A moment in Brazilian time....

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South America » Brazil » Bahia » Itacaré
July 23rd 2012
Published: August 11th 2012
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We arrived at the scene to find this...We arrived at the scene to find this...We arrived at the scene to find this...

These 2 poles were as high as the coconut trees and covered in butter/fat/oil/grease to make the climb almost impossible!
It's official. Surfing is the hardest thing I've ever done. Maybe not physically, but definitely mentally...
I'm not use to something taking so long to learn - oh, beside Portuguese that is 😞
People compare it to snowboarding, but I think it is so different. It isn't necessarily up to you or your capabilities. So much is out of your control and left to mother nature. The shape of the wave, the wind, the tide. Some days I get so frustrated at myself because I think I'm not where I should be after 3 months. And then I go back into shore and one of the guys told me they were some of the biggest waves he's ever surfed and I think, "ok. Maybe I'm not THAT bad." At least I was out there having a go!
For now, my fear factor seems to be quite small towards what I'll go out in and try. I'm so determined to get this, I sometimes dream about it and picture myself (on a better board!) catching that perfect wave. Watching surf movies before bed probably assists this - and I'm no Layne Beachley, yet! But I will be good at
Prizes of glory!Prizes of glory!Prizes of glory!

"And why climb the pole?" I hear you ask? Well, atop of these structures held pots, pans, havaianas, bikinis, food - oh, and a couple of hundred Reals ($$$) hidden somewhere too!
this - I'm so determined to be. But I have to remember why I'm doing this sometimes also, because i love it and I love the feeling. I need to forget about the challenge and the need to learn it faster - and just enjoy!! A friend recently said to me, "Nothing easy in life is good for you" and I really like this quote. It can be applied to just about anything in life...

*As an interlude - I'm sitting in the bus station in Ilheus, 2hrs from Itacare, waiting for Miss Kelley Tessier to arrive for a visit (girl, I hope you're on the right bus!) and as I look up 3 men with assault rifles walk in, hands held securely in place. They are just emptying the atm. How weird that the sight of guns twice as long as my arm has become the norm... The police drive down the street with the end of their automatic sticking out of the window - I question whether this is due to the size of their weapon or their ego (read into that last comment as you wish....)*

And on the subject of my Portuguese?
Dance Off!!Dance Off!!Dance Off!!

You DON'T want to know what these kids were doing! I swear those moves they can make should be illegal!?!
It's getting there. Right now it's the end of the day and I've gone the whole day thus far only speaking Portuguese - but I need to do this more often. Most of my friends are expats from somewhere in the world so the primary language spoken between us is English. I can get myself around ok and hold a basic conversation, plus I've just spent the day in Ilheus looking for a new surfboard (unfortunately with no success) and found a young Brazilian on the bus who became a semi escort and showed me around the city & hugely helped me out. He spoke no English either. So it is possible. This can be achieved also!
NB: You need to know Brazilians are just so friendly! They will go out of their way to help you with anything - even if they don't know, they'll still try. And 95% of the time they don't expect anything in return. The other 5% it's because they're trying to get in your pants! Just ask Kel about the guy in the Rio hostel - she thought he was gay. She soon discovered he was a 5%er ;o)

I received my first package from home a few months ago. To see a collection of some of my daggy old clothes was so great! And the 6 blocks of dark chocolate and 2 bags of Caramello Koalas - needless to say I was smiling for days!! For almost 5kg of my own belongings it did cost mum a small fortune to send and then the Brazilian government decided to tax me 60% of their perceived value on what they classified as 'imported goods' - so with 1 weeks salary to get it out of the Post Office, it was still all worth while to recieve (thank you, thank you, thank you).

I also had my first visitors last month and it was so wonderful! Tom & Bri are travelling from Sydney around South America before they move to the UK to live and they stopped in here for a 5 day visit. In true old school TIAB style where Tom and I use to work, we went out on the Friday night after drinking 3 bottles of wine between the 3 of us (you do the math) and then moved onto a night of vodka. Needless to say, I don't remember walking the 700m home that night! Well it actually turns out I didn't. It took me 2 days to discover a friend gave me a lift - so I'm not sure which is worse!! But it was so wonderful to see them both and seeing my dear friend so happy it made me smile as they were so relaxed and just enjoying life together, very much in love. Sending much love to you both for your new start in the UK and thank you for coming and saying hello! It means the world to me 😊 x.

