Wednesday, September 29, 2010

tango, can you do the fandago?

This week was "Semana de Letras." It is one week each year where the majority of classes are cancelled and instead students attend different seminars related to literature, linguistics, and culture. One of my classmates and I took advantage of the opportunity and signed up for a tango class!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Saturday, September 25, 2010

parabéns cátia e bruno!

One cute couple? A wedding far far away? A bus full of Brazilians? Pretty dresses, fancy food and some good ole move-bustin'?


(I don't think there's a doubt in anyone's mind that Brazilians know how to throw a party!)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

oi, tchê!

This is a commercial for a telephone company, but it shows a lot of the typical things involved in gaucho culture that I've talked about in previous blogs. See if you can spot some!

Monday, September 20, 2010


Here in the south the month begins with the celebration of independence from Portugal and ends with the celebration of a lost war for independence against the rest of Brazil.

The 20th of September. For gauchos, the demonym for people from Rio Grande do Sul (the most southern state in Brazil), this day is even more important than Independence Day. It is a day to celebrate the southern culture and oddly, their lost war.

The Farroupilha War began on September 20, 1835 when one person from the south fired against the opposing Brazilians and his fellow gauchos said, "Meh, alright. Let's start a war." While obviously an exaggeration and economic differences between Rio Grande do Sul and the rest of the country are to blaim, this is more or less the explanation I got.

The war lasted ten years and thankfully the south lost, is still part of Brazil, and these gauchos are still speaking Portuguese!

Nowadays gauchos from all over the state congregate at "Acampamento Farroupilha," a month-long celebration/campout with all of the necessities for gaucho culture. Chimarrão, churrasco, music, typical clothing, and some horses are not to be missed!

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Tonight I went to my first Gaucho soccer game! It was the 107th anniversary of the club. They lost 2 - 1 against Palmeiras. But at least I got to see the Avalanche! Whenever Grêmio scores all of the fans in one section of the stadium run down to the field and then back up to their seats. It gets pretty crazy!
Olímpico Stadium
me and Letícia (my roommate)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

vale 1230

The first Tuesday of every month a student artist or band from my univeristy is chosen to play a show during the lunch interval. The show takes place in the middle of the campus and all of the students gather around and listen before everyone has to run off to their next class. It's a lot of fun! This month one of my classmates played!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

central park?

Who would have thought that I would come all the way to Brazil to live in an apartment complex called Central Park! My roommate's name is Letícia and she is really sweet.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Eleanor Lyn Moss

I'm an aunt! Congratulations to my big brother Wesley and wifey Emily on their adorable baby girl! Can't wait to meet her.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Happy Independence Day, Brazil!

Who would have thought that I would be celebrating my SECOND independence day from Portugal this year? On two different continents! Poor Portugal.

Thank you, Portugal, for bringing your beautiful language to far and wide. :)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

a brazilian graduation

This weekend I went to a graduation! Here each graduation is only with your class--about 40 people who have all taken the majority of their classes together. There are some other big differences too. Instead of entering to Pomp & Circumstance, an oldie but a goodie, the class chooses the song. In this case, the Indiana Jones theme song! You know I loved it. Also, each person chooses a song that plays as their name is announced. Then they go up to the podium, sign their diploma, and snap some fotos. Each person also has about 30 seconds to thank their family and such. It's pretty cool! And since everyone knows each other pretty well it's also common to have one classmate will introduce the next. To close the ceremony the whole audience sings the Rio Grande do Sul anthem.

The party afterwards had some tasty food...

The graduate and his family.

The gals.

Friday, September 3, 2010

banana bread

My first time using a gas stove! And I didn't even burn anything down...


1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup walnuts

2 large eggs
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 ripe large bananas (about 1 1/2 cups mashed)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 350° F (180° C).

2. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and chopped nuts. Set aside. In another bowl combine the mashed bananas, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla.

3. With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, lightly fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until combined and the batter is thick and chunky. Don’t overmix the batter or the bread with be tough!

4. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. Scrape batter into the pan. Bake until bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 to 60 minutes.