Thursday, September 9, 2010

Exposerra and Farms and Finals.

Smaller than the State Fair, larger than the Rice County fair, a few animals (mostly cows and goats), a rodeo (the professional one starts tonight), tons of DELICIOUS food, $0.50 to use a dirty bathroom, sketchy carnival rides, opens at 7:00 p.m. and people stay until 6:00 a.m., thousands of drunk people, country (sertaneja) music concerts free excluding price of entry, cow auctions, a night club, tons of music, all rolled together you could call it EXPOSERRA.

Exposerra is my towns festival, like their Jesse James Days or their county fair. It started earlier this week, I think Saturday. However we couldn't go the first day because it was too dangerous. We didn't go the second day because people our age weren't attending that night, we did however go the third and fourth night, and my parents went last night but my brother and I didn't because it was an auction and not many teenagers would be present. The third night (Monday) Marie, the exchange student from Eden Prairie living six hours away, came over to visit because her family was visiting people about an hour away from my town. She got dropped off and we made my family sloppy joes, mashed potatoes, and peanut butter bars for supper and dessert. Oh how a little slice of home was nice. Then we got dressed up for exposerra.

This was my first night in attendance so I was a little nervous because my brother had told me how he gets in a fight almost every year because either he or one of his friends are talking to a girl and the girl's guy friends don't appreciate it. He also threw in the line "I win everytime. I throw one or two punches and then run as fast as I can." I don't know if that qualifies as winning, but it didn't make me feel any better especially because being foreign draws a lot of attention. Marie had some previous experience with this because she had attended her city 'fair'. She advised me on what to wear (boots and nice shirt with jeans) because that would be what most of the other people wore. Thank goodness for that, I blended in a little bit. Either way we got ready, my dad gave us some cowboy hats to take pictures in, and we left for the evening.

We arrive at the fair grounds and there is a line about 30 minutes long to buy a ticket and a shorter line to take your ticket and enter the grounds. We waited for a while, then my brother ran ahead to see if he knew anyone or could find someone selling them so we could get in quicker. He eventually found a friend who took our money and ran ahead jumping in line with a friend and bought our tickets, we were set and only waited about 10 minutes.

We ran into a bunch of people I knew and even more that my brother knew but I had no idea who they were. None-the-less I was introduced to even more people whose names, and some faces, I can't remember. I really enjoyed being able to introduce Marie to some of my friends though, because more than likely they'll all run into each other at some district rotary event.

We started at the rides, after barely looking through the animals, because there isn't much to see. The rides are a bit sketchy. Many don't have proper safety equipment, no seat belts, no pull down bars. One didn't have anything, you had to hang on for dear life. I think that is what made it my favorite. We started on the safest ride we rode all night. It reminded me of the school bus at Camp Snoopy. It wasn't bad but it wasn't Valleyfair, and we were laughing the entire time because some middle-aged woman in front of us was screaming like she was dying the entire time. Then we went on the roller coaster "Russia Mountain". It was a lot like the mad mouse ride at Valleyfair except that instead of seat belts we had two belts that went over each shoulder, sure to dislocate our arms in case of derailment. Last we were going to go on the Ferris wheel, but my brother prefers fast spinny rides. Being I get a bit motion sick I was a tad nervous, but we chose one that involves sitting down holding on to bars behind you, because there are no belts of any kind, while it spins round and round and tilts at insane angles meanwhile jerking and bumping (I'm not sure if that was part of it when it was new). Either way the worker of the ride walked around in the middle and I swore he would fall to his death, and people were squished up against one another due to gravity and one girl almost fell to the other end because she happened to be quite drunk and if it weren't for my brother grabbing her as she dangled she probably would have hurt more than just her arm. All in all, that was my favorite ride.

The rest of the evening we walked around and ran into more people I knew. I got the pleasure of introducing my Interact friends to Marie, many of them were asking about where she was the next day and many made comments about her to me. The most common, she was a cutie :). Now by about 2:00 a.m. almost everyone was drunk. Teenagers carried around bottles filled with alcohol and they would just walk up to a stand because apparently they don't I.D. here and order whatever they wanted. Brasilians are very animated funny drunk people and they kept me entertained. Although when we were with certain groups of people I felt like Marie, my brother, and I were the only sober ones. It was an interesting experience. It also gets really crowded after the show ends and so to make our way through the crowds we all had to be hand in hand.

I also had an awful bathroom experience because after I paid $0.50 to enter, I ended up in a dirty stall that had a very unclean toilet seat. Let's just say that half my toilet paper I was given (they give it to you when you pay) was used to clean it. Other than that we eventually went home at about 3:30 because Marie had to get up at 7:30 to catch the 8:30 bus back to the town where her family was staying.

