Sunday, December 20, 2009

Onde é o banheiro? Blog de Brasileiro, dia 11 (segunda-feira, decembro 15)

Mosquito bite count:
-Hands: 4 / Arms: 6 (+1) / Shoulders: 4 / Chest: 1 / Head: 8 / Neck: 2
-Back: 0 / Legs: 0

Sunburn incident count: 1 (completely healed)

Immediately following breakfast, I walked with the group to the beach where we took a boat tour to a coral reef. And of course, after putting on all of our sunscreen and whatnot, there was a sudden downpour. Considering that we were going to be swimming a bit later, this wouldn’t have been a big deal, but sunscreen was getting in my eyes. As soon as it stopped, we started randomly quoting “I’m On a Boat.”

When we got on the coral reef, we were given a small packet of food for the fish. We had a bit too much fun feeding them, evidenced by the amount of fish crap that we were swimming in. Getting swarmed by fish was actually sort of neat, and of course there was the requisite stuffing of fish food in someone’s swim trunks.

After a fairly large lunch, we started the berimbau workshop. This ended up dragging on for hours, starting at roughly the afternoon and still going on until 10PM. Creating a full berimbau is an extremely tedious process. A brief run down:

-Peeling off all of the bark
-Cutting the length down to the equivalent of 7 hand lengths (stretched thumb to pinky)
-Using a glass blade to remove the remaining bark and smoothing out the surface and the knots in the wood
-Sanding down the surface
-Cutting, emptying, and sanding down a gourd
-putting holes in the gourd and attaching a string
-Cutting a notch in the berimbau for the aramé to loop around
-Nailing a square of leather to the top of the berimbau
-Cutting an appropriate length of wire and twisting the loops in it
-Tying string to the arame
-Stringing the berimbau properly

Given the extremely limited number of available tools, this takes a lot longer than it should. We end up improvising glass blades made of a broken bottle and surprisingly, nobody cuts themselves on the glass. This may appear to be fairly ghetto, but it actually effective at levelling out the surface. I now have a much better appreciation on what is necessary to make a berimbau and can actually see how the prices can be justified.

As complete newbies, our Berimbau assembly technique has become a great source of comedy for Jaruna, one of the workers at the Pousada who is also a Capoeira student, and obviously, they aid a lot more help than we were hoping for. My berimbau is somewhat complete, although I do need to do some more sanding. The wood is extremely stiff and difficult to flex. However, this is my berimbau. There are many like it, but this one is my own.

This drags on long enough that by the time some of us are finished, we’re all extremely tired, hungry, and getting cranky (low blood sugar and all). The night is finished off at an all-you-can-eat Brazilian barbecue which is much cheaper than eating at Samba’s in Vancouver.

The language barriers are slowly lowering as Saphadinho makes a crack at Charme’s expense. Charme requests “frango de queijo” (“chicken with cheese”), but Saphadinho makes an off-hand crack, “You mean, ‘Frango de Homems?” (slang term for gay male). Charme responds with an extended middle finger, but the waiter takes the joke even further by sending over another member of the wait staff.

The second hapless waiter is completely oblivious to the fact that he just got punked and politely asks if there’s anything else he can do. As we do so, the first waiter is killing himself laughing behind the counter, so much so that he needs his apron to mop up the tears because he’s laughing too hard.

The hypoglycaemia has now been replaced with a need for a post meal coma.

Next: Natal.

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