Each day our students will blog about some of their experiences on the Brazil Travel Course.  Our first entry comes from Ashley Schainuck.

Finally getting off the plane, I was very excited to get into Brazil.  Lost and a little confused in the Portuguese-speaking country, I tried to use my Spanish to get me around as much as I could.  I was not really sure what to expect as I sat in the cab awaiting my future adventure.

I tried to use Spanish to communicate with my taxi driver during the long drive and attempted to ask him about the city of Sao Paulo.  After that failed, I asked to put on some music to see what they liked listening to around here.  The taxi driver liked 80’s pop.

When I arrived at the hotel, I just missed the group who had left for lunch.  Starving, I decided to go out and explore. After a long walk and realizing I could not read the menus posted in the restaurant windows, I ended at small cafe around the garden and had a ham, cheese and tomato sandwich.

As I was writing my blog and eating my sandwich, one of the waiters approached me and asked if I would please close my iPad, since it looked as though I was doing work while eating.  I was a little shocked at first.  Then I realized his intention was for me enjoy my meal, and he was trying to divert me from my usual tactic of trying to do as many things as I can at once.  It really put things into perspective about how Brazil’s (and well most of the world) really like to enjoy their food and relax.  By comparison, Americans seem to try to do everything at once and never take a moment to enjoy themselves and take in the surroundings.

– Ashley