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Trip completed :(

Now my trip is officially over, I am back in Jacksonville. All good things must come to an end, and there is always next year! Here are some pics that I took before I left to come back.
This is what the room looked like when I was getting ready to pack all of my stuff.
Night before leaving before packing my bag

Night before leaving before packing my bag

At the Chineses New Year festival we managed to find some black & gold cats so I got them. The different cats mean different things, I think the white cat is for good fortune, the black cat for I forget and the gold cat for money.

The cat made some new friends too

The cat made some new friends too

A picture of a real cat.

The cat in the bag

The cat in the bag

This is some chili that I for some reason took from the US to Brasil and never did anything with it while I was there. I will never know if it is good or not.

A can of chili

A can of chili

Here is a photo I took while we were on the highway driving to the airport.

Us on the way to the airport

Us on the way to the airport

At the GRU airport.

My last espresson in Brasil (for now)

My last espresson in Brasil (for now)

Abraão

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São Sebastião++

After hanging out here in the city we did a bunch of stuff. We went to São Sebastião, came back for a night and went back to Guarujá. I haven’t had anytime to post anything until now.

Before we left for São Sebastião I bought a watch. I’ve only worn it once here in Brasil, but I will wear it again tonight. Here it is.

My new watch

My new watch

Here is a view of a beach on the way to São Sebastião.

One view of the beach

One view of the beach

Previously I said that Brasilian pizza was insane, here are a couple pics to prove it.

Brasilian pizza: Turkey, raisin and pineapple

Brasilian pizza: Turkey, raisin and pineapple

Brasilian pizza: I have no idea what this was

Brasilian pizza: I have no idea what this was

Chocolate pizza!

Chocolate pizza!

Us after attempting to finish the chocolate pizza.

Gracie, Johnny, myself and Gil

Gracie, Johnny, myself and Gil

When we were in São Sebastião we stayed in a small hotel, Hotel Arrastão. This was the first place that I stayed that had Air Conditioning, I had almost forgotten what it felt like. It wasn’t as great as I had thought it would be. Sleeping with the windows open might be better actually.

My first AC here in Brasil

My first AC here in Brasil

We woke up early to take advantage of the free breakfast. The coffee at the hotel sucked, obviously so we went out for espresso.

My coffee levels were critical

My coffee levels were critical

I don’t like waking up early!

Even spilled coffee should not be wasted!

Even spilled coffee should not be wasted!

We went to Ilha Bela one day while we were here. Its a huge island with a bunch of stuff to do there.  The entire time we were in São Sebastião the sun was hiding and it was sprinkling, but it was not too bad.

São Sebastião

São Sebastião

Some pictures from the island. I am not sure how I was the only one wearing a speedo, but thats ok.

The four of us infront of the natural water slide

The four of us infront of the natural water slide

Here is a small waterfall. Don’t underestimate this, when you are under it it is very powerful and clostrophobic.

Small (but powerful) waterfall

Small (but powerful) waterfall

Them infront of the watefall

Them infront of the watefall

Us inside the waterfall

Us inside the waterfall

Us inside the waterfall

Us inside the waterfall

Us inside the waterfall

Us inside the waterfall

After we made it through the waterfall

After we made it through the waterfall

Big rock

Big rock

Myself and Johnny

Myself and Johnny

After we came back from São Sebastião we were going back to Guarujá for a Jui-Jitsu/MMA seminar headed by Gabriel “Napao” Gonzaga who is Naja’s instructor. He is a Brasilian Jui-Jitsu World Champion and current UFC figher. You can see his UFC profile at http://www.ufc.com/index.cfm?fa=fighter.detail&pid=411.

Too many people at this table, third guy on left is Napão

Too many people at this table, third guy on left is Napão

If you are a UFC fighter you can use a pink bag

If you are a UFC fighter you can use a pink bag

Myself and Napão

Myself and Napão

Napão, Johnny and Gil

Napão, Johnny and Gil

After Guarujá there was a Chinese New Year festival here in the Japanese part of São Paulo, we went to that but we got there a bit late. Here are a couple pics.

