Last Friday my two host brothers and I began the seven hour car ride south to the capital of my state, Cuiaba. There were sooooo many semi-trucks on the road between here and Cuiaba, it was crazy. We must of passed hundreds during the trip. At the airport in Cuiaba we picked up my friend Annika Hanson who some of you may know. She came to visit for about a week and experience Mato Grosso (my state), a state which is hugely different from her location up on the northeast coast. We headed out early Saturday morning for a location near Cuiaba called Chapada dos Guimaraes. It's a national park area in my state with a bunch of beautiful plateaus and waterfalls. We spent all day Saturday driving around the park, sightseeing, taking way too many pictures and going swimming in the waterfalls. It was really an awesome experience.
Chapada dos Guimaraes
It was an interesting change of role to be the 'host' instead of the 'guest' while Annika was staying with us. We talked a lot about the differences in our exchange experiences so far and also about the differences between where we are both living. Telling Annika about my life here and about the culture that I have learned to live in gave me an interesting sense of pride that I had never felt before in relation to Brazil and my city/state. Because she lives so much farther north than I do, our Portuguese accents are very different and we had a fun time comparing our different ways of speak and comparing the different slang that we have learned.
As Annika is a much better cook than I will ever be, we decided to cook a few american things for my family while she was here. On Tuesday night, I made omelets (again, because that's the only thing I know how to make) and she made pancakes and we had a very typical american breakfast for dinner. Then on Thursday we both woke up early and made a Thanksgiving lunch for my family. It didn't compare to the average Thanksgiving potluck provided by the Surratt family back in MN, but it was something. We made mashed potatoes, cornbread, brownies (for dessert with ice cream) and my host mom helped us make a turkey. It was really delicious and definitely made me crave the jello, stuffing, gravy and the tiny little bacon wrapped hotdog thingys that usually go along with my Thanksgiving meal back in Minnesota.
All in all, the week was very enjoyable and provided for a lot of good conversation about our different exchanges and many other things as well. My host family was overly helpful and amazing in allowing Annika to stay here and in making room for an extra person in the house. Obrigado Mae, Graciano, Gabriel e Belinha kkkkkk.
Thank you Mom and family for the awesome package I received in here Brazil last Friday. I love receiving letters from you guys, and of course, MORE BOOKS! Woo!
I'm off to the northeast coast on Tuesday with my host brother for ten days of getting sunburned and playing frisbee on the beach. I am really excited to travel and spend some quality time with my host brother before I have to switch families in December.
Until next post
Until next post