Sunday, October 9, 2011

Dia 39: Você foi feito pra mim.

After watching the spectacular sunrise this morning, I went back to sleep. Awake again, I read Sonnet 39, in which Shakespeare posits that the one good thing about being away from his lover is that it gives him time to reflect on their time together. I sure hope this approach works for me when I am separated from Brasil!

Around 10, we walked a few blocks up the street to visit Alberto Ninio Uncle's delightful family. His mother, father, and brother greeted us at the door, and we even got to meet his adorable nephews and see his younger son from the balcony! They are all very sweet, and we promised to visit every time we come to Rio (which will hopefully be often).

Then, we embarked on a tour of the city -- via helicopter. It was really moving to be able to see from the air all the places where I have met amazing people over these past 5 days. Santa Marta, Pao de Acucar, Ipanema, and Santa Teresa brought memories of Patricia, Ana Carolina, Mila, and Ana Claudia, not to mention all of Papa's incredible colleagues I have met during this mission.

The sight of Cristo Redentor, the 130-foot statue of Christ which blesses Rio and its citizens every day, brought tears to my eyes. It goes without saying, but I am going to miss this place so terribly  much.

After our aerial tour, we visited Rio's famous Jardim Botanico (Botanical Garden). There was an interesting event going on there: the Festival of Art, Culture, and the Environment (I love Brasil). As part of this was a special exhibit on different "cool globes," interpretations of the planet from a variety of perspectives. This is a really interesting activity I hope to do with my Gyaan Ghar students.

In the garden itself, especially fun for us was the display of Amazonian plants, reminiscent of our 8 hours spent staring at the same. :)

We had our last Brazilian meal (on this trip) at a place called Terra Brasilia in Urca (at the base of Pao de Acucar) before returning to the hotel. From our 26th-floor room, we were deafened by the most dance-inducing music coming from Copacobana. Today was the day of a huge gay parade on the beach! It was pretty bad to have to leave the festivities to catch our flight. Boo.

I drank my last Guarana soda (on this trip) on the way to the airport, where we saw this plaque that sums up my feelings pretty well.

Adeus, Brasil -- você foi feito pra mim.

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