Tuesday, October 30, 2012

University of California Trip to Ouro Prêto!

Hey lovelies!  It has been too long!  I have been desperately trying to figure out ways of storing documents on my computer so I could upload and share the pictures I took on my trip to Ouro Prêto with all of my fellow California students this past weekend.  My computer has been working at a snail's pace, heavy under the 5,000+ pictures it already houses.  Luckily the external hard-drive my dad sent me arrived today! Thank you Daddy! 500 gigabytes here I come!

The trip was absolutely fantastic.  I thought the 8 hour busride was bad on the way there, so when we had to return to Rio without a functioning air conditioning system, the ride was baaaaaaaaaaaaaad.  As a coping mechanism, the bus driver played this amazing DVD full of hip-hop and R&B music that got us through.  Lots of Usher, Mariah Carey, Eminem, Eamon, JLo, JaRule and Ashanti, Ying Yang Twins... twas a party, a very sweaty party.

In-between those two bus rides, we ate a lot of food (always buffets :O), went on a tour of the beautiful Churches in the city, swam in a waterfall, visited a mine where 35 TONS of gold were extracted, drank cachaça in all its many forms, and ate more food.

Ouro Prêto means "black gold" in Portuguese and the State the city is in is called Minas Gerais, which literally means "general mines."  It is a big state, especially in comparison with the tiny state of Rio de Janeiro, where I live.  It is inland... oh fooey, here's a map:

 This is a picture of a soccer field during a game haha.  The little kids here play just like the little ones in the states:  the ball was on the other side of the field, and so, all the kids are on that side of the field.
 A church

 Back.  This is the only picture I took inside the churches because unfortunately, it is prohibited.  Imagine amazing painted ceilings, intricate woodwork, and everything gold plated.

 Gastronômico is a fancy way of saying, a place to eat :)
 ... and the churches were even cooler on the inside.

 All of these things were left here at night... maybe there was someone on watch, but it seemed like it was the honor system.
 Absolut parties, accordions for sale etc.

The start of Parque das Andorinhas

 Pride rock
 Cave of Wonders

 Italian food!
 The aftermath of late nights and early mornings.  Poor Luca, sleeping on a frisbee.

 José, our lovely three day tour guide.  He was the cutest little guy.
 Offerings to Santa Barbara, also known as Iansã in the Candomblé religion, who kept the miners safe.  Santa Barbara is a Catholic saint and Condomblé is the religion the slaves practiced.  My portuguese teacher said that many of the slaves pretended to pray to saints but would attach Condomblé gods and goddesses to Catholic saints.
 Iansã is known as a vain goddess, so there were offerings of lipstick and nail polish :).

 Two women scuba diving, looking for gold.

 The naked bus ride back to Rio :) To the windows!  To the walls!
Someone had just finished booty poppin' in the isle... sorry I missed it :(

I'll do another post tomorrow of some pictures that other people took on the trip.  


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