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    [post_date] => 2009-07-24 00:00:00
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SO! Brazil...is an amazing place - the people, the land,the culture, the music, the food...it´s all unforgetable. The towns and cities are entwined with little colorful flags connecting each building with one another, the women walk around with little clothes revealing stomach (little or not, it doesn´t matter) and cleavage with dreads of beads and shells. Bob Marley is Brazil´s hero.You see and hear him EVERYWHERE.

Not only are we experiencing the urban beauty, but also the natural. We spent five days treking through Chapada through rain, mud, rivers, and rocks to appreciate the gift of mother nature. I have to say, the places we went to are only seen on National Geographic, a thought that constantly replays through my mind as we travel through this amazing country. And to make thenatural experience even better, WE LEAVE FOR THE AMAZON TOMORROW...at 5:00 in the morning... :/ I have a feeling it just might be worth the lack of sleep :P

I´ll check in soon!!

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Brazil, Summer 2009

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the trip thus far…

Isabella Bartoloni,Brazil, Summer 2009

Description

SO! Brazil…is an amazing place – the people, the land,the culture, the music, the food…it´s all unforgetable. The towns and cities are entwined with little colorful flags connecting each building with one another, the women walk around with little clothes revealing stomach (little or not, it doesn´t matter) and cleavage with dreads of beads and […]

Posted On

07/24/09

Author

Isabella Bartoloni

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hey everyone back home!

here´s an update on the place we slept at.

when we finally arrived in Lencois we alljust wanted to crash and take showers. For me walking to the hostel ones one of the most frightening things because i had no idea what to expect. When we entered and i looked around i felt like i was ina different world.the hostel was made up of paintingson the wall, hammocks, a life size chess baord and other comforts i never would expect. After treking and walking in the rain and mud i don´t and can´t tell you hownice it was to see a bed. BUT the bestpart of where we stayed were the people. we learned about the people inother rooms and by the end of the stay were sad to part for these kind travelers. so of which we might just see in the near future.There is so much to write but at the same time i have no idea what to say the can explain how happyi am to be here.

<3

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Brazil, Summer 2009

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living in a hostel

catarina goldberg,Brazil, Summer 2009

Description

hey everyone back home! here´s an update on the place we slept at. when we finally arrived in Lencois we alljust wanted to crash and take showers. For me walking to the hostel ones one of the most frightening things because i had no idea what to expect. When we entered and i looked around […]

Posted On

07/24/09

Author

catarina goldberg

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hey everyone

we are now in salvador preparing for our flight to the Amazon very very early tomorrow morning. Before we arrived in Salvador we spent a couple of days in a small town called Lencois. We did so many fun things in Lencois including an intense game of pool (which Isabella and I won) and trying to get locals to dance with us in the street while we ate dinner. Our last day in Lencois was by far the best. We woke up and took a hardcore truck about an hour or two away to this amazing cave that we walked through. After the cave we drove to a small body of water where we ate lunch, swam, snorkeled, and tanned. Next we drove to a small mountain that we climbed up and watched the sunset from. The sunset was gorgeous and the view from the top of the mountain was amazing. We eventually piled back into the truck and drove back into town where we had an amazing dinner and tried to dance with locals although we all got denied. The next morning we got up early to take the bus to Salvador and now are preparing for the Amazon, whichis going to beabsolutely amazing!!!!

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Brazil, Summer 2009

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Lencois

Sara Okholm,Brazil, Summer 2009

Description

hey everyone we are now in salvador preparing for our flight to the Amazon very very early tomorrow morning. Before we arrived in Salvador we spent a couple of days in a small town called Lencois. We did so many fun things in Lencois including an intense game of pool (which Isabella and I won) […]

Posted On

07/24/09

Author

Sara Okholm

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The day after our last trek getting out of Vale do Pati in Chapada Diamantina offers the perfect opportunity for reflection and gratitude. After 4 days of amazing trek under rain, on wet feet, and sliding on mud hills we arrive in the Valley of Capao back to the many conforts of modern life. The sun came out and all our wet gear is out to dry. The sun also helps fill my mind with reflections from this experience, and fill my heart with gratitude. As I share the things I love the most with students and co-leaders, my heart opens up more and more. This interaction of amazing American students with community members, Brazilian youth and locals has been extremelly rewarding for all sides. The experience in Diogo was amazing. I was especially thrilled to see how well our students behaved and broke the stereotype that is often placed on Americans in developing countries. All famillies in Diogo loved them, the same in the sertão and now here in Chapada. I´m extremelly gratefull for the opportunities this trip is providing to bridge the worlds of Americans and Brazilians who care to be good people, serve the other, live simple lives or make a difference in the world. As we ride our way to many off the beaten path spots in Brazil, we look at our impact in the communities and in the environment, we take good care of each other, we bond more and more as a family, we learn about differences, diversity and privilege, we learn about risk management, consensus decision making, and most important we become better people, more aware of the world we live in, more connected with Mother Earth, with the other, and with our own selves. Thank you Dragons, Thank you Parents, Thank you Leo and Adelaide, and special special Thank you to all you incredible students who happen to be exceptional human beings and super stars!!!

