99.9% of my time in Brazil was spent in the horizontal position besides a body of water. I am not ashamed to admit that I passed nearly all of my days at the beach and/or by the pool. It was nothing but a vacation in paradise.
Semester at Sea offered plenty of fun trips and excursions for in Brazil, even trips to the Amazon, but they all cost a fortune so I decided to just take it easy and I’m sure glad I did (and I think my bank account would agree).
Brazil’s beaches are some of the nicest and cleanest I’ve ever seen! I am not sure who pays them or if they do it out of the sheer goodness of their hearts, but every few minutes a person can be seen passing by on the beach, garbage bag in hand, collecting any trash laying around. There is also an occasional person who walks by with a watering can and sprinkles water on your toes to cool you off. I like these people. But my absolute favorite thing about Brazil is the coconuts.
Coconut stands are scattered everywhere throughout the city and on the beach. People can be seen walking to and from work or school with coconut in hand, or laying out by the beach with a coconut by their side. Curiosity got the best of me one day, so I ordered myself a coconut from the nearest stand. Maybe it’s because my expectations were low, or maybe I was slightly dehydrated at the time, but that coconut was the best thing I’ve ever sipped. Holy moly me oh my I did not expect to like drinking coconut water that much! It was so delicious, simply sweet. And so began my obsession with coconuts, let’s just say that wasn’t the last coconut I purchased in Brazil. I love the fact that God created something as simple as coconuts for us to stick a straw in and sip out of. Brazil, your coconuts will be missed.
Another thing that sparked my excitement in Brazil were the Christmas decorations! On a trip to the mall I was especially excited to find the mall decked out in Christmas decor from lights, to music, to sleighs, to nativity scenes, and a massive tree in the center! I am a Christmas fanatic and one of the hardest parts about being away from home right now is knowing that I’m missing the majority of the holiday season. So bumping into a massive Christmas tree was a pleasant surprise!
Brazil was a time of much needed relaxation and reflection, but now it’s back to sea for 9 days. With out trip coming down to the final stretch most of our time now is spent at sea, but believe me it’s almost as fun as being on land! When I’m not in class I’m usually laying out in the sun on the top deck, swimming in the pool, or taking a yoga class. Every few days I also meet with a group of about twenty students for Bible study. I love Bible study nights, I always leave feeling fulfilled.
There are also fun events planned every night on the ship. Movie nights, ice cream socials, star gazing, coffee house (a talent show sort of hangout where everyone sits around, drinks coffee, and listens to people sing, play piano, or recite poetry), game nights, and so on keep us from getting bored.
Currently everyone is prepping for the Sea Olympics. Every student is assigned a ‘sea’ based on where their cabin is located on the ship, each hallway is a different sea. On Sea Olympics day all of the seas compete with one another in various activities, from extreme musical chairs, to ping pong matches, to name games, to synchronized swimming, and so on. It is an entire day of battle, and at the end of the day the sea that scored the highest is announced as the champions.
So as we take off from Brazil and head toward Trinidad & Tobago I will be in rigorous training for the Sea Olympics, and hopefully next time you hear from me I’ll be able to say that the Yellow Sea took the trophy this year!(: