Below are e-mail excerpts from Caitlin’s time in BRAZIL! What a lucky girl!
We have been in Fortaleza about a week now and we are having a lovely time. The first couple of days we raining SO hard it was unbelievable! I seriously saw the biggest rainstorm in my entire life. Murilo and I had gone out to dinner with all of his friends at this great sushi restaurant. Right before we all were leaving, it started to pour. Within 10 minutes the streets were flooded up to my shins! Murilo was a gentleman and ran to get the car for me… but it really didn´t help. As I simply ran from the front of of the restaurant to the other side of his car, my pants were soaked, my hair was dripping and my feet were underwater! Now imagine what Murilo must have looked like, for he had to run all the way around the building!!!! We could barely see out of the windows, and believe you me, driving in Fortaleza is tough enough without seeing. Drivers here are INSANE. We had to roll down the windows and stick our heads out. Ha. By the time we got home, it was lightning and thundering – basically the LOUDEST thunder in my life. It was so cool. 🙂
After those first days, it has been sunny and beautiful. We have been going to the praia almost every day. I am getting very tan. I never knew I had so many freckles. Ha.
Don´t worry Mom, I´m using sunscreen!!! We put it on before we go, and again after we swim. 🙂 We have made a friend at the beach. His name is Davidson and he´s 15. He sells coconuts to the guests.
He really liked me for some reason, and told Murilo that he was the luckiest guy in the world to find someone like me that was so nice. He´s so cute. He gets so excited when we show up. It puts things in perspective, because he´s very smart (he LOVES riddles), but he´s not in school and he works from 6:30 – 6:30 or 7pm every day to sell coconuts. It makes me sad.
The poverty here still takes me by surprise. The other day we were at the mall and right next to, and I mean right next to the parking structure there is a favela (a shanty town) with clothes hanging to dry almost inside of the mall parking lot. That is what is so different with the poverty here – it´s in the middle of very nice places. Smack dab in between a very nice shopping center and one of the best restaurants in town, there will be a little favela with children with no shoes, starving donkeys and clothes drying on the wall.
It is a real eye opener. You cannot get away from it here, as in the US where you would never find a favela next to the mall or next to Portland City Grill… sure there are homeless, but I´m talking about whole little neighborhoods made up of brick and cardboard. It´s hard to take in.
If you have any travel stories..memorable trips, relaxing holidays that you needed, or a life changing event happen while you were gone..please e-mail me! firstname.lastname@example.org