Yesterday, Elizabeth and Luiz, my Brazilian grandparents, came and picked me up from Miriam's apartment in Rio. I was sad to say goodbye to Miriam, Wagner, Paula, and Carolina, and of course Rio, but I was also very excited to see Elizabeth and Luiz and finally get to visit their hometown of Cataguases. The drive was a long one, but we chatted and listened to samba music, and stopped to eat pastels. Mine was filled with cheese and banana slices. It was delicious!
Cataguases is a small town in the state of Minas Gerais, with about 65,000 people. From what I could see last night, there were plenty of local shops, which is what I imagine the U.S. was like about 50 years ago. You have a bakery where you pick up your bread, and pharmacy for medicine, a small grocery store for other supplies, etc. I'm excited to see how it is to live this way. Elizabeth is having a bike fixed up that I can use to ride around town. Her family lives in a very nice neighborhood, and her house is beautiful. When I arrived she showed me to my room, and everything inside of it and my bathroom was labeled in Portuguese so I could learn all of the words for things like 'bed' (cama) and 'closet' (prateleira). There are many friends and family in and out of the house at all times, so there definitely will never be a dull moment. I spent most of today unpacking and getting settled, but tomorrow we will venture outside the house and see the town.