Booths and the Chinese New Year festival

Booths and the Chinese New Year festival

Chinese New Year Festival

Chinese New Year Festival

Abraão

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Misc

I should have posted this a while ago this is all about 1 week old. Late is better then never. On Jan 16 Gil graduated, here are some pics. When I came here to Brasil I brought 1 nice pair of clothes, good thing I did otherwise I would have to show up in shorts and flip flops.

Me and Gil

Me and Gil

I was kinda bored during the speaches, I couldn’t understand anything.

Myself

Myself

Gil and his dad

Gil and his dad

Me and Gil

Me and Gil

After the graduation all of us went to a Churrascaria (Brasilian all you can eat BBQ). This one, I think it was the Alpha Grill, was pretty good. Not only did they have all you can eat meat, but pizza as well. Brasilians are crazy about pizza, but the pizza is pretty different from pizza in the US. For example they use many different cheeses and insane toppings like tuna and olives with the seed.

Us at dinner

Us at dinner

Gil has two dogs at his house, which stay out side to “protect” the property. Some people like to say that I hate dogs, hopefully these pics will put an end to those lies.

Me and Tyson

Me and Tyson

Me and Tyson 2

Me and Tyson 2

On one Sunday we went to Ibirapuera Park here in São Paulo. It is a pretty big park with a bunch of people on the weekends. They also have some sights inside the park, one is the Japanese Pavilion, here are a couple pics from that.

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Japanese Garden

Japanese Garden

Japanese Park

Japanese Park

After we left the park I discovered that they named a street here after me already.

Ibrahim Nobre Praça (Noble Ibrahim Square)

Ibrahim Nobre Praça (Noble Ibrahim Square)

A pic of some store in the Japanese part of town, they are crazy about these cats.

Huge cats

Huge cats

I’m not sure if I mentioned but one thing that I am gonna miss is the Açai here. I have never seen this in the US before, so I am trying to eat as much as I can while I’m here.

Me eating Açai

Me eating Açai

Gil and his two dogs

Gil and his two dogs

Me, Gil and Naja at lunch

Me, Gil and Naja at lunch

Samantha is delicious, and cheap!

Samantha is delicious, and cheap

Abraão

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Guarujá Beach

This past week we went to an island named Guarujá, which is about 2 hours away from Cotia (where we are staying now). On this island they have some very nice beaches. It was Gil, myself and Gils little brother Junior (I’m calling him Johnny). We stayed at the Guarujá hostel. It was pretty cheap R$39 ($13 USD) per night per person. The room situation was 6 to a room, there was just the 3 of us in a room except for the last night. The last night there was another dude there, I won’t mention the name that Johnny was using to refer to this guy.

The first day went to Enseada beach, seems to be a pretty popular beach with some nice views of the mountains and other small islands. The entire time that we were at the beach I didn’t take any pictures because I knew that there would be times where no one would be there to watch our stuff. So I didn’t even take the camera to the beach, but I took a few pics from the car.

I took this pic on the way to the beach, I’ve seen this a few times. I have yet to figure out what its all aobut but I like it.

There is still hope in Brasil!

There is still hope in Brasil!

In order to get to Guarujá (and Camburi) you have to drive through some mountains, here is a view of one tunnel that we drove through.

One tunnel we drove through

One tunnel we drove through

Here is a picture of our room in the hostel. Evidently this hostel had only been open for 10 days so the place was still pretty clean. The bathroom in the room was pretty nice, until Johnny runied that for all of us.

Guarujá hostel

Guarujá hostel

This is in my bed. When I was a kid I preferred the top bunk, but in this case there was a fan that was just a little too close for me so I decided to take the bottom bunk this time.

This is me

This is me

One view of the beach from the car. This was taken at the begining of the beach, you can see how many people are at the beach towards the end of the pic.

