It’s been a long week here in Brazil, filled with soo many new impressions. Although it’s far from the nearest beach, the people I love, and from anything familiar – I’m definitely happy that I’m here.
Here in Porto Velho it’s raining. I find it nice from time to time since it clears the air.
I’m sitting at the balcony that’s located in an alley with an old green office building in front of it as a view, which Kanindé occupies. Listening to a podcast, sipping on some lemonade and sitting and writing on a plastic chair. A simple Saturday afternoon indeed.
Around me I hear neighbors, traffic, and the subtle dripping of rain. Once in awhile you can also hear sounds of firecrackers, horns, and music in the distance. People are getting ready for the annual Carnival.
The biggest trouble for me so far has been the language barrier. I’m normally a very social person, so what’s frustrating is not being able to show who I am and to socialize in order to get to know some people here since I rarely understand what a person is saying, which creates an insecurity in me. Nevertheless, everyone I’ve met here has been really friendly so far. I love the Latin culture so it’s at the same time very exciting to learn a new language and culture. Meanwhile I’ll try to get by on portuñol, a mix of Spanish and Portuguese.
I’m very thankful to have met Gabriel, a photographer at Kanindé which speaks English and Spanish, sharing the apartment with me here. Without him I would’ve been so lost! My first day here we went to this lunch buffet where they had plenty of vegetarian alternatives (yay!). One of my favorite things of being in a new place is to try new things, mostly new flavors. So I’ve been spending a lot of my time here on trying Brazilian fruits & foods. I’m already in loved with açaí which is a berry that comes from the açaí palm, similar to grapes in appearance but smaller. They make a purple, delicious cream out of it, normally served frozen with granola.
Work has been slow so far since I haven’t been able to go out in the field yet. At the office I’ve mostly dedicated my time to make research about the area and the indigenous groups & tribes (there are many!). So I haven’t seen very much with my own eyes yet. Yesterday however I got to see the Kanindé Culture and Training Center, located in the forest about 30 mins from the city. A really cool place with a amazing agriculture going on, a bunch of new rooms, a sports court etc. I will be going there soon, very excited to take pictures to show you guys, and to spend some time in the nature.
Last night I met Sonya, she came here with FoE’s program from Sweden last semester. Sonya showed me around a bit and we had some really good Brazilian dinner (left my belongings at home due to the risk of getting robbed during the carnivals so no photos..). We later ended up going with a few of her friends to a house were we played & sang samba all night and drank cachaça!
Can I call myself Brazilian yet? 😉