Saturday, 23 February 2013

Surrounded by mango trees and sunshine #heaven!

So my first flight was delayed which basically gave me no time to make my international connection but after a record-breaking sprint in a random, uninformed direction, I miraculously got on the plane to Brasilia right before they sealed the doors, amazing all the travel agents who thought I won't be able to make it.  And my luggage came with me, which is even better.  I had heard that the city was laid out to look like a bird/airplane so I was really looking forward to getting a bird's eye view during the decent but all I could see was the wing of the plane.  The actual plane.  Not the part of the city that is supposed to look like the wing of the plane.  I should have another chance when I fly to Sao Paulo...

I arrived to a gorgeous mid-80 degree, slightly breezy, sunny day.  Reva is the most precious human being that I have ever encountered- she's a teensy, tiny Indian woman who comes up to the height of my elbow.  She's almost 70 years old but has a ton of energy and is incredibly welcoming, generous and curious.  I instantly felt right at home.

On the way home, Reva and her husband (also a physics professor at UnB) pointed out some sites including the World Bank of Brazil which supposedly contains 8 floors of solid gold bars underground.  Brasilia is on the Unesco's World Heritage list largely due to the architecture designed primarily by Oscar Niemeyer.  He supposedly died recently after living to the ripe old age of 105, which is pretty amazing!  I know seeing the Cathedral he designed is definitely on my to-do list.

So it's been a pretty relaxing morning here at their apartment.  It's a gorgeous airy space with a lot of Indian decor.  Supposedly they have trees that grow seventeen types of fruits surrounding their apartment.  Including mango trees- I've smelled one of the mangos they've picked recently and literally started drooling.  We're going on a fruit tasting adventure when we walk to a community event at a temple tomorrow.

They had a family friend, Belle stay with them last night since she's in town for a start-up conference.  She's probably not over the age of 30 but she sounds incredibly accomplished as a sought after keynote speaker, author of a book and reputable start-up starter.  I really enjoyed talking to her and wish she'd be around longer- she invited me to the conference but she said it's mostly groups of people working on start-up projects today (with minimal speakers or workshops).  She's currently in Sao Paulo after living for 7 years in San Francisco.  Partially to be with a man that she instantly fell in love with after a couple years of him trying unsuccessfully to meet up with her.  It was a precious story and she offered to show me around Sao Paulo if our schedules align when I'm there for a couple days.
View from Reva's apartment- the windows are open, the breeze is blowing- it is blissful.  

The delicious breakfast they insisted on feeding me even though I ate on the plane- fresh squeezed orange juice, melted mozzarella on toasted bread
Speaking of food, it's almost time for lunch (some sort of okra creation) and then I think we're going to go sightseeing.  It's so nice to be here!  Just gotta renew motivation to work on my talk- I guess she e-mailed the entire university about my colloquium and reserved the big lecture hall they use for international speakers. :o The pressure's on!