Friday, September 30, 2011

Menino Deus day

30 September 2011

The school at Menino Deus includes primary and middle school.  Most of my Menino Deus kids are in middle school here.  We were watching the marching band practice as the brother of one of the girls is in the band.

Another of the kids at Menino Deus was sporting this T-shirt today - I was speechless!


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Santa Cruz before Oktoberfest

28 September 2011

Several of us foreign teachers went with a Brazilian friend today to the home of a seamstress so that we could be measured for Oktoberfest costumes.  The entire group of Brazilian and foreign friends will attend the festival in costume.  There is a double motivation - firstly, because it's more fun to be silly in matching costumes, and secondly, because the admission is half price for those in costume for the ten day festival.

The seamstress lives near UNISC, the local university.  It was about a twenty or thirty minute walk and nice to see some other areas.  Of course I took a few photos along the way.   Here is a mailbox which is quite common here but to my foreign eye very lovely.

Looking downhill toward the university.
On the return trip, we took a bus to downtown.  My first bus ride in Brazil.  You enter at the front, walk down to the seated fellow and pay him, then he allows you through the turnstile into the back of the bus and the exit is at the rear.

An interesting old building downtown Santa Cruz do Sul.
The main street all decked out for Oktoberfest.

The obligatory garden photo for today is a picture of a rosebush as seen through the block glass window.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Kids in costumes

26 September 2011

Today my students surprised me by bringing costumes to rehearse their end of semester performance.  The girls are making up their own choreography and costumes.  They are having such a good time with it, all I have to do is go along for the ride.

Whenever I let them play with the markers I find love notes on the board. These are the days that make me happy.  <3

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Chimarrão and french fries

25 September 2011

Still healing from the cold/flu viruses, a little tired still and the cough is lingering, but my voice is almost back to normal.  I spent a fairly quiet weekend to be on the safe side.  Today was sunny and warm, so I did all my laundry and sat outside in the garden for a while.
 At sunset I joined some friends for chimarrão in the park surrounding city hall, which they call the praça (plaza). It was nice to finally be well enough to partake along with the others again.  
 We met up a bit later than usual, so it was getting dark by the time the cameras came out.

Pretending to drink over a friend's shoulder in these two photos...
 Which resulted in a Freudian slip of monumental proportions and much laughter.  Well, not precisely a Freudian slip, as it was a result of my incomplete grasp of the Portuguese language and not realizing I had been offered a "suck" rather than a "drink".  Oh my gooooodness!
The breeze billowing out her clothing in such a way as to give the appearance of being nine months along.
 Speaking of clothing, I didn't realize Converse were so popular in Brazil.  Out of 8 people, 4 were wearing them.  I need to go shoe shopping!
 When we ran out of water, we walked down to a bar on Ave. Imigrantes, the street where people go to hang out and be seen, for a light snack - mountains of cheese fries.  (How do these people stay slim?)  They come with mayo, mustard and ketchup on the side.
People here rarely eat anything with their fingers. French fries are eaten with toothpicks.  The melty cheese made the toothpick a less-than-ideal utensil for this, but it was good for a few giggles.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Padaria Pritsch

This afternoon the school owners and some of the staff went to a popular local bakery and tea house called Padaria Pritsch.

The first thing one sees after heading upstairs to the dining room is that the place is huge!  The interior is lovely with antique chandeliers and wood everywhere.
 They begin by bringing dishes to the table: miniature sandwiches, sausages, candy, jams, bread, cakes and so on.  They also bring tea, coffee and hot chocolate.
 They kept refilling these platters every time we emptied them, so eventually we figured out we must leave some on the platters.
  Then, when you are quite stuffed with bread, candy and cake (interesting to have one's dessert as an appetizer), there are the buffet tables, which are groaning with more bite size savory and sweet things.
Oh, and did I mention cake?  Lots of cake.  Some of these cakes were really more like giant macaroons with fillings.  Sugar sugar sugar buzz buzz buzz!
There was not a single vegetable in the place.
I do not understand how Brazilians can survive consuming this kind of quantity of sugar and pastry.   They kept asking us foreigners if we didn't want more, long after we had gotten too full to eat another bite.

When we got back, it was late afternoon and I couldn't resist taking a few more springtime photos. This orange flower popped up among the blue-violet flowers I like so much.

When I arrived in Brazil, the pergola was covered in dormant rose vines, which are now leafing out and putting out a few red roses and tiny yellow clusters.

 Playing with the focus adjustments.  Roses are such good subjects!

Behind my little cottage up against the fence I spotted what I thought looked like a dark purple rose, so I went behind for a closer look, and sure enough, a purple rose, of a type I haven't seen before - a wild rose variety.  Too bad they are against a barbed wire fence instead of a softer background, but it makes for an interesting contrast.

 This cluster was jutting up under the eaves.

 The lamps on the property are probably from the original date.  I will have to ask whether these were converted from gas to electric. Gorgeous.

 I don't enjoy the rain, but the clouds here are so beautiful afterward as the storm breaks up and blows away.