18 students and two faculty members from Saint Mary's College are returning to our SMC home away from home in the Brazilian Amazon for Jan Term 2017. This page helps us to tell our story and -- even more importantly -- helps us to tell the stories of our friends and hosts in the Amazon . . .
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
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
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
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
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! Daily Photos
We were lucky enough to get a chance to take a tour of the famous Teatro Amazonas, or the Manaus Opera House. (photo enhanced)
The court yard right outside of the Opera House had this beautiful statue in the middle, with ships pointing in the correct direction of Africa, Asia, Europe and North America, respectively. (photo enhanced)
The ceiling of the opera hall was painted with scenes to represent comedy, tragedy and dance. (photo enhanced)
We were all in awe of the beauty of the Opera House.
The Governor's box at the Opera House.
We were lucky enough to get to hear the musicians practicing for an upcoming performance.