I’m about to move to Teresina, Brazil to spend 5 months training English teachers there through the State Department’s English Language Specialist program. I like to set goals each time I move to a new country, so here’s the Brazilian version:
1. Take forró dance lessons. Forró is both a style of music and type of dance, especially popular in the Northeast of Brazil (where I’ll be) since it’s from that region. I’ve looked up some videos and it reminds me a little of cumbia, which I can dance a bit. I’m really excited to try it! Here’s an example of some basic moves, and here’s one of more advanced dancers.
2. Visit Lençóis Maranhenses National Park. I first learned about this park in the listening and speaking class I taught this past year, as our textbook included a page about this natural area. It’s 580 square miles of white sand dunes, which develop lagoons during the rainy season. It looks spectacular, and is in the state next to where I’ll be living. Sounds like a weekend trip in the making!
3. See Iguaczu Falls. They’re giant waterfalls on the border between Brazil and Argentina. Eric’s going to need to renew his tourist visa sometime in August, so that seems like a good reason to cross the border into Argentina and back, enjoying some waterfall views at the same time.
4. Visit The Pantanal. This is a large tropical wetland in southwestern Brazil, and a great place to see wildlife since it’s a much more open landscape than rain forests. Sign me up!
5. Enjoy some beach time. My city, Teresina, is not on the coast. Sadly, it’s about 5 hours from the coast, but go to the coast I will. How can you go to Brazil and not visit one of their famously awesome beaches?
6. See Carol. One of my friends from grad school is Brazilian, and now lives in Brasilia, so I hope we can meet up. I haven’t seen her for 7 or 8 years!
7. Try cashew fruit. Cashew trees are native to Northeastern Brazil, and produce a fruit in addition to nuts. Who knew? I guess it makes a tasty juice, so I’m looking forward to trying it.