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June 8th 2009
Published: June 9th 2009
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We finally got to Brazil after a long and bumpy flight on Delta Airlines. We stayed at Sonesta Ibirapuera, which was a small and inexpensive hotel, at $70 a night.

Our first stop was to the Pinacotea do Estado art museum, it was designed by Ramos de Azevedo and built between 1897 and 1900. It first opened as a school for the arts, and then in 1911 it opened to the public when it held its first art exhibit. This first art exhibit gave the Pinacoteca do Estado the honor of being the first art museum in São Paulo. The museum was unfilled, which was nice because then we weren’t completely surrounded by people. It was quite large and had a array of different types of artwork.

Next we stopped at Jardin's District for some shopping, Jake bought a Brazilian poncho. From there we caught a bus to the tours of Brazil’s rainforests. First, our tour guide Francisco took us and nine others on a boat ride down a small part of the Amazon River. The forest and river were striking, as well as hot and muggy. Since our tour only lasted a few hours we only covered a very short portion of the river, and we stayed in the boat of course.

The rainforest was full of animals like gators, frogs, exotic birds, turtles, dolphins and big cats, which we kept our distance from. The river is the largest river in the world by volume, and it is bigger than the next eight largest rivers combined. More than one third of all species in the world live in the Amazon Rainforest, it has between 3,000 and 5,000 fish species.

When we got back to our hotel late that night and went out to dinner and ate Feijoada, which is a black beans and pork stew and drank Caipirinha, and finished off with a dessert of Bolinho de chuva. The food was good and inexpensive, and the restaurant was clean with friendly staff.

There are two things that are very relevant in Brazilian culture, church and football (soccer). This was quite obvious as we walked back from the restaurant, Catholic cathedrals lined the streets, and in the streets were kids, from five to late teens playing football, and this didn’t just happen at night, the streets were lined with football-kicking kids all day long. Jake tried to join them in a game, but the Brazilian kids were less then impressed with his lack of talent. The second but most popular sport in Brazil is volleyball, as many girls and boys had little nets set up in front yards to play.

Some facts about life in Brazil:

  • Kids in Brazil go to school from 7 years old to 14 years old
  • They have only 4 hours of school a day
  • 60%!o(MISSING)f Brazilian homes have no toilets or drains.
  • 52%!h(MISSING)ave no waste collection
  • 70%!h(MISSING)ave no running water
  • Rubber is found in the Amazon rain forest to make tires and shoes.


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