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– Brazil Journal – Week 4, 9 de Julho – Joseph Thieman

July 22, 2012

Brazil Journal – Week 4, 9 de Julho

The end of week 2 is here, and I think my schedule is totally set. I am still having a lot of trouble with this language.  Last weekend we gained another roommate, which turned out to be a blessing.  Her name is Teresa, and she is a professor in Portugal.  She has been helping me with my Portuguese every single day.  She is here to review doctoral thesis papers for 3 weeks.  On Tuesday all of us Americans and her went to see Hermeto Pascoal for only 5 dollars at the National Theater in the heart of Brasilia.  It was an incredible show, and I feel lucky to have seen a worldwide legend here in his home country.

This week I also got a chance to go downtown to see the government buildings and a good part of the city.  It is so relaxed here I can barely believe it.  Bruno and I were able to go have a drink and catch up; I haven’t seen him since the last week of the Spring semester.  He asked me what was the biggest difference I noticed about his country, and I told him how relaxed everyone seemed to be.  I followed up by asking him what he thought was the biggest difference about the US.  He told me he couldn’t believe how uptight everyone in America is.  I have had a lot of people over the years tell me that I am an intense individual, and here I seem like an alien.  I am always stressed out.  Even when there is nothing that has to be done, I have to do something.  This fact plus my huge beard, and fast paced walk, I can really feel the eyes upon me.

This week also marks the first ever 4th of July that I haven’t spent in the US.  In fact this is my first time ever leaving the country.  On Friday all of us exchange students went to Renato’s house for one of the best meals of my life.  I have generally been eating cheap, because I need to save money since I don’t have much left.  At Renato’s house we ate rice, beans, fish with potatoes and other veggies, salad, crab, and a coconut dessert that was so good I had three small helpings.  This was one of the best weeks so far in Brazil, and I think next week we are going to have a new teacher for our class, and I am going to get extra help.

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