Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Day Twenty-two, Wednesday, January 28: Making the Most of Manaus

Day Twenty-two, Wednesday, January 28: Making the Most of Manaus

Cancel the drone order.   Our hotel is near a mall.  It is practically an American mall, so we went over and bought a few things to tide us over until we get home.  Ahhhh.

We are capitalizing on our presence here and aren’t as bothered as you might guess that we have not managed to make our way home yet.  American Airlines is putting us up in a nice hotel with good food, all paid by the airline.  Shawny has been here before so she knew that we just had to make our way to the opera house in the center of the city while we were waiting to hear how our flights were going to unfold.  Connor also had a big endorsement of the opera house from his dad so we were determined to get there.

We hopped into five cabs, having picked up another stranded American who wanted to go but not by herself.  We made our way into the city center and were stunned by the beautiful site of the building itself.  It’s even more stunning on the inside.

It turned out that an English language tour was starting two minutes after our arrival so we were in luck.  Our guide told us a bit about the history of the building and then even more luck unfolded: an orchestra was rehearsing in the opera house right at that moment!  We slipped into the back few rows and marveled at the beauty of the sounds the instruments produced, especially in that acoustically magical space. 

Our guide pulled us away and walked us through the various spaces in the opera house, talking about the history and socioeconomics of the region all the while.  The grand ballroom was especially awesome and the art in there demonstrates that kind of perspective where things change depending upon where in the room you are standing.  There is a ring of carpet marked by velvet ropes that visitors walk on (to protect the beautiful inlaid wood floor) and we all shuffled around in circles looking at the various images in the art pieces and how they followed us with their eyes or seemed to change position as we walked.  We looked like big dorks and we loved it!

We expected an airline shuttle to pick us up soon after we finished our tour, so we went right back out of the opera house and hopped into five more cabs to make our way back to the hotel.  We were running around trying to eat our (excellent) lunch and gather up all of our things when, ten minutes before we were scheduled to depart, we got the call that we had been moved to an even later flight.  We were instructed to remain at the hotel to get instructions about when we would leave for the new flight itinerary. 

Shawny spread the word that we could stop hurrying and we gathered to decide what to do next.  Some chose to do project work in their rooms while some went shopping for much-needed (and not-so-needed) clothes.  We shopped, ate ice cream, bought more Havaianas sandals and then wandered back to the hotel.  In the meantime, we got the word that our “new” flight was already delayed so we pushed back our plan even further.  We will now arrive home about 30 hours later than we expected. 

We’re all fine, though, and some of us are chilling by the pool at the moment while others are doing project work and others are messing with the blog.  Travel plans toward home might get delayed, as we still need a day or two (maybe more) of lab work to finish our final media projects.  Again, we invite you to join us on Wednesday, February 18th at 7:00pm in Galileo 201 on the SMC campus to see some of our projects.  And we will still backfill the videos and photos that are missing from this blog.  Maybe not today, though . . .

Be warned: our laundry STINKS!  And most of us felt like sleeping in a bed is actually kind of uncomfortable compared to our hammocks. And the city feels really busy and really fast to us all of a sudden.  You might find us thinking longingly of our Amazon home, as we adjusted to a pace that is unlike the one we normally use in our every day lives.  Might have to rethink that pace thing, though the laundry situation is going to be eradicated as quickly as possible . . .

We really, really hope to be back in California soon!


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