VALEU!

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Brazil, Summer 2009

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A moment of gratitude

Isabela Coelho,Brazil, Summer 2009

Description

The day after our last trek getting out of Vale do Pati in Chapada Diamantina offers the perfect opportunity for reflection and gratitude. After 4 days of amazing trek under rain, on wet feet, and sliding on mud hills we arrive in the Valley of Capao back to the many conforts of modern life. The […]

Posted On

07/18/09

Author

Isabela Coelho

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Sitting here in Capao just past the midpoint of our trip, we thought it would be fitting to revisit the reasons we decided to join this journey in the first place. We have already learned so much and anticipate that we will learn much more.
The Brazil trip´s focus is sustainability and realizing our personal impact on the world around us. Ghandi once asked his followers to be the change they wished to see in the world and we are here trying to discover that change we´d like to see. Coming into the trip we where a bit shaky on the concept of the Brazil trip´s theme; sustainability. We expected to be told how we should change the world, but rather than being guided in this respect, dragons has given us the tools to make the change that we deem righteous.

Throughout the first half of the trip we´ve seen numerous walks of Brazilian life, from the small dirt roads of Diogo´s oceanside streets where we connected with the townspeople, to the bustling markets of Salvador and the quick paced life that they live. At Marsha´s we deepened our connection with nature by getting a first hand view of a permaculture master at work and finally we confronted one of the world´s most beautiful natural reserves and challenged our own bodies on our trek through the mountanous park of Chapada. In Chapada we have been amazed by the beauty of a place so absent of human life.

If you have any doubt about joining the Brazil 2010 trip, let us assure you that while you will learn much about Permaculture and Sustainability, you will learn even more about your own drives and desires. We amaze eachother every day by how much we´ve grown on the trip, and we´re only halfway through. We can´t wait to see what awaits us in the second half.

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Brazil, Summer 2009

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Midway

Pascal Louis, Daniel Lipkowitz and Steven Boone,Brazil, Summer 2009

Description

Sitting here in Capao just past the midpoint of our trip, we thought it would be fitting to revisit the reasons we decided to join this journey in the first place. We have already learned so much and anticipate that we will learn much more. The Brazil trip´s focus is sustainability and realizing our personal […]

Posted On

07/18/09

Author

Pascal Louis, Daniel Lipkowitz and Steven Boone

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As we enter Chapada, we enter a new world.And while many of us can´t even imagine what our eyes are in store to see and what we will learn we seem to all feel prepared for this next adventure. Trekking throughout the hills of Chapada wasn´t always easy for me,especially since I would always seem to end of up on my butt. And while many times I grew fustrated and I was on the verge of a meltdown in Spanish, I realized something to much greater. Mother nature is a healer.Como say what?Ha! Let me explain. Theres been a personal mountain in my life that I can´t seem to climb and as much as I try I find myself just slipping and falling back on my butt and staying there. But with this trek in Chapada everytime I would fall there seemed to always be a hand from the group member and my own determination to reach the top. So little by little as mother nature rocks cut and bruised me she was seemed to heal those insecurities that have held me back for some. Every step I have taken has been worth it all. Not only did I grow as a person but we has a group have become a familia who will push our limits to be great. So I thank mother nature for her beautifel atmosphere and for letting explore.BELEZA!:)

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Brazil, Summer 2009

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Chapada

Abigail Hernandez,Brazil, Summer 2009

Description

As we enter Chapada, we enter a new world.And while many of us can´t even imagine what our eyes are in store to see and what we will learn we seem to all feel prepared for this next adventure. Trekking throughout the hills of Chapada wasn´t always easy for me,especially since I would always seem […]

Posted On

07/18/09

Author

Abigail Hernandez

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I´d like to start this blog post by stating that I didn´t realize there was anywhere like where we were still on earth. Rolling green planes surronded by goldenrod-red rock faced mountains permeated by just a couple foot paths barely wide enough for big footed americans and their flip flop wearing guides.

Speaking of guides, our guide, Flor, was incredible. He cooked fantastic food on the trail, not even considering it was on trail. Everyday we usually hiked in the morning, got to where we would sleep and grab bags and go check out waterfalls so deep that they never seemed to end, or freezing cold rivers which created beautiful basins to swim in. By the end my once nice basketball shorts became entirely brown, and all our boots soaked from crossing rivers when we slipped off small river rocks we tried to leap across. Every night we stayed in quaint little family hiker lodges where we were usually served rice, beans, green banana stuff which looked and tasted closer to guacamole than banana, sweet pumpkin, soy for the vegetarians, and either chicken, beef or both.

