This has been a very full week in Santa Maria and Cruz Alta. I am currently in Porto Alegre spending time with some friends in a hostel and checking out public markets and leather stores. Diego is being a very patient and thorough tour guide this weekend.
I spent Carnaval with Leonardo and his sweet girlfriend, Carla, in Cruz Alta, RS. While there, I met some really swell people, some of which will be in the agronomy program with me at UFSM. In Cruz Alta, most people gather with friends and drink beer and dance and eat and frolic, until the real party starts around 2:00 in the morning.
Carla bought me a goodie box and chocolates for Carnaval primping (which some nights took over an hour). We got help from Leonardo's sister, who had loads of fun make-up. That's right, I picked blue eyeshadow. If not for Carnaval, I don't know when. I gave Leonardo's nephew, Theo, some lip gloss, but no one thought it was as funny as I did. Hmmm..... oops.
Oh, he's cute.
Our group (like most) bought matching t-shirts to wear out. I was handed a bright red t-shirt with a dolled- up-Carnaval Homer Simpson printed on the front. Too cool.
It was a little small so I cut the neck and shoulder off.
Carnaval was a fantastic experience, but kinda wears me out when I think about it too long. Sometimes, it's hard to hang here.
While Carnaval was going on, I stayed at Leonardo's parents' home. It is a beautiful home, and his parents make incredibly gracious hosts. Leonardo's dad was especially patient with me, reworking all of his sentences into their most basic forms, so that I could sometimes understand him. He had an indoor churrasqueira that he would cook huge slabs of seasoned meat on every night. I severely underestimated the amount of beef true gauchos consume here in the south. It was impressive, despite the fact that I had a sore belly for days after.
School has starts this week. Well, kinda. It officially started last week, but the professors apparently weren't feeling it because it was too soon after Carnaval. So, they didn't show up. The new first day is Monday.
Update: Forgot to hit post. Dangit! Its Wednesday. School is hard. Write later :)