I'm now in Salvador, the Afro-Brazilian capital of Brazil, after a few wonderful days at the 14,000 soul rave festival Universo Parallelo, after a few harrowing days of trying to get there. With the new year, every resident of Bahia wanted to drain the same ATMs and take the same ferries as me, and I don't want to dwell on the life lost standing in all those lines.
Universo Parallelo was incredible. Endless dancing, creative music, zany art, good beach and sun. And it's a lot more new-agey than I expected, with people meditating on the beach, energy workshops, and lots of tasty veggie food spots. If it's no Burning Man (I can't get anyone here to have a decent intellectual discussion, :(), it's far more than the overgrown child of the Brazilian rave scene.
Last night, I registered for the GRE, which I take in two days. I'm going to apply to Oxford for a masters in Developmental Studies. Wish me luck!