Enseda beach

Enseda beach

The only Thai restaurant that I’ve seen the entire time I’ve been here in Brasil. According to the police that were stationed about 1KM away this place doesn’t even exist, LOL. The first night we drove by the entire beach and I knew that I saw a Thai restaurant so i suggested that we go and eat there later that evening. So we drove back to that general area and parked, looked for a bit didnt find it. So we asked some cops where it was, they said that they had never seen such a restaurant and would be especially surprised to see a Thai restaurant in that beach. So we looked for a bit more but didn’t find it so we ate somewhere else. Turns out that we looked in the wrong direction, it was very close to where the cops were stationed, we just went the wrong way. So I was determined to go there. I figured it would be expensive but I told these guys “I don’t care what it costs at this point, we are going to eat there!” So we went there, and it was extermly expensive in Brasilian terms. Gil said it was one of the most expensive that he had seen. It was about R$80 ($35 USD) for just a meal. I was soo surprised by how expensive it was that I told Gil that we should ask for the menu, I told him to tell the waiter that if we coudn’ t keep a copy of the menu that we would leave. These menus were not fancy menus either, no hard cover or anything. By this time we had already ordered 3 cokes (R$5.5o each which is very expensive as well), we placed our order for dinner and then Gil told him. He told the waiter that I wanted to keep the menu. He said in Portuguese “He is very particular about this. When he finds a menu that he likes he wants to keep it. If he can’t keep it we will leave. This has happened before, he is serious.” To our surprise they wouldn’t let us keep their cheap menu in exchange for three expensive meals. So we got the check for the three cokes, paid and left. It was better that way because their food wasn’t exactly what I was expecting anywayz.

Thai restaurant we almost ate at

Thai restaurant we almost ate at

Us after eathing some Açai, which is the shit. I know that I will miss this back in the US. There is always next year!

Gil, myself and Jhonny

Gil, myself and Johnny

Here is a picture on the way back to Cotia.

View of the mountain road

View of the mountain road

Abraão

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São Paulo City

After Camburi we stayed in São Paulo for a few days because Katia (Gils sister) & O J (Her husband) were going back to the US along with Gils mom. Gils mom will stay there for about a month and a half. From those days we were mostly just hanging out, not doing anything in particular. I some pics here are a few.

We had some mail to send so we went to the post office (which is closed on Saturday we found out). They are different from the US in the sense that they look up rates from a physical book. Things are much less automated here in Brasil.

A typical Brasilian post office

A typical Brasilian post office

Gils dad owns a small ranch, which some dude takes care of. Gil has to go there twice a month to pay the guy. Here is a pic of Gil with some Acerola that is growing there.

Gil with some Acerola from his dads ranch.

Gil with some Acerola from his dads ranch.

This is a pic of the cat that lives on the ranch with a lucky cat.

Some crazy cat

Some crazy cat

This woman was here at Gils moms house giving some pedicures and manicures so I figured I would have her cut my nails. It was pretty cheap and I didnt feel like cutting them myself. I didnt make her cut my toenails, figured I would spare her of that :)

Me getting my nails clipped for $2

Me getting my nails clipped for $2

I didnt even realize that they made a movie about me until I found it here in this video store!

Evidently they made a movie about me

Evidently they made a movie about me

This is a pic of Gil, myself and Naja. Naja is Gils good friend and Jui-Jitsu instructor. He is pretty cool, and pretty crazy you definetly dont want to mess with this guy!

Gil, me and Naja

Gil, me and Naja

I noticed that the people  in Brasil are not really into facial hair so I decided to get ride of mine, also I was in need for a hair cut. I had the guy in the next picture (Manuel if I remember correctly) take care of these problems for me. I think it cost R$23 ($10 USD) for both. He kept telling me in Portuguese that my face was soft but my beard was rough. I am not sure why he kept saying that, but it was kinda freaking me out!

Barber shaving my face

Barber shaving my face

Here is me after the cut & shave.

Me post hair cut & shave

Me post hair cut & shave

Here is a picture of a street in a poor area. I am pretty sure that this was taken in Carapicuba. There are hills everywhere here, some of them are very steep like this one.

A typical poor neighboorhood in Brasil

A typical poor neighboorhood in Brasil

One on Sunday we went downtown to visit some sights one of them was a famous church here, the São Paulo Cathedral. The church was very cool and very elegant, the down side of this is that right outside of this church (and the surrounding area) is very dirty and potentially dangerous if you are not careful. You should definetly not be in this area alone at night.

