April 29, 2012

A Trip to the West

Last week we took a trip to the west side of Brazil to visit some of Fernando's family and I've decided, that if I die here in Brazil, it will definitely be in a car accident.  Driving in Brazil is very Darwinian in that whoever is bigger or faster usually doesn't die...  The general rule of the road seems to be, when in doubt, speed up...  And the people who are on motorcycles better have cat like speed and reflexes to avoid being squished like flies.  There is a news story pretty much every night about a few motorcyclists that didn't make it through the day.  My natural reaction to being scared of killing someone is to brake, not to speed up, so I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to handle driving in Brazil. 
The west of Santa Catarina is mostly farmland.  Corn, soybeans, trees., etc...  We spent a few days at Fernando's grandma's house and I met eight of my mother-in-law's eleven siblings.  We checked out the tree farm that Fernando's parents own, saw a few different farm animals, ate, slept... Pretty much all that you would expect from an exciting trip to visit family in rural Nebraska! 
Funny tree
One fun thing in the west of Santa Catarina are these trees which are everywhere.  They produce pinhão, which is like a giant pine nut with the consistency of an over-microwaved potato (kinda rubbery, kinda potatoey.)  The trees seem like they belong in a Dr. Seuss book!  Since I don't have too much to say about our trip out west, I've included some pictures!
What the pinhão nut looks like

As for my Portuguese, it is getting better.  I am still not speaking very much, but I am picking up a lot of vocabulary from listening and studying.  Fernando has decided that he doesn't want to be my walking dictionary anymore (damn him!) and that I have to try to describe the word in portuguese rather than translating it... This leads to very exciting exchanges that require the listener to have a superhuman amount of patience.  And since I rarely have enough patience to listen to myself, I usually only speak when necessary.  I am missing having friends, being able to meet people, and being able to get around on my own. 

Pretty farmland

Fernando and his dad with their trees

Me and Fernando in the eucalyptus grove

Stray cow

Beautiful view from the top of the grove

Pretty flowery tree and house next door

Wood fired oven in use in 2012
Fernando making homemade pasta! Yum!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, they seriously still cook on a woodfire oven?!


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