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Waking up on Thursday morning, instead of heading to a kitchen and grabbing a quick breakfast before we leave the house as many of us do in the states, we began our day with a long walk down a dirt road where we eventually encountered an old man sitting outside his house waiting for us with a metal pitcher. Jefferson our homestay brother who had lead us to this hosue explained how we were going to milk a cow in order to have milk for breakfast. As we quietly watched from a fence, Jefferson took the first cow and milked a pitcher with ease. He then offered us the opportunity to milk a cow ourselves. We each tried and were surprised how something that seemed so easy to Jefferson could be such a difficult task for each of us.

After eating a delicious meal including the sweet nectar of our hard labour we left our homestay houses to find Jefferson and a friend of his waiting for us.E ach of them was holding a gun and through a bit of explanation we discovered that we were going out on a hunt with the whole family. It was a lovely day for a long hike, but much to our amazement we figured out that it was not just a nice strole but a 4 hour adventure. Along the way we collected a berry used for jams and alcohol. They tasted like mint, tomato, and cherry (yea seriously wierd taste). On our adventure Jefferson killed a small bird and what seemed to be a hawk, which they took home and would prepare for a meal. We spent a lot of time connecting with the family trying to use our Portugese. When we got to the top of the mountain the view was spectacular. We saw how open the land and farm space was and how small the houses seemed from so far up. As we returned we fealt more connected with the family and their world recognizing the differences between their culture and ours and very tired from our long hike.

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Brazil, Summer 2009, Homestay

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Homestay

Daniel and Ava,Brazil, Summer 2009, Homestay

Description

Waking up on Thursday morning, instead of heading to a kitchen and grabbing a quick breakfast before we leave the house as many of us do in the states, we began our day with a long walk down a dirt road where we eventually encountered an old man sitting outside his house waiting for us […]

Posted On

07/11/09

Author

Daniel and Ava

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    [post_content] => Waking up early underneath my green mosquito net in the tiny bed that my beautiful host mother lent me for the night while pascal was forced to sleep outside with the element that Diogo had to offer. Cold shower and off down the hill for breakfast. With no rush to be felt we meandered to our first excursion into permaculture.The Dragons and someeager environmental localssat in the same balmy room that we had previously done capoiera in the night before and were shown a slide show and given a lecture from the educated OPA leaders grappled to translate what was being said in english and in portuguese. Isabella discussed the meaning of permaculture and the slides showed how permaculture can be applied in a daily lifestyle. This is a very complex definition and since it was our first day i dont think i could define it justly.The slidesforeshadowed what we wereto be doing later that day under the Brazilian sun. Pictures and explanations in different languages were thrown at us on how to make a compost toilet,a banana circle, and superadobe architecture. After manyquestions i discovered thata banana circle is a waterfiltration system that can be utilized inBrazil because of the many banana trees, but can also be formed with other plants.Superadobe wasextra interesting for me because iam from new mexico and adobehomes litter my town.However,SUPERadobe is slightly different because it is a more sustainable way to build homes compared to the current toxic way.Sand and clay is put into polyproplenebags and thenlayeredlike long bricks to make an entire home.The idea of compost toilets was fascinating.Basically you build a structure where there is no water involved and eventually after about 6 months safe andnonharmful fertilizer is produced. Its wayyyyy more complicated than that, but since i live in new mexico and there is notvery much water, let alone good soil i thought they were a really great sustainable way to reuse what ourown bodies produce for us. After a lunch of delicious chicken, beans, rice, and fruit weactually made all three of thosestructures on the OPA land. Running around from station to station was fun.I mostly worked on the superadobe bancos that we wanted to make. This was tooons of work because you have toget the clay (play with it a little just for kicks) then create a funnel, and assembly line and somehow get all of the clay in the proplene bag then hammer it so that it is hard so that you can just remove theplasticbag and there will just be a sandbanco left to use as a meeting space for the OPA memebers. Then as a special treat for some of the interested dragons, we went swimming in the river under the moon. I hope i am writing this so that my readers can get the full picture of just how amazing this felt. Dinner, a chat on the bridge connecting Diogo to the beach, and a nights rest in our tents ended our 5th day here in the great county of Brazil.
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Brazil, Summer 2009

