Yay for my visitors Saul & Michelle! Saul is a former colleague from my Vodafone days, and he's essentially how I got my gig in Brasil! Saul's just finished a 12 month contract for Nokia in Rio de Janeiro and before leaving Brazil, Saul and his wife Michelle decided to do a bit of a road trip and stayed with me while they were in Salvador. It was lovely to see them again - not to mention to hear the kiwi accent again :) And a bonus, with Saul & Michelle having been in Brasil for a year they are they are fluent portuguese speakers which made things like going out for dinner somewhat less harrowing!
However, not only was it lovely to have kiwi company and translators, but we had lots of interesting conversations about things like poverty, commersialism, environmentalism etc etc... I spose when you actually live in a developing nation, you see realise how well off people are in NZ and much of the western world, and the inequality of distribution of resources is very apparent...
Oh and another bonus - Saul & Michelle gave me some Marmite! Woo hoo! :) Ok, anyway, off the food topic and onto some photos!
Saul and Michelle in front of the Farol de Barra (Farrol = lighthouse)
Saul and me, behind the Farol de Barra, with Baía de Todos os Santos (All saints Bay) behind us
Igreja do Bonfim (Church of Good End), built in 18th century. The fame of the church comes from its power to cure various ailments etc...
In the Sala dos Milagres (Room of Miracles) leave letters, photos and ex votos - wax replicas of the body parts that were cured or need curing. Kinda freaky eh?
This church also has another tradition where you buy ribbons and make a wish when you tie them round your wrist and if you wear them until it falls off, your wish will come true... Some of you may remember me sporting a somewhat less colourful string around my wrist which my parents brought me from a temple in Sri Lanka. It was worn more for overall protection rather than for any specific wish, but it's quite amazing how such different religions can have some quite specific similarities!
Some white ribbons...
These ribbons are now a symbol of Bahia, so I figured I had to get me some. Not going on my wrist though - the last string I tied around my wrist lasted more than 18months!
We tried to check out a local sculpture park, but unfortunately most of it was roped off. This one "Gestação" (pregnancy) was kinda cool though :) It reminded me of some of the Maori carvings.
View from the sculture park
We went to Praia do Flamingos on Sunday with Noardia, a friend of a friend of a friend of Michelle's. This really typifies the friendliness of Brasilians - Noardia was literally that far removed from Michelle, yet she insisted on picking us up, taking us to Praia do Flamingos and even paying for our lunch!
It's great sitting at tables with the sand between your toes, the surf right there and the sun in abundance. But one of the drawbacks is you've got to watch the tide coming in ;)
Me, Saul & Noardia