26 June 2007

Covered Feet and Crazy Weather

This keyboard is still weird for me. Well the past couple of days have been really busy for all of us here. Yesterday we started with classes and let me tell you, my comprehension is not as good as I thought it was. Wow. We meet at the institute building every morning at 8:30am and begin with a devotional, complete with hymn. There are a couple of people in the group who play piano, so it works out well. (The Brazilians don´t sing to well here...) Then I have my Phonetics class, which is a subject that I enjoy, but the concepts are so abstract and the language as well, that it´s a bit challenging, but I learn better that way. Then we have our culture class. I´m already behind on the 6 chapters I´ve had to read in the past two days, all in Portuguese, by the way. Tomorrow I´m going to try and dedicate myself to studying, because I have a phonetics test this weekend. Dr. Fails is a great teacher, with the ability to speak very clearly and slowly. I think I´m really going to learn a lot.
After class, we ended up going to the Shopping Butana, which is the local shopping mall, complete with Wal-Mart type store inside. We met Lauren and Ashley´s ´´little brother´´ Guitano, who is really nice as well. Seriously, the kids here are amazing, they have so much patience with our horrible pronunciation and grammar. Then we had FHE at Brady, AJ and José´s apartment. It was AJ´s birthday as well, so we all celebrated. In all we walked over 6 miles yesterday.
Yesterday it was a bit chilly and overcast, today I wore a skirt and flip-flops because it was so hot. We have class until 11:00 and then the rest of the day is free. So today we went to the center of São Paulo and went up this huge building where you can see a view of the whole city. This city is HUGE. For the entire 360º there are skyscrapers and buildings as far as the eye can see. Then we made our way back by bus. The ride up wasn´t a big deal, there weren´t too many people, but on the way back, during rush hour, it is SOOO crowded. You need to be careful of pick-pockets, but the people are really nice. They will tell the driver to hold the bus because people need to get off and will help you in any way. Latin american public transportation is really different from European and American transportation.
We´ve learned some cultural things here, such as you need to always keep your feet covered by something, because the ground could hypothetically hurt your feet, but this is just an old wive´s tale. I´m still having a great time and I can´t wait to go to Campus do Jordão this weekend.

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