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Permaculture

Maria Ashkin,Brazil, Summer 2009

Description

Waking up early underneath my green mosquito net in the tiny bed that my beautiful host mother lent me for the night while pascal was forced to sleep outside with the element that Diogo had to offer. Cold shower and off down the hill for breakfast. With no rush to be felt we meandered to […]

Posted On

07/4/09

Author

Maria Ashkin

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We are now in day two of our permaculture course and the students are busy applying natural paint that they just made to the composting toilet, creating a banana circle for the future greywater system, and constructing super adobe benches. I have snuck out of the course to post a yak while the students are occupied since the town has one computer--that keeps dying on us. Students are excited to post yaks but time and willingness of the computer to work have not been in our favor. But regardless, the trip is going wonderfully. We cannot believe that we are not even a full week into our adventure and already it feels like we have completed an entire trip. Days here are good. Food is great,town folkare friendly, relaxed, love to dance and sing, and many are as excited as we are about permaculture and sustainability, and we are learning a lot. We also have our fair share of play time. We are camping next to a lovely, clean river which we swim in multiple times a day and tonight we are having a luau/talent show/bonfire in the sand dunes near the ocean. In a few days we will head out into one of the dryest regions on Brazil and learn about the agricultural difficulties people there face. Internet does not exsist there sothere will be a 4 or 5 day gap between information. However, if the computer is up and running tomorrow, some new yaks just might make their way up...

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Brazil, Summer 2009

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Update and photos from arrival to Diogo

Adelaide Nalley,Brazil, Summer 2009

Description

We are now in day two of our permaculture course and the students are busy applying natural paint that they just made to the composting toilet, creating a banana circle for the future greywater system, and constructing super adobe benches. I have snuck out of the course to post a yak while the students are […]

Posted On

07/4/09

Author

Adelaide Nalley

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    [post_content] => We find the most comfort within our own homes, a place for many of us where we are able to communicate, interact and most importantly, be happy. For many of us, living our sheltered lives to a remote village in Northern Brazil can be a very hard challenge, and one that is potentially hard to deal with. Right after our orientation, we marched to the town of Diogo, where we would begin our fist home stay. Beyond our nervous faces hid a great joy and willingness to emerge into the Brazilian life, an excitement to begin our quest of understanding the Brazilian culture. Soon, we understood that through the home stay we will be able to see the everyday actions of the locals in Diogo, but more importantly provide us with an insight that is seen by few around the world. The locals in Diogo were very nice to us, not simply because they opened up their homes to complete strangers, but because they were interested in connecting with other human beings. They were able to look beyond the fact that we are from America, and instead looked at us as another being, another soul that is wandering planet Earth. The sacrifices that made by people of Diogo in order to have us be part of their homes is something that is tremendous. They may not have much to offer us, but a home is a home anywhere you are in the world. Within a couple hours of home stay, we were no longer strangers, but instead we became family, treated as their own, and slowly we eased in into the process and came out stronger and better. The food, Brazilian food is probably the best thing thus far, and every day despite what the meal of the day is, we are given a feast. The level of respect and care which we were treated as only made is easier for us as a group to feel comfortable and slowly begin to think as our home stays as our actual homes. The word, “tranquillo” has become one of my favorites as every day we are reminded by our host parents to just relax and take is easy. There is not really a way for us to thank the locals of Diogo for opening up their homes for us, but we certainly have truly appreciated all they have done for us. We are having a blast so far, and each day brings us better and funnier experiences. The people are great, and the group is great. So, Happy 4th of July to all, and “tranquillo”.Beleza!!!!!
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Brazil, Summer 2009

