Untranslatable Words

Erik
October 23, 2014
Filed under Deixa Te Falar Uma Coisa, Off-Campus Blogs

If you ask a Brazilian for a Portuguese word that can't be translated into English, he or she will probably think of the word saudade (sao-DAH-gee). Saudade is a feeling of longing for someone or something that isn't present. When I say that I miss my family, for instance, I say,estou com saudades d... Read more »

My Experiences with Race in Brazil

Erik
October 18, 2014
Filed under Deixa Te Falar Uma Coisa, Off-Campus Blogs

In June, I went with American and Brazilian friends to the small town of Pedro II for a music festival. There were several groups of journalists roaming around doing interviews, which we Americans - Leslie, Laura Rose and I - were not anxious to do. A reporter eventually pegged us as foreigners, th... Read more »

Brazil’s Hottest City

Erik
October 18, 2014
Filed under Deixa Te Falar Uma Coisa, Off-Campus Blogs

When I tell Brazilians from São Luís to São Paulo that I live in Teresina, their response is unchanging: "It's hot there, isn't it?" It is. Even people here accept that heat is Teresina's claim to fame. More than once I've heard the joke that people from Teresina don't go to hell because they've al... Read more »

Robbed

Erik
October 17, 2014
Filed under Deixa Te Falar Uma Coisa, Off-Campus Blogs

My first time almost being assaulted, I was in Rio. I was strolling along Copacabana beach deep in conversation with my friend Nick when a man approached us. He asked if we spoke English. Used to getting that question, we both said yes. He proceeded to say a sentence that neither of us unders... Read more »

Political Jingles

Erik
September 9, 2014
Filed under Deixa Te Falar Uma Coisa, Off-Campus Blogs

Brazil has a strict limit on political campaign seasons. Unlike in the United States, politicians here have three short months to drum up support. Now that we're now less than a month away from federal and state elections, though, campaigns are at a fever pitch. I'm not plugged into radio or televis... Read more »

Brazilian Road Trip

Erik
September 9, 2014
Filed under Deixa Te Falar Uma Coisa, Off-Campus Blogs

In June, I got to travel to some off-the-beaten-trail places close to Teresina. Pedro II Pedro II is a town that calls itself the "Switzerland of Piauí." People here explain to me that Pedro II is much colder than Teresina, which is why it deserves that name. I made a trip there with my friends Ala... Read more »

On Strike!

Erik
July 9, 2014
Filed under Deixa Te Falar Uma Coisa, Off-Campus Blogs

Every day, from 11 to 1, a huge number of students wait in line for lunch at UFPI's main cafeteria. Although the food is never anything special - usually it's rice, beans, salad and some part of a chicken or cow - the government subsidizes the price, so students depend on it for their meals. For the p... Read more »

Into the Lençois Maranheses

Erik
June 30, 2014
Filed under Deixa Te Falar Uma Coisa, Off-Campus Blogs

During Holy Week, I got to explore parts of Maranhão, the colorful state to the west of Piauí. Lençois Maranheses "This better be stupid beautiful," Mike said as we bumped along the road to Lençois Maranheses National Park. The group of American and Brazilian friends I was traveling with had dec... Read more »

Brazilian English

Erik
June 5, 2014
Filed under Deixa Te Falar Uma Coisa, Off-Campus Blogs

Not far from my house in Teresina stands the Riverside Shopping Center. The name of the place, as well as the food courts and chain stores inside, could make you mistake Riverside for a mall in suburban America. The way people in Teresina pronounce the name Riverside, though, sounds thoroughly Brazilian: hee-veh-SAI-gee. When speakers... Read more »

Dangerous Roads

Erik
May 23, 2014
Filed under Deixa Te Falar Uma Coisa, Off-Campus Blogs

In the Dominican Republic last summer, almost every bus, taxi, and car had a decal like this slapped on the windshield: - God is loyal. - God takes his time, but he never for forgets. - With God by my side, who can be against me? I quickly came to see these as prayers for safety on the roads. The ... Read more »

Crack Open a Cold One

Erik
May 5, 2014
Filed under Deixa Te Falar Uma Coisa, Off-Campus Blogs

How do you like your beer?  Here's how people in Teresina prefer it: Like a wedding dress  (Como vestido de noiva) Like a concrete worker's leg  (Como canela de pedrero) Like a seal's rear-end  (Como cú de foca) Teresinenses expect their beer to be cold.  So cold, in fact, that i... Read more »

Childhood Friend of the President

Erik
April 29, 2014
Filed under Deixa Te Falar Uma Coisa, Off-Campus Blogs

Hearing first-hand stories about how famous adults acted as children and teenagers is always fun. I recently got such an account about a former Brazilian president. Let me explain. On the way from João Pesso to Olinda, Mike and I hopped an alternativo, or unregistered cab. The owner of our host... Read more »