The weekend was one of the highlights of the trip. We started Saturday morning walking through the weekend swap meet/flea market/craft fair that set up on the streets of Ibitinga around the center of town and the main church. We saw some amazing handcrafted items, some not-so-amazing items and a whole host of things in between. It was really interesting to see all the stuff and people walking around on a Saturday morning.
The rest of the day was even better!
Maura’s friend and fellow teacher, Edison, opened up his vacation house to have weekend party. The place was directly on the river, with a little dock overlooking the water. We were lucky enough to spend both Saturday and Sunday at the house with friends coming and going throughout the weekend. We didn’t stay there because there wasn’t room with all the people, so we left late at night and came back early the next day. Priscilla and I were a little nervous at first because the only person who spoke English was Maura, but soon a few others who spoke English and through broken English and really broken Portuguese we all seemed to communicate and had some real fun. We met some really interesting people throughout the course of the evening and night. This was the kind of culture Priscilla and I were excited about experiencing.
The next morning we met up about mid-morning and went to the store to pick up more supplies for the big barbeque or churrasco. Maura told us that Edison was supposed to be up by 6 am to put the meat on the grill. We figured he didn’t make it… but when we got there the meat was on. We later found out that he did wake up a little later than he wanted to. Again, people came and went- friends stopped by from the city, neighbors came by to say hi… it was so friendly. Eventually the meat and sides were ready and it was time to eat.
I will be dedicating an entire post to the food I ate while I was in Brazil later but I do need to mention that the meat we ate that day was sublime. I don’t know if it was just the meat and the way it was cut, seasoned, and BBQ’ed or it was the place, the people, and the mood. Obviously, it was all of it… the meat-from the burnt ends to the soft, red, rare, center and the multiple cuts were amazing. It was seasoned in a way that I have only experienced there and probably will only taste the same when I am there. Either way it was one of those meals that I will remember forever.
That afternoon, Conrado, a close friend of Maura’s and her neighbor, came over with his guitar and ukulele. We met him earlier in the week at the June party. He speaks perfect English and works for the election board in Ibitinga. We became fast friend earlier in the week and were quite happy to see him that Sunday- plus it was another translator! We spent the afternoon sitting on the dock of the river singing songs with Conrado, talking, and soaking up the perfect weather. It was exactly what Priscilla and I needed after a week of compression.