Via Sogee Franklin:
After a late night the day before, we were able to take a well deserved sleep in. We headed to breakfast at 8:20 after a quick journal writing of the soccer game.
We were able to also try some new types of juices and food in the morning, including a new type of plantain. Afterwards, we quickly headed to the buses to go to the botanical garden. When we were there, Javier gave us overview of the states of Brazil and the geography of the land there.
After our lessons, we were able to take a photo workshop with Javier or explore the park. While exploring, we were able to see many different types of birds and plants, some in our group also saw monkeys, large koi fish, and even toucans.
After experiencing this beautiful park, we headed to lunch at a beach near Sugarloaf, a beautiful mountain terrain. The buffet was full of different foods and desserts, including coconut water straight from the coconut (that some people decided to gut). When people were finished, we all went to the beautiful beach to climb on the rocks. The sun and air was hot, but the water had a nice breeze. While some people got soaked during a big wave, we all were able to enjoy the beach before going to the next location.
Via Helen Gordon:
Once we arrived at Escadaria Selarón, a staircase covered with tiles painted by a man named Jorge Selaron, the whole group gathered together for a photo. We saw a tile made specially for our guide Javier and his wife Patricia because they knew and were close friends with Jorge. Then the group was given time to explore and discover all the different tiles there were and walk up the 215 steps.
After we headed back into the buses and went to the brazilian Academy of Letters. This academy is a private association of 40 Brazilian writers. Within the building there was a library with thousands of books including some of the most important pieces of literature in Brazil. After the long night we had had, we headed back to the hotel for some rest time. During this time, some of us still decided to go shopping in the neighborhood or play soccer in the local park right next to our hotel.
Then everyone headed over to the restaurant for dinner. We had eaten there for our first meal in Brazil and it was very close to our hotel. The meal was a buffet with many Brazilian specialties for us to try like their very fresh and delicious fruit juice without sugar. Many of us decided to try the watermelon juice (it was delicious), orange or passion fruit! After a scrumptious meal, it was time to reflect and discuss on what we had read and learned! The class discussed the book The Alchemist and journaled about questions reflecting on similarities between Brazil and us and the influence other cultures have on Brazil. Then Isabel arrived with bags full of desserts and everyone was devastated; we had to put down the work to start eating these amazing Brazilian sweets. Then we were given free time to go out and play soccer and hang around and meet new friends! After a long day in the sun, we all went up for a good night’s sleep.