I spent all day yesterday on the beach with my friend Amber. A few weeks ago I bought this Brazilian flag bathing suit cover and I finally got to wear it now that my eyes are able to handle being at the beach. I had to wear a hat (courtesy of my host brother who is currently in Bolivia, haha thanks Victor!) and sunglasses, of course since my eyes are still a little sensitive. I wore my bikini that I bought here too. This outfit was great for the day we had while drinking beers by the beach…it’s a little mismatched, but totally cool and comfortable. Perfect for a day in the sun!
*WARNING* This is a LONG post filled with lots of photos!
Hi everyone! My eyes are finally almost back to normal so I wanted to update on the amazing trip to Morro Branco we had last weekend. Morro Branco is about two hours outside of Fortaleza and it’s home to the most beautiful sand dunes. They are huge and look like stone, but when you touch them they rub off sand and are the most vibrant shades of orange and white. On my last trip here Morro Branco was one of my favorite excursions and I’m so thankful that I got to go again this time.
We went to celebrate a holiday here called São João, a big festival that honors the cowboy/country lifestyle of northern Brazil. It’s not country like how you’d think of back in the states though. It’s much, much different. The people all dress up in these colorful, crazy costumes and do traditional singing and dancing. My host mom gave me a dress to wear for the festivities. It was…ah…quite different from my definition of a country dress haha. But we had so much fun and experiencing that part of the culture was great.
I also got to take a buggy ride through the sand dunes which was incredible. The dunes look like a vast desert, then as you get closer to the beach they start to become more colorful and deep. There’s a lake out by the dunes too where you can eat and get a drink of coconut water. Morro Branco is most famous for the dune buggy rides and scenery, and it was amazingly beautiful to see that again.
The first day in Morro Branco was spent chilling at my host parent’s friends house, located right by the sea. The view is absolutely amazing! That night was the party, filled with good food, dancing, colorful costumes, and caipirinhas! Check out what my host mom and I wore below haha. There was also a band there that played music, and the first song they played was the GAME OF THRONES theme song! I nerded out. I recently got really into the show thanks to my host brother so when the band started playing it we both perked our heads up in nerd-unison.
Caipirinhas are the traditional alcoholic drinks of Brazil. Made with cachasa, sugar, and limes, this drink will have you tipsy in no time if you aren’t careful!
The dancing was amazing! Here’s a video.
The following day was spent mostly outdoors, starting with breakfast with my host parents out by the hotel pool. My host mom and I walked down to the pier and took a few photos, then when we got back to the hotel my host dad took me to go on a dune buggy ride, although he didn’t actually ride with me haha.
^^My dune buggy driver and I. So much fun! After the ride I had lunch with my host family and their friends, then my host brother and I took a walk down in front of the house to take some photos of the sand dunes.
Morro Branco = one of the best weekends ever! Stay tuned for more updates on my adventures here in Brazil!
Hi everyone! I won’t be posting for a few days because my host father performed LASIK surgery on my eyes so I am in recovery. The surgery went fine but I just need a few days to recover while my vision slowly returns. When I am back I’ll have a super cool post about the amazing weekend we had in Morro Branco. Have a great week everyone!
My host parents own a vision clinic, Clinida da Visao, where my host dad performs eye surgeries and my host mom keeps up with the book work. I’ve mostly been just helping Amelia, my host mom, out with things she needs done like putting stickers on their magazines, running things to and from, etc. Easy stuff that doesn’t require more Portuguese than I can handle. Today however I got to watch Jorge, my host dad, perform cataract surgeries. I’ve never seen any kind of surgery live in person before. I admit I got a little squeamish but after seeing him do about 5 or 6 of them I was fine. The cataract surgery is actually pretty cool to watch. The first thing he does is puts a salve on the patient’s eye, then puts a surgery sheet over it and opens the eye with this crazy looking tool that looks like a tiny torture device. The anesthesia eye drops come next so that the patient won’t feel a thing. He makes an incision in the eye right outside of the color (I’m no ophthalmology major…I have no clue what that part of the eye is called, sorry!) and then goes underneath the surface of it to inject a ton of solution. What kind of solution that is was lost in translation to me haha. After that he pretty much breaks down the cataract part of the eye with a tiny little knife and sucks it out through this little tube device, then puts in a tiny lens that clears the vision. None of the patients seemed like they were in any pain at all. The oldest patient however (she was maybe in her 70s or 80s) did get a little nervous and you could totally tell, but she was fine after about 5 minutes. The surgeons were really kind to her and helped calm her down so she’d stop moving around so much. The entire cataract surgery takes about 20 minutes. I unfortunately didn’t get to take any photos of the surgery, mostly because I didn’t want to be a distraction, but I did get some pictures of the clinic. I really like going to work there, even though I don’t really know exactly what I’m doing yet. My host mom is great about speaking slowly and explaining things to me. It’s really helping me expand my Portuguese, and plus it’s not every day that you get to witness live eye surgery in a foreign country.
^^My host mom taking care of business!
^^Most of Brazil is Catholic. They have crosses and saints everywhere.
Maybe next time I watch him perform a surgery I can snap a few photos! Until next time!
My friend Amber finally got here to Fortaleza! My host brother and I went to pick her up on Tuesday night, took her out to eat for sandwiches then I went with her to make sure she got checked in at her hostel safely. Her hostel is pretty dang cool. It’s a hostel and a bar all in one, and the people there are so chill and nice. They have free wifi and breakfast, too. Makes me want to stay there a few nights haha. On her first day we went to Praia do Futuro, the best beach for sunbathing and swimming in Fortaleza. We ate really good food that was really inexpensive, always a plus, and we drank Skol beer, the popular favorite here in Brazil.
After the beach I went to the gym for another Brazilian butt workout (haha). The hostel owners told us that there was a reggae party that night there so we definitely didn’t want to miss that! I took a taxi there, only about ten minutes away. We had so much fun! The reggae band was super cool, and so were the people.
There were so many beautiful photos I got when I went to Guaramiranga that I wanted to share the ones I got of the flowers. Typical tourist thing to do, I know, take pictures of flowers. But I love flowers and I hope that if you read this these photos add a little sunshine to your day!
“The fact that I can plant a seed and it becomes a flower, share a bit of knowledge and it becomes another’s, smile at someone and receive a smile in return, are to me continual spiritual exercises.” -Leo Buscaglia
“Just living is not enough. One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.” -Hans Christian Anderson