I am going to start off tonight answering some questions that were asked...
First of all, whether or not Brasil has it's own currency. Yes, in fact, it does. It is called the "real" or in plural "reais". Their bills are very pretty. On the backs they have different pictures of animals and birds. And now, for the price of the average car, it is around R$25,000 to R$30,000 "reais". I'm not sure how much that is Canadian, but I think it's around $14000.
Gas here is selling for about R$2.60 per litre, and I think that would be about $1.30L in Canadian money.
About the smells after they eat, no I don't notice anything different. But you're right, it's probably because I am eating the same food. But when I first got here, I noticed that their breath smells different. Probably because they eat a lot of beans and rice. I don't know how much of a difference that makes.
I think they actually do have log houses here. I know that they aren't as common anymore, but Graça said that she grew up in a log house. Mostly people in poorer towns like Àguas Lindas use bricks that I think are made out of clay or something like that. But many of the houses are made out of stone.
They do have taxis here. Did you know that taxi is the only word that is the same in most every language? Except that it is just said differently.
Speaking of that, this morning I think everyone woke up on the wrong side of the bed. We were trying to drive through town to get to the road to Àguas Lindas, and there were a whole bunch of drivers that were in bad moods. Some guy wouldn't move out of the way for Graça to drive past. Then, we came upon a bus that I think hit the back of a car(not very hard) This school van came up alongside the bus (he was driving half on the sidewalk and half on the road) and we could see through the window he was yelling at the car to move so he could drive by. ummmm...hello!!!! They just had an accident! (It's funny because you don't have to understand a language to know that someone is mad). So when the light turned green, he almost ran over one of the witnesses to the accident so he could on his way. Man alive, I sure wouldn't want him to be driving me to school!
That's another thing that is different. Not many people here own vans, and the only ones you see are for schools. They don't have very many school buses, and if they do, they are clearly marked for the school they run for, not generic like in Canada, marked "school bus". But the vans just say "ESCOLAR" which basically lets you know that they are transportation for schools.
Their movie theaters are very nice. In one of the malls here, called "Taguatinag Shopping", they have about four floors of shopping, and then the top floor in the mall is just for the movies. They have nine rooms for movies, and they're just like Galaxy cinemas, rising up from the floor. Their movies are up to date, too. We have "Ice Age 2" like they do there in Canada (translated it is "Era do Gelo 2") as well as Mission Impossible 3(Missão Impossivel 3). It's awesome for me,though, because they get them with it still in English but Portuguese subtitles, so I am at an advantage, because I don't have to read anything!!! (they will do voice-over Portuguese when they put them on DVD)
There are many beautiful flowers that are blooming right now, but I don't know what any of them are called. They have "black-eyed Susans", but that is all I know. They have this weird bush that has branches with thorns on them, but has cute tiny little flowers the colour of coral. Then there are the trees that are beside the roads as we drive. Many of them have beautiful flowers that are pink and purple! So pretty!
They also have this different plant that I think I have seen in Canada too. It is a wine colour with pointed leaves but it has some dark stripes on it too. And it grows very tall.
I think that's all for today. Sorry I missed yesterday...sometimes I don't have the urge to write anything. But yesterday was good. I was able to help Andréa in one of her classes as she marked tests.
By the way, she's doing fine, just walking kind of funny on her foot. She said today," I think I'm going to attempt driving, but I'm just afraid that I won't be able to press on the brake pedal fast enough if I need to. " So I think she's going to wait a couple more days. I'm so glad that I have never broken any of my toes. Surprising, though, considering how hard I can bang them around! I learned this REALLY crazy long word...I think in English it is "unconstitutionalistic"....ready for it? Ok..."INCONSTITUCIONALISSIMAMENTE". It's alot of fun to say!!!
Hope everyone has a good night, and thanks for all your prayers for me. I am praying for all of you too!
Love, Ash :)