Well, I had my first coffee experience in Brazil, and it was not quite what I am used to! We had a twenty minute break from class the other day so Marko and I walked the short distance to the "one" local coffee shop with some of the other American Students (there are only about ten of us). We had heard that they had the best coffee in town and that we might even be able to get a latte! Now, I had not had a latte in a week so I was REALLY looking forward to this! We got there and realized that it probably wasn't a good sign that there were small individual packs of Cappuccino on the shelf, but we did see some "real" coffee in the shop as well, so we were hopeful. Well, you guessed it, we got the packs of Cappucino-not quite the Starbucks experience that we are used to! We were in a hurry to get back to class because our friend, Professor Josh, does not like people to be late and afterall, we are the only Americans. We attempted to tell the Barista that we wanted our latte's to go but she just kept giving us ceramic cups and telling us to sit down! O.K., so you have to know that Brazilians are not in ANY hurry. They are a very laid back people and not at all like we are accustomed too! Needless to say, we were late for class and it was not like we could sneak in the back door-there are no back doors (so much for fire codes)! We had to walk in front of the entire student body (200 of them) as well as in front of Josh as he was lecturing! Not a good example to have the late people be the Americans. To make things worse, we got a not so subtle admonishment in front of the entire student body (just a gentle reminder-not pointing figures of course) that we should respect the Professor and not walk into class late! O.K., So can we say embarrassing?! We wanted to crawl into a hole! So much for that latte experience. I don't think I will be having another until I am back in the states!
I have so many stories to tell but we start school at 8:00 and are in class for 5-6 hours. I will have to write more later. School is intense but we are learning a lot about Islam. I am thankful for the education we are receiving, and we are thoroughly enjoying our time with these amazing people!