Eu Te Amo, Meu Brasil

Today, we are in Jaboticabal. We arrived last night after attending the Rotary district conference in Atibaia. The town is named after the jaboticaba tree, which produces little dark purple berries. I tried one and it was a little bitter, but I’m told they’re not really in season right now.

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My host family is very nice. They live in an apartment with a lovely view of the city (including the town’s McDonald’s!). It’s peaceful to sit on their balcony and look out at everything.

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My host sister just got back last night from a year-long exchange in France; her accent now is an adorable French/Brazilian combination. And my host brother is getting ready to go to France for his exchange.

This afternoon, we visited the mayor’s office. They gave us pão de queijo (cheese bread) and suco (juice), and they told us about the city. Then the mayor signed books for us all about the history of Jaboticabal. Every time we visit a place here in Brazil, we always leave with gifts. Brazilian people here are incredibly generous, and I wish I had more to give them.

Our group with the mayor

Our group with the mayor

After the mayor’s office, we walked around the small lake that is on the property. Apparently, capybara live in the water, but we didn’t see any. 

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Then we tried pasteis for the first time. All of us have eaten so much fried food over the last few weeks, and we’re all starting to feel pretty lethargic. It’s safe to say, a trip to the gym is massively in order for me when I get back to the States. At this point, my stomach is feeling better, but I now have a sinus infection. Thank goodness my doctor back home gave me a prescription for antibiotics before I left. It’s been a lifesaver.

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The shop where we bought pasteis. Note all the Volkwagens (we see a lot of VWs here!)

The remainder of the trip will no doubt go by quickly. We’re here for a few days and then off to Franca. Later this week, I’m supposed to split from the group and go to Alfenas, which is in the state of Minas Gerais, to see my friend Luciana.

Here are a couple more photos…

The Statue of Liberty in Brazil

The Statue of Liberty in Brazil

My host mom and sister in  Sertaozinho and Rikke (to my left), an exchange student from Denmark

My host mom and sister in Sertaozinho and Rikke (to my left), an exchange student from Denmark