Despite the fantastic conditions, there were certainly setbacks, mainly the mud which brought everybody on the trip (save Pascal, a fact he´s quite proud of) to their knees, or back, or butt, or stomach. There was alot of hiking up and down hills, and very challenging conditions espiecally to those who hadnt done much trekking before.

It all culminated in a 24 km day (13 miles-ish), where we went up steep rock faces and simply kept walking from 9 am to about 7:30 pm with a small break in an adobe hut for lunch. We raced to beat the early sunset at about 6, but were forced to bust out our headlamps and make the rest of the hike down a hill in the dark.

When we arrived where we had planned to be picked up by transport, we found our guide´s bag alone in a small shed with no ride there. After checking in with everybody, we decided we had no other option but to hike the rest of the way to town (7 km) by foot in the rain, as we suspected our guide was unable to coerce anybody in town to drive in the slippery conditions. We set out, surprisingly upbeat for a dark rainy, muddy hike and after we crossed a moat-like puddle, we saw lights in the distance. Having already been fooled into thinking a car was there before by lightningbug, we were cautiously optimistic until we saw two behemouth car, fit for the power rangers, roll up and our guide, flor, jump out triumpantly.

It is never so easy however, as we had been just short of a giant muddy hill which one of the cars was unable to climb. Half the group climbed out of the dry comfort of their car and waited as our car attempted to help pull the other out of the mud. After many attempts and a snapped rope Flor saved the day once again, looping the rope over a hook on the rear car after it had paused halfway up the hill, and after scampering to safety, we pulled the car up and hill and were merrily on their way. Then Leo´s words, that ´Brazilians always find a way´ rang true.

To me, that night embodied everything I love about Dragons. The safe discomfort of the hike and of the trip home reminded me of everything I faced in Guatemala with Dragons the year before, and why I came back. It reminded me of why Dragons will always hold a place in my heart as I continue growing as an individual. That was the kind of day which turns cliche and platitudes into profound truthes. As challeges confront us, we´re learning to confront them, and to recognize the beauty of both the natural world and the human experience we´re never exposed to, lessons which don´t evaporate, but solidify when we return to normalcy.

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Brazil, Summer 2009

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Chapada Diamantina

Hudson Cavanagh,Brazil, Summer 2009

Description

I´d like to start this blog post by stating that I didn´t realize there was anywhere like where we were still on earth. Rolling green planes surronded by goldenrod-red rock faced mountains permeated by just a couple foot paths barely wide enough for big footed americans and their flip flop wearing guides. Speaking of guides, […]

Posted On

07/18/09

Author

Hudson Cavanagh

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Boa tarde (good afternoon)

The past four days we have been trekking through Chapada national park. We took a bus to a town and that took about 8 hours and then from the town we took a pick up truck to this man named Marcelos house. The truck ride was really fun because the stars were amazingly beautiful and everyone was smooshed together cracking jokes. The next day we had to take another truck to the start of the trail. It was raining, which was no suprise because it has been raining in chapada nonstop. The truck ride to the trail was also cool because we were cuddled together singing disney songs and ofcouse sound of music songs. Then when we got to the trail we had to hike up a huge mountain. It was strenuous but so satisfying when we got to the top because the view was gorgeous and there was a full rainbow to top it off. Then we hiked to a waterfall that was so high up that when you looked down you would get chills. The waterfall was amazing. Ive never seen such a beautiful waterfall and it was even cooler because there was barely anyone else there. There were little green periketes there too , which was so cool. After our hike we settled down in a little house that was in the valley and ended the day with a fabulous meal.

p.s. this is my third time writing this because the computer keeps shutting off so there are more details but im afraid its going to freeze again.

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Brazil, Summer 2009

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The adventures in Chapada

Ava Samuel,Brazil, Summer 2009

Description

Boa tarde (good afternoon) The past four days we have been trekking through Chapada national park. We took a bus to a town and that took about 8 hours and then from the town we took a pick up truck to this man named Marcelos house. The truck ride was really fun because the stars […]

