Ricardo and the fattest little dog ever!
Today Irene and I had the privilege of hanging out with dear Ricardo's family. Unfortunately we arrived like 2 hours late due to a late start and some errands, but we made it finally to Braga
where his mom and dad prepared this beautiful brazilian BBQ for us! I'm always touched by how involved parents here are with their children's lives. Ricardo said his mom wanted to meet me and I was like "of course!" I've recently developed this huge desire to meet the parents of my friends. Particularly in Porto
, where I can literally trace the warmth and goodness that flows from some of the sweetest people I've ever met.
Ricardo's family was soooo sweet.
The crowd eating Turkish food =)
And they have the absolute fattest dog ever, which I completely understand considering the quality of the food mom/dad makes. The food was absolutely amazing. Ribs, a beautiful swiss cheese salad, rice, sausage and SALSA!!! I have been craving salsa for osmething like.. oh.. 5 months now. Can't find it anywhere and too lazy to make the stuff. I ate like 3 times the amount I've eaten in MONTHS and enjoyed every minute of it. Ricardo must've thought I was a little piggy but I was just too happy stuffing myself hahaa =) Best part of it is that my stomach didn't start protesting violently afterwards!
Afterwards we went inside to look at some pictures of Europe. Ricardo helped school me on Vienna and Prague as he just went on an Interrail trip with his friends between school years. It looked beautiful and helped me decide that I will probably spend one of my 2 days in Prague on an organized tour.
Christoff, me and Vera!
I can't resist the temptation - 100 Euro more to see another country that has not been swallowed by the EU just yet.
We left Braga in the evening to head back to Porto to meet Vera. I figured since I was in downtown Porto (Irene lives near the beach), I'd find out if Christoff (Tracy and Maria's friend) was free. We played phone tag a couple weeks ago and I thought I'd give a long shot a try and shot him a message. We met for the first time at the train station - Christoff is really nice and a VERY cute young man! After a short argument on immigration and the EU, we reconciled through our shared fanatical love of Portugal. We went to a Turkish restaurant to meet Vera, Ali and company. We then tried to walk to Cafe Roma to have a coffee before Ricardo had to head back home to Braga but unfortunately it was closed.
at a bar/art space after midnight
So we parted ways, dropped Christoff off at the carnival in porto, and ended up at a bar/art space around 1am. Jeez it's late! But it was really cool. Vera is one of the few people who I've found is as focused on social enterprise as I am. We talked a bit about her PhD studies, the third sector (NGOs) and community involvement in social housing (which I don't think there is ANY in the US, but apparently other countries the impoverished classes have a little more say.)
Headed home after a long, exhausting, but incredibly happy day. Amped from all the wonderful interaction and conversation, went to bed waaaay later than I intended. Feasibility study will have to wait until tomorrow =(