December 1, 2012

Hello friends. Or shall I say Oi!, the Brazilian version of Hey! The boy next door is teaching us Portuguese, so expect a smattering of obnoxious language tricks in the future. Webster like the dictionary, as he calls himself, instructs us one hour a day in exchange for helping him with English — which he speaks perfectly so our “helping” him is really just him chattin to us about optimal eateries, muddled with our occasional correction in pronunciation. I’ve “studied” Spanish and studied Italian, and have had many language teachers throughout those years…and I can honestly say he is, by far, the best instructor I’ve ever had. His lessons provide the perfect mix of proper grammar, idiomatic phrases, and slang. Or in other words, stuff we can actually use. So refreshing. He really should be a professional teacher, though Webster like the dictionary is a law student so I guess he’s got quite the bright future ahead of him regardless.

ANYWAY, I’m currently writing to you from the most idyllic of beaches. The water is so clear you can see your toes even when chest deep. The sand, a very light, not quite white, golden hue, is as soft as brown sugar. Other than the two fishermen casting out their nets about 100 meters to our left, and the 5 or 6 other figures I can just barely make out at the far right end of the beach, no one else is here. No umbrellas, no food vendors, no music — just the wind and the ocean. It’s the kind of quiet, or perhaps I should say, the kind of sound, that makes you feel very small and insignificant, and forces you to think too much until your mind is a jumbled mess and you have to dive underwater to remember what silence sounds like. Mia and I have been here for nearly two hours, yet we’ve barely said a word to one another as any utterance seems to shatter the developing quiet. Either that, or the sand castle she is currently building proves far more entertaining than myself.

Oh, and the name of this oasis? Tabatinga.

PS. I was going to offer an explanation concerning that last photo, but really all you need to know is it’s just Mia being weird per usual.