So I have neglected this blog for an entire year and I have realized, unfortunately, that I miss adventuring. Now while I am stuck on campus finishing off my senior year, there is no reason for life to be boring! So I have decided to pick up this blog again in honor of my favorite type of adventure--cooking!
I love to cook and talk about food so I hope you feel inspired to try some new recipes! Everything here is vegan, sugar-free and absolutely delicious (I promise).
Oh and please email me any time with your adventures (kitchen related or not)! Email me at

Friday, September 19, 2008

Hey! I am sorry I have never posted since I've been in Brazil, but it just seems that the more and more that happens, the more overwhelming writing becomes.
I will try and be better after this though and not put it off so much. Anyway, here's my attempt at a brief overview:
I have been here in Brazil for almost exactly two weeks now, spending most of my time in Belem living in a homestay and taking Portuguese classes. Belem is an interesting city, with beautiful old old buildings, hundreds of sketchy buses, and random posters for different Amazonian destinations everywhere. It is called the 'City of Mangoes' because one of the main streets, Nazare, is lined with giant beautiful mango trees. I am told mango season starts in October and I am extremely excited about this. I of course live on the corner of this street and get to look out my window to mango trees. Across the street on the adjacent corner is the Basilica do Nazare, a beautiful church built in the 17th century. It is actually one of the most beautiful churches I have ever seen--every window has stained glass, the ceiling is painted, and the boarders are painted with pure gold. My bus stop to school is just past the church and I love walking by it every day. My family itself is very wonderful--Daniell and Cynthia are a young couple around 30 and don't have any kids. The first few days Daniell's family was visiting and there was an adorable 2 year old running around the house. Cynthia's mother is also hosting one of the students, Upasana, so I get to hang out with her a lot.

With my family I have gotten to visit many places in Belem. Mostly they are parks in the city, or areas along the river. All are very pretty and picturesque. I have gone out a little bit in Belem with friends, and it usually just results in hilarity. For example, Friday we went to this music bar called ´Liverpool´ which only featured cover bands that night. One band only sang Foo Fighters songs. In general, most of the music I have been hearing here is Brazilians singing American songs. Any song you can imagine basically gets covered with a Brazilian twist. Imagine a Hookastank (Or some band of that nature) being covered so that you can dance samba too it. Then imagine that it is one of the ´couple songs´ here. So strange. Unfortunatly, I don´t have any picture because my camera broke...obviously. My camera was on the fritz in Cambodia, but I had hope it would hold out here. My friends have been very symaphetic and taking pictures for me when I ask though and hopefully I will buy a new camera soon. I will upload their photos shortly.
Classes itself have been pretty interesting. I am in the intermediate class with 9 other students and I take class for three hours every day. Since I studied Portuguese before most of it is a review but I am fine with this because before I didn't actually have a teacher. Plus, I think the advanced class would be too hard for me and I wouldn't take much from it. My Portuguese is improving in leaps and bounds everyday and I am so happy I can actually communicate with my family. When I get tired however my portuguese just falls apart and Cynthia and Daniell have learned this and know when to just talk slowly to me and not expect me to respond. They are really good at pushing me to speak though and I like that they barely speak English.
Like I said we have mostly been in Belem, or just outside the city on a farm for orientation. Next week however we get to go Sao Francisco to learn more about farming practices in the Amazon area. We also get to learn about nutrient cycles...needless to say, I am super pumped.


GM said...

great read.... thank you for writing it. it sounds like you are having a wondeful time. i look forward to reading about the Amazon farming. do you like the samba?

Dad said...

Karina, bom de saber que voce esta bem. Eu liguei estw fim de semana e o Daniel flaou que voce estava em Manaus. Estou feliz que voce esta gostando. Ligarei logo. Dad