São Paulo Cathedral

São Paulo Cathedral

While we were in downtown we visited a pretty famous coffee shop, Suplicy. They had really good coffee and their store was pretty cool as well. I have to admit that the prices were pretty high along Brasilian standards though. The prices were closer to coffee shops in the US.

Suplicy coffee shop in the city

Suplicy coffee shop in the city

Here is a photo of Gils dads cat, with a cat whose luck seems to be running out.

The cat at Gils dads house

The cat at Gils dads house

After hanging out here we went to another beach for a few days. I will post on that probably tomorrow.

Ibrahim

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Let´s go to the Ballada

I´ve been camping at the beach for the past 6 days. We were at a pretty cool beach named Camburi. It is a pretty famous beach, it was rated the best beach in Sao Paulo state and in the top 10 for all of Brasil. When we were going there I had no idea that we were going to a popular beach. I thought that we would be camping on just some ordinary beach, in the middle of nowhere. This goes to show how little I actually know what is happening here. I even took Coke-a-Cola thinking that there would be little access to caffinated drinks there! LOL. We also visited a couple of other beaches Boiçucanga and Maresias which were both very beautiful.

Here is a pic of our group.

All of us at dinner

All of us at dinner

From left to right: OJ (Katia´s husband), Katia (Gils sister), Nilva (Gils mom), Carlos (Gils brother), Me, Gil, Dani (Gils gf)

This was taken after dinner at a local restaurant. We all ate dinner for R$170 which is about $75 USD! There are some pretty expensive places but you can eat well for pretty cheap. We were not even trying to cut the cost for this dinner either, probably could have brought it down to about R$130 if we were.

Anyways, here is a couple of decent views of the beach during the day.

Beach view

Beach view

Camburi is a beach that is set directly against a set of mountains. I´ve never seen this before so it was pretty cool. There are some pretty significant islands pretty close by as well.

Decent view of the crowd at the beach behind us

Decent view of the crowd at the beach behind us

Dani, myself and Carlos. You can see how many people are behind us at the beach.

Here are a few pics on the way to the beach.

Driving through the Mountains

Driving through the Mountains

On our way to Camburi

On our way to Camburi

Here is what the beach looks like at night.

Camburi at night

Camburi at night

At night I was mostly hanging out with Carlos, who is a parting maniac. He always to be out until atleast 5 AM. I was able to hang in there with him for a few days but not the entire time.

Me and the Ballada master

Me and the Ballada master

Typical Brasilian behavior

Typical Brasilian behavior

I had (and still have) a bit of a cold and the sleeping in the camping was terrible so I was not able to get over it. Each night I only got a few hours of decent sleep. We were staying at Camping Camburi, which was on the closest road to the beach. The bathrooms were nasty, but overall it was not too bad. He is the one who coined the term “Lets go to the Ballada”, ballada is party in Portugese. His English was pretty good but still very choppy, he had a bunch of interesting quotes, I wish I remembered them all.

Our campsite

Our campsite

Gil at the campsite

Gil at the campsite

Since the toilets were soo bad at our campsite I was determined to find some better ones. It took some time but I´m convinced that I found the best bathrooms in all of Camburi! They are at a great dessert house Framboesa, here is what the bathroom looks like.

This bathroom is delicious

This bathroom is delicious

After I found this bathroom we went there every night to take care of business, and to have dessert.

Me after an "incident" at Framboesa

Me after an "incident" at Framboesa

Here is us at some other place at the beach before the parties started.

Sitting by the beach at night

Sitting by the beach at night

Obviously speedos are very popular here, there were a bunch of people that were not wearing speedos though. So you would not stand out if you were wearing normal surfer style shorts. Some days I wore shorts and others speedos, I didn´t mind wearing speedos. For some stuff speedos is better than shorts, because shorts move when you are in the water where as speedos do not.

Wearing a speedo at a resturant during dinner!

Wearing a speedo at a resturant during dinner!

Frisco ball

Frisco ball

Frisco (which equals Gay in Portuguese) is a pretty cool game that is popular on the beaches here. It involves 2 or 3 players each who have a paddle and they pass the ball to each other. I am not sure how the winner is determined but the object is to keep the ball in play by not letting it hit the ground or water.

