Right now I am sitting lazily on the couch of my home stay with the patio door open and the tropical warm breeze blowing in from a balcony that overlooks the city lights of Fortaleza, the city that never sleeps. Mary Alice and I are watching a Brazilian television program on a flat screen while a weiner dog puppy is curled up on my lap. I have laid out on a beautiful beach, sat under a palm tree while drinking tropical juice drinks, and have eaten a lunch and dinner that tasted so delicious and filled me up so much that I do not see how it is possible to ever get off this couch again. I cannot believe how lucky we are to get to stay with this home stay family for the next five weeks.
Our new family dog, Petooka.
From the moment I met my Brazilian mom, Teresa, I knew I was going to have the best time at her house. The first word that popped into my mind when I saw her was Diva. Her bleached blonde hair and tan made her seem much younger and way more fabulous than any other divorced middle-aged woman with two children about our age. She whipped out her iPhone with her perfectly manicured nails decorated with rhinestones after we piled in her car to drive to her apartment. We stopped at an ice cream shop before we made it to her apartment and chose a flavor out of 50 flavors, most of which I had never heard before. Since we couldn't decide which one to get, Teresa (or Tay-Tay as she likes to be called) being her warm and welcoming self bought a bucket of ten different flavors! The best of which I thought was the coconut flavor. Maracuja is was another flavor, and it is a fruit that we do not have back at the States. It is my dad's favorite fruit and favorite flavor of ice cream, juices... anything he can get his hands on in Brazil. I personally think this fruit is a little too sweet and extremely tangy. The ice cream tasted a little like tangerine juice doused in sugar.
We also met Ta-Ta's nephew, Matheus. Matheus is the Brazilian version of the name Matthew, but it is pronounced like the Italian restaurant back home calledMatteos. Matheus is the most fun 24 year old guy I have ever met. From the very beginning he treated Mary Alice and I as his instant best friends. I have never had a gay guy friend before but always wanted one, and now I've finally found one in Brazil! He is so into fashion, and I am very much looking forward to shopping with him in the future! He told us he owns over fifty pairs of Converse shoes... one in every color and material that he matches with his shirts every day. He also wears his hair in a clean-cut fohawk and loves to listen to American music like Lady GaGa and Rhianna.
Once we got to the apartment, which looks similar to small a resort style condo, we ate lunch. We found out during this time that the family business is in catering. The food that they cook here is fresh from their catering business and in huge portions! The group of students that lives a block down with Tay-Tay's mom had to come over just to help us finish it. The group that lives with her mom consists of Lucy, her boyfriend Simon, and Titus - who every Brazilian mistakes for President Obama.
After lunch we drove over to the beach. The beach has three different hang-out spots. The first one is a very tropical setting before you get to the sand. There is vegetation everywhere and palm trees that act as a natural roof over the entire area. There are hammocks around this area and bamboo style bars to sit and relax. The next area is right on the sand, and it is for those who want to sit in at a table in the shade to appreciate the view of the beautiful ocean. At these tables waitors and vendors come up to you and either take your order or try to get you to buy these random exotic souvenirs and goods. The last spot is the actual beach. The water at the beach is so warm and not even that salty! The water got into my eyes a couple of times and instead of feeling irritated it almost felt refreshing.
After hanging out at the beach for awhile, we went back to our house and took showers. The showers in our apartment are those ones with the HUGE shower heads that feel like you are showering under a waterfall.
Later that evening, we ate the most delicious Italian-style pasta and fruit salad I have ever tasted and ended our night in the most perfect way I could have asked for... talking to Matheus on the balcony patio about how extremely good looking Edward Cullen is from Twilight.