The worldwide Augustana College experience

Rio de Janeiro

You may have noticed that it’s been a few day’s since my last post about our flight being cancelled. We have safely made it to Rio and are settling in comfortably. We have had a busy few days though, so here’s a recap of what has happened since the last post.

3 October 2014 – Travel

We were able to fly out on the 3rd but not without a few more problems. When we got from O’Hare to LAX we were informed that we would not all be able to fit on the plane so they split the group in two. We arrived to JFK 20 minutes apart so it worked out well! However, once we got to JFK we found out that our plane was having mechanical issues so there would be a delay with the possibility of a rescheduled flight. Fortunately we only had an hour long delay and then we were able to get on the plane to Rio!

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Leslie and I are excited to fly!

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Thumbs up for flying!

4 October 2014 – Mangueira

We landed in Rio this morning! W met Lucy, out Brazilian coordinator for the program at the hotel and then spent a little bit of time exchanging cash or taking money out. Some of us had problems at some of the ATMs with the machine not reading our cards but I think we all managed to get money out. We also had everyone’s bags arrive so that was good news. When we got to the hotel we had lunch and then spent the afternoon in class before going to visit the Mangueira Samba school. After returning from he Samba school most of us went out to get our first drink in Brazil! I ended up going to a little restaurant around the block from the hotel where I had my first Capirinha, the drink of Brazil.

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The crest of the bateria, percussion section, of Mangueira Escola de Samba.

5 October 2014 – Ipanema

On our first full day in Brazil we were able to sleep in which was wonderful after spending more than 24 hours traveling during the previous two days. We got to experience our first ride on the metro in Rio and we went to Ipanema! First we had lunch at Garota de Ipanema, which is where the song “The Girl from Ipanema” was composed. Then we got to spend the day at the beach doing our own thing. I was the first person from the group to go in the water – you can take the girl out of The Land of 10,000 Lakes, but you can’t take the love of water out of the girl! After swimming for a while, and convincing some of my classmates to join me, I walked with a few people down to Arpoador Rock, which is on the edge of Ipanema and Copacabana. After Ipanema we took the Metro home and a few of us went out to dinner. Then I ended up going to a beach near the hotel in order to work on some sketches for our Art class.

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Group picture at Ipanema Beach

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Bar Garota de Ipanema

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A magazine cover depicting the presidential race

Oh, today was also election day in Brazil so we had a lot of conversation about that.

6 October 2014 – FGV

On this day we were scheduled to go to FGV, a private university in Ri. We were supposed to talk with a professor who is actually from Canada and then go on a tour of the campus, which is in reality two multi story buildings. However, due to a glitch in communication we were unaware that in order to be allowed to enter FGV we could not wear shorts. Now this might seem like a silly rule for a university but because the university also serves as a think tank and a host to diplomats from around the world the university president wants everyone on campus to look respectable. Since we weren’t going to be allowed to enter the building we sat outside on the veranda and had a conversation with the professor. Eventually we ended up being admitted to the university but we had to have an escort the whole time so as not to disrupt university activities.

After FGV we came back to the hotel for a few hours of free time during which I took a nap. After free time we went to the Culturo Center de Cartola. The CCC is a museum dedicated to Cartola, a now famous samba composer, and his wife. The center had many costumes from previous Carnival’s.

Once the planned activities were finished we had the night free. While many people went to the beach our out to enjoy Rio I stuck around the hotel to upload pictures and get myself finally situated in the hotel.

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A traditional Baihana costume for Carnival

7 October 2014 – MAC (TODAY)

Today we went to the Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC) in Niteroi. The building was designed by Oscar Niemeyer, a renowned artist from Brazil who designed more than 600 buildings during his 104 years of life. MAC is unlike any building I’ve ever seen and the person who gave us our tour said this can be attributed to the fact that Niemeyer didn’t want to disturb the flow of the landscape with the building. At MAC we discussed the way that Niemeyer designed things and then looked at art from Lygia Clark. Clark used a lot of straight lines in her work, which was a change from Niemeyer’s love of curved lines. Then we designed our own city, with each person adding our own touch. Now we are all back at the hotel, or around the hotel, doing our own thing until we meet up again for activities tomorrow.

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