Dec. 29Th, 2008
We're in Sao Paulo today. We arrived late last night when our final flight touched down. As far as flights go, it was wonderful! The plane was hardly full at all which gave us plenty of space to stretch out and move around. When you're going to be in a confined space for 10 hours, the more room you have, the better. We each took a row and could actually sleep horizontal when the feeling struck us.
We were fortunate enough to be picked up at the airport by friends of our friend, Ebano. There are a lot of us to pick up, and we come bearing a lot of luggage, but we managed to squeeze into two vehicles and then headed to our hotel for the night.
I wouldn't want to live permanently in the neighbourhood this hotel is located (it's downtown and in a busy and loud area), but it was clean and comfortable. The girls slept in one room, while the boys in another. I figured out how to work the toilet and shower, and for the most part, we all slept soundly.
Currently, it's almost 10:00AM and we're waiting for all of our crew to be up and dressed so we can get some breakfast. Then we'll head out to see some Sao Paulo sights with the same kind souls who picked us up last night. Until then, the kids are furiously studying Portuguese (aka: watching Portuguese cartoons on TV... they didn't realize Sponge Bob spoke Portuguese!), Rich is in the shower, and I'm wrapping up my blog for this morning.
I have some time on my hands before I pass out for the night. We're embarking on an all night, 10 hour bus ride from Sao Paulo to Floripa. We're all pretty exhausted, given that we're still trying to catch up to the six hour time difference. But it's been a wonderful day! Luciano has been an angel to us. He has taken us all around Sao Paulo, acting as our personal tour guide. He gave up his entire day for us, and put up with all our craziness. We have a new best friend. Thank you, Luciano.
Sao Paulo is an enormous city with almost the population of all of Canada... but in one mega city. We saw malls, subways, parks, grocery stores, restaurants, a water show, and a whole lot of people. It's so good to be totally immersed in the Portuguese culture and language. I think it will go a long way in helping the kids and I learn enough of the language to get us by. “Where is the bathroom?” and “Do you speak english?” only take you so far....
The other angel who has helped us out is Luciano's friend, though I cannot remember his name. In any event, he has helped with transportation and has been a kind friend, always speaking more english than initially admitting to. He took Ryan and Michael under his wing, teaching them some valuable slang, which at first alarmed me, but I was informed it was useful, non-vulgar slang, so tudo bien.
I hope the bus ride proves uneventful. I've armed the gaggers w/ Gravol, myself included. I have a couple in front of me who could benefit from a private bedroom, but there is no TV to watch, so that will have to suffice, I suppose. Floripa, here we come.