Saturday, July 30, 2005

Barra do Jucu and Vitoria, Espitito Santo; Porto Alegre

Janet and I spent wonderful week in Barra do Jucu, Espirito Santo, with our friend Lillian DePaula at her house near the beach. Her daughters Carmen and Joanna were visiting and her father, Paulo, lives next door, so we were actually hosted by three generations of a remarkably charming and engaging family. I went into UFES (Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo) with Lillian a few times (primarily to use the internet) and met many of her colleagues, including several translators in her group. One day, Janet met with a group interested in indigenous translation (the Núcleo de Pesquisas em Tradução e Estudos Interculturais). Paulo invited us to join him on a visit to the Teatro Carlos Gomes, a grand old theatre where we saw a performance of "Historias da Gente" by his friend Mercedes Pilati. Paulo seemed to know everyone. He also knows this section of old Vitoria very well and gave us a quick personal tour before the performance. On another day, Lillian took us to the Penha Convent, from which we had a spectacular view of this spectacular city (pictures coming). In Barra do Jucu, we were introduced to Kleber Galveas, a remarkable man who has a gallery of his paintings, over 100 types of fruit tree and a good telescope at his house. On a beautiful clear night he braved the mosquitoes to show us Mars and Jupiter through the telescope, and to identify alpha and beta Centauri next to the Southern Cross. We bought two paintings and brought home a collection of his writings.

Porto Alegre, where the Brazilian Symposium on Bioinformatics was held, was cold! The most southern major city in Brazil, at the height of winter, gets down into the forties at night, which would not be so bad if it weren't for the fact that the conference room we used did not have any heating (I understand; a heating system is probably not a good value if it were to be used only a few days a year). The city itself is very large and appears to be quite industrial. Yesterday, we visited the market in the center of the city, next to the docks. It was remarkable in many ways, one of which was the existence of at least six places selling erva mate. Each had dozens of varieties, in bins and in bags. Most were a rich green quite unlike what I bought at the Maryland Co-op. I would have bought some, but I didn't know which to choose. We did bring back a few chimarrão and associated paraphernalia. Our hosts from the conference took us to restaurant where we sampled beer in the local style (chopp). It was a nice conference, about which I'll probably say more elsewhere.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a little disappointed there is no mention of Vitoria in the text. My son is going there in Jan 2006. He is Chinesse-Canadian ,does not speak Portugese & only knows one person there. I am concerned if it is a safe place. I am sorry your blog is not itended for such questions but so far you are the only respectable link I found on google re vitoria, Espirito Santo.
Thanks. I'll understand if you prefer not to answer me.

7/11/05 17:41  

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