Well, we can’t talk the talk (yet), but we can certainly drink the drink.
When you travel for 28 hours straight, two days start becoming one. After multiple flights, Chrissie and I have finally convened in the same country, the same city, and the same hotel room. We are nestled in a humble, albeit clean and safe, abode in a hotel about 10 minutes away from the conference center in Porte Alegre, which my (of course gorgeous) Brazilian airplane seat-mate informed me has stunning beaches. We are already planning how our room will become the ‘party room,’ primarily due to our abundance of cliff bars and trail mix – and other things that vegan and gluten-free Americans can actually eat.
Of second importance – Caipirinhas. These are like Mint Juleps, but far better. They are the national Brazilian drink, and include something similar to rum, limes, sugar, and will absolutely be our saving grace. After registering at the conference, we decided to head to a local restaurant that is near to the opening ceremonies. It looked enticing because I thought the name of the place was ‘Brahms.’ Turns out it was a sign that said ‘Brahma’ which is their local beer. Even better. After circumstantially running into our dear Brazilian friends, Andre and Murilo (whom we initially met in LA), we enjoyed a few of these drinks and French fries! Go ‘Murica.
After an evening of the ISME opening ceremony and some eye-opening Brazilian presentations, we capped the night with learning (read: attempting to learn) how to Samba dance! We collectively had four left feet, but after a few drinks, some unbelievable live music, along with additional help from a Brazilian ballet teacher who speak English and saw us suffering, we had a pretty decent evening/morning.
Although most of the city stays awake far later, it is 2am and time for bed. Tomorrow brings the promise of friends and inspiration!
Emily & Chrissie