Today was our first full day in Sao Paulo. After getting a great night's sleep, we started off with a fantastic breakfast that consisted with an assortment of fruit, eggs, bacon, waffles, and juices. The yogurt was in a liquid form that you drink which was weird but it was still very good.
We began with an hour drive of the city on the way to the zoo. We drove through some areas with shops and lots of people (everything was closed because it was Sunday and everyone closes up shop on Sunday) but we had seen some of the shops on the walk yesterday so we knew what they looked like. A lot of the houses that we drove by were gated and very close together. Most of them had little shops with garage doors on their properties which was very different from anything I've seen before. One of the things that stuck me was the streets and how confusing they were. The streets are so crazy steep and drivers were very erratic but we got there in one piece! The Zoologico de Sao Paulo was one of the coolest places that I've ever been in my life. The place was so lush and green and had a huge lake with little islands and monkeys on them! Adrian and Patty took us around the zoo and showed us the highlights of Brazil's animals. They included various types of alligators, macaws, wild cats, as well as many others. My favorite was seeing an ocelot that reminded me of the tv show Archer. The other thing that struck me as odd was how there were domestic cats walking around the exhibits (one of which was in the seal pen) but we found out that they were feral cats that lived there to take care of pests.
We then went to the China Town area and that was nuts! There were so many people and there was something interesting to look at in every direction. The market was full of people getting lunch and shopping around the various tents. For lunch most of us got meat sticks (strip steak) called pichana while a few others tried some of the . Ordering was slightly overwhelming but once we got rescued by Patty we got our food quickly. The language barrier is extremely difficult but we try to work around it using simple phrases that we do know and a lot of pointing at stuff that we want. Amanda and I broke off and looked at some of the tents that were there. Venders had everything imaginable: jewelry, leather goods, clothing, and home decor. One of the things that I bought was a necklace that Patty showed us. It was my name written on a single grain of rice and set in a tiny vial filled with water. It was so cute! I'm hoping that I see some more leather goods later in the trip to see if I can find a pair of boots. The shopping continued on Avenue Paulista where there were more venders and antique sellers. There was music and the boys were dancing the zumba! Once it started to rain we got back on the bus and headed back to the hotel. Dr. Skaar took a few of us to the super market so we could get snacks and a few bottles of water. I got a lemon lime tart that tasted really good. Once back to the hotel again a few of us that decided that night life wasn't for us decided to go swimming and chatted around in the lounge.
And that was the day! I really look forward to tomorrow!