I didn’t know Juliano on my mission, but he drives a taxi for Jailson, and thus we had the pleasure to meet him and his family. We immediately had a great connection with them and felt like we’ve been friends forever. Having Juliano as our personal tour guide helped ease my worries about getting around Salvador. He was fantastic. His wife makes chocolate bon-bons and you can imagine that Gina was quick to put in a large order. She and Gina seemed to make a great connection. She also made Gina a beautiful doll and wrapped it as a Christmas gift. Gina can’t wait to someday put the doll in a nursery. We have been blown away by the generosity of the people and members here.
Before a few months ago, I had practically written off tasting acarajé for a long, long time, but on this trip my wish came true. Here I am about to dig into a nice palm-oil-deep-fried acarajé, complete with vatapá and shrimp. You just can’t get this taste anywhere else in the world. Gina ate it and claimed to have liked it. She’s pretty much a miracle.
Jailson took us out to the Praia do Forte which is the world headquarters for the TAMAR project, specializing in the revitalization and protection of the various marine sea turtles. I got to hold a sea cucumber, take a dip in the ocean, and talk about science. I love this place.
While I didn’t think to take a picture of it, Gina slept the entire way back to Salvador. Jailson kept thundering in his trademark low voice “A mulher se quebrou na Bahia! A mulher ‘ta quebrada,” which roughly translates to “Bahia rocked her world.” He couldn’t be more right.
After the rocking of Gina’s world and a wonderful night at the Da Silva’s house, we had a very relaxing Christmas Day and for the first time it finally felt like we were truly on vacation. We got to talk to both of our families via Skype which made being in Brazil feel not quite so far away.
|Gina's Christmas Day 2010|
|BD's Christmas Day 2010|
|Feliz Natal 2010|