I am sitting in the lobby of our hotel in iguzu falls and all of mamma mia´s biggest hits have been playing for the last half hour. it´s pretty catchy.
I haven´t written in a few days so I´m going to try to catch up a bit. I had a wonderful time meeting all of my family, especially the cousins my age. Before I left sao paulo I went out to dinner with my cousin livia and a few of her friends. livia is the daughter of one of my dad´s closest cousins. it was so funny to hear the jokes the paulistas (people from sao paulo) made about cairocas (people from rio). there is this friendly rivalry between the two, where paulistas accuse cairocas of being lazy and dirty don´t speak well, and the only bad thing about rio, and cairocas say that paulistas are all work and no play and have sticks up their asses. the cities can sort of be compared to new york and los angeles, only angelinos dont really have much to say about anyone (which can be attributed to either our amazing ability to accept everyone or our amazing ability to be self centered, depending on your affinity for our city).
one thing that I am coming to LOVE about brazilians is how warm and friendly they are as a culture. they themselves say the only country they think can compare is italy. and it´s true that there are a lot of similarities. everyone you greet with at least one kiss, two if they are adults or from rio. Remember the ability you had as a child to make immediate friends with anyone in a second? In Brazil, that never fades away. all of this family business could easily get very awkward in the states, but here it doesn´t matter that we´ve never met before or that we may never meet again, we are best friends and family immediately. It probably helps that all of my cousins are so brilliant and attractive and successful and can make conversation about anything. I feel like I´ve been missing out on this huge network of family my whole life. it´s a sad feeling, to suddenly realize what I´ve been missing.
We arrived in Foz do Iguassu yesterday evening, and immediately ran to catch the last bus into the park and see the falls before dark. They are, literally, the most beautiful sight I have ever seen. It is basically at least a mile long worth of river cascading in tons of beautiful waterfalls. when you take the walk along the side, every view is more breathtaking than the last. Today we crossed the border into argentina to see their park. basically Brazil has the more panoramic view, and argentina gives you the opportunity to see the falls from up close. and I mean close. I now know what it is like to stand at the foot of a massive waterfall and feel the power of it all bearing down on you. Literally the moment we left a tropical rain storm began. I´d never seen rain drops so large! As long as the weather clears up, tomorrow we´ll go on a boat ride, wet rapelling, and on a zipline, and maybe see the aiary.
I am loving Brazil, but also feeling very ready to get back to school. This last week will be a whirlwind! On Saturday we´re heading to ouro preto, then monday night back to sao paulo, then wednesday back home to LA, then saturday back home to walla walla. It´s going to feel so good to collapse into my bed at school...