June Festivities and Reconnecting in Salvador

The third largest city in Brazil, the city of Salvador is well known for its Afro-Brazilian roots. A coastal city in the Northeast, Salvador was a pivotal capital in the Portuguese empire.

After arriving late the night before, we spent the bulk of Saturday on a tour of the Pelourinho (the old colonial city). Our first stop was a view of the lighthouse, followed by a quick stop at the Praca Municipal; the main square that overlooks the harbor.

Our guide pointed out a few items of significance, including this one; a statue of Zumbi Dos Palmares; a Brazilian who led the free African settlements in Brazil during the 17th century.
We then made our way into the old section of the city. Again, because of the June Festivies, there are may decorations, music, etc. going on.
June Festivities
Great group of teachers

With little time to explore on our own, we were summoned towards the Cathedral of St. Francis; a ridicuously ornate church, created in the baroque style, to honor St. Francis.

St. Francis Cathedral
St. Francisco Cathedral

After a long tour of the church, we were given a bit of free time to walk around, shop, mingle with the locals, etc. As in many city squares and plazas around the world, there were numerous groups of individuals, determined to make some cash through a variety of means.

I do love the drums
June Festival
what the?!?!
St. Francis Cathedral during June Festivities
Selfie with Fernando, Shelly, and Brianna
June festivities

After a quick lunch, we continued to walk around, and eventually came across the place where Michael Jackson filmed his video for his 1996 song, “They Don’t Care About Us,” a huge hit in Brazil.

After exiting the restaurant where we had lunch, we heard the sound of capeoira coming from the streets.
some Brazilian beats

Continuing to wander through the streets of old Salvador, we came across many Brazilians going about their everyday lives. This sweet lady allowed me to photograph her.

Salvador street life

In the evening, before heading out for dinner, I made my way up to the rooftop bar to catch a photo of the sunset.

Sunset over Salvador

On Sunday, we had an all day conference collaborating with the ILEP fellows (Brazilians who have traveled to the US as part of a sister program for TGC). It has been great to collaborate with other teachers from around Brazil, sharing various ideas and possible projects we can work on together.

Joselia introducing herself at the Conference

That said, after reconvening with everyone these last few days, I once again have to give a loud “shout out” to our host teacher, Joselia, and our sudo-host teacher, Alex. I am so glad we had both of them as our hosts in Teresina! After re-connecting with them during the conference, we decided to all head back to the old city to experience some live music and food at the June Festival. I have to say, I am a big fan of the June festivities; live music, street food, friendly people celebrating throughout the streets, etc…what’s not to love?

Valeria, Jen, Joselia, and Me
Does this really need a caption:)
June Festivities
Love these two!
Acaraje- Traditional snack in Bahia

With only two days left in Brazil, we sadly say goodbye to our ILEP host teachers today, as they head back to Teresina this afternoon. Once again, I am truly thankful for having such a great experience with them, both in Teresina and here in Salvador. If the point of this program has been to forge ongoing connections and relationships between ILEP and TGC fellows, then my time here in Brazil has been a success.

With three of my newly favorite people:)

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