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Leonardo Is the Man

It’s been hard getting back into the groove of school. There are 37 members, partners and friends of the A-Team that have grown quite accustomed to following Leonardo Goncalves around blindly, after he had done such an excellent job corralling us across Brazil over Spring Break.
It would be impossible to capture everything that happened over the week, but highlights include:

o Neil Edwards and Javier Ewing getting scolded by the Varig stewardesses during the flight to Brazil after they had literally drained the aircraft of all alcohol and proceeded to converse loudly throughout the wee hours of the night. The word is they were living by Javier’s “Anti-Credo” that night.

o Upon arrival in Brazil, our tour guide Ana Maria telling us about “the wonderful of Rio,” as we all tried to avoid her stare on the bus.

o Getting to meet Leonardo’s awesome sister, Graziella.

o The visits to Corcovado and the Sugar Loaf, where we saw Peter Tynan’s love for group tours expressed by his capture of Ana Maria’s flag (see back of the classroom bulletin board).

o Three awesome dinners in Rio, including the seafood extravaganza, the small Italian place with the crazy happy owner who had approximately three menus and had never seen that much business in his life, and last but not least…

o MEAT. No, not the kind that some sketchy members of Section K were involved with… I’m talking big-time barbeque. At Porcao, a Brazilian churrascaria, Daniel Pullin, Ken Grahame and Josh Phillips continued to put away the meat until even the rest of us felt sick.

o A favorite among the ladies: the “cheesy poofs!” (Leonardo said the real name of these addictive snacks is pao de queijo, for future reference…)

o Caipirinhas! Or, depending on who you talk to-Capriatis, Corleones, Capirahnas, etc., etc.

o Surviving the hang-gliding excursion.

o Visiting Ipanema beach and staying right on Copacabana Beach.

o Looking for “man-thongs.”

o Learning about the Dirty Dirty Gecko-if you want more information, ask Amanda Key or Susan Rasmus.

o HELP! I think that sums up that place fairly well.

o “Oldies Night” at Nuth Lounge, where we were most definitely the life of the party. Do you think Laurent Therivel got a phone number that night from his Sugar Momma?

o The beautiful Praia do Forte Ecoresort, complete with monkeys, iguanas, geckos, an onslaught of interesting birds, and the nearby sea turtle conservatory.

o Wacky Alejandro, our tour guide in Salvador, who defies explanation.

o Flexing our negotiating muscles at the market-or maybe not.

o Eileen Riley winning Leonardo’s “Best Portuguese Student” award, though rumor has it that the only word she knows is “OBRIGADA!!!!!”

o The excellent resort buffets-can anyone say, “Ten extra pounds?”

o Javier’s split personality-one minute he was Rohit belting out
“AWESOME A!!”, the next minute he was urging, “Don’t hate-ELEVATE!”, and the next he was on the talent show stage rapping with Daniel as his beat-box.

o Section A in the talent show play-Michelle Kraemer as the Little Girl with Bee Sting, Daniel Pullen as The Doctor, Vivian Tsai as The Maid, and Honorary A-Team member, the cute little kid, as The Dog Who Peed On Michelle.

o Speaking of the talent show-Amanda Key, Kirstin Gollop, Susan Rasmus, and Daniel’s girlfriend Gina Titus did a rousing rendition of “New York, New York,” complete with show-stopping outfits. They somehow were able to convince Daniel, Ryan Desmond, Neil Edwards and Peter Tynan to strip down to their skivvies, or, in Peter’s case, his infamous bright blue Speedo! Blackmail pictures available upon request.

o Brahma and Antarctica beer

o The Southern Cross and a night sky of stars that we’re just never going to get here in Boston.

o The last night, late-night judo match where Grace Park kicked major Section B butt.

o Two words: Dengue Fever
It certainly was an extraordinary trip, and everyone who went would once again like to extend the deepest thanks to Leonardo, without whom this trip could have never come together. Thanks also go out to Josh Phillips, Caroline Cake and Amanda Key, for help with the logistics and overall organization. Beyond the unmatchable scenery, the food, and the company, the fact that none of us had to worry about anything was a gigantic treat in and of itself.

Now it’s back to the real world-the Boston “spring,” Finance quizzes, and EC class registration. But hey, “we’ll always have Rio,” right?

April 1, 2002
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