Briefly Being Bahian (Originally Posted: July 15, 2012)

I am in Salvador, Bahia for six weeks to participate in more intensive language training and conduct some preliminary research.  In the 36 hours I’ve been here, I’ve navigated the route between school and home, had my first guarana, ingested pao de queijo, and of course got lost.  Actually, I knew exactly where I was, I just couldn’t find my dinnermate.  Alas.  Since then I’ve arranged lunch for next week with a friend of a friend and dinner with my history professor who is in the archives from 8am-6pm everyday here.  Who knew Kristin Mann was such a beast?!?  She’s going to show me the archival ropes!  #nerdalert

I am so fortunate to be staying in the abode of a fellow scholar who is interested in all the same things I’m interested in.  Wanting to have a meeting with her lead to me house-sitting for my stay.  I’ll take it!  And I’ll also take all the books in her library!  Seriously.  The historian on my exam committee suggested I round out my exam list with more Portuguese authors, but I had no idea where to start.  No problem-I start with Elena’s bookshelves!  I was so excited!  She’s a medical and cultural anthropologist and her shelves are full of books about genetics, brazilian black health policy conference publications, stuff on race, science, and society…this chick is right up my alley!  Can’t wait to meet her.   #nerdalertx2

It’s my second time here, though in a completely different neighborhood.  I was apprehensive before arriving, especially since my stateside incident, but once I got here, I felt pretty comfortable.  My Portuguese?  Oh Lord, it sucks.  I have my dictionary everywhere I go though and I know barely enough.  I miss not being so near the beach, but I’ve planned my route so I have to see the coast to and from school for my commute every day.

So far from my open windows I’ve heard early morning school band rehearsal, classical music, a samba concert (tonight!)-I wish I knew where it was.  And it smells like home.  This morning smelled just like my mother’s kitchen on any given Sunday.  Deelish.  I don’t even know how to work the stove yet, so it’s canned tuna and bread, butter, and guava jam until my lesson this week.  UPDATE: Lesson occurred this evening.  AFTER I blew out half of the house’s electricity.  oops.

The hardest thing is going to be for me to remember NOT to flush the TP.  I’m going to cause a problem soon.

Here are some pics from the house and my personal jungle.  I hereby dub my house:  the jungalow.

Yes Please

Yes Please

My bedroom. I share it with a contraption called a gyrotonic machine. Pilates-like. But not quite? Freaky.

 

Living Room

Living Room

 

Kitchen

Kitchen

 

Kitchen leading into a space that has washer and plants...I don't know what this space is besides a back room.

Kitchen leading into a space that has washer and plants…I don’t know what this space is besides a back room.

briefly being bahian 3

Watercloset

 

Den? Study? My host is a minimalist. I can dig it. great dancing floors.

Den? Study? My host is a minimalist. I can dig it. great dancing floors.

 

View from my room

View from my room

 

My personal jungle. Monkeys are everywhere, but luckily not in my trees.

My personal jungle. Monkeys are everywhere, but luckily not in my trees.

 

There is a huge mango tree in my jungle. Hope someone is enjoying them when they drop.

There is a huge mango tree in my jungle. Hope someone is enjoying them when they drop.

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