South America | Brazil | Southern Brazil – restrospective – the positive side

South America | Brazil | Southern Brazil – restrospective – the positive side

Oh, blah blah whine gripe. Brasil rocks and here are some final thoughts.

My friend Jen made a dictionary of Portuguese terms for her blog. I am appropriating this idea; thanks Jen!! 🙂

agora (NOW) pronounced ah-gore-ah
this is one of my favorite words. It’s just so pretty! Also, in Brasil, whatever you want to get done now, well it’s just not going to get done now. Maybe tomorrow, maybe later. But not agora.

amendoim (PEANUT) ah-men-doh-eeem
they do not have peanut butter in Brasil

Ballet de Santa Teresa-
it would take a lifetime to explain! The ballet studio where I volunteered. I taught hip hop and English, they taught me capoeira and Portuguese and lots more. There are pictures on the flickr website. Really beautiful kids. (

beijo (KISS) bey-joh
also beizinho, little kiss. You end conversations with ‘tchau! beijo!’ no matter who you are talking to.

cachaca (SUGAR CANE ALCOHOL) cah-shah-sah
We drove outside Santa Cruz for about 20 minutes, through beautiful if steadily worsening roads, till we got to Fingerhut. Fingerhut is a family-owned cachaceria. It is a sugarcane farm owned by Sr. and Sra. Something-German. We went on a Sunday, all piled in the van, and they served us a huge feijoada, which is a very Brasilian custom of Sunday lunch. You eat a TON of beans and meat and veggies. Super yum. We also drank a lot of homemade cachaca.

capoeira – (BRASILIAN MARTIAL ART/ DANCE) cah-poh-eh-rah
The slaves weren’t allowed to fight, so they pretended to dance, and this is capoeira.
In Rio, there is a neighborhood called Lapa, where they have a seemingly never-ending street party. There is a capoeira roda (circle) under the Lapa arches. It’s really something to see.

caipirinha (YUM!!)
only Brasilians know how to really make a caipirinha. You can try and try, but there’s some native magic that they have. MMMM, yummy caipirinha.

capybara – (HUGE RAT-LIKE ANIMAL NATIVE TO BRASIL) cah-pee-bar-ah
there is a park up the hill called Gruta. (Gruta is cave in Portuguese and in fact there is a cool cave at Gruta.) Gruta also has monkeys and birds and, yes, a capybara. It was sleeping when Dan and I saw it, so I tossed a stick gently at it to awaken it. Why is our aim only good when we don’t mean it to be? I pegged that capybara directly on the back. It shot up in the air, very disgruntled at being interrupted from its snooze. I apologized profusely, so it wiggled its whiskers, shook its GINORMOUS rump at us, and settled back down to rest some more. Looks like a big hamster. Actually it looks just exactly like a ROUS from the Princess Bride, but it’s not scary. Really kind of cute.

chimarrao – (ERVA MATE TEA) shee-ma-haow
all the gauchos here in the South drink erva mate all the time. It is a cool and intricate ritual.

doce do leite (DULCE DE LECHE – SWEET CONDENSED MILK) doh-zee do ley-tchee
everyone is addicted to doce here. I don’t really like it but it’s hard to avoid!

Edilsom Eh-djil-sohn
Edilsom is my friend from Rio. He lives in Morro do Prazeres, the favela just up the road from the Iko Poran house in Santa Teresa. He has crazy curly hair and a great spirit. He has a gift for making himself understood and for making conversation easy. Despite language barriers, Edilsom and I managed to have intricate subtle conversations (okay maybe it was the cachaca).

favela (SLUM) fah-vel-ah
I will come back to this one. In brief, a favela is a shantytown. They exist in every city in Brasil. There are not-so-bad favelas and awful-bad favelas.

to be continued….

Category : South America | Brazil | Southern Brazil , Uncategorized