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Welcome Home

Pascal Louis,Brazil, Summer 2009

Description

We find the most comfort within our own homes, a place for many of us where we are able to communicate, interact and most importantly, be happy. For many of us, living our sheltered lives to a remote village in Northern Brazil can be a very hard challenge, and one that is potentially hard to […]

Posted On

07/4/09

Author

Pascal Louis

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Ripped from comfort and thrust onto the sandy beaches of Bahia, our group stands at a crossroad. Here at our first homestay in Diogowe must decide if we are tourists come to purchase culture and return to America unchanged or take a more daring route. We could, instead, immerse ourselves into all that is Brazil, diving head-first hoping that the water is more than deep enough. Here is the time that we make the decisions that defines us as Dragons.

The decision to let go was not automatic but changed slowly over the last few days as I realized thatI was finding the most subtle similarities in the most obvious differences.

Watching my fellow dragons learn Capoiera tonight, I was amazed by the uniquely Brazilian mix of dance and martial arts. At the base of it though, Capoeira boils down to a form of expression and another way for a person to find themselves; a search for balance. As Dragons, we too are searching for balance, our place in the world, our niche.

My point then is that as we learned something so Brazilian, the Capoeira masters were also learning from us. During Capoeira we were no longer Brazilians and Americans, locals and foreigners; we were a group. As people who all had their basic needs met, although the needs of our friends here in Diogo may seem much more basic, we are very similar. Deeper into our trip, as the apparent necessitites of our daily life in the states become less important, we will only get closer to the people and places we touch. Maybe we will soon, with work, gain a better understanding not so much of Brazil, although important, but of people. Maybe we will gain a better understand of what motivates us and our newfound kinsmen.

I think that as we travel, we should keep in mind that no matter how foreign these people and places seem, at the core of it we are more similar than we dare to think. What defines us as Dragons though is the ability to show eachother and the people we come across how intertwined we really are.

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Brazil, Summer 2009

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Insight through Capoeria

Steven Boone,Brazil, Summer 2009

Description

Ripped from comfort and thrust onto the sandy beaches of Bahia, our group stands at a crossroad. Here at our first homestay in Diogowe must decide if we are tourists come to purchase culture and return to America unchanged or take a more daring route. We could, instead, immerse ourselves into all that is Brazil, […]

Posted On

07/2/09

Author

Steven Boone

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Yesterday, July 1st, was what I can say one of the best and challenging days SO FAR on this trip. Yes, leaving our homes was hard, meeting my fellow dragons was difficult, but July 1st...that was the day I came face to face with harbored dreams and fears.

Our day began with a late start, cleaning up from our hostle stay and stuffing down mango, papaya, and pineapple along with bread, cheese and coffee before our beach hike. We said fair-well to our comfortable beds and began our day.

The beach hike was perfect. Most of us walked barefoot in the wet sand with the tropical sounds of waves crashing and palm trees swaying in the warm brazilian winter breeze. I took this time to reflect. I thought of what I left at home and where I am and will be for the next forty days. It was an akward feeling to feel the sadness of missing home and your comfort zone, but excitment and inspiration for what is ahead. Our walk was to San Antonio beach where we met Isabela to begin our surfing lessons. Before hand, we had a reflection or what qualities we want to bring on this trip and which we would like to leave behind. We then chose a bracelet and made ourselves a promiseto be who we want to be during theseforty days and beyond. Afterwards, the surfing lessons began. Surfing is something I´ve been around living in `The Hamptons´ my whole life. It has been a dream that was surpessed from fears that were put in my head of what could happen. But, how my travleer thinking pattern always reacts, why answer was `When do you ever get to surf in Brazil?´so, not only did I attempt to surf, I also chose to ride the tougher more advanced type of a board, a short board. To say the least, the feeling of full control and peacefulness took hold and I was at a calm. I cought three waves on my stomach which I am very proud of :) and the rest, I`ll work on at home.

