Amor

During the end of the school event of “gincana,” one of my professors and I had a memorable chat about a few potent points that she’s had in her life. Turns out that some years ago she was on track to either become an actress or a singer. She studied at a college of the arts in the U.K. and was one of the brightest pupils in her courses. She moved to Brazil to study theatre at one of the best schools of the arts in Brazil, and almost made it big time. She was also in an alternative band that was quickly gaining recognition. But what happened? She fell in love.

She described to me that love is truly crazy, and that it’s impossible to have immunity to it. When you’re in love, you’re blinded by it. I asked how it felt, and she responded something along the lines of it being “the most marvelous feeling in the world that you never seek an end to. You don’t think about anything else but being with that other person, because you think that this other person is all you will ever need in your life. You would do anything for them and everything that you were doing before you met them isn’t important because all you want is to be together. You think that it will all last forever.”

After follows the common reality what happens a few years after you fall in love. Things change. The question of what could have happened if you had done something differently will be one of the more frequent thoughts that come up in your head, along with many others. From love she gained 2 handsome sons and created a family with memories that could not be replaced with anything else. Now my professor has started back up what she was in love with doing many years ago. She plans to get back up on that stage and reform her band, and isn’t so worried about what will happen to her family because she is certain that her boys can take care of themselves, and her husband is completely open to her following her dreams once again. What was beautiful was seeing how she understood that at this moment, she is the most important person in her world, and that she has the utmost right to do what will make her happy. At this point in her life, she isn’t dwelling on anything to regret, because it’s not important anymore what could have happened, and all that matters is what can happen.

It was overall such a lovely and memorable chat that we had, and now I want to hear from you guys. How has love changed your life?

Couple Walking on Beach at Sunset   Omg, love?

Untitled    And as for me, I’m absolutely content with being completely and utterly in love with Brazil at the moment.

How did it get so late so soon?

109 More days is left of my exchange in Brazil.
I have currently been here in Brazil for 220 days and am currently writing in shock of this realization. This year abroad has been passing by with ridiculous speed, and it’s seeming to be going by faster and faster as my departure date quickly approaches. Since my last post, I’ve traveled to Rio de Janeiro 2 more times, and have just been soaking up every minute of my time down here.

Weeks leading up to Carnaval
Well, the weeks leading up to Carnaval [and yes it’s spelled Carnaval, not Carnival in Portuguese] in Brazil are basically just turned down versions of Carnaval. In Paraty, every weekend of summer contained shows that were part of the Viva o Verão fest. The shows were full of nearly every genre of music such as rock, blues, soul, pagode, SAMBA, sertaneja, and much much more. I don’t think I slept at home for even one night of this madness, because the shows lasted well until the early mornings so there was no bus to give this gal a ride and I wasn’t going to pay R$50 to sketchy taxi drivers (#brokestudent) so I ended up sleeping at friends’ o tempo inteiro.

751 (2)2 (2)


Crazy Week in Rio

During the last week of January, I spent my time in Rio de Janeiro with another family and a bunch of other students abroad. It was so incredible it hurts. I grew so close to my homegalpal Defne, from Turkey, and my sister Maiã and her girl pal Victoria as we spent a week of shenanigans juntos. Maiã and Victoria showed us gringas what it’s like to truly walk the walk of them cariocas. The supposed week with our organization turned into the best week of passeando com Maiã e Victoria. It was full of learning slangs from multiple languages, messing with stereotypes, connecting with the most eclectic of people, crying without reason, and overall just experiencing pure happiness. Thank you all for the memories that could only be bought with time.

114 1817  1925     74IMG_7381IMG-20150123-WA000973 IMG-20150129-WA0028IMG-20150129-WA0023       And just like that it already passed

Walking the runway of Brazil

After the incredible week of passeando with those homepals, I moved onto my weekend of sambando with my family in another part of Rio! My Brazilian cousin took me to the ensaios of the samba school The Union of Tijuca. I loved it a little too much. On the Saturday of that weekend, in the school of samba São Clemente, my cousin and I shimmied our bootays down the runway of Brazil; the Sambódromo. All I gotta say is that meu coração Salgueirou! Then on Sunday, my family de cariocas and I went to watch the Desfiles practices. A D O R E I !

3637 3839 4041IMG-20150202-WA000242

CARNAVAL!!!

CARNAVAL!!! Carnaval was more than I ever imagined. 5 days of straight partying. I’m still regaining my energy from the madness that was Carnaval. My days and nights of Carnaval were spent dancing, bailando, dançando, dancing, bailando, and dançando. But seriously speaking for a moment, a horrible situation took place. During Saturday, day 2 of Carnaval, there were shots fired in Paraty in the middle of a bloco after a fight broke out in the center of the main event that was taking place. Hundreds of people took off running, ending in tens of people leaving with injuries. About 10 people were shot and 1 man was killed. The next day only a few people participated in the activities that were happening for Carnaval, and the city government  of Paraty cut Carnaval off to end at an earlier time for the coming days. But came Monday, and everyone was back to the same excited and partying spirit! Everything that involves the subject of Carnaval is basically just an excuse for Brazilians to party. So basically the New Year doesn’t truly start until after Carnaval. And basically I think it will be impossible for me to leave this wonderful land of Brazil.

4748 5152683     CARNAVAL!

29823682-eb26-41a4-a56d-11e43a48fc73HiRes5078untitled   Bloco da Lama!

Desfile das Campeãs

After Carnaval, more madness followed as I shimmied my way to Rio AGAIN to watch the Desfile das Campeãs. It was more than I’ve ever imagined. It was 11 HOURS of dancing to the best show on Planet Earth. The samba schools were so beautiful, complex, spirited, and full of felizidade. Sadly for one samba school, Beija Flor, hardly anyone but Beija Flor-ies were enjoying the school’s presentation because of their scandal. It is apparent that Beija Flor had been paid more than $3 million for their chosen theme, which gave them an unfair advantage in budgeting over their competitors. What made things worse was that Beija Flor was crowned winner of the schools of samba! But all in all, it was a once in a lifetime experience of being there for all that action, and at least everyone had a good time for the majority of the show!

435t3457 01111111111111111555956

Bloco de Fofoqueiros de Plantão

2 hours after we watched 11 hours of the most extravagant show on earth, my Brazilians and I headed off to one of the last blocos of the year. I think it’s safe to say that nothing keeps Brazilians from partying, not even shots firing. God bless Brasil. Anyways, the bloco went incredibly, and it was a complete blast dancing in the sunshine with the most fabulous people on earth.

6061

Meeting another Aunt!

After I spent my time in Rio, I returned home to Paraty where I met for the first time my Aunt Lidiane and her girl pal Uelida! We spent a week altogether with the fam passeando, laughing, eating, and just enjoying good company. The goodbyes were tough, but that’s life. Pooop

43511006413_1420684388225243_4600788204080604999_n64

Well, I’m currently over 7 months into my year abroad and I’m still alive. More blogging from this gal shall shortly come y’alls’ ways.

Abraços e beijos,
Jessica Chann

 

IMG_20150319_002407