Travel Journal

Around and about Ilha on week 7

(Sunday 22 March 2009) by Brennan-adventures
Well folks thought I was getting a little tardy about what’s been going on here. The trouble I have is our internet connection at the house is not oomphy enough to load things quickly, so I have to come to Mike’s office. He gets tetchy if I arrive before 5pm, by that time I could eat a scabby horse… well you see the problem.
Our day typically is up around 8am, breakfast then Marilene arrives at 9-15am for our 1 hour Portuguese lesson. By the time we finish and get to the Uni it is 10-30am. As I told you before, everyone disappears at 12 for lunch and if you don’t get to the restaurant by 1pm there is little to choose from. We meet for lunch around 12-30pm, then back to work about 1-30pm. The end of the day is 5pm. You can see how little time there is between things. The locals start work at 8am…. No way am I entertaining that one!! :-\

Well last week was so hectic. Sunday night we hid away and had an early night. Mike has managed to download films onto his computer so we lie in bed with the air-con on watching a film….. feels decedent!!

Monday we were invited out to have dinner at the bakery with Marilene and Vicente, to meet a couple from Italy. He is a professor in Italy, his wife is a freelance journalist there too. They had come over for a conference in Rio do Janeiro, and Vicente invited them to Ilha Solteira for a few days before taking them to his Farm for the weekend.

Monday night there were the 6 of us. Now we were expecting an easy night thinking the Italians did not speak Portuguese so we could speak English……..Wrong… they spoke Portuguese, so after an hour or two my brain is like mush.
Tuesday we had Marilene and the Italian Lady (Keetchy) for morning Portuguese lessons. Keetchy was as good as me except she was a combination of Portuguese/ Italian rather than my mixture. It was a fun morning. We then had to go to Marilene’s house for dinner that night, we had Lasagne but not as we know it!! There were Lasagne sheets with cheese sauce and ham layers… Very salty.

Next day re-run of the morning and that evening another meal at Marilene’s this time with 6 others who work at the University here. It was BBQ. Again all the conversation was in Portuguese…. I find all I do mostly is listen hard and say “Ta” or “sim”. Which means “ok” and “yes”. I still take ages to make a sentence with no verbs… but they are so sweet waiting for me to finish, and seemingly understanding.. When it gets too much, I go to English!!

Thurs morning another language lesson with 3 Ladies and Mike…. He is getting used to these mothers meeting.. maybe I should buy him a skirt!!
What we did find out from Marilene and Keetchy was the differences between the machismo of the men in their countries. Keetchy was telling us it is normal once a man knows another man well for them to greet each other by a kiss on each check and a bear hug (arms around the other man).
Marilene looked very shocked… here the hug is only over one shoulder patting the other hand on the chest and certainly no kiss for the other man…. Only man to woman. Then the way a Brazilian man sits has huge connotations….. They only cross their legs with the ankle of one leg resting on the knee of the other………. No Knee to knee crossing unless they are Gay or Bisexual. Well we laughed at that as Mike was sitting with his legs crossed knee to knee….. We now look at all Brazilian men with their legs crossed and all we have seen is ankle to knee. Weird eh!!

We have had 4 nights of rain now….the ”help I’m drowning” kind. However the temperature has dropped to 27c during the day so more comfortable in the shade…. Honestly I am as white as a sheet as I spend most of my time indoors or in the shade, so much for a hot country! B-)

One of the mornings we did not have a lesson, there was a banging at the gate… we still have not organised the fixing of the bell or intercom system….. Mike answered thankfully, and there were 3 men standing and the vehicle behind them had painted on the side… Control of Zoonoses ???!!!!
My God what is that?? The men rattled off a sentence of which I heard one word DOG.
Mike explained we were renting and visitors so had no dog. He then questioned them what was the problem…. Leishmans disease - he was told they were checking the registration and vaccinations of all the dogs in Ilha Solteria. We found out there are 25,000 people live here and 6000 dogs !!
Later that day we were reading in the local newspaper… a dog about 200yrds from us had Leishmans disease and they were worried about an epidemic, this disease can be passed to humans and is carried by ticks and sand flies. What, with dengue carried by the morning mosquitoes and this we are using bottles of repellent… Thankfully the smell is more pleasant than years ago!!

Now some exciting news I have found an avocado tree… not a huge one yet but it has tons of fruit on it. The leaves look nothing like I remember my little seedling had… maybe they are like Eucalyptus and change as they get more mature…. Like us all really!! ;-)

We are still waiting the damned tree getting cut… we do have a resident pet pigeon who says nothing and has not (to my knowledge) left its damned skimpy nest for 4 weeks now… no idea how it feeds as I never see it leaving the nest, and it does not seem to get any visitors….. I have not spotted an egg or any movement showing a chick, believe me you would see both as the nest building skills of this bird are still in the learning stages….. maybe it’s a initiation ceremony all pigeons go through to see how long they can sit without cracking (excuse the pun) and leave their nest??.......a real mystery.

Marilene is trying to organise some tickets (well its tee- shirts you get instead of tickets here) to see Mikees favourite artist, a Brazillian Lady called Ivete Sangalo….. Look on U- Tube and I am sure you will find a clip of her.
He absolutely adores her, and when he found out she was playing in a city about 6 hours drive from here his face was a picture…. The plan is next week to travel one day stay overnight then watch the concert the next night then travel back here. We have not got the tickets yet as there are two differing types like carnival. A camerote (Camerotch) where 10 people have to buy tickets and the price is around £35.00 each. This gives you a box near the artist and a seat if you want it.
One of the other type of ticket is VIP (Vipee) where you are in front of the artist with 1000 other people, we were told you are so squashed everyone moves together £ 25.00…..
Then behind this Vipee block is the cheaper tickets…£10.00 ; and another 1000 people, so you cannot get a quiet area even if you wanted to…. I’m all for the camerotch, but we have not managed the 10 people yet. Fingers and toes crossed we do!!!
Well I think that’s all the news for this week

Ate Logo….. Until Later.

Laur x

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