Monday, June 27, 2005

1st week in Betim, Greetings from Belo Horizonte

I started writing this message a week and a half ago and didnt get a chance to finish cause we had to the original email below and I will try to write more when I can.
We are in Belo Horizonte at Vanessa~s familys vacation house called Retiro Das Pedras
until July 1st. We are working our creative problem solving skills because we have been having troubles with our cameras and wanted to at least get an edited rough cut done by the end of this trip... we are also having computer problems. So Vanessas family has been running around to see if we can borrow a camera to capture all our video to the computer and see if we can get our computer fixed. A little stress but we get a little time off to take care of our personal infrastructure. ANd also we got time yesterday to see a BRAZILIAN SOCCER GAME! it was Cruzeiros (from Belo Horizonte) vs Vasco the Rio team. We off course were rooting for Cruzeiros even though Vanessa and her brother-in-laws team is another Belo team (that wasnt playing). It was a really great time. Cruzeiros scored early and dominated most of the game but the ref seemed to be calling all kinds of things against them and after a penalty kick for the other team and another goal scored the tense game ended in a tie. Okay gotta to go and finish a resume to send to see if I can get a job when I get back.

Last weekends message:
Hello beautiful people! Sorry I havent written but much but we are only finally taking some time off and relaxing in a small mining town called OURO PRETO. Its a colonial town with a strong mining history. We had a little problem with our guide he likes to talk very loud and repeat everything he says a few times while he talks and walks very slowly. We finally had enough and decided to take off to hang out and do a little email. This past week has been such a contrast to our time in Rio. IT has been inspiring and uplifiting. We get up very early and work late into the night doing our preproduction and planning for our video shooting. Luckily we are fed amazing food and lots of coffee and good bread. We feel a tremendous responsibility to work really hard and create great final projects that this organization can use to help promote the work they do.
We are like rock stars to the kids at Salao do Encontro. If we go anywhere by ourselves especially near the under 7 aged kids we get attacked, with questions and come here lets go there, lets play, sign my arms, sign my paper, speak english!!! GIGGLES ALL AROUND. Yesterday we got interviewed by the state newspaper (Estado do Minas) and they took pictures of us as if we were doing our interviews and filming. This Local TV station is supposed to come Monday and there is a rumor that the national TV station wants to do a story on us. It kinda weird postmodern, media doing stories on media doing media but all of it brings attention to this great organziation.
Dona Noemi the inspriration behind Salao is a feisty 80 year old woman who was ordering the photographers to highlight us and not her, and telling them where we should be fotographed and how to be fotographs. She doesnt like to be video taped especially so we are still unsure if she will agree to be interviewed. ...

Sunday, June 12, 2005

June 12- Leaving Rio de Janeiro

Hello beautiful friends and family, Sorry I havent written more but we have been going nonstop since we got here. You know I like my sleep but I havent been getting much of it! We´ve gone to the beach a little bit with such amazingly beautiful people. Gorgeous people in Impanema. The more I am here the more sexy I feel. This big booty pays off big here (so to speak!) all the beautiful ladies have very big round booties, lots of curves I fit right in. I even bought a brazilian bikini, dont worry not too scandalous, just wearing a bikini for me is a big deal but here I fit right in. I also am able to communicate pretty well with my spanish and portanol.

Monday we start portuguese classes and watch out Brazil when these boys learn some more of the lanuguage...The girls on this trip are great we get along really well, take care of each other and like to do the same things. We hang out together most of the time (and dont worry we never go anywhere alone, there are plenty of men in our group on the trip to take us to the bank and hang out with us at night, for those of you who like to remind me to be careful...duh) We are in the fancy part of Brazil, Impanema. Im sure it will be such a contrast to the place we are going to do the video.

Last night we went to a free festival on copacabana Beach where we saw Fernanda Abreu and Jorge Ben Jorge. I recognized many of the songs! we sambaed on the beach (what a work out) with Brazilian friends from the hostel we are staying at and of course Darren who has been our english friend from London. He likes to tell us how maybe he should talk slower so we dumb americans can understand him better...yeah its a dry humor but he's been basically a part of our group going on all our ventures and teaching the guys in our group about chivalry, being "civilized" and cockney humor.

The best night in Rio so far for me was the night before last (thursday) when we went to a place called Bunker to dance to hip hop and "Brazilian Funky" Only the three ladies Rinchen, Evangeline, and I along with Joe and Darren went. When we first got there, there were a whole bunch of thug life looking guys hanging out outside and white, almost see thru Darren was a little worried since that is not really his scene... But I had the greatest time once we got inside. I love Brazilian Funky music whatever that is I need to investigate a little more, it seems kinda like funk and reggae.

I would have liked to stay all night but everyone else wanted to go since we had to get up early to go on a jeep ride thru a forest called Tijuca. We saw monkeys and beautiful scenery but the best part was bathing in a little waterfall. They said that in Brazil that there is a belief you must bathe in water because it clean the soul.
Then we went to the famous Jesus protector which is so high up and such a beautiful view.

Where ever we go we have been having such a great time. Everyone is pretty easy going and we decided to share our pictures on one of those picture sharing sites when we get back.

I'm pretty amazed at how easily I have been able to communicate using what little I know of Portuguese and then throwing in Spanish when I dont know...I have been translating when necessary I understand pretty well...Just speaking sometimes can be difficult.

We are getting ready to leave to Belo Horizonte on a 6 hour bus ride where we will go to Vanessa~s families house to eat. (she's the grad student ion my program who is organizing everything. She has been so amazing taking such good care of us.)

Then we go to Betim to start work on our video of Salao do Encontro. I have no idea what to expect but I know it will be a much smaller and humbler town than Rio or BH. We have a lot of work ahead of us. I am having an amazing time. Beixos