An American In Trancoso

On October of last year, the owners of Pousada Kalaluna in Trancoso wrote me asking for help in possibly recruting a foreign intern for the summer. Apparently, they got a great response from the post, and selected Anthony from New York to come and stay at the inn for three months. Anthony wrote me in fluent Portuguese about a week ago, after spending six months in the country. Read what he had to say about his experience in Bahia and Rio after the jump (in English, of course).

I flew to Brazil without a picture of where I would be or who I would be with, without Portuguese, and without a plan other than to make the best of whatever was coming. Landing in Porto Seguro, I was picked up by Carlos and Luiz, my hosts at Pousada Kalaluna, and ferried away through rivers and jungles and fields of fruits I didn't know the names of until we got to Trancoso, my home for the next three months.

The first month was a wild mess of portoñol (meaning Portuguese and Spanish). Feelings of isolation and ignorance washed away every time I was able to walk along the beach, intricately and immaculately beautiful, woven ivory and emerald waves and sands and shells. I found out that Trancoso lays along the Coast of Discovery, where the Portuguese first landed in Brazil; and aside from the bars along the beach, it doesn't seem like the scenery has changed that much since then. There are jungles and monkeys and talking parrots, and wild fruits ready to be eaten from trees - things I had never seen before outside of zoos and books, things that have been developed to death in other countries, or even other parts of Brazil.

By the second month, my skin was browner and my Portuguese better and I had made friends, both with Carlos and Luiz, whose patience and hospitality never faltered, and with others in the tiny town. I took capoeira lessons and learned how to mix tropical fruit juices, and met Brazilians from São Paulo and Rio who invited me to their homes. I followed a yoga teacher to Rio in March and had three of the most hopeful, open months of my life. I didn't want to leave. Flying back into New York City after six months in Brazil was the first time I've ever been underwhelmed by the Manhattan skyscape.

Thanks Anthony for writing back. I am glad it was such a positive experience. I am going to suggest that Carlos and Luiz do the same next summer.


...enjoyed the read very much which made me yearn to revist this country and its people.
I've managed to travel throughout Brasil on six different occasions, for two weeks to a month on each visit. Unfortunately, my age and brain have prohibited my being able to learn to speak Portuguese with any kind of clarity!

I applaud the writer who spent three months in "MOTHER BRASIL!"

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