Month: September 2009

Is it all bullshit?

Still here in brazil discussing issues of social justice. And the question got raised in a different manner, but a real question nonetheless: is all of our liberal arts education discussions just a bunch of bullshit? We sit around in these “spaces” and discuss the “intersectionality” of social problems, use a lofty and prescribed vocabulary (where we have to throw in “privilege” and “agency” once in a while) and raise the  scripted questions that sound intellectual and deep that no one has supposedly considered, and start all of our phrases off with “I feel like…” But the reality is, much of it is just that: TALK. When it comes down to the organizing and doing, few of those talkers are willing to act on what they talked so heavily about. We see it all of the time in college, a microcosm of the world, and we see it everywhere that discusses issues of social injustices and then never follow through. It’s easy to talk about it and then recess back into the comfort of our …

more tidbits to remember

no toilet paper at home, only use the hose sitting next to the toilet we drink lots of diet tea pushing your way through buses packed tighter than you could ever imagine, any metro city in the US doesn’t even begin to compare to the amount of people on these buses drinking beer almost all of the time BANANA PIZZA!! (sounds gross, but is actually amazing) my little sister in my host family is 2, the terrible two’s are universal—she’s actually kind of evil and bit me the other day, not because she’s teething but because I didn’t give her the piece of rusty metal to put in her mouth 😦 our program coordinator, in addition to being mad sketchy, apparently holds the keys of knowledge to the entire African diaspora (I don’t mean this in an admirable way, it’s actually pretty ridiculous)—-For the obies: picture a short version of johnny coleman with johnny’s holistic personality mixed with the “all-knowing-of-things-black” part of Ade, and the verbosity of Caroline, then a pinch of the male sketchiness …

party until the break of dawn…no literally!

The adventures continue. Went to a club here. Not at all what I expected. It was kind of disappointing but I guess it’s because I’m used to being in the US where people actually dance at clubs, well some clubs. But it was alright. There was a live performer from like 11:30 until like 2 AM. He was cool, and the people from here were falling over themselves to get a picture of him. I really need to learn how to samba, it may make this brazil-club thing a little easier. There was free beer until 11 pm, but sucky for me, I hate beer. But the caipirinhas were good, and quite cheap—R$ 3.50 about = to $1.50 in the US. At 2 AM a side club opened up that was attached that played all American hip-hop, and it was air conditioned. That was a lot of fun. Everyone was staring at us because we were pretty much the only ones dancing, of course, like Americans, while everyone was 2-stepping. Oh well. At around 4 they …

One of these things is not like the other…

So this trip has been mad interesting: the people, the program, and the coordinator—who’s interesting for a number of reasons :/. People are starting to show their true colors, especially ironic given that the number one culprit of this is someone who goes out of the way to avoid obtaining any sort of color from the outside: an interesting feat while in brazil. I’m just looking at the crazy disorganization of this program as the rocky road to November where I finally get to do my research in Salvador, Bahia. My family is really growing on me, especially as the channels of communication open up, which is going to slow for me because our portuguese classes have a whack structure, but it’ll come I suppose. Things of note/to remember about brazil thus far: “tomar banho e comer”—always! (you have to shower before practically every meal at home, when you get home, and for practically any reason—your sick, your foot hurts, you want to lose weight, etc) this should be a rule in oberlin, ps “oito, …