These past two weeks seem to be the first time in the nearly 3 months that I have been here (already!) that there has not been some sort of major holiday or event happening in Rio, so I had two normal weeks of classes. I have been staying at school on Tuesdays and Wednesdays after class to get my homework and studying done before I go home, mainly because I can sit in the air-conditioning, but I am also more productive when I am not in my own room. Besides school, this past week, I booked a flight to Manaus for early May with some friends. Manaus is a major city located in the Amazon rainforest, and once there I am looking into tours where I will get to explore the rainforest and see some of the thousands of species that are native to the area. The United States also plays Portugal in Manaus during the World Cup; I am visiting at a different time, but I want to see the stadium. The stadium, unfortunately, had a lot of problems with construction, but it has finally been completed, and the pictures online look fascinating. I am so excited to actually go and explore this area because I have learned so much about the landscape in numerous science and environmental studies classes, and have always been very interested. Believe it or not, the flight is still about four hours and a time zone different than in Rio. The amazon rainforest covers 2.7 million square miles and 60% of that land is in Brazil. In my Portuguese class, I was assigned a project where I will need to present a topic relating to Brazil, so I chose the Amazon rainforest. This will help me learn more about where I am visiting, and I will also learn the scientific vocabulary in another language. Thankfully, the tours are offered in English, but it will still help.
Furthermore, my parents booked their flights to visit me in April, so I found them a place to stay after looking around a little bit online, and it will only be a five-minute walk from where I live. I am looking forward to showing them around Rio in April when they visit. I’m glad that my family has been able to visit. Gabe came a few weeks ago, and Justin is coming on Monday! Having visitors also motivates me to visit some new sites in Rio and also become more familiar with the places that I have already been.
Since my last blog, I have still been going to the beach quite a bit, going to classes and just enjoying the city. I celebrated the Jewish holiday, Purim, at the Chabad center near PUC, celebrated St. Patrick’s Day, and got to spend a day at a country club in Rio, with my friend’s host family. The club was a lot of fun, and very relaxing. This weekend, I am looking for a place to watch the Badgers play Oregon. There is a sports bar nearby called Shenanigans, so I am hoping that they will show the game.
Vamos Badgers! — Go Badgers!