Ah, the warmth and unexpectedness of South American life. I arrived in Brazil last Sunday, almost a week ago, meeting up with my wonderful friend Natasha who I hadn’t seen since the summer! From Natal we continued to Pipa, a lovely coastal village composed of uneven cobblestone, red dirt roads, bright, colorful houses and the happiest, friendliest people I’ve ever seen. The whole town lines bright red cliffs that plunge down to white sand beaches on a bright blue ocean. Consider the lush green of the tropical vegetation, and the spectrum of color here is incredible. I’m staying with Natasha in her amazing apartment at Pipa Park – when she had told me she was living there, I imagined her room being almost like some sort of employee housing, but no – she has one of the nicest condominiums in the whole resort all to herself, less than 50 meters from a swimming pool and surrounded by a huge variety of tropical plants and flowers. In short, it’s amazing.
In between meals consisting mostly of fresh fruit and soy milk, we have been having our fair share of adventures whilst I make an effort to avoid the sun (hello impossible task!). In between meals consisting largely of fresh fruit, we have been spending our time swimming in the ocean, doing yoga, horseback riding, climbing around in trees and ziplining down them, kayaking through mangrove forests, dancing the night away, and generally having a blast. The combination of extremely friendly people and spontaneous, yet relaxed attitude makes for unexpected turns of events. For example, we decided to go to town one night to get crepes or some other dessert. Suddenly we met a local surfing instructor, who hugged us and slipped her balance bracelet on Natasha’s wrist. Next thing we knew, we were sharing a table in a restaurant, eating guacamole and chocolate chili cake, and then we were at her apartment, and then she was reading Natasha’s tarot cards out loud in Portuguese, smiling and patiently waiting for Natasha to translate to me. While Natasha shuffled the cards, I glanced nervously at some of the intimidating titles and illustrations, one of them seemingly translatable to “Glacial Isolation”. But the cards she picked decisively from the spread offered to her was incredible. In order of importance, they read Consciousness, Cure, Totality, Consciousness (again!) and Creativity. WOW! By the time we arrived home, it was after 2 AM! We had never met the woman before, but so goes life in South America. Go with the flow.