Apparently, my whole extended family secretly reads this journal, and I've been told that I am now expected to write a "life update"-style post at least once a week. While it's not what I made my blog for, I suppose it's not such a bad goal. Little do they know that I'd be happy to have them as friends on LJ and then they wouldn't have to keep checking this page to see if anything's changed. Not to mention that they would also get to read the friends-only posts that are likely to become more frequent.
I've made five half-written posts in the intervening time, but it's too much! So here's the whirlwind tour. Mostly, I've been doing a lot of work. I love my new AI job, and I'm getting to build just-about whatever I want. But that leaves half a day, and I seem to end up using it.
I may stay in Belém longer and make my house into a green coop, if I can figure out how to do it. The whole two-story, 4 bedroom, 2 bath, plus side-cottage with b&bath, rents for $550 a month. The resources for sustainable/organic/local/fair living aren't as well-organized as in the US, but I've been meeting lots of people who know where to go. For now, I have a new apartment-mate: a nice Californian who finishes her research on the Amazon in three weeks. I need to decide what to do afterwords, which probably all depends on getting my bag from the other side of the country.
Portuguese goes well. I've had my first classes with a real-live Portuguese teacher, where I learned for the twelfth time that I'm saying it all wrong. But people are understanding me evermore, and I them: I had my first real-live extended conversation in Portuguese at a bar (not without some help, but still). And by now, my sixth.
I've also had a few close-calls with sickness, but nothing that some water and extra rest didn't solve. I get almost-sick here pretty frequently, but I haven't had to take antibiotics yet.
Every time I think I've seen the best of Belém, it surprises me. I saw UFPA, the beautiful federal university, which Belém's brightest struggle through Herculean tests to enter. I went to Mangal das Graças, a nature-preserve/museum, the perfect sunset, and spent a night dancing next door at the Marmaço reggae club for their 10th birthday, my second event you could imagine that everyone in Belém was at. Or third, to include recently Super Night Shot, a cinema/art-performance project briefly imported from Germany (you must see, next time you're in Germany!).
Today, I went to Ilha de Carmapijó with a two-hour music-and-dance-filled boat ride the nicest Amazon river beaches I've experience so far. I wish I could show it to you! My camera charger, more than anything else, is making me want to go down south. And maybe my new-found sunburn.
I went to a nice rave, outside of town, and tried e for the first time. What a crazy chemical! I had a great time for two days, and then a thin-rafted time (and CrAzY dreams) for two days. And auditory illusions like I couldn't believe-- I could conjure up peoples voices and house/trance music at will! People usually experience what they expect to experience, like laughing on some things in the US; here, I'm always asked if I've met any spirits or had visions from them. Well, I finally did.
I usually have about seven reasons for anything I do, but I realized three matter the most. I'll do anything that's any two of safe, enjoyable, or ethical (-ly motivated). What are your criteria?