Thursday, March 19, 2015

Brazil, Day 2: São Paulo - Thammy & Sandro, Emerson, Lola, Dani & Igor

Of all the days in Brazil, we might've packed the most visits into day 2.

We woke up at about 6:30 and made pancakes for Sandro, Thammy and the kids, played around and packed up. Breno liked playing with cars and pretending to be the Hulk, which meant a lot of car crashes.


Then we headed to Church! For those who've been to São Paulo, it was the Vila Sabrina ward.


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Emerson came to church to see us! Emerson is a good friend I knew from when I was a missionary. He doesn't live near the church, and I was glad that he made the trip up so we could see each other. Also, it only took 12 years, but I finally delivered on my promise to get him some Mac & Cheese.


After church we took a few more photos with Sandro, Breno, Thammy and Bianca.


Caroline and Bianca were best buddies.


After we said our sad goodbyes, Sandro drove us to Lola's (Carolina) house!

Lola is one of my best friends from when I was an exchange student. She's from Sacramento, but now lives in São Paulo. We dropped our bags off at her house and then walked over to the International Shopping Guarulhos mall for some lunch.


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We ate at a self-serve food-by-weight place. You fill your plate and pay by the kilo. It was a great choice. It gave Caroline a chance to sample a bunch of Brazilian foods all in one place.  SO much food!!!!

After lunch we walked around the mall and eventually found our way to the Havaianas store where Caroline and I both bought a pair of flip-flops.

Then we headed to the supermarket (still in the mall) and bought ingredients for pancakes again! Plus some goiabada, cheese, and delicious fruits!

Back at Lola's, Lola showed us pictures and videos of the Amazons. Her parents moved from Sacramento to Mato Grosso, and Lola worked as an English interpreter at an Amazon hotel nearby which popular with bird watchers. She had some entertaining and amazing stories to share!

At about 5:00 we headed downtown São Paulo via Bus and Subway, which gave Caroline a quick view of how big and dirty São Paulo can be. We exited the Subway at Avenida Paulista (where she could see how fancy and big-city São Paulo could be) and took a short stroll to see the MASP (São Paul Museum of Modern Art) building.



This is the same street that was the center of the protests in Brazil the following Sunday, when 1.5 million people flooded the streets in São Paulo to protest Dilma Rousseff, the current president. Fortunately for us, there was only one small protest this night and we didn't have any trouble getting around.



After a quick walk down part of Avenida Paulista we headed to meet up with Dani (Daniella). Dani and Lola were best buddies in High School in Sacramento. They both spoke English well and were the most amazing combination of silly and sincere. More importantly, they really took me in, helped me learn my way around Sacramento and Portuguese and became two of my closest friends when I was an exchange student.


I was happy to see that Dani and Lola haven't changed! There is still that same silly-sincere camaraderie and it was wonderful. It was like coming home again.

Dani is married to a really fantastic guy named Igor and has a little baby named Benício. After touring their nice apartment, and meeting Igor the baby, we all went out to Pizzaria Camelos (did I mention I love Brazilian pizza?).


Here's Lola holding Benício, Caroline, Dani and myself. If you look close you can see that Benício threw up on Caroline right before this shot.



Dani, Benício and Igor. One of my favorite things about this trip was seeing how so many of my friends have met wonderful people, started families and seem so happy. It just makes me feel content to see my friends doing well.


After dinner we went back to Dani and Igor's place and hung out for a while. They've go an amazing view of the city from their place!

Dani, Caroline and Lola made Brigadeiros -  a delicious chocolate paste - and we ate it with ice cream and carrot cake. Mmmm.


At one point we heard some explosions and lots of noise. It turned out to be pre-protest-protests somewhere nearby. We couldn't see where they were, but they were banging pots and pans and shooting off big fireworks.

Eventually we headed home. It had started raining so Dani gave us a ride to the Subway stop. When we reached our exit it was raining really hard so we decided to take a taxi the rest of the way instead of waiting for a bus and then having to walk the few blocks from the bus stop to Lola's house. It took FOREVER to get a taxi, but eventually we got one and made it back to Lola's probably by 10:00 or 10:30.

We had given Lola a package of Maple extract, so we made some maple syrup for the pancakes we were going to make in the morning.

Finally at around midnight Marcos came home! Marcos is Lola's fiance. He works at the Fogo de Chão restaurant in São Paulo and had to work late! He is a really neat, friendly guy. I'm trying hard to put pictures on the day they happened, so you'll need to wait for Day 3's report to see what he looks like!

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