Maybe too much sunscreen

Maybe too much sunscreen

I think she was worried about getting burned on her nose and half of her mouth.

While on the beach there were many vendors selling different items, such as ice cream, coconut juice from the coconut, grilled cheese on a stick, and a bunch of other stuff.

Coconut juice at its finest

Coconut juice at its finest

Grilled cheese at the beach

Grilled cheese at the beach

The grilled cheese was pretty good, it would be cool if we had this in Florida. Enough of the avoidance here is the speedo pics!

The three of us

The three of us

I am pretty sure that the speedos that I´m wearing here are too big actually. I prefered the smaller black speedos.

More Frisco ball

More Frisco ball

This is me playing Frisco ball with Carlos, this game is actually pretty fun once you get started playing it.

My favorite speedo pic

My favorite speedo pic

From now on I am wearing these types of speedos, I don´t like the gray ones anymore.

One thing that I noticed on the beach in Brasil, drinking is a way of life. Everybody is drinking all the time, which sometimes made me feel kinda funny but it wasn´t a big deal. Different from the US once you told someone that you don´t drink they didn´t try to peer pressure you to drink, they just stopped offering. The people here were very friendly and cool, I met a bunch of nice people. One girl that I met Paula (whos English was very good) who was a friend of Carlos was soo funny. She insisted on calling me by my first name Sayed, which is pronounced sigh-eee-gee in Portugese. I never would have guessed that my first name could possible be pronounced that way!

For New Years we went to Gils cousin´s house and had dinner then went to the beach to party. Here is a couple pics of us.

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For New Years the beach was packed withe people, there was a decent fireworks show. It seemed like the parting that night never ended. I think it is still going on right now actually.

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Ibrahim

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In Brasil my name is Abraão

Today we were supposed to go to the beach for a 5 day camping trip, but by some freak of nature there was a cold front that moved in. It was raining pretty heavy on the beach as well. Thankfully it didnt rain much where I am at now, but it is pretty cold. Since the house doesnt have AC or Heat that means that it is kinda cold in the house but it is not too bad. Anywayz just kinda were hangning out here in the city the whole day, trying to see what was up with the weather. I am not sure when we will go to the beach now. Here are some pics from today.

My First Starbucks Experience in Brasil!

My First Starbucks Experience in Brasil!

Gil @ Starbucks

Gil @ Starbucks

Crappachino!

Crappachino!

No iced coffee here so I am drinking an Americano!

No iced coffee here so I am drinking an Americano!

This is one lucky shop!

This is one lucky shop!

This is a motel, not to be confused with a hotel

This is a motel, not to be confused with a hotel

Motorcycle drivers are insane!

Motorcycle drivers are insane!

This is why we didnt go to the beach

This is why we didnt go to the beach

This is a window in Gils house

This is a window in Gils house

Two cats only one lucky one

Two cats only one lucky one

I think its funny that the Wal-Marts here are soo much bigger then those in the US and A

I think its funny that the Wal-Marts here are soo much bigger then those in the US and A

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In Brasil people just wear less clothes!

I am now staying at Gils moms house. It is a pretty neat place, it has 3 rooms a bunch of history and of course no air conditioning! Most homes here dont have AC despite the fact that it is pretty hot. Heres a few shots of my room and the house.

Gil at breakfast

Gil at breakfast

My bed

My bed

One view from the house

One view from the house

Christmas in Brasil

Christmas in Brasil

I am now no longer wearing shirts as well

I am now no longer wearing shirts as well

Tomorrow we are going camping on the Beach for 5 days! No internet, no electricity and who knows what else. Should be pretty interesting. In the spirit of the least amount of clothes Ive bought a set of speedos too, “when in Rome”.

Ibrahim

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Now in Brasil

I have now made it to Brasil, it is 3 hours ahead here from Eastern Time so its pretty late here now (3 AM).

Me and Gil

Me and Gil

This is me and Gil at the airport here in Sao Paulo. Looks like things havn´t changed.

Smoking causes impotence

Smoking causes impotence

BTW it looks like smoking causes impotence, good thing I quit.

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Test

This is just a test, here is a pic

 

Ibrahim

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