Friday, April 27, 2012

Birthday party - Mamma Mia, Alvinho!

27 April 2012

Nothing goes together like birthdays and pizza! (Anyone remember Chuck E. Cheese?)

Before the food, the presents...

... and group photos, of course!

 Yay, the food's here! (This photo was not a "gotcha" moment, it was posed.)

 The two foreigners... hey, I hadn't noticed that we were color coordinated.

 Haha, that is the birthday boy sticking out his tongue in the background!
 We sang the birthday song over and over randomly throughout the evening, too funny.

 Birthday kisses.

 I guess it wouldn't do to let the last of the wine in the carafe go to waste.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sunset clouds

24 April 2012

This evening's sunset cloud formations were another inspiration by mother nature to run outside with the camera.  

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Chá com Luluzinhas (tea with the girls)

22 April 2012

We had a "girls-only" tea this afternoon, including another teacher, three students and myself.  It was a lovely afternoon with a terrific and fun group of women.

The goodies!!!  Remember the fubá (Brazilian corn cake) that I wrote about before?  I think it was even better this time.


Thank you girls for being such wonderful friends, and a million thanks to our lovely hostess!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Rafting in Três Coroas

21 April 2012

The rafting trip to Três Coroas was awesome. The weather was absolutely perfect for the duration of the rafting and only after we got back to the base camp did the rain clouds roll in.

Here we are on the way, very excited; only one person in our group of 9 had been rafting before.

Here is our group, all suited up to go out.
A little life vest sumo...
Once the group photos were done, the photographer took pics of anyone who wanted.

This is the whole group.  After giving us instructions (see below), we were all loaded like cattle onto the truck in the background.  We were packed in so tightly that the guides had to cling to the sides of the truck because they didn't fit on the truck.
Me, watching the demonstration in rapid-fire Portuguese and trying to understand. .

After the cattle truck ride, we are finally in the water!
First the guide had us steer straight up against the dam - they seemed to delight in directing us to ram things.  It was pretty funny.
Our first taste of "rough" water.
I hollered so much I think my mouth is open in every photo!
Good grief, my outrigger canoeing coach would have a conniption if he saw his paddlers this badly out of synchronization.  The paddling in our boat was like a drunken spider.  Only in the photos can we see how hard the guide really had to work in the back.
The other half of our group is in this raft.

I didn't see this butterfly, but look how amazing its markings are. However, there was one place where the guides had us ram into the rock at the side of the river.  We were the first raft to do so and when we arrived there was a flock of white butterflies sunning on the top of the rock.  When we bounced against the side of the rock they all fluttered up in a cloud, it was so lovely.

Our first activity stop to "shoot the rapids".
Do these red shorts make my butt look big?
Here we are shooting the rapids.

I was not at ALL sure about doing this after watching the folks before me get sucked under...
But I did it anyway.
This is the owner of our school - so awesome that he not only drove us the three hours each way but also accompanied us on the adventure.
Oh my god, they forgot the raft!
After watching this group go down in a train, I decided to try it too, so here I go... just about to inhale half of the river into my brain through my sinuses.  Ow.
When there was a particularly cool place the guides would take each boat in one by one to play around in it. In this spot the raft filled with water but it drains out again rapidly after.

One thing I found amusing was that in giving directions the guide would shout at us to paddle forward, only the word for "front" in Portuguese sounds like "French".  So it was like some bizarre national chant. French, French, French!

This trip was super fun, no one fell out of our boat (there were a couple of spills from other boats). I would do this again anytime!