Thursday, February 18, 2010

My Carnaval

There is so much to say -- Carnaval is such an exciting time in Rio, and I would encourage you read a little about it (even just the Wiki), because the production of it all is really interesting. I did not attend any of the Parades (tickets are expensive and the family I was staying with was going out of town), but I might try to attend the Parade of Champions on Sunday. Unidos da Tijuca was the Champion (they watch the scoring returns here with more excitement and anticipation than we do election returns), and I was pretty excited about that. They are the only escola de samba that I have any connection to, since I attended their big party the week before Carnaval. It was the first time they have won in 72 years, so pretty much I am good luck (come on cubbies, this is our year...)

Last Friday we went to see Monobloco. It is hands down the best show I have ever been to. It is essentially a drum corps on crack. But even more awesome. I still can't figure out how to post video here (if anyone can talk me through it, let me know) but I will try to post some later. The crowd was also REALLY fun -- old and young people alike singing and dancing and jumping and waving their arms to every song. They are actually performing again tomorrow, and we might try to go again!
Monobloco and a very little bit of the crowd (which was impossible to capture in one photo!)

This weekend, Paulo and Claudia also had some friends in town from Argentina. On Saturday, we went to the beach in Ipanema (where I picked up a nice sunburn), and then to a nice hotel for Feijoada -- basically beans and meat. This buffet was gorgeous and had so many different kinds of slow cooked meat -- some I tried and some I didn't (tripe, tongue, etc.) They also had a bateira perform. After lunch, we went to the street for Banda da Ipanema. Most people here go to the Carnaval da Rua (Street Carnaval) and we went to this one in Ipanema. I wasn't sure what to expect, but basically it was a parade consisting of one band, and everyone that felt like it following them. I think the band probably passed by us for a total of 2 minutes, while the crowd of people following them lasted at least 30 minutes? I also learned that Carnaval is the time for men to let their feminine sides out -- nearly all of the men dress in drag, and a lot go to great lengths for their costumes. In general there are a lot of costumes during Carnaval (we saw an adorable little boy dressed as superman...with a huge fumanchu mustache?)
Pots of stewing meat = so delicious.

Some of the crowd following the band at Banda da Ipanema

On Sunday morning we went to Buzios to stay with some cousins (no joke, everyone is cousins here...) and my days consisted of sitting in the shade to protect my skin! We had a great time, and I was adopted as an unofficial cousin (we spent most afternoons drinking and dancing by the pool) and promised lots of visits when I am back in Chicago. We returned from Buzios late on Tuesday night, and I had Wednesday to relax (read: sleep all day) before starting work again today.
Most of the crew

A common trick in Brazil -- when a tourist asks you to take their photo, you get a great one of their feet and then send them away. Less effective in the digicam age, but it is still pretty hilarious.

As much fun as we had, I am glad to be back in Rio and back to work -- I am ready to get a little routine going here. I am missing home a little but know that is normal. So I am just trying to focus on how awesome this experience is!

Update: I am going to try to throw a video on here....


1 comment:

  1. Wow Sandy! It sounds like you're having a great time. I wish I could have been in Brazil during Carnivale. I bet it's so amazing! I love the story about taking a picture of the tourists' feet I'm definitely never asking for a pic from a Brazilian. =) We miss you! Keep blogging!