Page 2 of Jester Lee Travel Blog Posts

South America » Brazil » Pará July 4th 2009

So the title is a phrase we have started using alot between me kathryn and our homie Josh. He started it really. Kath as he calls her was going to pet his giant dog Rocky Rambo and he just blurted it out. We bought some tickets at the train station to Maraba because we were told it is cheaper to get to Belem. And since they couldn't provide a map nor information and since it is difficult to get to the train station to buy tickets, we made an adventurous decision. We bought tickets and talked our friend Josh into coming with (Foda-se!, Foda-se!). Upon arriving at home and reading our travel guide to find out more about this city Maraba that was recommended to us by the train station we found out a really funny ... read more
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South America » Brazil » Maranhão » São Luis July 3rd 2009

So without the constant barrage of the senses of the historic district, the culture shock has subsided substantially. Today I was really able to just sit back and appreciate the beauty of this place and really kind of fall in love with it. A friend we made had a car and drove us around town a little and to the train station to check on ticket prices to Belem. (yeah we changed plans and will probably take a train on saturday) It was nice to just sit and ride and listen to some music while watching the scenery pass. It had a feeling of normalcy and allowed me to just soak it all in. I wasn't trying to figure anything out or find anything or get a seat on the bus or try to hold on ... read more
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South America » Brazil » Maranhão » São Luis July 1st 2009

I have found that the hardest part of studying a culture first hand is the language barrier. You can witness something first hand and make judgements and analysis, but his is useless in large part without an understanding of the background. And aquiring backgrounds is difficult if you do not speak the language. This trip is extremely overwhelming, absolutely incredible and very frustrating. I have never been out of the United States before. I have tried but something has always gotten in the way. I sometimes question whether or not I should have ever come here, but in large part I think this was necessary.Sometimes I feel like I can't breathe and my chest will explode, like my brain is swelling and liquifying and oozing out of my ears, but this is what I needed. It ... read more

South America » Brazil » Maranhão » São Luis July 1st 2009

So the title is in reference to the fact that alot of people here say this to us. I am told it is because we are from the United States and they are very proud of their children for learning english well enough to show us around and invite us over. So life in the country has proven much nicer than in the historical center. Mostly because we are not in a hotel and we get fresh air. It is nice to have a kitchen to cook meals in. We have been cooking them alot of meals and they for us as well. So far we have cooked them tacos (they don't exist here) for which we had to make our own tortillas, crepes with cheese and tomatoes, bean burgers, macoroni and cheese. They have cooked ... read more
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South America » Brazil » Maranhão » São Luis June 27th 2009

... gonna eat me alot of passion fruit. Study abroad is finished! I still have a paper to turn in by July 12th but the classes are done and we are out of that noisy ass hotel! We are going to be staying with a friend for about a week in his orchard. It is soooo much nicer than the hotel AND I dont have classes 8 hours a day! AND I am not sick anymore! We are recovering and chillin with our friend josh. Yesterday I got my hair cut by an old man with shaky hands who has been cutting hair for 40 years in a rickety old shop with old school barber shop chairs. It was fuckin awesome! Best hair cut I have ever recieved. He shaved my face with a straight razor ... read more
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South America June 24th 2009

I slept like 12 hours last night and I am still exhausted, but I just thought I would add some photos from the 4 day excursion we took into the back country of maranhao. I will add more later and talk a little about things then. Friday June 19 2009 Drove in a bus today from sao luis to bareirinhas today. 4 hours on some bumpy roads. About 1.5 hours into the ride I had a talk with my antibiotics and decided to share my breakfast with some ants in a violent and unpleasant manner. The highways are pretty run down and there are alot of houses and communities along them in the middle of nowhere. its hard to imagine how isolated these people must be and yet they see so many people pass everyday from ... read more
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South America » Brazil » Maranhão » São Luis June 16th 2009

I have been trying to upload videos to my blog for the last couple of days, but it is not working. I did not go to school again today, because I still do not feel very good. No more fever or body aches, but I still have a bad cough and last night I lost my voice because my throat was so raw. overall nothing really new going on because I have been sick and resting. the internet here is not very good. so uploading things is difficult and this is the reason I do not add more photos and videos than I do. I do not seem to get any better. I feel better and then I get worse again. I think it is the air in this hotel, it is a historic building and ... read more
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South America » Brazil » Maranhão » São Luis June 15th 2009

translation of the title "I feel bad" So I have been sick for the last couple of days. I have had a fever and a very bad cough as well as a headache and body aches. We went to see a capoeria show put on by all of the local capoeira schools. It was a benefit for the local areas here suffering from severe flooding. The entry fee was 2lbs of non perishable food per person. It was freakin awesome. I got lots of video for us rich. Then we went to the club and danced our faces off. I even got up on top of the speakers and danced. I have found that when I go with lots of friends to dance with I really like to do it and I like being taught different ... read more

South America » Brazil » Maranhão » São Luis June 13th 2009

translation of the title is "The book is on the table." apparently this is what people here say when they want to pretend like they speak English. They will just say this phrase over and over again to try to impress their friends that don't speak English. We have been having a good time harassing our Portuguese teacher by saying it in Portuguese it seems that during those rare occasions when I have the time and the energy to write in my blog, the internet does not want to work. Things are going well. Today we visited the favellas (sp?) or slums. One of the girls here is doing research on the relocation project the govt is doing in the slums to move them into something more like the projects. She met a gentlemen at one ... read more

South America » Brazil » Maranhão » São Luis June 7th 2009

Translation of the title is "The life here is fast." I am learning alot of portuguese and sometimes forget I can speak english instead of very poor portuguese. I have not been keeping up with this blog very well, because things happen so fast here and there is so much going on. At times it is so overwhelming and it doesn't even feel real. I understand what culture shock is... I do not experience it all the time, but every few days or so, it just becomes too much. This month is Bumba-meu-boi which is a month long festival with costumes and parties and dancing and loud music and drums, etc. Bumba-meu-boi does not help with these periods of home sickness and being overwhelmed. I mean I get overwhelmed at home, but then I can go ... read more
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