Saturday, December 20, 2014

Praia do Lázaro | Ubatuba | Brazil

With our newfound freedom, Felipe and I decided to drive to the beach for the day. We arrived in Ubatuba in the early afternoon and packed a picnic for the beach. We drove around until we found a beach with minimal number of sunbathers and staked out a place for the afternoon. We also found milho verde (corn ice cream), which had thus far been elusive.

Unfortunately, a local recommended that we take the coastal road back to Sāo Paulo. Even more unfortunately, we listened to him. Bad call. Not only was the two lane road at an almost standstill, the car started to make a strange noise about halfway into our journey home. The noise got so loud that we stopped to change the tire just to make sure that it wasn't something in the wheel. The noise continued and at that point, it was dusk, raining and the gps looked like this:

No, that's not a child's scribble, that is a twisty road straight uphill through the mountains. So we gave up for the day and let the Brazilian road win. We called it a night in Caraguattuba and waited for a tow truck and taxi to deliver us back to the city the next day (thankfully the insurance worked just as it described that it would). We arrived without further interruption.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Trindade | Paraty | Brazil

Recently, I came to the realization that I have been in São Paulo almost continuously since my arrival in Brazil which is the longest stretch I have stayed in one location since my initial move abroad three and a half years ago. Naturally, I've been going a little stir crazy living and working in the same place, so when the opportunity to road trip to a beach in the state of Rio arose, I jumped on it, excited for an escape from city life.

We went to the village of Trindade, near the city of Paraty. According to Google, the drive from PACA to Trindade should take approximately four and a half hours. In reality, it took eleven. To begin, we were two hours late leaving because our travels coincided with the annual formula one race just down the road. Our delayed departure put us right in the middle of São Paulo rush hour which meant that it took four hours just to get to the other side of the city. If you're keeping up with the math, we were six hours into our journey at this point and were still on the outskirts of the same city in which we began. The next several hours were uneventful, except for some much needed rain. Once you exit the toll road and head towards the coast, the map starts to look like a child's scribble. This particular portion of roadway is simultaneously windy and straight downhill. Keep in mind that it's about midnight when we get to this stretch of asphalt. We were fiercely winding our way down the hillside when all of the sudden, there was an earsplitting screech and headlights right in our face. Fortunately, our car was still drivable but it was a terrifying experience nonetheless! We continued driving for a couple more hours until the road just ended at the ocean. After shaking off our widespread confusion, we finally figured out that there was a small stream blocking the road that we needed to take. We finally arrived around 2 o'clock in the morning.

The next day, we headed to the beach. Luckily it was worth all of the hassle it took to get there!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

School | Pumpkins

One of the things I miss most about living outside of the States is autumn. The changing leaves, the changing weather and pumpkin spice flavored everything.

To satisfy my fall craving, I compiled a math mini unit completely centered around pumpkins. We estimated how many seeds were inside each pumpkin and then broke them open to count how many were actually there (the results of which greatly exceeded my estimations). Then we dyed the seeds, graphed the colors, and practiced patterning. Living outside of the States also means a lack of canned pumpkin but I've perfected the art of boiling and mashing the fresh stuff, which I saved from our carving and put to use in this pumpkin bread with streusel topping. The kids were generally disgusted at the thought of eating a sweet vegetable but I was so proud that they all tried it...and liked it!