Her Juggling Feet

everybody's a nobody. and nobody's perfect.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Tangerines in the park

Brasil. I´ve been here for two and a half weeks and it´s been full. I dabble in many emotions and feelings: tired, excited, peaceful, a little freaked out, a little stressed out, proud, overwhelmed. I just completed my language courses this last Friday--I could have used at least two more weeks, but at least I have the basics down. I don´t feel completely incapacitated when I need to purchase a papaya. And I´ve been watching The Wonder Years reruns dubbed in Portuguese, which helps both my language skills and my desire for good, old-fashioned sitcoms with a young Fred Savage.

I´ve been staying with a sweet older woman named Juraci who patters around the apartment and calls me pretty girl. She makes me large jantars, always with rice and beans of some sort, with other more exotic textures, like manioc root, or patata doce, which is a sweet potato that looks like a thick white parsnip.

But over anything else, my taste buds have been celebrating the flavors of the fruit here. I get lost in the produce sections, smelling, touching, and wrinkling my brow at some of the fruit that´s grown in this region. I´ve fallen in love with fruta de congee, which is the Brazilian equivalent of a sweetsop, I think. Both the inside and the outside (green and bulbous) look a little odd, but the taste is lovely. Kind of like a pear, but more delicate and sweet.

My exciting news: I met up with La Caravana for the first time yesterday. They just arrived in Sao Paulo for an arts and cultural festival, which was pulsing with Brasilian hip-hop and samba, native art, and performances, films, and workshops celebrating the cultural diversity of the country. It was loud, crowded, and hot, but I managed to find La Caravana´s booth and tent. I immediately felt at home, like this is exactly where I need to be next. I only met half of the group, most only briefly as they were in performances or wandering about, but my immediate response was one of community, awareness, creativity, and juggling! I don´t think I´ve ever been so ready to juggle and practice and perform. People juggling balls, clubs, rings, and machetes in the grass, while others were spinning plates and doing the diablo. I may be the only female juggler, I´m not sure. The other half of La Caravana is coming from Brasilia, the country capital, after fixing some broken bus parts, so they are supposed to arrive in the next few days. I am staying with Juraci until La Caravana settles their plans in Sao Paulo. They´re a bit frazzled and disorganized, with a very central, consensus-based organizational structure, so it sounds like things tend to come together last-minute. But I was positively beaming as I left the festival.

The only thing that still hanging in the air for me is my juggling equipment. I mailed everything separately, and it has yet to arrive. I´ve been so antsy to practice that I ended up buying four tangerines this morning and practiced my ball routines in a nearby park. But I dropped one, one too many times (blast those back crosses!), and it cracked open, so I decided to take a fruit snack break.

I want to write so much more, but I think I´ll wait for another post. Overally, I am feeling overwhelmingly content, grateful, and blessed at the opportunity before me. Much love and blessings to all of you in the States and abroad...


Blogger julie said...

I am so excited for you Amanda!! I have been anxiously awaiting your first post. I remember discovering new fruits and new life when I traveled and I am full of excitement for you as you start your journey. Let all your senses open to discovery of a new world. xx Julie

10:15 AM  
Blogger Christopher Cassidy said...

fred savage in portugese--what a delicacy! Great to read your voice. I can't wait to watch as the adventure rolls on.

10:01 PM  
Blogger leeloka said...

amanda is that you????such good surprise, you do it very well...surprising all
i wish you, a good journey and pacience to know brasil with all your senses...there are a great vib behind all you see and live in Brasil, let it be fully and you will always carry beautiful memories of people of Brasil, TRUST...
Lee bruno and Natee

7:45 AM  

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