Posted On

07/18/09

Author

Ava Samuel

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    [post_content] => Easing into Brazil by starting near the ocean in a place that will always be remembered, Diogo, then going to the closest thing Brazil has to a desert (i swear we were actually in NM), Tucano, and now soaking up the unique city life of Salvador, the main thing that i have gained thus far is that i have wanted to stay longer in each place that we have glimpsed. I am not a city girl, and was perhaps too comfortable in Tucano because I went on a hike in a Brazilian arroyo...something i never imagined i would be doing when i chose to go to Brazil, but now that i am in Salvador, in an amazing house with my group, and I see and smell and HEAR the beat of Salvador, i love it (especially the amazing street art). Since we are only here for 3 days before we trek off into Chapada to bathe in waterfalls and maybe sweat a little less... we have been cramming Salvador into our systems. Yesterday alone we had an amazing Samba class, a drumming class, and went to a drumming and capoiera performance, and saw a condomble ritual. SOOOO much brazilian culture in one day. woowee. I especially loved the samba class. I cant believe how amazing each place we have seen for what seems like a mere second has been and how much i fell in love with every aspect of the environments of Diogo, Tucano, and Salvador. It is almost overwhelming that we are leaving to Chapada in the morning and that the Amazon still lays ahead because those are the two things i was most excited for when chosing the course, but everything so far has been outstanding and I cant wait for what is ahead of the first Brazilian Dragons.   
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Brazil, Summer 2009

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Thus Far

Maria Ashkin,Brazil, Summer 2009

Description

Easing into Brazil by starting near the ocean in a place that will always be remembered, Diogo, then going to the closest thing Brazil has to a desert (i swear we were actually in NM), Tucano, and now soaking up the unique city life of Salvador, the main thing that i have gained thus far […]

Posted On

07/12/09

Author

Maria Ashkin

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    [post_content] => If you ever get bored, and want to give your brain a real shock, try this: Move from a remote Brazilian farmland where happy diversions involve Permaculture gardening, tipping over cows, and thinking up imaginative ways to bend barb wire (ok, not so much the last two). Then, after sufficient sensory depravation, move immediately to a city of THREE MILLION PEOPLE. Move to a place where your personal space becomes negligable, where there is a constant hum of buses and cars, and where a thousand moving shapes, tones, and colors permeate your every waking thought.

Salvador is this for Dragons. Salvador is crazy.

The city was first christened in 1501 by Italian navigator Amerigo Vespucci, who was so enchanted with the surrounding waters that he dubbed the place All Saints’ Bay. In a few years time, Salvador had peeked the interest of the Portuguese empire, which was expanding its vast trade network over the better part of the known world. At the heart of the Brazilian coast, Salvador became an El Dorado for adventurers and a principal stopover for East-West trade routes, and it was picked as an ideal location to seat the colonial government. Large ramparts and military forts were constructed, and the city grew rapidly. With the rise of the sugar trade, Salvador became the principal port of entry for millions of Africans, pilfered in chains across southern waters in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.

Throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Salvador remained a principal trading port for the Portuguese empire. Sugar barons grew rich off their ‘white gold’, building ornate baroque mansions throughout the city. Churches of every type arose to proclaim the faith of the people, be them the isolated terreiro Candomble temples, where worshipers sing praise to the Yoruba and Nago gods, or the magnificent edifices of the Catholic faith. Together, the city began to gradually assume a syncretic flavor, now witnessed in the endless stratum of colors displayed by the people. While poverty still slides to the darker end of the spectrum, no one shade inhabits a strict corner of society. Mixed race and mixed heritage is the favored and frequent norm.

For Dragons, Salvador is a place of discovery, a place where we may come to find, feel, and sway to the heart that pumps Brazil. Yesterday, our group tiptoed around the old city – the Pelourinho – our base of operations and launching pad for the next stage of our trip. We are currently staying at OPA, a Permaculture and Arts NGO, located in an expansive 18th century colonial house. Students are in high spirits, busily herded from one class to the next. Yesterday was a whirlwind of samba lessons, percussion classes, traditional cooking, and a night of African Candomble. Today, we’ll explore the local market place, where countless varieties of fruit, fish, and vegetables are traded every day.

Here in Salvador, where the air smells of acaraje, a shrimp dumpling fried in African dende oil, where Brazil mixes its modern and ancient faces, we continue the quest into sunshine, and the warm glow of self-discovery. [post_title] => Salvador Singing [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => salvador-singing [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2009-07-12 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=50886 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 410 [name] => Brazil, Summer 2009 [slug] => brazil-summer-2009 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 410 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 249 [count] => 47 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 25.1 [cat_ID] => 410 [category_count] => 47 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Brazil, Summer 2009 [category_nicename] => brazil-summer-2009 [category_parent] => 249 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2009/brazil-summer-2009/ ) ) [category_links] => Brazil, Summer 2009 )

Brazil, Summer 2009

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Salvador Singing

Leo Robadey,Brazil, Summer 2009

Description

If you ever get bored, and want to give your brain a real shock, try this: Move from a remote Brazilian farmland where happy diversions involve Permaculture gardening, tipping over cows, and thinking up imaginative ways to bend barb wire (ok, not so much the last two). Then, after sufficient sensory depravation, move immediately to […]

Posted On

07/12/09

Author

Leo Robadey

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