Anahera: My date with "Batman"

Heart SP 1

A bumpy start in my first trip to Brasil and specifically São Paulo, but things picked up on our first and second day.  The first day was interesting in learning some Portuguese terms, which we are constantly using on a daily basis slowly increasing our phrases. The research opportunities with the University of São Paulo are endless depending on the type of research you are looking into.  Make contact with Campus B to get an insight into the professoro/a and lecturers details.

Our first haerenga was to the Mercado Municipal, where the small Português we knew came in handy, but also was a hindrance.  The ability to introduce ourselves “Meu nome é Anahera” and say “Não falo e Português”, stopped them in their tracks.  But that they couldn’t speak English meant having the wonderful Talita from Campus B to translate on our behalf was really handy.  The kai as always is something that we look forward to and these were outstanding, different and wonderful.

Mercado Municipal 1

The sandwiches and pastie that were recommended was massive to say the least.  It was like a triple Big Mac burger but just meat and cheese. The local fish (cod) in rememberance of the relationship with Portugual, and olives was divine.  There were very few considerations for Vegan and Vegetarian, but we were lucky to find something that suited our students with different dietary needs.

This was a warm up for my final destination in having a date with “Batman”.  On our entrepid journey we met a group of students from Brasil and currently in São Paulo who had a 12 month exchange in Aotearoa New Zealand.  My moko kauae, confirmed for them where I came from. It was fun to catch up  with others from Aotearoa New Zealand, but it was our first day and I had other things on my mind!

Batman 5

As we continued our journey things started to get exciting as we viewed the local graffiti in “Batman” alley.  Starting with Joker and Two-face to the group taking a picture with Adam West (Batman) hugging Pele, a famous football player from Brasil, finally seeing the Batman spotlight symbol.

Batman 2

As we move into the discussion on Indigenous rights and Brazilian politics, opened the eyes of all participants in the frankness of the questions being asked by the lecturer.  The open discussion was well received and the following trip around old São Paulo into the new was fantastic.  An orientation that met our cultural needs in connecting with the whenua and the history of the land.  Something that we normally do when having a pōwhiri onto the marae into whakawhanaungatanga and then the kōrero nehe of the region.  There are some beautiful buildings which you possibly would not note if you did not do a tour of the city.

It would be an excellent opportunity in the future to exchange with Campus B or University of São Paulo students if they get a chance to come to our city and university.  I know that we have the skills to manaaki our manuhiri (visitors) well.

Tchau for now whānau.  Catch you when we hit Ubatuba.

Chelsea: Brazil ~ First Impressions

Kia ora whanau!

Where do I even start?? What a wild 24 hours it has been. Eleven of us set off for Sao Paolo on the 12th January 2020. It was fairly smooth sailing, bar one of us losing their suitcase eep. We were greeted at the airport by Campus B’s AMAZING Talita! She was SO patient and helped us translate everything.

In the morning, after some much needed rest, we had our orientation followed by a beginners Portugese class. I have never travelled to a place where English is spoken so infrequently, so this was definitely helpful. Giselda was our teacher and she kept us super engaged and made the class fun. We learnt how to introduce ourselves and say our basic information and a few key phrases such as “Tudo bem” (how are you?) and “Obrigado” (thank you). I didn’t realise how gendered all of the words are in Portugese. There are different words for ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ things. It makes me think of how hard it must be for gender fluid people in Brazil to be addressed with the correct pronoun.

Next stop was the Municipal Market of Sao Paolo. This is basically a giant food market with a tonne of fresh fruit and Brazilian delicacies such as pastilles . The street vendors offer you a lot of different fruits that I have never tried before. Thanks to Talita, I was able to find vegan options that I could eat and she translated for me.

Municipal Markets, Sao Paolo

After our tummy’s were full (and jet lag was kicking in), we decided to visit the popular Batman Alley, named after the famous batman window (pictured below). This is basically the Hosier Lane of Brazil. It was very hipster and had a bunch of call artsy vendors and beautiful artwork. We all really loved this spot.

Our afternoon group trip to the supermarket was so much fun. Some of my favourite parts of travelling are going to foreign supermarkets. I love getting to see all of the different brands and snacks, and Talita told us all of her favourite foods.

To end the day, we went to our welcome dinner at an all you can eat steakhouse. As a vegan, I was not very excited for this. However, it was more of a buffet, with meat served to the table. I had lots of options including sushi, and my new favourite vege mandioca (cassava in English). Its like a fried potato but sweeter, so yummy. I also got to have my favourite Brazilian cocktail, caipirinha. I have had these before but not in Brazil.

If this is day one, I am so excited to see what the rest of this trip has in store for us. Will check in very soon to update you all.

Aroha nui,

Chelsea xx