Martinez, Moi, Brice, and Ivan :)
Last night most of the group went out for our last dinner together in Argentina, then went out for drinks. I knew that I had some work and packing to do so I got a virgin strawberry daiquiri (which are made with fresh strawberries--absolutely amazing!). It seems that most of the group was ready to move on, and ready for a change, with a few that seemed to find their new love for Buenos Aires, I was part of the former. The bus came and picked us up from the residencia at noon, our flight was expected to leave at 3:30 with total flight time to Florianopolis
just less than 2 hours. Professor Bowman warned us that the particular airline we were taking was strict on the weight of bags, and that we had a limit of 50 lbs.
Hericlio Luz Bridge: the longest suspension bridge in Brazil.
I knew I was screwed, primarily due to the fact that when I left from the U.S. I already had 80lbs. I loaded my backpack with the heaviest stuff to avoid a hefty charge. Delta's weight restrictions are as follows: 2 pieces of luggage allowed, and 2 carry ons. Each luggage must be under 50 lbs, and no weight limit on carry-ons. Delta typically charges a flat rate of either $50 or $100 depending on the amount overweight the bag is. The airline we took to Florianopolis charges for each kilo overweight. To make the long story short, I ended up having to pay $18.20 US for being 14 kilos over ($1.30 US/additional kilo). The charge was not nearly as bad as I had expected, and most of the students had to pay extra. Anyway our flight was during the Argentina and Ivory Coast world cup game and many people were disappointed they could not see the first Argentina game.
Praia Brava beach which I actually visited myself. (more on this later) It is a smaller more secluded beach which is more poular for younger crowds and surfers.
I found it funny, however, that the flight attendants were updating everyone (on the intercom) on score of the game. The obsession for soccer here is absurd especially to North Americans, but I found it interesting that EVERYONE in the ENTIRE country has a vested interest in the success of their home team. The passengers on the plane cheered and clapped when they announcement of Argentina's first goal was made. Although I was interested in the game, I could not get my mind off Brazil. I felt like a little child on a road trip, checking my watch every 10 minutes -- feeling as if 1 hour had gone by. When we finally landed, only 1 hour and 45 minutes later, we got off the plane which let us right outside. My first observation was the oh-so-familiar humidity and the mild climate.
JurerÃ beach which is very well developed.
I felt right at home! I looked around me, took a deep breath of unpolluted completely fresh air, and soaked in the beautiful scenery of the lush green hills. When we finally arrived at our apartment, it is absolutely stunning. The Spanish style roofing, and the terracotta stucco covered in purple-flowered ivy is absolutely stunning. Coupled with the background of large rolling hills of lush green, and the beautiful blue sky takes my breath away. The apartments we are staying at are perfect, just two people per room with our own personal bathrooms and kitchens, it is definitely a step up from the residencia in Buenos Aires. Many of us decided to have a low-key evening, so we walked around the town, had dinner at a local pizza joint, and went grocery shopping. After our little adventure many of the girls got together and played poker (with cheerios! Haha). During our game we were interrupted by Sohmer, another girl on the trip, who was explaining to us that she was held up at gunpoint in her room. The story, or at least as much of what I know of it goes like this: Sohmen, Dylan, Rachel, and Ivan were all sitting around chatting, laughing, watching TV, and having a good time. Sohmer’s room, in which these festivities were taking place, overlooks the road. Apparently their window was open, and their hypothesis was that a local passerby heard them speaking in English and most likely targeted them. He hung inside their window while waving a gun asking for “dinheiro” (pronounced gnero in Portuguese), he asked each person one by one, and each of the students answered “no dinheiro”, and they were telling the truth. None of them had money on them, they had not yet gone to the ATM to get reals (the currency here in Brazil). Sohmer, who apparently had a little to drink that night, was asked last, and she found it funny that no one had any money, and felt that the guy was not going to harm anyone. From what I gathered from talking to everyone, the guy seemed like a local, and did not look harmful. He looked extremely nervous and completely unprofessional. Sohmer laughed at the perpetrator and walked by him to close the other windows of the apartment. Finally after sometime she told him to go away, and closed the window on him. He left the scene, no one was harmed. Although Sohmer even to this day still laughs at the situation, I feel that there is a lesson to be learned here. I also feel that this just prepares us more for what is to come in Rio. We need to always be on gaurd, even in "safer" towns like Florianopolis. :)