After the beach, we walked to lunch where we had a traditional dish of red snapper (which I don`t remember the name of at the moment) which was SCRUUUMPTIOUS! There, we talked about or fears of home stays. We mostly said communication, which was my biggest fear. I hate not knowing what is being said or discussed around me, so this was a HUGE challenge. Also, I am shy so living with a family I never met before, in a forgein country, tryin to converse witha family that does not speak my language and I do not speak theirs. At first, it was akward. I didn`t know what to say and they didn`t know what to say to me. Thankfully we were partnered up which made the experience much les stresfful. Ten minute later, we left to meet for our Capoeria lessons.

Capoeria is a Brazilian matial art which combines dance, music, and fighting techniques. We all had a chance to learn and I personally think this art is beautiful adn magnificant. The philosophy is to create a well-rounded being. If you practice Capoeria, you not only learn to fight, but to sing, dance (which is integrated into the fight), play and instrument, and to relax. As our instructor said, the more you relax, the better you will become.

So we returned to our home stays where we finished our small dinners and went to sleep in hammocks and bets underneath the bugnets and rested our weary bodies after a long day of Brazilian livin´.

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Brazil, Summer 2009

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brazilian livin

Isabella Bartoloni,Brazil, Summer 2009

Description

Yesterday, July 1st, was what I can say one of the best and challenging days SO FAR on this trip. Yes, leaving our homes was hard, meeting my fellow dragons was difficult, but July 1st…that was the day I came face to face with harbored dreams and fears. Our day began with a late start, […]

Posted On

07/2/09

Author

Isabella Bartoloni

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I´m sitting in the one computer available in town, likely to loose everything I type, as is normal when posting a Yak Yak in the contries Dragons visits.

We are the first dragons group to visit beautful Brazil and as such we had nobody to talk to as to what to expect. It is a country unlike any other I´ve experienced, not only in terms of the unique ´tranquilo´ culture, but also the incredible lands tucked behind the tree line over looking splendid beaches. Music is almost as prevalent in the air as mosquitos and dancing almost as common as walking. As Pascal, a fellow dragon, put it ´there is a beat to this place´one that is immediately recognizable but somewhat indescribable.

After spending as many as 10 hours in the airport for some before we embarked on our 8 hour red eye, we arrived in Salvador Airport, and though it was well on the outskirts of the city the city rhythm was unmistakable. Buses were lined up at every bus stop for the entire time we sat waiting for our bus to take us to our orientation spot, which ,upon bording, rocked us all gently to sleep before we arrived in our beautiful residence for the next two days where we discussed exactly what we wanted to get out of this trip, and gradually got to know the other members of our group. Independently, the students worked out a system whereby we would ask each student to outline their lives outside of Brazil, and explain why they came and how this dragons trip fit into their vision of their future. Some came to break free from the comfort of home, Nana (another dragon) to return to her mother country before she was adopted into the USA.

It is such a welcoming community here, and I have yet to hear the usage of the word ´Gringo´(which I´m told is in both portuguese and Spanish) which is nice, and we´ve interacted with many Brazilians, using broken spanish to substitute for real Portugese (pardon my spelling I´ve already spelled it two different ways i know its ´portugs´here). The language barrier is really tough, although I´ve been to guatemala with imperfect spanish this is different, but every day we´re learning more and more and óbrigado´(thank you) means alot.

We´re just starting to come together as a unit, and are just beginning the real exploration of the rest of Brazil, but it still seems surreal exactly where we are, and I look forward to angreat journey with this dynamic group of people. Now I´m off to play some soccer, hope all is well back in the states to whoever is reading this.

