Ola from Brazil! If you're following me on Instragram, you may have already noticed the hashtag - #amytaninbrazil. It's pretty straight forward and seemed like a fitting way of getting everyone's Instas in one place. Also, as it turns out, Facebook seems to reign supreme when it comes to social networking, and these speedy Brazilians leave the events and within hours have posted their photos from the day. Pretty impressive considering I still haven't even posted my wrap up from Germany from a week and half ago. (Will do it soon!) As I venture into the last city of this tour, I thought it would be a good time to share with you some of the first city's highlights. And shed some light on the reality of traveling, and how it can seem glamorous, when in reality, it isn't this way most of the time.
Though I was blessed with smooth flights and fine connections, being on an airplane for over 13+ hours isn't exactly easy. I managed to get a lot of rest on the leg from Miami to San Salvador, so much so that they stewardess kindly let me skip breakfast and at the last moment (with only 20 minutes left), she softly woke me up and handed me some juice and offered me coffee. I was completely dazed for the hour layover in San Salvador, and then took a little nap for the short flight into Recife. Upon landing, I was the first to get into the immigration line for non-residents. Unable to say anything in Portuguese, I waited until the guy waved me ahead to approach the desk, where I stood for at least 10 minutes. He asked me something in Portuguese, to which I said "English?" and he said "No", with a little wave of his hand. Then he pointed to his computer screen and I surmised that he was waiting for the system to turn on. It was after all, only about 9am. As I looked behind me, the line had grown to about 30 people, and he was still helping me. The computer eventually started working and we continued without saying a word to each other. When he handed me back my passport, I said thank you and off I went. Since I didn't have to pick up any bags or claim anything for customs, I simply exited. And then I saw a man holding a sign and smiled and realized that he spoke no English. No worries, I thought to myself, Rommel my travel companion/translator should be arriving in 30 minutes. The driver handed me a note and I was assured by the store owner, Ema, that Rommel would arrive soon and should I need anything to just call her on the driver's cell. We sat down and about 15 minutes later, out of the blue in perfect English, he said to me, "My name is Mario." I laughed and we tried with sign language and all kind of things to communicate for the next 2 hours! Turns out Rommel's flight was delayed and no one really knew what time he was to arrive, etc etc. We killed the time by looking through some photos, I edited some of the South Africa video, and just sitting there. I wasn't hungry or all that tired and we simply tried to make the most of it. Failed attempts to get online and a couple phone calls from Ema later, we decided to take a walk. We went to the food court and looked out the window at the planes. I'm pretty sure at this point, we were both thinking the same thing. We even laughed at ourselves at one point because it always took at least 2 minutes to convey what normally would take 10 seconds. At least we were smiling. Then finally we got the call and Rommel had landed! Only 1 and half hours after he was supposed to, which meant 2 hours of hanging out at the airport after nearly 15 hours of travel. Oye! (That is an expression I have picked up here).
Thankfully, it has all been wonderful since. Here's proof.All's well that ends well, and this was really just the beginning. In case you were wondering, the trucks are from the construction site of the World Cup stadium, where they are apparently working around the clock. And sadly, I only got close to the pool to take that photo where the water is just teasing me. The location of the 3 classes was the clubhouse, located just steps above the oasis that was beckoning.
The venue was spectacular, but the people even more so. What a fantastic group, I feel truly blessed. 3 ladies even flew in from over 600 kilometers away just for the day! Big hugs to everyone in Recife - the first stop really set an amazing tone for this entire trip. Ema, I am taking you up on that offer to go to the beach (or at least a dip in that pool) next time. Muito obrigada!!