The worldwide Augustana College experience

Viver Salvador!

Last night I was talking to my mom on Facebook and she told me she hadn’t seen any blog updates lately. I told her I would get some posts up by today so here we go!

20 October 2014

In the morning we had class, which was you know classy (I think I’m funny). However, class wasn’t the most exciting part of the day because in the afternoon we took the Panoramic Tour of Salvador! For the tour we got on our rainbow bus and visited different locations of importance in Salvador. These locations included bays, churches, “the old city”, and an ice cream shop. After the tour was over we went to Boi Preto, a traditional Brazilian steak house. As some of you know, I don’t like red meat. Heck I’m not really even a fan of any meat, but being on this trip is all about the experience so I tried 80% of the food that I was offered (I passed on the meat that looked too red and on any seafood).

I was so full after this meal that when I returned home I passed out in a deep and restful sleep.

 

21 October 2014

On this morning we had a lecture on Afro-Brazilian religion with guest lecturer Sabrina Gledhill. I thought this lecture was fantastic. Sabrina covered how different religious aspects came to Brazil and how they came together to form candomble. The second part of the lecture was focused on the different orixas, or spirits, of candomble. Each orixa has colors associated with it and a personality that goes with what they are the spirit of. For example, Xango is the god of lightning and thunder so his personality is attached to that.

In the afternoon we visited Ile Aye Opo Afonjo which is a terreiro, place of worship for candomble. At Opo Afonjo we were able to see the different houses devoted to each orixa and then were able to walk through a museum that showcases different artifacts from candomble. Each of the houses is painted in the colors of the orixa that they are built for and you can only enter the house if it is the house of your orixa, which is something you can find out by having your shells read.

 

22 October 2014

On this morning we had a dance class dedicated to Afro-Brazilian dance with professor Cozido. While we have had multiple dance classes during the term, most of them focused on samba, I thought this class was by far the best class. Even though Cozido spoke very little English he was able to connect with us in a way that I felt the previous dance teachers did not. I also think that I liked this class better because it was less focused on strict technique and more about feeling the music – it was really similar feeling to Zumba!

In the evening we went to a capoeira school and we were able to learn about the history of capoeira and practice some of the techniques. Whereas the dance class we had in the morning felt more free flowing, the capoeira class felt more rigid and I just couldn’t get in to the flow things. However, I enjoyed watching everyone else practice.

 

23 October 2014

On this morning we had class and then the rest of the day was free. In the afternoon we were supposed to have a lecture about history and politics in Brazil with Professor Cloves but he recently had surgery and was not feeling up to lecturing a group so students. Never fear though, as his lecture has been moved to this week.

 

24 October 2014

Today we visited the Museum of Modern Art and were able to take part in a ceramics class! While I know that some of my classmates were not as interested in the ceramics, I had a wonderful time. I’m really excited to see how my finished pieces turn out after the kiln, because I put a lot of thought in to them.

This evening we went on a walking tour of Pelourinho, which is one of the older parts of Salvador. During the tour we stopped at many buildings to learn about the history. One of the coolest places we stopped at was a church where the walls were covered in blue and white tiles depicting important virtues, such as “The balance of friendship”. While the tiles were impressive it was the ornate interior of the sanctuary that blew me away. The walls were covered with beautiful wooden carvings, gold leaf, and paintings. After the tour we were able to shop, which is when I spent way more money that I should have but managed to purchase all of my Christmas gifts! Our final activity in Pelourinho was a folk ballet. There were multiple sections to the ballet, but the whole performances was dedicated to the contributions and culture of Afro-Brazilians.

To end the night a group of us went out to a bar to enjoy the DJ and a live band. This was a new experience for me because I did not go out while we were in Rio and I had not been out yet in Salvador. The DJ only played music from the United States, but it was nice to know the songs and be able to rock out to them with the group. Then there was a band which some people thought was good and others thought was bad; I didn’t really pay attention to them.

 

25 October 2014

This was a free day. I was originally supposed to go out with Manu, my nanny from elementary school who lives in Salvador. However, she had to go to work and we were not able to get together. I ended up going to the market in Pelourinho and buying more gifts for people. After getting back to the house I went swimming at one of the pools on the street before going to a rally for Aecio. The rally was a lot of fun, much more energetic than political rallies in the United States. There was a band marching in the street, everyone was dressed in yellow and green (the color of Aecio’s party), people passing out stickers on every corner. After the rally I came home and decided to have a quiet night in after the last two days were so action filled.

 

26 October 2014

Another free day! Today I slept in pretty late. In fact when I finally emerged from my roomy mother said “Good morning, or should I say good afternoon?” followed by “Would you like breakfast or lunch?” After deciding that I wanted to have lunch I finished eating and then met up with Jadyn and Cindy and Jacob and we went swimming. After swimming I came home to shower and get ready before we went to a candomble ceremony. Now this was something that I was hesitant about attending. I’ve never turned down going to a religious ceremony, but I still felt as though I would be an outsider and intruding by going to the ceremony. In the end I will say that going to the ceremony was an experience that I was able to have in Brazil that I likely will never be able to have again.

One Response to “Viver Salvador!”

  1. Congratulations and Thank You!

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