What does a great day involve? Well for Hannah, let me tell you it was basically today.
The day started super early, 6 am to be exact, so not my definition of the best way to start. However, we got to the bus on time, even early! And off to the beach, we went. The drive there was BEAUTIFUL! We drove through forests, past swamps, mountains, cliffs, and more! We even drove over the trees! It was amazing!
We finally got to the resort, and I was itching to get out of the bus and on to the beach before the impending storm. Alas, we did not beat the storm to the beach. Instead, we visited their educational center where I got to play! They had interactive exhibits of some of the wildlife around the resort that were preserved in resin or just in drawers waiting to be picked up and examined! They even had a real skeleton of a whale that had gotten beached on the SESC reserve!
When the rain lightened up I was able to go with some of the Environmentalists to another educational center in the restinga! I touched every plant I could… -even the awesome palm trees with spines on its stem and leaves. (Don’t worry, Dad, I was careful!)
While there I learned the importance of the restinga. The restinga is between the beach, mangroves, and mountains. Its main purpose is to protect the mangroves and forests, but unfortunately, it is first to be destroyed. Therefore, SESC is working to preserve this area and the biodiversity and services it provides. The amazing part of SESC is they don’t just work on the science, but they work with the community to connect the people with the land again. They even have agricultural projects that allow people to come in and use the services of the restinga, such as learning about the plants they can use for food and medicine. It was really interesting to see all the actions SESC had in place for the environment and the community. Shout out to the environmentalist who presented to us and spoke about his expertise all in English!
After I lollygagged back to the bus we went to have lunch where I had a meal that included no meat! I. Was. So. Happy. I love Brazilian food, don’t get me wrong, but something they seem to lack in their meals is vegetables. So when I found the vegetables I loaded up!
After lunch, we finally made it to the beach. The sand was so soft and sprinkled with grains of mica; it was beautiful! We played volleyball, then went exploring and swimming. Amber and I found sand dollars, sea snails, and shells while investigating the wildlife of the beach. Afterward, we played frisbee and I got nailed in the head twice, but I only got a small bruise. Finally, before it got too late I went swimming in the waves. It was so refreshing!
When it was time to go, I attempted to wash the sand and salt off my body and mostly succeeded. We ran to the freezing bus and napped our way back to Metodista where we got picked up to go to the soccer game. Although we were exhausted we had a great time at the game and our team, Palmeiras, won! All in all, it was an awesome day, possibly the best one yet, to top off a pretty great week! Can’t wait to see what’s next!