in case you didn’t know, i am in brazil. i’m also staying with a couple, Aline and Adriano, who are the most spectacular and fun. they have helped me learn portuguese, have taken me to raise, and are just awesome. as a new member of their household i have also become a part of both of their families and monday was Aline’s mom’s birthday, so of course, we celebrated. Aline’s dad has a cousin who has a “beach house” in the south of the state, so we went there to stay the night.
now that you have your background, let’s discuss this trip.
a.1. brazil is hot.
b.2.brazillian roads are straight ludicrous.
c.3. jenna is not accustomed to brazil just yet.
i’ve said before that brazillians are night people (i am a morning person) and on sunday night we didn’t get home until maybe 12:30am, and we got up monday morning at about 6:30 (i am not a morning person with <7hrs of sleep). it’s ok, it’s a car ride, i’ll sleep then (now is the time to recall a1-c3); i did not sleep. and we also got sentimental and went down memory lane, literally, we stopped in 4 different cities, a campground, and a cove to reminisce. i didn’t understand a lot, but i took some pictures, until my camera died-before we got to the prettiest places of course- and then i just smiled a lot. i didn’t have my charger because i a) didn’t realize my battery was so low and b) thought we were just going to someone’s apartment, unfortunately for me (and you) i would soon be distraught over the lack thereof. (it is for this reason i’m going to do my best to be descriptive and metaphorical and amusing; i’m going to attempt to use my rhetoric to make you forget there are no pictures. let me know if it works) anyways, the venture continued over hills and around people driving under 100kph and by the ocean almost the entire time. the wind made me kind of die and no lie, every time we got in and out of the car Aline and i switched places and the sun was ALWAYS on me. eventually we got there. i think that their house is probably actually only about 2 hours away; however, i was slightly delusional (a mixture of the elements and nausea) during the drive so i can’t be sure.
so driving up to the house we had to stop at this huge gate with cameras and everything and had i been able to produce coherent thoughts i might have wondered why. nonetheless, you’re probably producing coherent thoughts and one of them is probably “who let this girl have a blog?” another is probably “why were there cameras ?” i’ll tell you. they basically live in a mansion. i can’t count the number of times i said “wooooowwwww” while we were walking around the house. (stupid camera battery). they have an outdoor kitchen and patio and bar-b-q and hammocks and multiple rooms that basically function as hotel rooms. and then they have a sand and stone path that lead down to this beautiful lake. (cue the metaphors) their beach sand was as white as …paper? (this is why i don’t do metaphors) it was really really white and so fine and soft, like freshly fallen snow (that’s a little better, right?). and the lake! the lake was the deepest and richest navy blue i’ve ever seen, yet it was somehow still bright like a sapphire (boo-yah snuck that one in there seamlessly) probably because they have like 5 people whose only job is to clean the lake, and we were there at the perfect time in the afternoon because the sun was sparkling on the water…it was truly magical.
and then the landscape-it was like straight out of a movie which i guess isn’t really saying anything because i’m pretty sure they use real places in movies, but it was this weird mixture of Canadian forest, African plain, and Brazilian jungle. and i’m completely qualified to make this observation because i am familiar with all of these things (via Dudley Do-Right, The Lion King, and living here). i don’t know how it is possible for all of those things to exist in one expanse, but they did, and those hills were alive with the sound of music (not qualified to make that reference, unless you take it for what it is-fact- because i was singing while we were taking our boat ride around the lake). it was truly breath-taking and i wanted to do something crazy, like spit or stamp my foot, because my camera was dead. but on the other hand it was hard to be upset when i was faced with that much raw beauty.
so let’s talk about that boat ride now. there were four of us (Aline, me, her parents) and then our guide (a wild looking old man who had sold the land to the family) and we were in this Dante’s Peak-esq metal boat, basically sitting on the lake. it was really cool because i felt really close to God’s creation in that moment, but it was also kind of scary because it was a Dante’s Peak kind of boat, and i didn’t want to die just then. again, the beauty outweighed rational thought. at least it did until the boat quit somewhere around one of the bends in the lake and suddenly all i could see was the crazy grandma jumping out of the boat and pulling it to shore while the acid disintegrated her and the kids screamed in horror while i kept thinking “he IS a crazy wild man! we’re going to die! i don’t even know where we are! i haven’t found someone who owns a motorcycle that will let me drive it yet!!!” (you know, because apparently my subconscious will be glad to die after i accomplish that). but luckily, sir crazy was able to restart the boat before i jumped ship. all that to say, it was absolutely breath-taking and even prettier than Matka in Macedonia which makes it the most beautiful place i’ve been in the world.
