|Travelling the old Incan road in Cusco, Peru|
I had a few vacation days left to use from Fulbright, so I decided to take a trip for a couple days to visit a friend in Cusco, Peru, my first time outside of Brazil in South America, although my attempts to revive my Spanish skills turned into Portañol. I had a great time and I returned to Brazil with just a week remaining in my visit.
|A part of Rocinha, Rio's largest favela, from above|
|Orchestra rehearsal with Vanessa's students|
|Just about all the places I've been to in Brazil during this adventure, it's been exhausting!|
I am so grateful for this experience, even with the many ups and downs along the way. Now I will finally get to truly understand what it is like to have "saudades" for Brazil and I will really miss many things, but I am sure that I will be returning many times in the future (I've made too many friends not to) and that there will be a strong Brazilian influence in my upcoming compositions, projects, and collaborations. I will also be working on publishing an article or two in order to conclude what I have learned through my research and to share it with the larger El Sistema community around the world, a kind of condensed version of what I have shared through this blog over the last 9 months. I am also really excited to share the Brazilian classical music and composers that I have discovered and explored extensively here, and want to put together a piano recital program of all Brazilian music. On the other hand, I am exhausted from all this traveling and I'm happy to be returning to my homeland and culture, even with all of its many faults, and to my dear wife who has put up with me being in another country this whole time (which is never easy, I'm glad that's over!) Thank you to Fulbright for granting me this great gift of 9 months where I didn't have to worry about money, but just about pursuing what I am passionate about, and to the many, many others who have helped me along the way, from teachers reading my application essays to strangers helping me find a place to live in a new and unfamiliar city. I leave the country filled with joy and gratitude today. Então, tchau Brasil! Vou ter saudades de você! On to the next adventure (which I will have news about soon!)
|I am going to miss seeing views like this on a daily basis.|