The worldwide Augustana College experience

October 13th-17th Rio/Salvador

The end of Rio 🙁

Monday October 13th

Our group got to go to the biggest tourist attraction in Rio which is the Christ the Redeemer Statue. I had absolutely no idea how tall it really was or how crowded it would be. First we took a cable car up the mountain. Part way through the ride,  performers got on the car and started to play music. I loved seeing how much music is incorporated everywhere.  At the top, everybody was trying to take the typical tourist pictures and we obviously joined in. I spent a while lying on my back taking pictures  for people so it was a good angle of them with the statue. Since it was such a hot day outside, we knew we just had to go to the beach. We stayed at the beach until we had art class and political science class. We discussed the soccer legend Pele as well as FIFA and how they screw over so many people during the World Cup. We went out with the professors as well as a lot of the students for pizza. I have never hated a waiter so much in my life because….they just KEPT BRINGING SO MUCH FOOD. Basically, you get all different types of pizza brought directly to your table, you don’t even have to serve yourself. So, I ended up hating them for bringing so many amazing looking things after I was stuffed! After feeling like a whale, we walked back to the hotel. In our food coma we watched movies and finished our coiling.

Christ the Redeemer

Tuesday October 14th

Two of the girls and I decided to wake up early on our free morning to go find a Brazilian style suit…well the cheeksters version, we didn’t want our super pasty white butts hanging out. Somehow, all three of us found suits that fit us well. We were fortunate enough to get to see the Escadaria Saelaron which were started by the Chilean-born Jorge Saelaron. He said it was a tribute to the Brazilian people. He was mocked at first for trying to make the ugly stairs he found into a great piece of artwork. It became his passion and then his obsession,he sold his paintings to afford continuing his work. He eventually covered all the steps in tiles, ceramics, and mirrors. It was such a gorgeous place to visit and after we left we went to the beach for a few hours before we had class but it was extremely windy and we didn’t last too long. I took the time to shower up before my art class where we went over a powerpoint about the indigenous people and their make up and wardrobes. Since we had such a great time the night before eating our weight in pizza, we brought back more people but this time a few of us tried the buffet this time. It was still delicious. We were fully rested from the night before and went out to dance at Zero Zero. It was such a fun time getting to see everyone let loose and meeting some Brazilian and English people to converse with. We all took taxis home which is really foreign compared to taking the bus in the District in Rock Island.

Escadaria Selaron

Wednesday October 15th

We were fortunate enough to visit the creative genius Carnavalesco Jaime Cezario. He showed us designs for the 2015 Carnival and showed us old head and shoulder pieces as well as the pieces going on the floats. I have NEVER been so impressed by a person’s artwork in my life. He designed the most elegant pieces and could draw them all wonderfully. We cannot share the pictures because the show has not occurred yet and they want to keep it a secret. All I can say, is it will be amazing and I can’t wait to watch Carnival and see his work! We were there for a few hours and were starving afterwards so my roommate and I made a call downstairs to room service for some of the most delicious pasta. It had ham,peas,and chicken in it. =] We spent the rest of the day at beach and did a bunch of homework. We ate a little bit more of our pasta before going out for more dancing! It was such a perfect night to just hangout since it was one of the last nights we had in Rio. We tried to stay up for sunrise but were just TOO tired to stay awake. We did hangout in the room for a while though when we returned to our rooms.

Jaime’s Work from a Previous Year

Thursday October 16th

On our final full day in Rio we wanted to go hang gliding but sadly it was too cloudy and we couldn’t go. =[ A group of us shopped around buying souvenirs in the markets nearby. Everything is so cheap so it is well worth the purchase. We stayed at the beach near our hotel the whole day so we could just relax and have no worries. We rented beach chairs so the wind wouldn’t keep blowing sand at us. Well, we all burned. Every last one of us got SO much color. We had the last program meal after packing at the same buffet style restaurant we had been to the first night in Rio. Sadly, we had to say bye to Lucy at dinner. Lucy was a program coordinator that also acted as our mother. She was one of the sweetest people I have ever met. We continued the whole going “full circle” and went to the same bar we went to the first night. The waiter remembered us and was extremely nice to us as well as took a picture with us. We ended our night on the beach playing some sand volleyball and swimming in the ocean. I was surprised how fun it was to swim and play volleyball at night. I will miss the times that we all had in Rio. We tried to stay up for the sunrise again.

Our Beach!

Friday October 17th

Again, we passed out. But, luckily, my roommate and I had alarms set! We were able to see the gorgeous sunrise on our beach. While there, I saved a fish that had been washed up onto the shore. We went back to sleep for a few hours before leaving to go to the airport. =[ Goodbye Rio! The flight was approximately 2 hours to Salvador which is north of Rio. When we arrived we were put on a bus to go to ACBEU which is the school we will attend classes at. Here we met with Clara who is the coordinator for our homestay families. She gave us all our orientation do’s and don’ts while staying with our families. After orientation, we got to meet our mommy!!!!!!!!! They kept giving us more and more food until we were so stuffed we could barely walk. Then, my host mom and my roommate Yessenia went back to our new house. We each have our own rooms and live next door to another Augie student doing a home stay. While our mom doesn’t speak English, she is still amazingly kind to us from what I can tell. We are able to understand a lot of it because of our knowledge of Spanish. They have a filter on their sink so that we can drink the water which is realllllyyyy nice so we don’t have to keep purchasing bottles of water. Her 3 children live upstairs. They’re older than we are and one of the daughters speaks English which is helpful. Our mom is an artist and actually made all of the artwork that is around our house. She did all of my laundry for me that night which was extremely nice of her and she refused to let us do it since we had had a long day. I slept like a rock after staying up so late the night before and waking up early for sunrise. This city is more of an urban area, there is minimal grassy areas and a LOT of apartment complexes up. It is a lot less touristy than Rio was. I am excited to see how the next 3 weeks go. Sweet dreams, I’ll make sure to keep everyone updated about my stay in Salvador!


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