The week has been a busy one. Every morning Dad and I wake up and have a leisurely breakfast together before letting the craziness of the day take over. Monday I had class late at night, so we spent the day in Santa Teresa exploring the neighborhood and visiting the couple of museums there are up on the hill. Unfortunately, only Chácara do Céu was open, but it’s neighboring museum, Parque das Ruinas, was not. Wednesday seems to be the “Day of All Museums” as they’re all open then and usually free, but Mondays and Tuesdays are hit or miss in my experience. The views from up there are always stunning, and we walked back from Santa Teresa toward ENCE by way of a path we had never discovered before and that had monkeys running along the telephone wires on the way down!
Tuesday, I went back to ENCE in the morning for class, and when I got back the day had turned cloudy so Dad and I decided to go explore all of the neat buildings in Centro a little bit and head to the Museu de Arte Contemporânea in Niterói (Contemporary Art Museum in the city across the bay). I had never been to the other side of the bay, so we took the ferry over around 3pm, walked around the museum, had a coffee in the stunning little restaurant underneath it and found a place near the beach in Niterói for dinner. A huge number of people who live in Niterói (the ferries accommodate 900 people sitting and 400 people standing on each one) commute across the bay to Rio every day, and it just seems like it would be such an odd thing for your daily commute to include a boat ride!
Dad brought with him on this trip a lot of the information about the Brazilian side of the Kampmann family, so after dinner we made a few phone calls and actually got to speak with one of our relatives still living in the southern part of Brazil. The phone call fell through about 5 minutes in, but that was enough to explain who I was and get an email address. Man, talking to someone who is related to you, and yet does not even speak the same language is quite an interesting experience. Dad and I were planning a trip earlier in the week to Foz do Iguaçu to see the waterfall from the Brazilian side and potentially visit whatever family we have whom we could contact in the area. Unfortunately, air fares went up and we didn’t hear back from any relatives in time to make it work out, but I think it is something that will definitely happen in the future. In the mean time, Dad and I spent another day walking the entire beach, getting CPFs (a Brazilian identification number, essentially), and planning a trip to Búzios for this weekend with about 6 of my friends instead. Tomorrow (now today, Sept. 7) is Brazilian Independence Day, so no one has classes or work and a lot of people are traveling to take advantage of the long weekend. I’m sure we’ll have a lot more photos when we get back. The crystal clear water in Búzios is supposed to be utterly breathtaking, and I hear there is some good nightlife as well. We’ll see how well Dad hangs in there, so far he’s been doing great! I think he would stay for a lot longer if he could..
Love to all, Molly