Exposerra experience number 2 for Aletha wasn't as exciting. There were less people I knew there although I got to meet a girl named Talita (I met her the night before, but I actually spent enough time with her to remember her name this time). She was really nice and when my brother would go talk to people neither of us knew we would tell jokes and talk. I went and watched the show this time. It was Victor e Leo, who are pretty big sertaneja singers down here, so that was cool. They reminded me of Rascal Flatts because everyone knew all the words to every song they played. People tried to teach me how to dance, of course that doesn't work well for me, but I'm trying and I'm sure I'm slowly getting better...or not, but it's fun. I did however eat an open Krep which is like a pancake taco almost. It was filled with cheese and stroganoff. It was the most delicious thing I've eaten down here so far. When we return tonight I might just have to get another one. After the show we went home about 2:00, because we had school bright and early at 7:00. Let's just say I was exhausted and it was finals at school which was kind of a nice break, I didn't even have to go, but I did and upon my return home I took a 3 hour nap.

My family owns a fazenda (farm) about an hour away for a day or weekend getaway. We went there this past Sunday so that I could visit it. The day was pretty relaxing. We left a little after 8 a.m. and spent the whole day away. It was a lot of eating watermelon, fried chicken, drinking coca and juice, and laying around in hammocks. My brother and I bonded quite a bit as we have now begun to talk about anything we want. He tells me about pranks he pulls at school, stories about people we both know, and about anything else that pops into our heads. He's really patient with me and we are even fighting like brother and sister now which is a nice too being it's all a big joke, my family claims I'm becoming brasilian because of this:). Anyways besides soaking up the slow life I got to visit their old house on the site and the new one they are building (they don't live there nor have they ever, they just have it as a hobby), I got the chance to ride horses (which I turned down that time because the horse was a little jumpy that day), I got to visit their cows, and Henrique and I also shot cans with his pellet gun, and one or two shots with a very weak shotgun. Either his sights need to be redone, or I need lots of practice, probably both. It was nice to just slow things down for the day. Then we went to my Uncles house for a while, who lives in TangarĂ¡ also, but has the farm for hobby as well. He had the most beautiful horses I've ever seen and tons of shade. The day was wonderful, just like walking onto the set of an old western. I couldn't have asked for a better change of pace.

Finally, Finals. Every day from this past Wednesday until next Tuesday we have 3 finals a day at school. They are just like regular tests, not even bigger (like the longest one I've taken was 3 response questions of roughly one sentence, defining 2 words, and answering 8 multiple choice questions). You get two hours to finish them and if you finish them earlier you just leave the class and do whatever you want. Also if you finish the last one early, you just go home. I've been home around 11:00 everyday this week. I have taken 5 so far, one is this afternoon (math) I'm going to watch Gossip Girl at someone else's house instead because as much as I try everything is worded different and I don't understand any of the tests, I just put in a good effort until 3 or so people have finished, then I call it quits. I took a writing one where my understanding was to right about equality and if it is possible or something along those lines, so I tried. I'm still not sure what it was on, however apparently after I left the room the teacher read it to the class and there were lots of errors, well things in spanish, oops. I took philosophy which was crazy, I could only answer one or two questions on John Locke. I took physics which was a joke because I didn't like, understand, nor take physics in high school. Our teacher handed out a formula sheet (I'm pretty sure everyone in Messer's class would have aced it), so I took a couple problems and guessed what meant what and used whatever formula the first letter of what they were asking for matched. I took history today which was the longest one yet, I answered everything except for 2-3 questions but that was because it's really easy to do multiple choice. ;P There was another one but I don't remember which one it was. Either way it's a lot of down time and joking, or sleeping, or studying. Tomorrow I have English and some other ones I have no idea about.

Tomorrow evening I also leave for Campo Grande until the 20th (around then). My sister lives there as do the families of both my mom and my dad. I hear my cousins are already planning everything down to the day, I'm extremely excited to meet them all and explore the capital of a different state!! My mom and I are going down by bus (12-16 hours) so it'll be an interesting trip I'm sure and I'm also excited to miss my house here, and my school here, and my friends, because I like the feeling of having things to miss here. So if you don't hear anything from me for a week or so, I'm probably still alive but having an amazing time so that I have more interesting things to blog about later.

until next time.


  1. ahhh aletha it sounds like you are having such an amazing time! i love the sound of the exposerra, i want one in joao pessoa! enjoy campo grande! i love reading your blog!

  2. Aletha you write really well! Sounds like you're doing lots of different things and having fun. Whenever you talk about your mom or brother, I think you're talking about your family in MN and get confused for a second.