Monday, March 19, 2007

Alright finally going to start blogging over here again. Had an outstanding bit of travel with Vanessa in January and February. You can see some posts over at her blog vanessaadvent2007.blogspot.com. I also posted a handful of times over there, but not nearly as often as I should have.

I was originally going to have 4 days back in the US. This was because the Fulbright will pay for a plane ticket, but only directly to Brazil and on a US carrier (Congress of course mandated this. Another example of not giving taxpayers the most for their money, but hey they pay for it, so I'm not going to start a massive lobby...). Instead Vanessa was named a finalist for the Truman Scholarship, and her interview would be 2 weeks after I was going to leave originally. So I figured I'd stay, and besides it gave me a chance to be back for a bit and enjoy things.

I flew back to Rio on Friday. Two interesting tidbits about flying to South America. A) you'd be surprised how cheap it is. You can fairly easily get a round trip for $800 or so. B) not everyone realizes that South America is way east of the US. Which South American country do you first hit if you go straight south from the tip of Florida? Columbia? Ecuador? No, you go completely west of the entire continent. In fact, Rio is pretty darn close to West Africa. Twice as close or so as it is to Phoenix.

Anyway I stayed in a hotel the first day so I could take advantage of storing the two biggest of my 4 bags (backpack, small carryon, a hikers backpack, and a duffel bag, all half empty in case i end up with more than i came with) at the hotel. I was going to have an exhaustive apartment search, but the hostel I stayed in the next night was miserable. It is already hot and humid here since it is the end of summer, but there was neither AC nor even a fan in the hostel, and it was like a sauna. So I expedited my search process and now am with a family. I'll post more on them and their scary cat later, including a picture. Also plan to have retroactive pics and such from the last 2 months.

All the best,
Ryan

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