Hello Family! Our last week in Floripa has been terrific. We made our goodbye visits to our favorite spots (at the downtown market, the mall) and had a few new amazing experiences like an African drumming class! The director of the study abroad program invited us to his home for brunch with his two daughters and our walk home took us through a different part of the city. I also said goodbye to my awesome students and we had a farewell breakfast. Our next stop before returning home is Salvador da Bahia!
Hello, all! It's hard to believe that we've reached the midpoint of our trip! Most of the pictures from the past week and a half come from a trip we took on Sunday to an area in Floripa called Cacupé. It has a beach and a resort (pictured above) with a children's play center, park, and a grove of bamboo. There are also a few pictures from our daily travels around our neighborhood. We explored a few new markets, tried new foods, and even found time to see the new Spider-Man movie (in English with Portuguese subtitles).
Hello, all! We're adapting very nicely to life in Brazil. Everyone has a favorite park or place to eat. (I love the lime juice and the coxinhas with shrimp.) Last week I gave a talk about my research at the local university and met several UFSC students and professors. One of the Afro-Brazilian students in attendance joined my class the next day and brought a wealth of knowledge about life for black people here in southern Brazil. There was also an exhibit at the campus cultural center that featured the work of a black painter in Floripa named Deció David.
Now that we've settled in, the kids have started to miss home a little more. Alex wants to know why we can't get pancakes here! Naima is tired of so much walking! But then something unexpectedly wonderful happens, like our landlord lending us two skateboards for the kids to play with in the garage, or the vegan lunch spot that also has a climbing wall! We also took the bus to the fish market in downtown Florianópolis where the city is holding a Tainha festival. (Tainha is Portuguese for mullet.) Our dinner there was probably the best we've eaten so far; all the seafood here is amazing! You can see more pictures from this week below!
Hello Family & Friends! Our first week on the island of Florianópolis (nicknamed "Floripa") has been wonderful. We have learned so much about southern Brazilian life and culture as we adjust to the language, food, and customs here.
We celebrated Naima's 11th birthday this past week and Alex lost his second tooth! Now it is Winter here, which means that the temp hits about 70 degrees during the day, but at night it is COLD. We don't have heat or air but we are adjusting and the two space heaters that we bought today should help. (The cooler temps also mean no mosquitos!) We have been slowly discovering other comforts of home: a mall with a McDonald's (!) and a superstore owned by Walmart, plenty of parks for the kids, and great wifi, which means the kids can stream Netflix. Kenny is doing very well too and thanks to Skype and remote access, he can still stay in touch with his office.
My class is doing great. The picture posted above is the view from my classroom! It's amazing!!! The students in my class are very engaged; the majority of them are students from the local university here, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (or UFSC, pronounced "Oof-skee"). I'm giving a talk about my research at UFSC to the faculty and students in the post-graduate English program this Tuesday.
Below are a few pictures from our first week. On Saturday, we went on a tour of the island and saw several of the nearly 40 beaches here. Naima and Kenny actually braved the freezing waters of the Atlantic, while Alex and I huddled together on the shore!