Day in My Life

Dianne Perez - Brazil


January 9, 2013

7 am wake up! Take a nice cold shower to get the heart pumping. (Side note I have not had a hot shower since I left the states) Make some breakfast “caffe de amanha” which usually consist of a fruit salad, cheese sandwich and one scramble egg. Sometimes in the morning, if there is time my host mother and I like to do some yoga stretches. I also feed the chickens and they don’t let me forget, for they come into the kitchen to remind me.

7:40 am I make sure I am out of the house walking to my morning apprenticeship. Araca Mirim it takes me about 15 minutes. To do so I have to cross a bridge to get to the other side of town. A bridge that has become very dear to me, I cross it at least 8 times a day.

8-12 Araca Mirim is a very small organization; there are four people including myself that are working there. It is a place where kids and adults have free access to a computer and internet. We are also working on taking books (on a donkey to be more specific) to small communities around the Chapada Diamantina.

12-3 Lunch time. Hesitant to go home and eat, what awaits me is a big hill to get to my house. But it is always worth it, delicious warm food ready for me to just dig in.  Rice, beans, salad, salmon, chicken or lasagna. In house hold we don’t eat red meat or drink anything while we are eating. We wait an hour before ingesting any liquids.  After lunch we like to lay out in the hammocks and rest. And then it’s time for my second shower of the day.

3 -6:30 I ride my brother’s bike to my second apprenticeship. Getting there is the easy part, it’s downhill all the way, takes me 10 minutes to get there the hard part is going back up. In the afternoon I work with GAL (Grupo Ambiental de Lencois) Enviormental group of Lencois.  GAL focuses in conserving the environment through waste reduction, reuse, recycling and composting. GAL also works with the community kids to teach them about the importance of a balance and healthy nutrition and taking care of our mother earth.

7pm After my 20 minute and so bike ride back into town I go to eat beiju with my “mae” we meet up every day in the same restaurant after getting out of work.  My host-mom is  the biggest fan of bananas splits. I would say that most of the days we go to get “sobremesa” dessert before going home.   After, I stay out and walk around the streets of Lencois at night it is very peaceful and safe.

It is a place that I like to go to take a time to reflect upon my time here in Brazil, it is also a great place to journal.  I have swum in this river that divides the city, and I have found out that the water is not in good conditions to swim in. When it rains the water collects trash from the street and ends up in this river. It’s still a beautiful place

Just recently (one day ago) we got a TV at home but before we would sit in the sofa, and just stare at this beautiful painting. While my host-mom read her poetry to me.

In the house it’s a constant battlefield living with two brothers is a little more hectic than I thought. Ciro is fifteen years old and Taina is thirteen the baby of the house. We are always rough playing, I feel like I am living with a household of MMA fighters.  In makes no difference that I am a girl, they have no mercy on me.  I am enjoying my time with my brothers.

Dianne Perez