The trip is done. We are all home, but the blog goes on.
Our last day in Brazil was spent in São Paulo. We left the farm at 9:00 a.m. and napped our way in air-conditioned comfort to the big city. Marcos, Raphael and Bruno joined us. We were taken to a neighborhood of São Paulo called Vila Medalena. Jason told us it was his favorite neighborhood in all São Paulo. It was indeed very cool, a kind of artists village, with steep streets and funky shops. We ate lunch there in a restaurant named Pitanga. It served wonderful Brazilian fare. Marcos knows the owner so he set us up real nice. Everyone loved it.
After lunch we said goodbye to Marcos and set off to explore on foot Vila Medalena. We spent quite a bit of time in an alley covered on both sides with the most incredible street art I’ve ever seen. We took lots of pictures, but I had packed my camera, and the others have yet to send me copies. We they do I’ll insert them. We visited several shops but they were all too expensive to purchase souvenirs.
Before boarding the van for the airport we said our final goodbyes to Raphael and Bruno. These two guys were so great all week. Both students themselves, they really related well to the girls. Their friendship and translation skills were invaluable to us. Again this year, Rafael took a week off school to be with us. I’m sure he is burning a big candle at both ends right now trying to catch up. I am so grateful to him for everything he did for us. Bruno (his full name is Bruno Moreno Ayrosa de Andrade) was kind of an accident. He was living in an eco-village near the coast, decided it was time to move on, heard about the farm and called Marcos out of the blue. Marcos realized his value immediately and invited to come and help during our week there. Turns out Bruno is from Illinois and went to high school with Lauren Williams, one of the students who came to Brazil last year. He speaks fluent Portuguese and so was a huge help to us all week. Plus he’s just an all-around swell guy with lots of knowledge about lots of stuff. He hopes to stay in Brazil and help is Grandfather produce high quality cachaça. If that happens we may be talking about a visit to his farm next year. To see Bruno’s photoblog, go HERE.
So we navigated the airport alone without any Portuguese-speaking friends and it went fine. In fact, all the travel, there and back and in between went off without a hitch. Now we are all home and scrambling to get caught up.
Thank you for reading!