Another port… another amazing time. As soon as I got off the ship I met up with my good friend from school Noemi. She is studying abroad in Chile, and her and a friend who is also studying in Chile came to Brazil to visit while I am here. The two girls had been there for a few days before I got there having a good time hanging around Salvador.
The first night we were there we went to a soccer match, Bahia v. Victoria. The fans were intense. Everyone was wearing their team’s jersey, chanting together. The game ended in a draw, so both sides were upset but at least there was no fighting or anything like we were told there very well could have been if either teams had lost.
The next day we (Meghan, Noemi, Dave, and I) got on a ferry headed for Morro de San Paulo (St. Paul’s Island). It was a 2 hour ride. I thought that we would be fine after being on the ship for 2 months, but I learned that a little ferry is a lot different than a huge cruise ship. Although none of threw up, we all felt sick for the whole ride. Other people that we met on the island said that everyone on their ferry was throwing up in bags and over the side the entire ride, even some semester at sea kids.
The island was absolutely beautiful. There were no cars, only wheelbarrows that had taxi painted on them. They would carry your bags around, and say “Beep, beep” whenever they passed another taxi. The island was very chill, lots of beaches and restaurants. There were also uninhabited beaches, and there were clay cliffs next to them. You could rub the clay on your skin and bake in the sun. There were juice stands all over the place (near the public beaches) where you could buy a fresh fruit drink. One night while we were there there was a party on the beach, and the other there was one up by the light house. There was also a huge zip-line that went from the lighthouse into the water. We stayed at this beautiful hotel in the jungle-ish area. The guys had a place to ourselves and the girls did as well. There was a balcony in front with a hammock which definitely got a lot of use. Little monkeys were running around, and there were lots of great birds.
We were there for two nights. The night that we got back and went to this great party. There was a band on stage and everyone was dancing. Everyone seemed to know the hundreds of dance moves that someone would start and then everyone would join along. I tried my hardest to keep up but could barely figure it out half the time. It was great being out there though trying, and the Brazilians seemed to enjoy my efforts. After the party I went back with some guys from semester at sea who had rented a house for the week. When we got up we grilled out and swam, quite a good way to end up my time in Brazil.
One thing that I noticed about Brazil is that barely anyone speaks English. This was a little strange to me, especially after having many people understand everywhere from Viet Nam to Kenya. Although my Spanish is horrible, I was sometimes able to get around easier using my bad Spanish than trying to understand their English. I also felt a little less comfortable at night there than I have in other countries, and friends of mine who went to Rio said it was even worse. I’m not trying to say this to discourage anyone from going. I had a great time there, and it was beautiful. I’m mentioning it because of all the places on the itinerary I was worried about places like Viet Nam and India, not Brazil.
We are now on the way to Venezuela. We have all the finals this week, so everyone is a little stressed. Venezuela is also the last port before we finish up in Ft. Lauderdale, so everyone is starting to get sad and miss people already. I guess its maybe a good thing that we have finals to keep our mind off of this being almost over. After Lauderdale, it’s a bunch of packing for 4 days then a million goodbyes.