Travel Journal

January in Ilha

(Friday 21 January 2011) by Brennan-adventures
Howdy peoples,
How are things with you all? I think the temperature has risen a little so the snow has gone for the moment… well in the U.K. at least!!!

We are not suffering with the floods in Brasil, we are at least 10 hours drive from them. They have caused horrendous problems for the poor people there, it is very sad when you watch the news here. Stunned people sitting in a huge stadium surrounded by coffins of all sizes. I hear now the dead have to be buried even if they are not identified. Now that must be difficult for the surviving relatives to cope with. Everyone here is praying the next lot of rain does not cause more landslides.
Here in Ilha there has been rain every day, but luckily not sustained. Mostly just 1-6 hours at the most.

Last week has been quiet, I managed to get the pork pies made… used deep muffin tin and they turned out a perfect size. I also tried to make Rolls (Baps). I think I was a little stingy with the sizing and the turned out small and crunchy!! Well I will try again… I also managed to make a sticky ginger cake… Mike gave thumbs up for this one!!:-p
I have the ice-cream ready to take to Osvaldo to see his reaction to the flavour. I used his vanilla ice-cream and added some stem ginger and syrup. I love it but who knows what he thinks…


Fabricio gave me some English Language books his brother had…. OMG they were hard even for a native English speaker… or maybe I am a little dumb!! It does explain why we have so much trouble learning another language at school. I cannot remember being taught how English language is formed. I now am concerned any student I take for conversation starts asking me WHY a word is placed in a certain position… Mike says I should just say “I do not know the exact reason why, but that is how it should be said”. Do you think I will get away with that?? :-\:-?

This week Mike has excelled with the language here !!…. (I was not with him and he was paying after eating his lunch. The very young looking girl taking the money had been under training all week but that day was solo at the till.)
Mike trying to make conversation asked her “ You are single today”… “ Solteira hoje”… She hurriedly replied “ no I am married for 5 years”.
Mike turned red and quickly left the restaurant thinking she would now be thinking he had tried to ask her out. :-,
What he should have said was “you are solo today”… “Sozinha hoje”.
I must admit the thought that passed both our minds was she does not look old enough to be leaving school far less being married for 5 years!!
I could not stop laughing when he told me. Strangely enough she had not been seen since… maybe her husband is now looking for Mike!!! :o)
The other problem we have had this week is our motor for the pool pump is broken… They have taken the motor away and hopefully will be able to fix it, with a low cost to us!!

We now have managed to get the insurance sorted for the car, it was slightly complicated as the car is still in the name of Spartacus (the garage owner), we could not have our name on the car document until our registration documents come through (another 5months time).
The insurance was to be in our name, but if we had a claim/ crash or the police needed to see the document they would question the different names. Spartacus had to provide a written document explaining things. We also had to get the car photographed and authorised before any insurance documents come through. The insurance company sends a photographer to photograph any dents/ scrapes and all the VIN numbers within the car. Now that is done we await the documents …


Well I am now away to make some lunch…. Bacon and egg rolls. Well hopefully bacon, as what I could buy was a large lump of smoked pork that I will cut up into slices… You cannot believe the 5 supermarkets here have not had packets of sliced bacon for 5 weeks now!!!
Oh! … the pool pump is now fixed and working… cost �35.00.

Hello again, well this week has been busy (17th Jan), it started on Monday, I was the usual whole day at the beautifying thing, there really must be an easier/ faster way… either that or I need so much work done now I am older!!8-O
I tried a new salon for the hair removal; she used the threading technique on my face, which I must say I do like better than waxing…. All you ladies know what I am talking about, and you guys need to know nothing about it!! At the manicurist I had a little trouble as all my finger nails are breaking and peeling, consequently I had cut my nails very short. She was having difficulty even filing them… I think I will try to leave it 2-3 weeks before returning, that will hopefully give them time to grow.

Tuesday a catastrophe !!! No maid appeared 8-O8-O:-( Rose had been starting a cold the week previously, so I assumed she was ill.
Well let it be known I slopped out and cleaned as well as a little ironing. Mike cannot tell you all I do no housework here!! 0:-):-D
I was exhausted after my efforts though and we had Rotary that evening… The rain was falling heavily and we both tried hard to think of some excuse why we could not go, eventually having come up with nothing plausible we left for the Rotary club.
It was a men’s meeting night, with a grand total of 5 women including me there. The ladies chattered and helped prepare the meal for later. I was on Pineapple cutting duty, there was a little girl sitting alone waiting for her dad to finish the meeting. I think she was about 7 yrs old. I asked her if she was learning English at school and she said she knew a few words… we used a magazine and we talked about things in the magazine… She did really well and knew lots of words.
Soon the meeting was over and her dad appeared, she then got more confident and she asked what my name was. I then found out they live behind Marilene’s house.
The ladies were then told what had been decided during the meeting… The Rotary club along with the Lions and Masons were starting a collection for the victims of the floods near Rio. The men talked about how to arrange things while the women were to work…..Sounds about right to me, eh girls!!! ;-)

