Archive for April, 2005

17th Apr 2005

More Football

Well, today was the finale of the soccer championship. The first game I wrote about last weekend. The losing team from last weekend pulled out a victory today and so the city has erupted. Fireworks have been going off for the last few hours and the honking has returned. Hopefully it will die down before 11:00 or so, when I might actually be trying to sleep. But at least there are no strange Japanese singers interefering with the noise pollution put out by the revelers. I guess someday I’ll get used to the soccer fever, and then I’ll probably move somewhere where they have sacred cows or something.

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10th Apr 2005

Buddhist New Year and Brazilian Football and Grading

So, this is my second weekend of grading for the International Baccalaureate. Basically, I am grading numerous, long essays from students of varying academic levels from around the globe. Needless to say, this takes a bit of concentration. Each essay is generally around 3900 words, which, when written well can be extremely fascinating. However, when they are not written well it can be extremely tedious. My pace is about 1 essay per half hour. However, I have yet to grade more than two in a sitting. 7, yesterday, in one day is my record so far.

This weekend is also Buddhist New Year, which I have come to discover thanks to the excruciatingly painful singing that has been drifting into my apartment from the museum complex across the street since yesterday. This afternoon was also the soccer game between the two professional teams of the city, Coritiba and Atletico. Imagine Red Sox vs. Yankees, A&M vs. UT, or even OU vs. UT, but within the city limits. Top it off with the fact that Brazilians like to drive around honking their horns when their team wins and I live on one of the major streets of the city, where lots of people are milling around so they can hear the horrible singing. So, the singing continues, the honking is increasing, and my windows and walls are still not insulated.

Anyway, I’m not getting a lot of work done.

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02nd Apr 2005

Historiography in Salvador

I thought I had already written about this aspect of our trip to Salvador, but after looking back at the photos I realized that I hadn’t and some of the photos may not make sense with out a little explanation.

Across from our hotel was a large church, part of which is being restored and transformed into a 5-star resort. The church is called Igreja da Ordem Terceiro do Carmo, which in English means the Church of the 3rd Order of the Carmelites. We had heard from some of the men staying in our pousada that if you found a middle-aged guy that hung out outside the church, he would take you in, give you a tour of the catacombs and some of the more interesting features of the church.

So, on one of the many rainy days we spent in Salvador, Elizabeth and I ventured out to find this mysterious man. We found him, and he turned out to be very friendly, not really mysterious at all. His name was Joao. Joao took us into the church. As it was Ash Wednesday, he wasn’t able to take us into the sanctuary, but he took us to the Sacristy and told us some of the history of the church. After we showed interest and asked questions about the building, Joao took us downstairs to the former slaves quarters. He showed us various holes in the walls underneath the stairs that supposedly led to two neighboring churches. The tunnels were used by the slaves to escape. From there we went into the catacombs. It was a depressing sight as many of the recent graves were weathered and exposed to the outdoors. The church was clearly lacking in funds, as are many of the churches in Brazil. We left the church after about an hour of interesting conversation with Joao and after giving him a tip for his time.

Elizabeth and I returned to the hotel excited about the tour and the interesting things at the church and convinced the rest of the group to go with us the next day. Upon arriving in the morning we did not see Joao. But instead the doors were open, tickets were necessary, and the priest was available to show us around. We got to see much more of the church including the sanctuary (which there are pictures of). However, our tour was much different than the day before. When the priest took us downstairs we were told that the holes were merely holes and there had been no tunnels and slaves had not attempted to escape from the church. We were also informed that the catacombs had been closed since November. Needless, to say the rest of the group was not nearly as impressed with the second tour as we had been with the first.

But, it was a pretty church and you can see pictures of it if you click on the link below.

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02nd Apr 2005

First Installment of Salvador Photos

Well, I knew it would take me a while to recover from Carnaval, though I didn’t expect it to take 2 months. I have finally put my first set of Salvador photos online. Scott will hopefully send me his pictures, and as soon as I get my photos developed onto CD (I know 35mm is so archaic) I will have the final ones. But for now, since you guys have been begging me, here are some photos!

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