Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Dia 28: What could be prettier than clouds?

My flight last night was fairly uneventful, but for my first Portuguese lesson from an awesome co-passenger! Mr. Chang was happy to hear that I have "finally" found a "productive use for socializing."

I read this morning's sonnet at the airport in São Paulo -- what a treat. Sonnet 28 is a continuation of 27, and together, they make up what is probably my favorite so far. Shakespeare records the phenomenon of losing sleep over a lover, but in a way that is precious and unique as he always is. The two are certainly worth a quick read: 

Sonnet 27:
Sonnet 28:

After a very scenic flight, we were in Brasília! The town was planned by the same architect who designed Chandigarh, where my Nani and Nanaji (maternal grandparents) live! Driving around town, I must constantly remind myself that I'm not in Chandigarh. It's eerie. And great.

When we came to our hotel, I (you guessed it) keeled over for a few hours. 

In the evening, Papa had a meeting, during which I exchanged a few messages with my brother Kenneson before venturing to a nearby mall. Since I am unable to so much as cross a street on my own, it was great to meet "guides" Vittoria (3 years) and her mom Norma on the way, and walk over with them. I wandered the 3 floors of Pátio Brazil before ending up in (of course) a book store. I was immediately drawn to a section with works by authors such as Plato, Ovid, and Shakespeare in Portuguese! I spent a few minutes reading a Portuguese translation of Ars Amatoria, up to the part I have translated in Latin thus far. It was a really neat exercise!

I walked back to my hotel and chatted with my sister Laura, who used to live in Brasília! (We find it just ludicrous that she is not here with me, but she too has some marvelous plans for her gap year.)

Soon thereafter, Papa, Cyprian Uncle, and I headed to dinner at Fogo de Chao, the original Brazilian steakhouse. (Steakhouses have great salad bars.) There, I got to meet Makhtar Uncle (who is the World Bank's Country Director for Brazil) and also see Sameh Uncle again! We had a lovely dinner, with my dad and uncles keeping the WB lingo to a minimum, and instead discussing the social issues being faced by Brazil, as well as Latin America as a whole. The challenges that emerged as most crucial are violence, drug use, teen pregnancy, and subtle manifestations of racism. Hearing about these obstacles in this hemisphere was especially relevant to me after having worked with children facing similar issues for the past few weeks at Sasha Bruce.

But our conversation was not all serious! I learned during dinner that Makhtar Uncle's son Mathias is taking Latin at Nysmith -- I hope to be able to meet with him (now dubbed "Latin Boy") soon and chat about this, as well as his other interests. 

The evening was a very enjoyable one, and I thank my uncles for giving me such a warm welcome to Brazil.

1 comment:

  1. loved it.........keep updatin ur brazilian voyage.....excitin country i always wanted 2 know try visitin d grassroots if u can...........