Sunday, September 7, 2008

OMFG!

The title says it all – OMFG – tomorrow I’m going to be in Brazil! Omfg!Omfg!Omfg!

To prepare us for our arrival, the whole ship has been contributing to our knowledge of Brazil: today my International Finance assigned a case study on inflation rate targeting in Brazil, we had a guest lecture in Great Powers about how first sugar plantations and now soybean crops have made Brazil a predominantly exporting country, and my world nutrition class focused on how the body uses sugar – the main crop in Brazil. Additionally, there have been mandatory and optional lectures about the culture, architecture, and politics of the country.

Last night we learned how to speak Portuguese in three easy steps:

1) Take a Spanish word

2) Replace: ue à o; ie à i; ion à ao; on à ao; j à lh

3) Speak Portuguese!

If you’re me, of course, these easy steps are interpreted as:

1) Memorize the phrase “Nao falah Portuguese”

2) And “Voce falah ingels?”

3) And “Nao entendo.”

Last night at social time, we also saw our first snippets of Brazil. My first view of land in the Southern hemisphere! There were lights all along the coast. We had a best guess as to which city it was that we were sailing around. But, of course, I did not write it down and therefore now have no idea of what it was.

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A Little About Brazil:

We will be docking in Salvador, which is the third largest city in Brazil (although smaller by Rio and Sao Paulo by a long stretch). Salvador is part of the Bahia region of the country, where the Portuguese initially set up sugar plantations. The 2000 census for the country showed an ethnic breakdown of 53% white, 39% mulatto, and 6% black. Salvador, however, is 80 – 90% black, a result of the slave trade that was based predominantly out of the Bahia sugar region. This has resulted in City of God-like ghettos in Salvador and, coincidentally, 80 – 90% of the city is also living in poverty. (In all of Brazil, 4% of the population controls 80% of the wealth.)

So…tonight’s mandatory cultural pre-port lecture: all about safety, including a self-defense demonstration. I actually won’t need this demo though. After I learned these facts last night, I found a rugby player and asked what he would be doing in Brazil. Turns out, he’ll be hanging out with me.

OMFG – I’m going to Brazil!

1 comment:

lidels88 said...

"hanging out".

HA. right.