so return to land (and then embark again because Aline and i decided to kayak on the lake. shut. up.) and we went and lay in the hammocks and talked for a while until her aunt was like, oh hey, we have a sauna, go get in it. i’m going to give you a second to let that sink in. … they have their own sauna. sheesh. so we sauna-ed which was so lovely and then some other blah things that just made me want to stay there forever.
now fast forward to about 17:00 when the sun was forreal gone and the Cinderella effect happened. suddenly, there were cicadas and tons of mosquitos and i was tired and a lizard was in my shower and the magic was gone. i am such a human being. and on top of that i am grouchy when i’m tired and they stay up so late and my brain doesn’t work right, so the portuguese they were speaking, even the words i know, started to sound like something off of star trek (yet another reference i’m not qualified to make, but i feel like there was a language on there that was mostly sounds and not words. if not, i just explained to you exactly what i meant to convey with that reference, so we should be okay). we didn’t eat birthday cake until 21:05ish. oh. dear. needless to say i was a very happy girl when i got to get in bed.
which let’s talk about for a minute. it’s very humid here in brazil and so when you wear things or sit on them and certainly when you sleep, everything gets wrinkled. like if the sheets get squished because you roll onto your side, when you wake up they’re wrinkled like that. i’m pretty sure the same thing happens with my face. every day when i wake up i look like a frat boy at the end of his brit lit class (ohhhhh, just when you rejoiced because you thought i was done with the metaphors) (p.s. sorry boutcha fratbros. forreal.) ridiculous metaphor to say, i always have creases all over my face for about 30min every single morning.
moving on. tuesday morning i woke up happy. i also woke up ready to go. i was still kind of tired and it was hot. however, we did not leave. after breakfast (which requires a sidenote i think. remember when i loved the whole bread/cookies at breakfast thing? i’m going to look like a roly poly soon.) tia (pronounced “chee-uh” and means “aunt” and is what you call any adult female that you know [it’s like saying ms.]) decided we needed a tour of the grounds. so in flip flops we hiked through the sandy jungle that surrounded the house. i’m not proud of this, but i thought we were leaving, so no bug spray, no sunscreen, no water. remember that time i wanted to die? it was then. so we’re hiking and pointing out plants and things in portuguese and talking about animals in portuguese and discussing how we only know those words in portuguese which was fine because i was busy trying not step on the cacti and prickly things that look like they could eat me anyways. i’m pretty sure we walked about a mile. but it was a mile of pain. i didn’t even really see the point of the walk until we got all the way back to the front of the house and looked at all the fruit trees, which ok, was pretty cool, and then when i silently rejoiced as we walked back onto the veranda, i realized it was only a pit stop! we hadn’t traversed the grounds behind the house. (Oregon Trail is much more fun in theory and on the computer than in real life, i understand this now).
thus commences round two of jenna in the jungle. i’m more prepared this time because i was given a pink safari-esq hat to wear. “yes! i am invincible!” i thought, but alas, the hat was not magical. i think i got about 3 more bug bites before we even got out of the gate. so there i was, and i don’t even want you to try to picture it because i’m so ashamed, but there i was ducking under branches and shuffling through sand and scratching my arms like _____(just fill in the blank i’m so over metaphors) all while rocking the pink safari hat. and we walked. and walked. and walked. then there was a clearing. “great, a clearing” you hypothetically exclaim, but no, not great because a clearing just means the sun can see me better. plus it wasn’t a flowery meadow, it was a never-ending expanse of desert. “when did you get to the desert and why are you putting words in my mouth?” you wonder. well, i wondered the same thing. minus the words-in-mouth thing, i do that because it’s my blog and i can. duh. i wanted to roll over and die there, but no one else even paused, so
30 yards 3 mirages later, i found myself across the sea of sand looking at the lake (unless it was another mirage…twist!) again. remember when the coach turned into a pumpkin? well it was still a pumpkin. i’m sure it was a beautiful view, but amidst the mosquito swatting, lizard dodging, and sweat dripping into my eyes, the water didn’t look so sparkly anymore. and it was more black and dismal than majestic and sapphire-y.
i took another shower as soon as we got back. moral of the story: charge your camera and assume eqypt is overrated.