This weekend I went on a class trip to a farm called MST which stands for 'the movement of rural workers without land.' We learned all about the struggles these farmers face, especially in the state of Rio de Janeiro where agriculture is not common. The people were so generous and sweet with us. I had an amazing time and I was so happy to be out of the city for a day. I am realizing more and more that I feel so at home in the country. I hope you enjoy the pictures!
I speak the language of the sand dunes,
The loud whisper
My feet are hot and melt slowly into the sounds
I hear first with my eyelashes
They graze sound molecules with sun bleached tips
They flutter involuntarily
Like your heart flutters when you are taken, swallowed gently
By the waves
I hear second with my elbows that bend involuntarily
Like the tall corn stalk on the edge of the field
That has no one to protect it from the wind
I hear third with the big toe on my left foot
It stretches, voluntarily
In its buckskin home,
Like a dog who stretches so thoroughly a yogi names a stretch after her
Beautiful muscles expanding, twisting...
Run to the sand dunes with me and let's tell the hush to hush at the top of our lungs,
Let our whispers become hums of laughter,
Long and steady,
Let's melt into the sand headfirst
Elbows bent in a circle around your rib cage
Hands wide and tender on your back
Big toe stretching in its buckskin home
I am leaving Brazil in thirteen days. What?! I can't really describe how that makes me feel, even with the words I know in two languages. Strange. Estranho. Crazy. Louco. Jittery. Nervoso. Excited. Animado. They just don't cut it.
When I first arrived here about a year ago, I tried to imagine how I would be at the end of this journey. What would I learn? How well would I know the city? Would I be fluent in Portuguese? Would I have really good friends? Would I be a better dancer? It's strange to be here now, almost at the end, and know the answers to those questions. The biggest question though, is how will I have changed and in what ways? And I still don't really know the answer to that question, which is a little nerve-racking. It's strange to know myself, be myself, yet not be able to see and articulate what has changed in me. I know I've changed. In any given year, each of us changes, but when it happens in our own language, in our own culture, it is easy to articulate what we have experienced during and after each step or stage. Here, it's almost like I've been changing behind my own eyes. I have been doing a beautiful dance behind a big red velvet curtain that even I can't see. I will arrive home, get a bag of popcorn doused in nutritional yeast, and take a front row seat to my own show. I will finally get to see my dance from the perspective of my culture, my family, and my friends. I will undoubtedly look around the theatre and see if anyone else is enjoying the show. My new movement will surprise even me, only me, or perhaps, everyone but me.
I did a very good job not having huge expectations about Brazil. I looked at this year as an adventure and I skillfully prepared myself to be an open book. Coming home seems so much more scary than going to a new country, with a language I didn't speak well, knowing pretty much no one. Why is that?
There are a few answers to that question that I have been throwing around: I think I feel like I can't remember what's normal in the U.S., I'm afraid I'll hate everything about the U.S. and immediately want to come back, I'm nervous that people I connected with before this trip will not understand me anymore and vice versa, and strangely, I'm also nervous at the thought of just being happy and relieved back in my comfort zone. I'm so used to being here and I'm really proud of that. I really did it! I lived in Rio de Janeiro for a year! I will never be the same and that is a beautiful thing. This year has undoubtedly changed the trajectory of my life in some way and I can't wait to see what that is.
I had such a nice birthday. Thank you to everyone who took the time to make me feel loved on the day I came into this world! I appreciate it more than I can say, especially being far from home for the first time during a birthday.
... a song that reminds me of the smells and textures of Northern California beaches. Rocky and sandy. Cold and windy. Red lips and nose. Tide pools of starfish and green anemones. Giggles and shivers. Numb feet. Heart hiccups.
Hey all ya'll! This is a much overdue blogpost... I know. First things first: I am currently camera-less (besides my iPhone). My 'big camera,' as I like to call it, which is my Canon Rebel T2i won't hold a charge anymore. I was charging the battery during a storm here in Rio a couple months ago and the power went out and fried either my charger or both the charger and the battery. It was a big bummer but my Dad said he will get replacements for me to come home to so I can definitely take pictures on the way up to Montana! Phew!
Then, this weekend I went to a new Museum in Centro with my Austrian buddy, Clemens who is an architecture student here. I was taking pictures with my 'little camera' of all the awesome artwork and the brand new building when all of a sudden the lens stopped working and now it won't focus on anything.... I feel like I'm the queen of technological malfunctions. Both my cameras and my old computer pooped out on me this year. Maybe it's Brazil and not me haha.
So, any posts I do until I go back to the U.S. will have pictures from my phone. These pictures were taken a couple weeks ago when I went to go watch my friend George break dance on the street in Ipanema. Every Sunday the street closest to the beach in Ipanema is shut down. It's really nice to walk along the beach and see everyone biking, long boarding, rollerblading, and sunbathing and swimming on the beach side. A group of breakers that George has become close with take advantage of the open space and put on an awesome street performance. George is also from California. He studies at UC Berkeley and he wants to dance after college which I know he will be very successful with. Everyone in the group is super talented which I hope you can see in the videos at the bottom. Not only did I get to watch their show but I also got to watch the sunset and go eat pizza with the crew afterwards. It was a really fun night :).
Enjoy! I know I did!
Viviane doing headstands in crazy places
Counting the money at the end of the night with gangsta rap playing on a boombox and the police in the background ahaha