Work wise, teaching English is going great and I really enjoy it. It is such an enjoyable challenge and when a lesson doesn't go according to plan, I've realised there is nothing I can do to change what was - only to learn from it and ensure I can make the next lesson even better. I watch both kids and adults learn and I think they are learning so fast! (and I wonder why my Portuguese isn't progressing that quickly!) The past month there has been a lot of holidays here, so it's been a struggle to get them
I need more colourful clothes!!I need more colourful clothes!!I need more colourful clothes!!

Myself, Yvonne & Lala
to turn up to class (adults included!). In the state of Bahia there are only 280(something??) working days. Add school holidays to that and you'll understand a little better why things take so long to get done around here! And you know when the surf is good when the men walk in 20 mins late with a huge smile exclaiming "boas ondas!" (good waves!). Sometimes there is nothing you can do which would get them to class ontime.... 😊

We just finished the main part of low season in Itacare and it was strange but really nice to see the streets and bars empty, even on the weekends. That is all changing now with the European summer on and a surf comp occurring over the weekend in town. It also means the rainy season is letting up, which is great - though I think we got off fairly well this year in comparison to what I've been told of recent years. Water temperature & air temperature are matching and are both generally sitting around 25 degrees. Not a bad winter they have here it seems! So now it's just the August winds to follow and I'm not looking
A helping handA helping handA helping hand

One of the girls climbing up and about to stand on my shoulders
forward to it (for surf reasons of course!). Dammit, I can't get away from them anywhere in the world! My birthday was always in the middle of gale force winds at home growing up also.

Next week I'm 'taking holidays' and am heading up into North Brazil with Kel to visit friends and travel somewhere new for 2 weeks. The plan is to got to Pipa and do some more surfing and then head to Jericocara and maybe learn how to kitesurf - something I've always wanted to do! :D There will be a lot of stories and boozey nights ahead and when we get to Jeri and visit 3 Brazilian girlfriends who live there - well, god help the 5 of us girls and watch out Jeri! ;o)
I'm looking forward to getting out of town for a few weeks though. It makes being able to come back here even more special...

I have my own place in town now and I quite enjoy living solo for the first time. It won't last long though as when I get back from 'holidays' (I know you're all laughing when I use that word) a friend
Tower of Women!!Tower of Women!!Tower of Women!!

This is about as high as we got - we needed more people! ps. It wasn't easy!!
arrives at the same time from Sweden to come live here too. We met when she was first here in March and she's decided to return on a one-way ticket. Big celebrations will occur on the 24th August this year also as we share the same birthday - just 1 year apart! So it's going to be interesting (and a whole lot of fun!) living with a "double" of me! 😉

Well, it's close to 6pm now and Kel hasn't arrived on the bus and I've been waiting for 3hrs already. I have a strange feeling she's on the wrong bus to a different location, so I'm going to head back to Itacare to find out if she's waiting there!?! Lucky I wasn't working today and got in an early surf session before I left this morning 😉 There won't be any jokes when she arrives though as it will be a 30 plus hour bus trip she would have done from Rio........ouch!!

Please don't let that deter you if you want to come and visit though! You can fly into Ilheus instead of bus - you just need to book more than 2 weeks in advance if you want it to be feasible!

So to everyone at home; I hope you're all safe and happy. Miss you dearly but there is no return ticket for me just yet..

And to all my friends I've met whilst travelling; if you've still got the bug, just do it (again)! 😊

Hugs & other love,

Cas. xx

Ps. Dad - my email works. Hint: Say hi sometime!? 😊 love you. x

Pps. These photos are brought to you from São João festivities which took place at the end of June in Itacare. That pole you see - well of course us girls thought we should have a go also as it wasn't just the boys who could do it! We failed...

Ppps. Kel arrived safely after 30hrs & 3 buses - so it was straight to the bar to catch up like we would have on a Sunday afternoon session in Sydney! xx.

Additional photos below
Photos: 11, Displayed: 11



This poor guy was left hanging onto the top after everyone crumbled below him! Hands are in the air for the prizes to be thrown!
In full formation!In full formation!
In full formation!

They are some strong shoulders.....trust me!!

12th August 2012

Hi Cassie, Wow, you are still over there. Must be a good life for you. Have fun, enjoy and be good......haha Shas

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