Day 98… is when I originally wrote this post, however the internet was a bit wonky that day and so it’s coming to you all a bit later than expected.
This week is certainly a busy one. I finished and turned in my project for Pesquisa Operacional on Friday before going to Nayra’s house with all of our friends for dinner. Charles arrived on Saturday, so of course we went almost immediately to the beach! He tried a traditional feijoada for lunch, learned how to say “obrigado” (thank you) and “arroz” (rice) among a few other things, came to dinner for Ribamar’s birthday, and met all of my friends that night. All in all, it was a very Brazilian and enjoyable day.
Sunday we woke up and went to the hippie fair at praça General Osório in Ipanema, and I finally bought a beach bag! Something you would not think it’d take me 3 months to buy here.. but nonetheless is a really great one. We headed back to the beach and then raced to catch sunset at Arpoador before going out to Barthodomeu in Ipanema for dinner and drinks that night. We got açaí that day so that Charles could try it for the first time, and I swear it is the BEST açaí I have ever tasted. We are both officially addicted.
On Monday I wanted to take Charles up the Trilha de Dois Irmãos that I had done with a group just a few weeks ago, so we got some “suco de manga” (mango juice) for breakfast and headed to Vidigal. At the bottom of the favela, we hailed a couple of moto-taxis to take us up to the top where the trail starts. It was a hot, hot day, and the driver on the way up warned us jokingly that that kind of weather brought out the “cobras.” I didn’t take him too seriously, but on the way up we saw a small green and black snake, a giant black lizard and a few smaller lizards, although not a single monkey. The trail has a lot of spots to just stop and take in the view on the way up, but still nothing compares to the vista once you reach the top. It only took us about 45 minutes climb the mountain, and then it is just all of Rio at your fingertips. It feels like standing on the edge of the world. We ran down the mountain and ate lunch before I had my first phone interview for a full time job after graduation with Epic (a healthcare software implementation and consulting company in Madison, WI). It went well, and I have another phone interview with Pearson (very large educational materials and publishing company) tomorrow morning as well as one next week with Deloitte (business/technology consulting). I am not too sure where any of this will lead, but practice makes perfect, right?
This morning we went to Copacabana to try stand-up paddle boarding before I had to head to UFRJ for a meeting about our thesis project. Paddle boarding is tougher than it looks, and unfortunately we don’t have any pictures, but we did get the hang of it by the end of our session, and it is definitely something I would try again. I was gone for most of the rest of the day, but had promised to take Charles for a churrascaria dinner sometime during his visit, so when I got back from my meeting we went to Carretão in Ipanema. It is a restaurant of the same chain where I had churrascaria for the first time in Copacabana, and we left more stuffed full of food than I could have imagined (but with enough space left to at least share an açaí, of course). I think Charles was in heaven with the overwhelming cuts of fresh beef, pork, turkey, and chicken that the servers continue to bring around to all of the tables for hours.
Tomorrow we have plans to go explore Centro and the mercado at Uruguiana (if São Cristóvão isn’t open during the week). I have class tomorrow night, which will hopefully be a review for the first exam we have on Monday in Modelos Lineares Generalizados – which is also on the day that Mom arrives here in Rio. On the list for the rest of the week are a hike up Pão de Açúcar for sunset, exploring Santa Teresa, going to see Cristo and walking around Jardim Botânico.
I’ll do my best to keep you updated!