I just flew in from Brasília and, and boy... are my arms tired! :) Oh yes, I just felt like I had to open with that.
But most of that is true. I did just get in from Brasília and I am TIRED. A good tired though. :) It´s been a crazy 4 days and I have lots to tell you about! I have decided to tell about this trip in installments because one blog would be way overpowering. So today I will start with just the travel aspect of the trip.
As I mentioned before, I flew there with 3 of my good friends -- Ivan, and Aníbal and Jandira (you can call them Janibal... they´re engaged ;) ). These folks are great, I adore them and I am so glad we got to experience this together! Before I tell some of these stories, let me reinforce that I LOVE these guys and any difference of opinions we have had are within the confines of good friendship. :)
I think I also mentioned that I was the only one who´d flown before, so that made me the resident expert. I think most of the world knows about "Latin American time." This just means that Latin American cultures tend to view time in a more... relaxed fashion than us North Americans. :) So I had tried to mentally prepare myself for this as we embarked on our journey.
Getting to the airport on Thursday went quite smoothly, really! I was pleasantly shocked. Yes we left late, but only about 15 minutes and here that qualifies as early I think. :) So we made it there with plenty of time. Here are some pictures from the flight Thursday:
Aníbal and Jandira
Ivan and Ann
Sunset from the plane
So Thursday was I believe truly the ideal Brazilian traveling situation.
Then there was today on the return trip.... side note-- let me remind you again that I truly love all the people mentioned here with all of my heart. :)
There were 11 Ituanos (people from Itu) who went to this wedding in Brasília. 4 of us flew and the rest with by car. So the car folks left early this morning to start driving back, leaving us flyers to find a ride to the airport. Luckily, God blessed us richly by putting one of the most wonderful families in our lives in Brasília. Their names are Enidilson, Luana, and their son Enrique, and they are PRECIOUS. Enidilson offered to give us a ride to the airport today. Yay!
So... keeping in mind "Brazil time," I had suggested we leave the house at 1pm to arrive at the airport at 1:30 for our 3:15 flight. Yes, it´s more time than necessary, but I knew there was no way we´d actually leave at 1. Jandira and Aníbal definitely work on Brazil time, and I knew this, but lucklily Ivan is punctually minded, so I told him my thoughts on the issue and he agreed and I thought we were cool.
I knew we were going to have problems first when Enidilson and family invited us for lunch. There are no quick lunches here. :) So at 10 minutes til 1 when we sat down to eat, I was pretty nervous. Then at 1:30 when we finally got in the car I started feeling better. But then as we started to pull out and Luana and Enrique had to go change clothes I had another knot in my stomach. Then as we pulled out at 1:45 and the bride and groom from Saturday pulled up I got 5 more knots in my stomach. But by miracle of God we only said bye and flew off to the airport.
Then as we were going (which, by the way, there were 6 adults and 1 child riding in a car meant for 4 adults), Enidilson kept slowing down to show us things, in particular anything that had anything to do with America. At this point I can see Ivan going into nuclear meltdown and all I can do is laugh.
So we finally arrive at the airport at about 2:15 and sweet Enidilson parks about as far away from the terminal as possible, so Ivan and I grab our bags and start hauling butt across the parking lot. We reach the ticket counter at about 2:30 I guess, and of course there´s a big line. So we jump in line then the rest of the gang catches up to us, and they want us to leave the line and go look at the airplanes from the observation deck. In a pretty big afront to Brazilian culture, I was like, "I´m sorry, but we absolutely can´t. We have to check in!!!"
I know that I was being reeeeeally American today in my treatment of our departure, but I felt it was my duty. Enidilson was giving me and Ivan a hard time about being anal about our rush, but oh well. After we checked in they insisted we go see the planes, so we did. And after about 1 minute Ivan was like, "We´ve got to go NOW." So we said hurried goodbyes and again, Ivan and I sprinted to security. At this point it was about 20 minutes til our flight left. But by the grace of God, we made it in time.
I have never cut it that close for a flight and hope I never do again! It´s just that I believe in the theory of better safe than sorry and better to walk through the airport than sprint through it.
Since I´ve been here a couple of my friends have mentioned that they don´t appreciate it when foreigners talk about Brazilian time and how it´s not true and such. And I will readily grant that it´s not true for all Brazilians. But a lot of the time, it is a very real thing, and a very hard thing to adjust to if you´re not used to that.
But as they say, all´s well that end´s well! And remember folks, this is just the beginning of a FUN trip!
I´ve already put all of my pictures on my webshots page, which is in the link column on the right there. I will be adding more as I get more pictures from my friends too.