Monday, May 22, 2006

While I'm still awake:

So it's 5AM here right... now, and I'm still awake. I finished up all my presentation stuff around 3AM, then I took a shower and by 4AM I was pretty much good to go to bed. But after a nice shower I felt pretty wide awake. I just kinda thought that if I went to bed for only 3 1/2 hours I'd wake up even more tired and feel like crap. So what did I decide to do? Stay awake, of course!
I ate a few pieces of bread, made some cinnamon toast, and I think around 7AM I'm gonna make some good ol' fashioned American breakfast. I'm talking eggs, ham, french toast, maybe some hash browns, and a huge glass of milk. I would make some for Tiphane but I'm not that nice. If I had batteries for my camera I'd take pictures of it all to let everyone know what's up. I won't have batteries until later though. I'm picking them up before I go to the university. I'm gonna get about R$20 out of the bank so I can have a little money, especially because once I get to the school I fully intend to drink at least three cups of coffee, two with milk and sugar, one straight up black.
On Friday for my literature class Rebecca usually gets coffee and she'll grab me some and she just brings it back plain, straight up black coffee. I definitely need it to stay up in that class. I have a test in that class this Friday and I haven't read one single thing that is going to be covered on that test. I'll still pass though because I'm going to bribe the professor with American dollars!
I'm going to go see "O Código Da Vinci" (that can't be too hard for you guys to translate) sometime in the near future. I read the book and thought it was horrible, but the movie looks okay. After reading it I started picking apart all the inaccuracies and inconsistencies in it and that made me realize even more how terrible it was. I always HAVE to go see X-Men 3, can't wait for that one. Too bad the new Superman movie looks like it's gonna blow ass.
Rebecca wants to go see this movie about dogs with Paul Walker in it, I'm not sure of the English title but here it's "Resgate a Baixo de Zero". Hell I don't even know what that means. I told her I'd go see it with her because there it this one dog in it who looks exactly like Duke (hell yeah) and I'm gonna get all nostalgic and probably cry during the movie. I'm gonna sit a few seats away from her so she doesn't see it, even though I did confess to her that I cried during "The Little Mermaid" and "Finding Nemo", amongst others. At least I got one vote for president out of those confessions!
Anyway, what else is going on in the land of Zack? Oh yeah, nothing!
Well, I did plan out my itinerary for the last month here in Brazil. It's gonna be expensive but I'm probably gonna use my credit card (Go Panthers! I'd better get free tickets for charging about $1000 in one month on your stupid credit card). Anyone want to see my itinerary? You? Okay! Here it is...

Itinerary – July 5th to July 26th

Arrive July 5th – Curitiba to São Paulo – ~R$65
Arrive July 9th – São Paulo to Rio de Janeiro – R$60
Arrive July 13th – Rio de Janeiro to Ouro Prêto – R$75 (Útil)
Arrive July 18th – Belo Horizonte to Manaus – R$665
Arrive July 21st – Manaus to Fortaleza – R$427
Arrive July 26th – Fortaleza to São Paulo – R$379 (TAM)
July 26th - Arrive at 6:55AM, Depart for Miami at 10:15AM

