practice on the veranda much?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Overview (from the beginning to July 12)

This one might be shorter. =)

Hope you guys are enjoying the blogs- pics to come soon and possibly some videos.

Moe and I in the past 3 weeks have been in Brazil. I would have said "there and back again," but it wouldn't compare. We've been playing gigs every weekend (and during the week) since we've gotten here. We've also played in 3-4 jam sessions and school concerts (UNB- Universidade do Brasila). At the same time, we've had a lot of time to shed and get some personal work done. We went to a dance club the other night called HYPE as VIP's because we were carrying our friends instrument- again, seeing his gig after one we played with him for the equivalent of the Spanish culture's Quincinera. The next day, which was this past weekend, we were featured on a Big Band concert with the other 2 Americanos as well, doing some old big band classics. (We got to solo and played lead for our sections!) Besides playing a lot, we've gotten to see a lot of great music too- there's a cafe right around the corner from us that we can sit in at called Senorita's Cafe- it features Brazilian music (Choro, Forro, and Bossa) as well as MPB (Musica Popular de Brazil) and JAZZ! We have also gotten to see other groups- for instance the guitarist at Clube de Choro and a modern jazz trio (Mike sit in on and got his butt kicked) at a cafe he was at with a bass player and singer he knew.

AND among other things, we have a Portuguese class we are in attendance for 5 days a week, 2 hours a day for our total immersion. We have both kept in touch with our families so reading this to them might not be the same if you haven't been up to date with us on a regular basis.

We have tried an amazing amount of new food and our experiences speaking Portuguese have been nothing less than fun/scary every time it happens. Mike's been running a lot since we've been here as well. We took a walk 2 weekends ago to explore and went to the lake- it was nice and the walk was good to see what was around. The school has embraced us and we have made a lot of friends here- we've even made really good friends with the other 2 Americans, Zack and Jon, while we've been down here. Big surprise, huh? =p Also, our host, Renato Vasconcellos, had has had us over for a jam session and pool party + lunch for the 4 Americans!

This adventure, especially by the end of it, will have changed us because I think we've already started to see the world in a different light. Thanks for keeping up with us. If you're interested, we'll try to blog at least once more before we leave Brasilia to go to Campinas- which is in roughly 2 1/2 weeks! Another adventure!

Thanks again,

Mike and Moe

One weekend in Pirenópolis (Julho 1-3)

Ok guys,

Sorry for the late update. I realize we're about a week and 1/2 late, but for those interested, we're going to post a few today. Moe and I went on an adventure to a neighboring city- Pirenópolis, known for it magnificent waterfalls. It's one of the oldest cities in Brazil- cobblestone streets, wooden bridges, and all.

The day our trip was to begin, Moe had some trouble communicating with our hosts. Moe says they tried to call me, however my phone was off. We, originally, were to take a bus with one of the two guys we knew lived there. However, instead the plans changed to us taking a bus ourselves... know the language, much? We made it there safely- our host dropped us off at the bus station pretty last minute and we boarded.

We get off the bus in Pirenópolis and our friends are there to greet us. We then proceed to the gig. =) 3 1/2 hours of music of all kinds (Jazz, Brazillian, and even a bit of Funk) and we're totally ecstatic. The same thing happens the next night, not to skip any details. Afterwards, both nights, we went to a dance club and had fun there, too. Moe would like to share the word- "gatinhas," which literally means "beautiful Brazilian women," if you can catch my drift.

The Saturday (Sabado) of the weekend, we went to the waterfalls- pictures and possible video to come! It was awesome. BE JEALOUS. We literally can't think of the words to describe how fun it was to basically rock climb our ways to waterfalls barefoot- hanging on trees and figuring out good footing. Ah yes, and we had sugarcane at the waterfall too, brought by our friend Ricardo. It was awesome- Moe liked it a lot!

During this weekend, we also had a bunch of different food among other things- Papaya juice with lemon squeezed fresh, a traditional Brazilian meal (with no meat- wait, what Mike Jones?), made by our host, Zackrishna, these things we deem as "gourmet hotpockets" from the gigs both nights for free (among the free beer and cacassa as well), a "tamale" type thing that comes from there, a freshly grown meal from a restaurant owner Moe met, a few different fruit juices (hard to pronounce, even harder to remember), and this pie/cake thing that tasted like Key Lime. Among other things, there was also Strawberry juice- like usual, Moe and I loved it.

That's about it. If there's more to add, I suppose we'll think of it in a little bit when writing our overview of things here and there.

Mike and Moe