Published: January 4th 2006January 2nd 2006
Two Thousand and Six…it is kind of weird to think six years ago a lot of people were afraid that the Y2K was going to wreak havoc, but fortunately nothing happened. Six years ago I invited Heather to go to Seattle along with my buddy Alan for the Millennium Celebration. Well there was a bomb scare at the Space Needle which closed down all festivities so we passed up Seattle and decided Vancouver Canada was the next best place to party. We asked some locals where to go and they recommended the “First Night” celebration. We showed up, paid to get in, and then found out it was a celebrations for families, not the party we were expecting, but we made our own fun - and not to mention, that's where our romance all began.
Now why the long story about us from 6 years ago? When I was first writing down my thoughts, I was thinking that 2006 was our first New Year in a different country, but as you can see, I was wrong. Now to think of it, we have celebrated a couple New Years with our Canadian neighbors eh!
The week after Christmas was some
what uneventful, but we did a lot of relaxing to say the least. We visited the local beach, Boa Viagem and enjoyed the sun and water. I performed some research about the shark attacks in Recife, since we were told it's dangerous to swim here, and I found out that since 1992, there have been 47 shark attacks along the 20-km (12.5-mile) stretch of Boa Viagem. Sixteen of them were fatal. There are more shark attacks in Florida and Australia than in Brazil, but statistically, a higher proportion of attack victims have died in Recife. One in every three attacks is fatal.
So I started to do some thinking and determined that from what I have seen there are an average of 500 people that swim everyday at Boa Viagem. That is roughly 182,000 swimmers a year, and about 2.5 million in the last 14 years (going back to 1992). See where I am going with this? 47 attacks / 2.5 million swimmers = .00188% chance of me being attacked. But if I was, I would have 66% chance of survival, minus a few limbs.
Anyways, we decided to take the gamble and go for a swim. It
started off well, but unfortunately I didn’t make it unscathed. Recife is named such because of the extensive reef system along the coast (Recife translated in English is reef) and my big toe made friends with one of these reefs and left me with a cut. Then I started thinking about the fact that sharks, with their famous olfactory sense, like blood and my heart started to race a little bit, but being as adventurous as we are, we continued to play in the water for another 10 seconds or so.
Before we knew it New Years Eve snuck up on us very fast. We had plans to return to Tia Ana and Samuel’s Casa where we celebrated Christmas Eve. Nothing starts too early here so we watch a couple movies and headed out around 10pm for the festivities. You'll notice in the photos a lot of people wearing white, it's is one of the continuing traditions today. Their house was decorated very beautifully, also all in white, and they had plenty to eat and drink for us all. We were greeted by many familiar faces and felt like we were among family.
We enjoyed some finger foods,
spirits, conversation, and some more food. All the sudden many bottles of champagne were passed around and Samuel brought out a huge square box. We all followed him to the front of the house where we poured everyone a glass of some bubbly and then Samuel lit a fuse sticking out of the box and we had a lovely 7 second display of fireworks. Afterwards, there were many people shouting "Feliz Ano Novo" and giving hugs and kisses.
After everyone had settled down, they brought out one of my favorite Brazilian dishes called Bobó de Camarão which is served over rice. I don’t really know how to explain the dish except for the fact that it is a thick soup with a mild coconut flavor and has shrimp; it has a taste that is making my mouth water right now. After our feast of Bobó, the music started up and people were hitting the dance floor.
Brazil is very traditional in their dance and you learn at a young age, so needless to say, everyone here knows how to dance well. We, being from a different land, don’t have a strong background in how to move it like
they do, but they were determined to teach us how and we had a great time learning! After I lost about 17 pounds from dancing, I looked at my watch and it was about 3am, but we weren’t tired and half the people were still there so we continued to dance and have fun.
Well it was soon 4am, then 5am, and then finally at 6am we decided to head home. I can’t even remember the last time we stayed out that late (or do you say early?), but we did have a great time! On our way in we stopped by to take some pictures of the early morning sun as well as the Virgin Mary that is tucked underneath the entry steps. We were in bed around 7:30 am and can’t even remember closing our eyes we were so tired!
We slept in on New Year's Day and when we woke up we just watched a couple of movies and hung out. Not too different here then anywhere else, except for the fact that we didn’t get to see Dick Clark count down and watch the ball drop in Time Square. How is he still alive?
I wonder what little birdie these came from?
On the beaches in Brazil you can buy quail eggs with salt...very tasty
Happy New Year everyone! May this be the most prosperous yet!
Love Ben and Heather
There are more photos below