Tag Archives: Belo Horizonte

Itu, Monteverde, Belo Horizonte

24 Aug

In Itu, the city of big things (rumored to be making up for their short name), we saw their giant stoplight and giant pay phone.  We also saw the movie The Sorcerer’s Apprentice which had been entirely dubbed into Portuguese [with no subtitles].  While I can’t be sure I really understood what was going on, I feel pretty confident saying that Nicolas Cage is as unimpressive in Portuguese as he is in English.

More important than giant stoplights and Nicolas Cage, I got to meet Bruna’s family in Itu and see the house she grew up in.  Bruna was one of my roommates while I was living in Santiago.  It was great to catch up on her life since Santiago, and discuss the many cats that inhabited the Casa Bonita [she admitted that she really does not like cats at all, see: photo, Santiago, 2009, she is standing to my left holding the stuffed animal cat]

After Itu we headed to Bruna’s parents home in the mountains of Monteverde.  It was extremely beautiful, and a great place to relax, read, hike, sit around a fire, and practice my Portuguese.

While in Monteverde we also learned of Brazilians great love for the exotic creature called an esquilo, or what you may know as a squirrel.  Yes, that’s right.  They were alarmed to hear that in the U.S. we more or less think of them as rats with bushy tails.  Many of the decorations in the house were squirrel themed, and Bruna showed us the little bridge that her dad had built between a tree inside their fence to one outside in order to “encourage squirrel migration,” as Emily so eloquently put it.

To end the weekend we went to a Pesca e Paga, or Fish and Pay.  As everyone talked about the “fishing to catch our lunch” we’d be doing on Sunday, Emily and I had epic lakes and rivers in mind.  It turned out to be a tiny enclosed trout pond filled to the brims with fish.  Theoretically this would make it quite easy to catch a fish, as a bite would come in about 15 seconds…I somehow still managed to struggle [definitely was not making Uncle Don proud.]  After too many failed attempts to record here, I was successful!  They weighed the fish, fried them up, and served them as lunch about a half hour later.  A bit too quick life-to-lunch for me, but I managed to try one bite.  [I know for most people fresh=better, but welcome to the weird world of eating with Molly]

I got lots of hours of sleep in while in Monteverde, seemingly needed, as I’ve been extremely tired.  Although I do love the feeling of being physically exhausted from trying my hand [and generally failing] at another language all day.

After our last night in Monteverde Emily woke up and said, “I just had a dream about checking my email, how lame is that?”  We were disconnected in Monteverde, but I should be back to interneting now that I’m in Belo Horizonte!  Ate logo!

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P is for Packing, but not for português…yet.

1 Aug

Had I been participating in the July blogging challenge like this one did, and had my letter been P, it would have to be for packing.

I’m currently in the middle of packing up four years of my Madison life into boxes (okay, at least halfway through thinking about starting).  The added complication is that whatever I put in the boxes I won’t be able to use for the next 3 years (so do I really need it anyway?).  I will be 25 (AHHHH!) by the time I get back from Peace Corps, and my dad’s planning to move sometime in the near future (surely by the time I’m 25), so it’s not a safe bet to store much at his house.

So…What to keep? What to throw?  What to jam-pack into my backpacking backpack (probably the only piece of luggage I will take with me to Brazil)?

I leave for Brazil already on August 13th!  However, P could not currently be for Portuguese, because I’ve been worrying about my ability to use the language once I get there.  My friend Emily is already in the city Belo Horizonte for an internship, and she scared me when she talked about how difficult it was to understand everyone.

I guess I’ll just have to cross my fingers that one month from now (as I’m arriving to Curitiba, the city where I’m doing my internship) P will stand a little bit more for my Portuguese abilities than it does now.

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