Guess what? We ate a proper Thankgiving dinner last night!!! I couldn´t belive it, and yet was soooo happy.
So, as I said before, we just joined a non-profit online community called couchsurfing. It is basically a social network of like-minded individuals, many of them travelers themselves. In any case, you sign up with the intent of being some type of a host to others visiting your area. This could mean being able to meet them for coffee, sightseeing, or offering a place to stay...hence the name, couch surfing. You go through various levels of verification and vouching so that it stays really safe. So through my friend Chris (Young) we were put in contact with someone he knew here in Rio. She couldn´t host us, but knew of a friend on couchsurfing who was willing to host us for a few nights. Now, this is NOT a service for people who are looking for just a free place to stay. It is really a community of getting to know people. There is the benefit of getting a free place to stay. :)
So yesterday we came to Rio, and with very detailed directions from our host, Daniel, we were easily able to find his apartment. He has an extra room and is super friendly. So we told him all about Thanksgiving and asked if we could cook him a proper Thanksgiving meal. (You can cook or clean for your host to help them out a bit for having you stay with them). He walked us to the store and bought the ingredients we could find for candied sweet potatoes, stuffing (from scratch...no stouffers here!), chicken (quick substitute for turkey), green beans, and the fixings for deviled eggs. We walked back and he asked if there was anything I needed. I asked where the stove was. He told me he didn´t have one. At first I thought he was joking, but then he pointed to the microwave. Gotta love bachelors! :) Luckily, from my days in college, I do know how to cook a pretty damn good rotisserie chicken in a microwave, believe it or not. Never have I attempted stuffing or sweet potatoes though!
All in all, everything came out really yummy and Daniel invited another couchsurfing friend, Ana, to come join us too. We all gorged ourselves silly, in good old fashioned American tradition, and had a really nice time. And the great thing about this couchsurfing community is that our social calendar got filled up immediately. Tonight there is a CS birthday party for one of the local gals at a samba club in town. Tomorrow we might go to the beach, but I doubt it because the weather is so bad, but then a samba school possibly tomorrow night, and then Sunday Daniel is going to take us to a soccer game. Everyone is so willing to just show us around and they are so friendly.
So today Daniel went to work in the morning and Rahima and I went off to do some sightseeing. We went up to the Christ the Redeemer statue and the further up we got, the foggier and ranier it got. By the time we were literally standing underneath the Christ, we could barely see it at all! The fog would clear barely enough for us to make out the gargantuan statue, but we definitely did not enjoy the beautiful views looking back on the city itself, as seen in postcards! Oh well,
Me cooking dinner. Couldn´t be happier. Think that´s the Italian in me???
Me, Ana, Daniel, Rahima
Yummy. All this in a microwave?!?! :)
The Christ that people see on a sunny day. (This is a picture of a postcard. I cheated!)
The Christ that we saw. :(