I was told to be outside the big supermarket at 10-30am the next morning. I had no idea who would be with me or what I was going to be doing. Next morning after my visit to the dentist, (luckily just a clean so at least I was not going to be drooling with a numb mouth), I arrived at the allotted time outside the supermarket.
Gilberto was there in a shadowy corner under a banner with an empty shopping trolley in front of him. The banner said “ Here is a collection point for food and other items to be given to the victims of the Rio mudslides” . Now if I had not known I was there to help with something I would have passed him without noticing either the sign or the trolley. :-\:-|
While I was asking him what we were to do, at no time did he break away and talk/ persuade the shoppers to give things to our trolley. All he told me to do was stand and collect stuff !!??

Well I quickly determined that unless we were noticed we could have nothing in our trolley after our 2 hour stint….
So I did the British thing…. Every person that was entering the door of the supermarket was jumped upon. In my very broken Portuguese said “Hello how are you” and pointed to the sign and trolley. Then I plucked a few spurious words from the poster, and attempted to ask them to buy something for the collection.
Well these poor folks did not know what had hit them; they all had to stop as my Portuguese was so bad and then they had to concentrated on what I was trying to ask them to do. They nodded and dashed into the shop.
Gilberto was a little bemused by this, but after a couple of times came along and helped by explaining who we were and how it would be distributed in Rio. :-)
Well then 10mins later he said he was leaving to collect his wife and daughter…. WHAT and leave me alone???!!!!!! 8-O:-?:-(

Away went Gilberto and I did feel a little afraid and lonely, but having to concentrate on what I was saying calmed the nerves. I also hung the poster around the trolley handle and moved the trolley so everyone could read it as they approached. I bounced up to everyone and accosted them with a big grin on my face; luckily here everyone is so polite that they do stop when approached. I was asked lots of questions and some I could answer others were too difficult but I kept telling them Rotary club collection, which seemed to pacify any doubters. ;-)

Well by the time Gilberto arrived back I had 4 things in the trolley, everyone who I had badgered going in came out with something, some people bought loads of things. I thanked them profusely, and they seemed pleased by my pathetic attempts, and all left smiling.
Gilberto obviously had been talking about my way of accosting the public to his family, when they arrived we all used “the pounce on the public strolling towards the door technique”…. After 2 hours????? Well we had 5 shopping trolleys full of shopping. Gilberto was so surprised and pleased. I was so tired but it had been good fun. :-D
Later that day I returned to the same supermarket, some other people were standing under the same banner, but not accosting anyone…. They did not have much in the trolley…. Maybe I have showed them a new way of doing things in Brasil…
However as we all know from our walks along the high street in the U.K. or other parts of the world, if people are accosting you too often you tend to switch off and start ignoring the speaker; it will be interesting to see how things develop here. :-?

Thursday, Rose appeared. She was not well and had been suffering with flu like virus. We tried to get her to go home but she said she was feeling better than the beginning of the week and wanted to stay. Well we have a lovely clean house again.
When we were at the Rotary on Tues night someone had made a meal like a shepherd’s pie… meat with mashed potato on the top. The meat however tasted just like hot corned beef…!!! The beef used was called dried beef (jerked beef)… Not at all like the American/ Australian beef strips that look like strips of leather.
This beef is salted and looks like a beef steak and is still pliable in the packet. You have so soak it for 12 hours changing the water frequently, and then you boil it for 30-40 mins.
Well I thought let’s try to make Corned beef, just like the stuff out of a tin. So after soaking and boiling I had to shred the beef between two forks before pushing it firmly into an old washed “chopped tomato” tin and chilling it in the fridge until it had set. Eureka we have corned beef, a little dense and not as much fat as the tinned stuff you buy… but it has the taste and texture. We now have something else to put on rolls instead of just bacon and egg!!! :-p;-)
Well today is Friday and I have been trying to collate some teaching materials for the English conversation classes.. I must say there are loads of ideas on the internet and once I transfer the info to Mike he can print things off for me. I then have to build up my courage for the first pupil!! I am sure once I get started It will all fall into place…. If you have any tips for me PLEASE e-mail me them!!
Have a great weekend
Love Laur xx
P.s. No photos with this blog !!

  • January in Ilha by Babs
  • Catching up!!! by Andy


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