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– My Time in Brasil: Part one of Many – Zack Kennedy

August 19, 2011

My Time in Brasil: Part one of Many

We have been in Brasília, Brasil for three weeks now and it has been a wild ride so far!  A lot of the things that seemed strange at first are now common and the language barrier is becoming a little less of a problem every day.  We are in Portuguese training at UnB with a great teacher “Tia” Lauana.  “Tia” means “aunt” in Portuguese and it is common place for schoolchildren here to call their teachers “Tia.”  She is also a musician and is interested in helping us seek out music here in Brasília as well.  She even came out to our first off campus performance!! Jon, Mike, Maurice, and I played at a “shopping”  (a mall) with a condensed big band composed of players from UnB and one of our professors, Vadim.  The gig turned out great and we all had a lot of fun.  Our teacher Lauana even went out for some pizza with us and Vadim after and we saw some more great Brazilian music at a café next to the pizza place after that.  It is one of the differences between Brasi and the states.  I would not have expected a teacher to hang out with us for so long in America!

We have tried a lot of new foods as well.  I’m not 100% sure of these spellings but “maquaka”, is a great fish dish with three types of potatoes and rice on the side that we had at Renato Vasconcellos’s home one afternoon.  It was delicious!  They have many different types of bread filled with things down here and for snacking I really enjoy “pão de queijo”, which is cheese bread.   Last night we went out for the Brasil vs. Ecuador futebol game and because Brasil one all of our bills were on the house!  We ate some great seafood there that is typical of Bahia, a state in the north of Brasil.  A dish called “acarajé” which is bean bread filled with a fish paste and topped with a dried shrimp and chopped tomatoes and onions was the highlight of the evening!

Our first week here we went to a local music club, O Clube do Choro, to see some great local musicians and it was refreshing to see a club packed full of people for non-pop music.  The music was called “choro”, which is an olde Brazilian style very heavy on guitars.  They have an instrument that is a seven string guitar called “Violão de sete cordas” that was played that night along with drums, bass, keyboards, and some guests on harmonica, and cavoquinha, which is an instrument in Brasil that resembles a small guitar or mandolin.  The music was phenomenal! Well, until next time!

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