Elon International Studies: Brazil

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Introduction

Meet the Crew

Life in a Favela

Adventures in the
Amazon


Black, White, and in
Between: Diversity
in Brazil


Cachaca

Biodiversity in the Amazon

Samba School

Favela Tour Opens Students' Eyes

Quality of Life
in Brazil


A Country that Runs
on Alcohol


Racial Inequality in
Brazil


Ancient Indian
Remedy, New
Western Craze


Maracana Stadium

The Amazon
Rainforest


Carnival

A Dish With Many Tastes

The Music and Dance
of Brazil as seen in
the Samba Schools


Communication
without Language


Fixing the
Race Problem


If an Entire Species is
Destroyed Before its
Discovered, Did it
Ever Exist?


The Beauty of Buzios

Salvador's Afro-
Brazilian Culture


Health Care and
Concerns in Brazil


Carnival

Cristo Redentor

GST 243 Homepage

2004 Archives


Introduction - Recorders' Journal

            The group left the US on January 3rd from Miami International Airport . We arrived in Rio de Janeiro and checked in at the Everest Rio Hotel on January 4 th . The hotel was located in the neighborhood of Ipanema, the next beach down from Copacabana, and it was our home for the next 8 days.
            Upon arriving in Ipanema the group took a walking tour along the beach and into the streets of Ipanema and Copacabana. Portuguese lessons started on our second and lasted for five days. Our Portuguese teacher, Cleiton Almeida, was very helpful and taught us the basic words that we would need to know in order to get around the city. On the tour of Rio de Janeiro the group visited the Brazilian national soccer stadium, Maracana. After exploring the stadium we went to the historic Santa Teresa neighborhood where we enjoyed riding on an antique rail car. The following day Cleiton took the group on a walking tour of the downtown. The group was separated into two and shopped at the crowded Sahara market before taking a tour of an ancient church and the first library in Rio .
            On January 7th the group visited Cristo Redentor, or Christ the Redeemer statue, and was able to see beautiful views of Rio de Janeiro from different vantage points atop the Corcovado Mountain .
            The group toured two of the better-established favelas of Rio , the Brazilian equivalent of an American shantytown or slum, with the tour guides Luiz and Marina Schulze. The group was amazed to find the favelas safe and the people nice and accommodating to the visitors. At night the group danced with the locals at another favela, at the Mangueira Samba School .
            On January 10th students were given the task to organize daytrips in or around Rio de Janeiro in small groups. The groups had researched and independently planned these trips. Buzios, a small village on the water north of the main city, was enjoyed by one of the groups while another group went “island hopping” to visit the small undisturbed isles located south off the city. The last day in Rio, after a morning group meeting, was free of activities in order to prepare for the long trip to Manaus .
            The second destination in Brazil was Manaus and the Amazon jungle. Upon arrival we took a bus tour of the city of Manaus , which included a stop at the famous opera house. After staying for one night in the Hotel Tropical Manaus we embarked on a three hour boat ride in order to get to our next destination: the Ariaù Amazon Towers jungle lodge. This resort was located in a secluded area, surrounded by lush forests and wild animals. After settling in, our group visited a family living in the Amazon and was shown their way of life. We also had the opportunity to explore the Amazon by taking a jungle tour, with our guide Michelle, and going on several excursions on a motorized-canoe down the Rio Ariaù, a tributary of Rio Negro . Some memorable activities included caiman spotting and piranha fishing. After three nights at the Ariaù Amazon Towers , the group set off on a two-day boat adventure on the Rio Negro .
            The group's first stop on our boat trip was at the village of out guide, Edi Martins. Here we were able to interact with the local Brazilians by challenging them to a soccer game. That night we enjoyed a beach party where we ate a delicious barbeque dinner before dancing the night away. The next day the group stopped at an area with small waterfalls where we were able to swim. Once we got back onto the boat a passing storm delayed our departure for several hours. The group spent time playing cards, reading, and catching up on sleep. At the end of the boat excursion we came to the “meeting of the waters”, the location where the Rio Negro and the Amazon River join and flow side by side without mixing. After a great stay in Manaus and the Amazon it was time to move on to Salvador .
            We arrived in Salvador on January 18th and stayed at the Hotel Tropical Bahia. We began our visit with a city tour of Salvador hosted by our tour guide Marcos Reis. Following the visit to an old fort and lighthouse, where we saw several men performing a martial arts dance called capoeira, we were taken to the historic old town. There shops, small venders, and colorful buildings line the streets. The group also went to the large market, which housed two stories of small shops where one could buy anything from clothing and jewelry to furniture and paintings. At night we attended an interesting religious ritual called “candomble” that celebrated the initiation of a young woman into the religion. The following day was left for self-exploring the city in groups.
            On the last full day in Salvador another guide, Danilo Cerqueria, took us to the Praia do Forte. We visited the ruins of an old castle after which we traveled to Projecto Tamar. This project was established to help save the endangered sea turtles of Brazil . At night we dined at different delicious restaurants and explored the nightlife of Salvador . After several days in Salvador our group left for the final destination: Iguaçu Falls .
            On January 22nd the group arrived at Foz do Iguaçu. Iguaçu Falls are on the border of Brazil and Argentina and are comprised of up to 300 individual waterfalls at a time (depending on the water level). Although the group arrived during the dry season the falls did not disappoint as we were able to enjoy magnificent views from the Brazilian side on the first day and equally breathtaking views from Argentina the next. While in Iguaçu the group also took part in a technical tour of Itaipu Binacional, a hydroelectric dam that powers 90 percent of Paraguay's electricity needs and a large portion of Brazil's electric power as well. The group capped the trip with a group dinner at the Emporio da Gula churrascaria, an all-you-can-eat Brazilian barbeque restaurant.
            The last morning the group was once again given the opportunity to explore. While a number of students went white water rafted down the Iguaçu River, others took part in a ropes course through the forests surrounding the falls. After the adventurous morning we bid farewell to Iguaçu and began the journey back home to North America.

 

Dan King
Monica Van Dongen
Bill Campbell
(Recorders)