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Brazil, Summer 2009

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Brazil

Hudson Cavanagh,Brazil, Summer 2009

Description

I´m sitting in the one computer available in town, likely to loose everything I type, as is normal when posting a Yak Yak in the contries Dragons visits. We are the first dragons group to visit beautful Brazil and as such we had nobody to talk to as to what to expect. It is a […]

Posted On

07/2/09

Author

Hudson Cavanagh

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Here we are, bellies full of pizza, staring up at the stars. What better things these simple things--to enjoy conversation in front of a wood fire stove, the sway of a palm tree, or the roar of a wave as it exits the sea. With the second day of orientation complete there is much to reflect on. The students are full of smiles, trying new foods such as Beiju, a cocunut wrap filled with cheese, and learning how to face and embrace the adventure that lies ahead.

With bags packed, tomorrow we will exit our hostel. Our destination -- Diogo -- lies but a million sand grains away, just a 5 km walk along the South Atlantic farther north up the shore of Bahia. There we will engage in permacultural workshops, sustainable development exercises, and interact with families of this small and remote fishing village.

For these challenges to come...

With hearts and heads held high...

We travel farther, us Dragons, inward, onward, and away.

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Brazil, Summer 2009

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And away…

Leo Robadey,Brazil, Summer 2009

Description

Here we are, bellies full of pizza, staring up at the stars. What better things these simple things–to enjoy conversation in front of a wood fire stove, the sway of a palm tree, or the roar of a wave as it exits the sea. With the second day of orientation complete there is much to […]

Posted On

06/30/09

Author

Leo Robadey

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    [post_date] => 2009-06-29 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

After many hours in the Miami airport and a relatively sleepless red-eye to Salvador, we arrived this morning at 6am--just in time to fly over the coastal city as the sun was rising just high enough to color everything a light hue of pink. it was pure magic. We excitedly caught a few buses and ended up in the very tiny fishing village of Imbassai where we will be having our orientation for the next few days. After having a wonderful lunch, which we ate with minature wild monkeys sitting on the back of our chairs,, we headed out for the world´s longest blind-folded trust walk to the beach. It involved many bridges, lots of mud, and was a pure riot to watch. We ended at an amazing Brazilian beach and enjoyed water time. We have just finished dinner and are preparing for well-deserved sleep. I feel blessed to be sharing this journey with not only 2 inspiring co-instructurs, but 11 truly impressive (and super funny!) students. The group is great and I feel so fortunate and cannot wait to spend the next 6 weeks with my fellow travel companions. We will have very limited internet access over the next week or two so please be patient if the board is a bit bare. But know we are all safe and VERY happy to be here in Brazil,

Adelaide

[post_title] => Let our journey begin!!!! [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => let-our-journey-begin-2 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2009-06-29 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=51321 [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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Let our journey begin!!!!

Adelaide Nalley,Brazil, Summer 2009

Description

After many hours in the Miami airport and a relatively sleepless red-eye to Salvador, we arrived this morning at 6am–just in time to fly over the coastal city as the sun was rising just high enough to color everything a light hue of pink. it was pure magic. We excitedly caught a few buses and […]

Posted On

06/29/09

Author

Adelaide Nalley

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    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2009-06-27 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

HEY,

Just like of all you guys I am counting down the hours until we are all together on a plane heading to Brazil. Hudson, just like you, I will not be able to sleep tonight because I am so excited. So,I probably will stay up and play some video games. Also, it is sad that we may not be able to see the soccer game, but knowing that Brazil will win, we shall have a huge celebration once we land. I see brazil winning 3-0.

And Steven, I will be bringing my camera and will be atking a lot of pictures. So I would be more than happy to share my pics with you once we return. Also, if you want to bring a memery card, then will for sure let you use my camera to take pictures. Well, just get back at me and tell me what you think.

See you guys tomorrow!!!

Viva Brazil!!!!!

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Brazil, Summer 2009

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Responses

Pascal Louis,Brazil, Summer 2009

Description

HEY, Just like of all you guys I am counting down the hours until we are all together on a plane heading to Brazil. Hudson, just like you, I will not be able to sleep tonight because I am so excited. So,I probably will stay up and play some video games. Also, it is sad […]

Posted On

06/27/09

Author

Pascal Louis

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