here for the week. There are definitely more days off here than I am used to, but this has been nice for me so I have more time to get to know Rio and other areas in Brasil. The only negative thing about having so many days off is that the semester does not end until the middle of June, but that means I get to stay here longer!
Last Saturday with PUC, there was a field trip to Barra do Piraí, another city in the state of Rio. It was a wonderful day, minus waking up at 5:30 AM. I had to wake up this early because the bus was leaving at “6:45 Sharp,” but it actually left at 8:00! On the trip, we spent the day at Hotel Fazenda Arvoredo, which used to be a farm, but now is an eco-tourism destination. While there, we went on a short hike, went swimming, and spent some time hanging out by the pool and lake. It was so relaxing and a very different atmosphere than Rio.
Monday (April 14th) was a very busy, but good day. My parents arrived in Rio, so I met them at the airport, and I also had an interview in the afternoon. I thought that I would have plenty of time after meeting them to get ready and head to the office, but the traffic was atrocious. It took about two hours each way to get to the airport, which is less than twenty miles from where I am living, but thankfully I still made it on time. Monday was also the first night of Passover, and I found a Seder to attend with my parents at the Chabad in the neighborhood of Leblon. The Seder was nice, and it was interesting to experience this in another country and language.
My interview was at BRICS Policy Center. BRICS is an acronym for Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, and the organization represents the largest emerging economies and does research on development and urbanization throughout these countries. I found out the day after that I got the internship position, and I my first day will be April 28th! I am very excited to start this position because it closely relates to Economics and other issues that I have been studying at Madison and in Rio.
Since my last post, I have also visited another art museum in Rio, which has free admission on Tuesdays, went to a soccer game at Maracanã, eaten a lot of good food, spent some time at the beach, and believe it or not, studied and took a few exams. I had a take-home exam in my Ecology class, which took a very long time to complete, and it wasn’t because I didn’t know the answers. I knew what I wanted to say, but it is still a challenge to write with ease as I would in English.
I am so happy that I still have two more months here, but I miss everyone at home and Madison. I am glad your winter is finally over!
P.S. The World Cup starts in 51 days—There is a countdown clock at the beach near my apartment.