Total costs: Transportation – R$1671/~$795US

The bolded cities are the cities I'll be arriving in. As you can see, it's kind of expensive. The first three trips I'm taking bus trips that are pretty short distances, one of which will be an overnight on a "sleeper" bus. It has seats that lay out into beds and the buses have free coffee and stuff.
I'll probably be hanging out with Caio and his peepz in São Paulo, and I'm working on finding a place to stay in Rio de Janeiro, and I should be able to stay for free at the Universidade de Ouro Prêto once I'm there (they open up student dorms to travellers during school breaks). Manaus will be an expensive city as will Fortaleza, mostly because July is "high season" in Brazil. That's when all the students are out of school and travelling. I should be able to find something decent though.
Definitely looking forward to the awesome architecture and cathedrals and city planning in Ouro Prêto, and there isn't really enough that can be said about the awesomeness that is Manaus. Fortaleza has beautiful beaches, beautiful weather, and about an hour up the main tourist beaches are tons of Sahara-like red sand dunes and crystal clear waters.
After that I'm flying into São Paulo at around 7AM and a few hours after that catching my flight back to the USA. I mostly just wish I could find a flight that is around R$450 or so to Manaus like the other flights instead of it being almost R$700. Maybe Dr. Anderson will pay for one of my flights! Yeah right.
Anyway, I don't know how much internet/phone access I'll have during that time, but you can be sure that when I get the chance all the pictures I take during those travels will be uploaded, just like the ones during my two-week Carnaval trip.
I'll have more from São Paulo because I'm sure I didn't see everything, and you know I'll have tons from Rio, and my Frommer's book says that "Ouro Prêto begs for black-and-white shots of all the cathedrals" so that should be awesome. Manaus... hell I will have more than 200 pictures from that place alone, if not more. I have wanted to go there since I first saw something about the Amazon on the Discovery Channel when I was a little kid. And Fortaleza, beautiful beaches are always good places to get some really nice shots.
When I come back to Brazil next year I'm gonna try to hit up a few other cities I didn't get to this time around. I'm already in debt from this trip and I'll be even more so when I get back, you can't expect me to go too far into the hole!
So anyway onto the topic of today. There are lots of presentations going on today and tomorrow. I deleted the email that had the poster attached to it but I think Tiphane is going to forward me a copy. After she does that I'll post a copy of it here so everyone can see my name.
If Rebecca reads this, I know it sucks they got your last name wrong, but I've got a friend with Photoshop working on replacing "Brown" with "Wilson", so you can print up a copy that has the right name on it to show people instead of some lame Carlos Lima screwup.
I'll post that though so everyone can see all of the interesting topics being presented. Obviously I'm doing capoeira. My capoeira professor is going to be there so I'm a little more nervous simply because to get to that level you have to be pretty well educated in everything capoeira, so I hope I don't screw up. Mica didn't even come so I don't know what's up with that, and I don't even know if Candace is going to present.
Really only Mariangelica, Rebecca, and me have presentations that have anything to do with the whole subject of our exchange program, the African Diaspora. Maria is doing her's on the continued trend of having domestic maids, Rebecca is doing her's on African dance, and I'm doing mine on capoeira. Tiphane is doing hers on her lifestyle differences between WSSU and here, mostly regarding food and exercise. Whatever though as long as mine goes off without a hitch I'm good to go.
So I've been typing now for about 25 minutes. Let's see, what else can I talk about to pass the time?
Ah yes, the presentation at the Association for Third World Studies that I've been working on. Okay well I finally decided on a topic and pretty soon I will be submitting it for approval. I should definitely get chosen to present because my topic is pretty important and it is very likely that it is something most people aren't paying attention to, so I know they'll look at that as a high point for the topic of the presentations, “Transnational Challenges: Environment, Integration and Security in the Third World”. So here is my proposed topic, in 200 words:

Using scholarly articles I will investigate the danger of palm-oil plantation agreements between China and Indonesia.
In the name of short-term economic development, Indonesia has agreed to what could lead to the destruction of the entire rainforest region of Indonesian Borneo within the next 30 years.
The problems this presents to Indonesia as an individual state include the destruction of the local environment that will lead to the endangerment and extinction of numerous animal and plant species and the endangerment of local and nearby indigenous groups of Borneo who rely on the flora and fauna as food and medicine sources and the forest itself as a way of life.
Given the importance of the Borneo rainforests, the affects of their destruction will extend to a world scale. Affected will be global climate conditions including an increase in “greenhouse gases”, the continued increase of the average global temperature, continued melting of glaciers and rising water levels.
Presented evidence will show how the dangers of the agreed-upon systematic destruction of the rainforests of Indonesian Borneo will affect the local environment, the lifestyle of Borneo’s indigenous, and the global climate and why these matters are of high enough significance to warrant international intervention.

Pretty good stuff. I bet no one submitting a topic proposal even knows about what I'm talking about, so take that suckers. Should be a good time. So this year alone I've got two good looking things I can put on my CV/Resumé: presentation at this event that is today, and the Third World Studies presentation. Add on there that DC internship I'll be doing next spring semester and I should have no problem getting graduate school taken care of. All really have to do is choose where I want to apply to (and by that I mean narrow the list down to 5 or 6 places).
Okay well I'm tired of typing and I feel tired like I want to take a nap but it's 5:35 right now and there is no way I'm going to go lay down for two hours because I will fall asleep and never wake up. I really should just go ahead and get dressed, fix my hair, and just kinda chill out for a while, then make that breakfast, but really I don't even feel like that now. Funny how things can change so quickly. So I'm gonna go chill out now, hope everyone enjoyed this and stay tuned for more because I should have pictures coming up pretty soon from today's event and just of all the cool peepz that are there and that I hang out with (now that I'll have batteries.) I'm gonna have a recharger and rechargeables soon so that will be nice, just waiting on that package from Mom. That will definitely come in handy during the travel period so I don't have to spend tons of money on batteries.
Okay seriously I'm out. Everyone take it easy and remember...
"Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company." - Mark Twain

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