Ilha Grande: “Orientation” Redefined

Danni Askew
March 19, 2014

This past weekend, we went on a “Field Trip” to Ilha Grande, which technically translates to “Big Island” 3 hours south of Rio. Prior to leaving, I had no idea what to expect for the weekend. I knew nothing about this island place… I’ve been so overwhelmed with trying to learn about the city of Rio, that anything outside the city limits was far beyond my knowledge. Even though we have only been here 2 weeks, it’s still nice to get out of the chaos in the city and have a weekend away in a new place.

Low and behold, the weekend was AMAZING…

We had to take a boat from the mainland to the Island.

Here is the beautiful place where we stayed for the weekend!

We spent Friday on the beach 4 minutes away from our home.


Most of us stayed up late talking on the beach, sitting and talking in a huge circle, bonding and getting to know each other better outsider of the classroom.

Saturday, we woke up to breakfast with this view… and fruit grown on the trees in our backyard.


We went on a boat tour of the Island, stopping to snorkle and eat on one of the hundreds of other beaches on this “Big Island”

Afterwards, we jumped off of a huge dock near our home.

Sunday, I woke up and drank coffee with my roommate on the dock.


Oh, and a bird insisted on sharing my delicious breakfast. I couldn’t complain, it was so cute!


We hiked a few miles across the Island, which was extremely hot and exhausting, but also brought about fun adventures.

It was absolutely worth the travel, since Lopes Mendes Beach has been ranked as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

This weekend made my experience in Brazil seem even more surreal that it already has been. I am so undescribably excited for all of the adventures to come in the next 4 months. I am happy that I’ve gotten closer with all of my classmates here. I am inspired to see more of the beautiful landscape Brazil has to offer.

When we were driving back to Rio on Sunday night, it felt like coming home. It’s funny how relative familiarity can be. I would still describe Rio as being unifamiliar to me, but after being away in a completely new city, coming back to Rio seems very familiar and surprisingly comforting. After the 20 minute cab ride home, I am happy to announce that Rio feels like home to me.

Danni Askew

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">I am a junior studying sociology, public health, mathematics, and leadership at the University of Minnesota. I&#39;m passionate about music and express that passion through an all-female a cappella choir on campus. In my free time, I enjoy playing classical guitar, percussion, piano, and writing music. During every summer, I work at a summer camp in northern North Dakota; I love outdoor adventures and working with kids.</span></p>

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