Wednesday, April 21, 2010

São Paulo - The Recap

I have to start out with a disclaimer that this post might get a little gushy...but I feel like gushing about how great my time in São Paulo was! As a bit of back story, for those of you that don't know, my Aunt Gail studied in São Paulo, Brazil twice and stayed with the same family each time. There has been a lot of back and forth of Brazilians and Americans with the same families, and me being here is just one more addition to this mix.

I went to stay with Monica and Javier and their 3 kids, Alejandro (20), Monique (15), and Felipe (11). Monica is Gail's Brazilian sister. This is probably where things get gushy - this family is amazing. They really are the kindest people I have ever met - plus they were really patient with my Portuguese (always making sure to remember to speak slowly and to make sure I understood and engage me in conversations). I think my Portuguese improved while I was there, because I wasn't allowed to use English at all (except for a few instances, most of which ended in Javier showing off his knowledge of English curse words).

Monica and Javier
On Saturday, we went to a birthday party for Monica's (and Gail's!) dad, Vittorio, at their farm house. This place is ridiculously beautiful. It was really great to see some of the rest of the family that I know but haven't seen for a long time (Marley (Monica/Gail's mom), Flavia (sister), Rafael (nephew). I also got to meet Vittorio (Monica/Gail's brother) and his son, Vittorio. Yeah, a lot of people named Vittorio running around (the first time I have found diminutives helpful in this language -- Vittorio, Vittorinho, Vittorucho).

See, gorgeous house, right? I wish I could show you the rest of the place...

From Left to Right: Vittorucho, Vittorinho, Vittorio, Flavia, Marley, Monica (with Felipe in front).
On Sunday after breakfast, Monica and I went for a run at this gorgeous park Bosque do Morumbi (don't know if the link will work, but it looks sorta like this). Monica is one of the most wise and insightful women I have ever met, so running with her in such a beautiful place is on par with a spiritual experience! That afternoon we went to her volleyball game - she plays on a 45+ Masters team and is really good!

I went to work with Monica on Monday and worked from her office - which meant I got to see 2 of the Vittorios again!

Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo are exceptionally different cities. But both have amazing qualities - it was fun to spend time there. And nice to come back here with some newly gained perspective on life and a slightly more relaxed attitude!

São Paulo - from the air (really just a teeny tiny part of a massive city)
Rio de Janeiro, from the air
Tomorrow my friend Jenny arrives for a week-long vacation here! We will be trying to take in as much fun and sun as possible while hitting up the good tourist locations here. We are also travelling to Iguazu Falls, which should be beautiful!

1 comment:

  1. WOW! What a great visit for you in so many ways!