The Penn State-Behrend men’s basketball team is Brazil. Justin Kovac blogs:
Our team’s fourth day in Brazil began with a breakfast consisting of chocolate cake, caramel cream puffs, and coconut cake. Every little kid’s dream breakfast. We then ventured through the cleansing forest to a picturesque beach that is usually only found on postcards. Houses that belonged on MTV Cribs lined the winding private road as well as the white sandy beach.
We learned one of Brazil’s most famous actors owned the most unique house on the beach. It made Vincent Chase’s house from Entourage look like a humble abode. Not only were the houses enormous the waves swelled to ten feet above our tallest player Russ who stands 6-foot-9. All of us were crushed by the humongous waves and in many instances flipped head over heels. Salt water was coming out of our noses, ears, and mouths hours later. As we drove back through the private windy brick pathway, we stopped at a magnificent waterfall. We walked across an ancient brick wall no wider than two feet to get to the waterfall. As we all stood underneath the waterfall we realized this was a once in a lifetime experience. We arrived back in the hotel, packed up our clothes and said our goodbyes to the city of Guarajua.
The many memories from our stay will remain ingrained in our memories forever. A four-hour bus ride awaited us to the city of Sao Bento de Sapucai. A mountainous region that the locals described as muy bonito (very beautiful in Portuguese). Sao Bento lies a mile above sea level. So as our bus struggled to make it up the steep, narrow roadways, we were able to take in all the breathtaking views. We arrived after a long trip to the resort that we would be spending the next two nights.
After getting situated in our rooms we arrived back at the lobby for our dinner. Little did we know the treat that was awaiting us. We sampled six different pizzas. Some of them similar to pizza in the states such as mozzarella or tomato and basil however most of them were pizzas that could not be found at any local pizza joint. The most unique pizza had toppings of ham, onions, mozzarella, and corn. Although it doesn’t sound to appetizing on paper, this was the consensus favorite pizza on the team. After trying each pizza, we still were in for a surprise. They served us chocolate pizza. The pizza tasted like a s’more but even better. The meal was amazing and we look forward to the clinic we will host tomorrow as well as the celebration of the city that is currently going on in Sao Bento.
Thus far in Brazil we have met many appreciative, interesting people. I have had the pleasure of keeping in contact with one of the people we met while teaching the children English at the Wizard school. She emailed me asking if we could contact each other and I would correct her spelling and grammar in each email. As I told her, I should not be teaching her English, she should be teaching me Portuguese. Through email, we have been able to learn a lot about each other as well as learn more about each other’s culture. Brazil has been a very fulfilling experience, full of many, many memories. I would like to thank the people of Brazil for being so accepting and nice to us. I hope to keep in contact with them as well. Obrigado Brazil (Ombrigato = Thank you in Portuguese)