Brazil Grace Clements Temple Summer

Getting adjusted to time in Bahia…

I have no clue what day it is, and no clue what time it is.  Time runs differently in Bahia, as Professor Dossar is reminding us.  Part of this has to do with me not having a phone, and rarely having Internet.  But part of it I cannot explain.  Life seems a little simpler here.  I am treasuring it every day, because I know it will not last very long.  We met another  American on the beach the other day, and he was telling us how he lived in Bahia for 2 years working as an artist.  He had a lot of trouble adjusting to the culture in Boston, and the fast paced life we live.  It is something hard to explain.  It isn’t to say that everyone here is just a big hippy and free.  People here have things to do just like us.  However, they get to it when they are meant too.  A popular phrase here is the equivalent to our “God willing”.  We are learning much about the faith here within the Brazilian culture.  It seems much more spiritual than many religions I have studied.  There is a popular song called “walk with faith” by Joberto Gil that is very popular here.  This is something I don’t see happening in the United States.  Our top 40 is much more concerned with songs about tiny bikinis at the beach.  We are often reminded by everyone to be patient.  At first I thought this was a conspiracy, and Professor Dossar was making people tell us that, but I am constantly reminded of it.

Things that are simple.  I do my laundry in the sink here, and I let it dry on the close rack.  Things seem much more thoughtful.  Instead of throwing my clothes into the washing machine and leaving, it is a much more thoughtful process.  Being here really makes me think about what I actually need.

We are slowly getting used to this city.  It is day 6, and we have found our market, our favorite place for feshauda, and our favorite beach.  It takes us no longer than 15 minutes to walk up the big hill to school, and I haven’t even gotten sick from any of the food!  That is saying something, because I had a maracuia juice.

We are adjusting to our school routine, Afro Brazilian culture and music in the morning, and Portuguese class in the afternoon.  I am pretty sure I will never want to see quejo again when I get home, which is weird because it is my favorite food.

One thing I realized I take for granted back home is how easily accessible everything is.  I find myself sometimes craving foods, that I would never dream of eating in the United States.  Why would an ex-vegetarian be craving Popeye’s chicken like this?  To be fair I would also do anything for some vegetables.  I began practicing my patience the other night; my roommate and I decided to check out the pizza scene here, because I’ve heard it’s something special.  It was raining, but you only live once right?  So, we took ourselves to the pizza place around the corner.  First mistake.  We were not well equipped to be in this fancy place with our sweatpants. Second mistake, I only brought 5 reis, and one pizza is 40 reis. Woah, this is awkward.  I must keep reminding myself, that the exchange rate for the US dollar is quite good; one dollar to 2 Reis.  That aside I realized how crazy America is.  At any moment, within a mile, I could get one slice of pizza for a dollar.  I would also have 500 different choices.  We ended us getting a delivery pizza for 10 reis each.  The pizza was tasty and all was well.

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