Original Post: August 10th 2011
Looking back on my time here in Bahia, I find that its been filled with life and learning. There is a certain energy here in the squares of Pelerinho, on the beaches of Barra, and ilhas on the coast of Bahia that gives off a sense of excitement. Salvador is a city in preparation waiting for its big break onto the world stage. The not only for the world cup and the olympics, but to be known around the globe for its rich traditions and history. It sounds silly, but soon, people from all over the world, will get a glimpse of orixas, eat quejo quente, and maybe learn a bit of caporiera. I had never heard of the Candomble or orixas before coming here, and I am fascinated by how imbedded this belief is in Bahianos' everyday lives. (Example: My host mom has ritas along with a rosary tied around the gear in her car.) From this experience, I gathered that Bahianos take great great pride in their history and culture, no matter how dark the circumstances. As exemplified by the Ballet Folklorio, they've embraced traditions that have passed from the times of slavery and darkness and chosen to put them on display. This and the many charms of Bahia have had a lasting impression on my view of Brasil. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here and look forward to returning.