My day was made the minute I woke up (feeling better), and read Sonnet 38, followed by a long string of heartwarming (and much more poetic) messages from my best friend Laura.
I spent the next 7 hours with the lovely ladies Ana and Mila. Ana met me at my hotel, from where we walked to Ipanema for an early afternoon of absolute zen. Discussing everything under the sun (literally), from linguistics to corruption, was unbelievable. I always knew that sand and sun were an unbeatable mix, but paired with beautiful people and a beautiful setting, they really made for a beautiful time.
At 4, we headed to lunch. (Yes, lunch at 4 -- I love Brasil.) We went to Santa Teresa, an artsy historical neighborhood, and ate a leisurely meal at a yummyyy seafood place called Sobrenatural. We were all really drowsy after lunch, but mustered the energy to walk up the street and peer into souvenir shops.
It is very heartening to me to know that people like the ones I have met in Brasil exist. Throughout my visit, there has been constant conversation of the myriad gilded social issues in this country. But I know that with the work of genuine people like Ana and Mila and the other incredible people I have met here, there is much hope for this remarkable place. There has to be.
Saying goodbye was really sad, but Mila's studies may bring her to the United States soon (I hope!) and I will be visiting Rio again soon to stay at Ana's apartment with her. Thank you so much, guys. <3
For dinner, we went to the lovely home of Teresa and Vitor Serra, old colleagues of Cyprian Uncle and Papa. They are amazing hosts, and I had a great time meeting their children Joao and Isabel. Though I have been feeling much better today, I don't want to push my luck -- so good night, World!