Three Weeks Left

Although it seems like the world is crumbling around us, our lives still have to be lived. The election has exposed the U.S. to some of the craziness that other countries have been experiencing for quite some time: Public servants haven’t gotten paid here in Rio since November. This includes professors and university students who receive scholarships for travel and meals. As a result, the state universities are closed and are on strike indefinitely. When I arrived in August, the bank tellers’ union was striking, which meant that EVERY single bank in the country was closed. This went on until October. These kinds of struggles are pretty common in Latin America where people are quick to resist and speak out. I’m glad that those of us in the states have finally woken up. Someone actually invited me to a strike here on Tuesday and I am definitely going to go. I’ll take pictures and some video if I can, to post here afterwards.

In the midst of the craziness, I have enjoyed every single Brazil moment. After spending Christmas with my adopted fam, I had some visits from some folks who obviously love me. It was exactly what I needed to close out the year and bring in 2017 on a positive note full of love, laughter, and bubbly. I also got a chance to do some of the touristy stuff like go to the beaches, see Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf, and visit other states – Bahia to be exact. Check it all out below.

Cristo Redentor or Christ the Redeemer. He’s big but not bigger than Lady Liberty. We fact checked.
amy and i at the botanical gardens. she was my first visitor 🙂
in our new year’s eve white.
the view from christ the redeemer. it was so crowded we could barely move.
On the way to Sugarloaf or Pão de Açucar.
a view of christ from sugarloaf. can you see him? lol












view of beautiful barra beach from the sheraton hotel.


awesome beach day but i think i was getting burnt :-/

And then there was Itacaré, Bahia. One of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. Untouched and unspoiled. I could barely get cell phone service anywhere. Google it.

on the way to the pousada (B&B) from the airport, the driver insisted we stop here to take photos. beautiful!
i had to get at least one sun rise shot. this was the view from the pousada balcony. amazing.
the first stop on our day tour in Itacaré was this waterfall. this was my first time at an actual waterfall. it was great!
after the waterfall we walked through the mangroves.
then we arrived at jeribucaçu beach. you have to take this trek to get there because it’s totally off the beaten path. it’s also unique because it’s where the river meets the ocean. people don’t wear much in this beach town.














picked our own fresh grilled fish for lunch on the beach. it was delicious.


caipirinhas on the river side of jeribucaçu beach while we wait for that grilled fish.











breakfast each morning on the deck at Pousada Tanarã was the bomb!
omelet with potato, cheese, tomato, and basil. yum! not pictured – fresh fruit, cake, fresh bread, fresh squeezed tropical fruit juice, and coffee/tea.













massages on the beach. i don’t have pics but you get the idea.
the departure was a sad affair.


but then we went to this strange restaurant for churrasco (steak), drank caipirinhas and all was well again 🙂









When Aim left, I tried to get back to work. Then my birthday came and brought another visitor, which meant more fun, beach, tourist stuff, etc…

enrique and i at a bar in lapa with live samba 🙂
cristo again lol but this day was super cloudy and not many people. i think the clouds cleared for like a good five minutes and folks went crazy taking pics.











dude making our queijo coalho on the beach. it’s cheese on a stick made on that little charcoal grill.


cheese on a stick with oregano. brazilian beach staple.











After Enrique left, I actually did get back to work and finalized my data collection. The realization has sunk in that my stay here is coming to a close and it’s definitely bittersweet. I love Brazil and I am so grateful that things have gone so well for me here. Although it was my temporary home for 7 months, it is not home home. You know what i mean?

Anyway, I still got a little bit of time so I’ve mapped out what that looks like in terms of finishing up my research and other professional things I need to do. It also means figuring out what I need/want to bring back with me. So, I finally made it out to the monthly street market yesterday. It’s right in my neighborhood where artists and entrepreneurs sale their wares. Of course there’s live music and other cool things to see and eat. I had such a great time shopping and people watching. Can’t wait to bring back my goodies and distribute gifts. FYI – I’ve learned to make caipirinhas!! That’s one thing I’m def bringing back! Stay tuned for the welcome home festivities.

homemade jawn lol



In the meantime, I’m going to go the beach as much as I can and enjoy my last moments of this adventure.





the street is lined with vendors on both sides. there was so much to see! (and buy).
it was packed.
as my shades were falling off my face from sweating, i took a pic with this guy who makes leather shoes. and yes of course i bought something from him! i don’t know why i didn’t take a pic of their little set up?? the shoes were awesome.
and this dressmaker…gonna make me a dress. she mentioned that we look alike. fam or nah?















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