I am back from 8 days in Brazil, both in the North and the South. I had many "peak experiences" during this time. I spent three days in Petrolina which is on the border of Northern States of Pernambucu and Bahia. It is a semi-arid area on the San Fransisco River. The river is damned at this location creating a reservoir only second in size to the "3 gorges project in China". The area reminds me in climate to southern California. The irrigation and the sun makes a great place for citrus and the like. We went to a Gal Costa concert, a river boat ride and lots of other fun activities in a short amount of time. Goat meat (bode) is a specialty in the area and source of local attention. The domestic flight into Petrolini had such a hard landing we bounced enough to warrant a go around. That happens in my little planes as we are learning, it is uncommon with a large commercial jet, for sure. We all lived and the fire equipment stayed at the station.

I was very proud of myself when I was at the immigration desk, when I entered Brazil. The immigration officer asked if I spoke Portuguese (in Portuguese, of course), I said yes (oh crap!) and he asked me a number of questions where I answered without missing a beat all in Portuguese, finally wishing each other a good day. That small event made me feel very good. The formal Portuguese lessons are worth the effort and expense.

I participated in a Undergraduate Business Administration class at the Federal University of the San Fransisco Valley (UNIVASF - Universidade Federal do Vale do São Francisco). Great fun, great education, great enrichment.

The statue is the Gaucho, a source of pride and an archetype in the South. This statue is an icon of Southern Brazil. I was given 4 days to decide whether my Futebol team is the Gremio or Internacional, serious business. I have two days left to decide.

All of these pics are from Northern Brazil except the last one. You just don't return from trips like this without change.


David said…
So, did you decide for Gremio or for Internacional in the end? :)
Charles said…
Internacional certo!

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