Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What hidden Gems! Goiania...

Another day has come and we are back at home in Goiania. The sun is of course shining (would it be any other way?) and the skies are blue – blue – blue. Our plan of attack today is to head downtown and do a little sight seeing. We had spent some time wandering around there on my first visit in December, but I think my second visit to Goiania has inspired Luiz to see more of his home town and show me more.

We debate on whether to use public transportation (= crowded bus) or drive the car (= no parking). We also have to consider the time factor and the price of gas.  The bus will increase our travel time quite a bit but similar to gas prices in the United States – the price for fuel has been on the rise here as well.  At first it doesn’t seem that bad with gas at R$3.56 and flex fuel (ethanol blend) at R$2.74 but then you have to realize this is the price per liter. It takes 3.78541178 (we will round that off to 3.785) liters to equal 1 gallon so the price per gallon is really R$13.47 and for flex fuel it is R$10.37. Now, did you notice the R in front of the $ sign? That R represent the Brazilian currency of the REAL (kind of pronounced "hale" or "Hay eyes" for more then one real) and the current exchange rate is 1.63 to the U.S dollar. So to be most comparable for my friends in the United States – it is $8.26 for a gallon of gas and $6.36 a gallon of flex fuel . (Yes Dad, I did learn something in high school when I was in your math classes - you taught me well) As you can see, travel is a little more expensive in Brazil then in the U.S. Fortunately for me the dollar is good so everything else is still reasenible (too bad I did not do so well in Mrs. Rath's spelling class - he he he). Since, it’s a short ride to where we are going and the bus would be crowded. We decide in favor of the drive and when we get there we find a nice shady place next to Parque Lago das Rosasto and leave the car. Perfect!

It’s a short walk to our first stop the Museu Pedro Ludovico Teixeira. This beautiful home transformed into museum tells about the life of Pedro Ludovico Teixeira. Who was Pedro? The year was 1934 and in an effort to increase the population in the state of Goais, he is credited with moving the state's capital from the city of Goias (near the Serra Dourada Mountians) to the current capital of Goiania. Prior to Pedro, there had been several proposals to move the capital but an agreeable location could not be found.  You see, the first capital's location was chosen for its proximity to the gold mines and streams in the rough terrain surrounding the mountains. During the 1920s and 30’s, there was a migration of people into the agricultural region of the state.    
A change in the location of its capital seemed appropriate to help accomidate this population shift. So as Governor,  Pedro commissioned the search to find a new location for Goias' capital and in 1933 they found one.  On October 24 of that same year the new capital city of the state of Goias was founded and soon the building of this planned community began. Later that year the search for the cities name was facilitate by a local newspaper holding a contest to name the city.  After sorting through entries such as Petronia, Americana, Petrolandia, Goianapolis, and Bartolomeu Bueno a new name was chosen.  Finally in 1935 the name Goiania was used by Governor Ludovico for the first time. (thanks wikipedia)

Enough with the history lesson, back to our short walk and as we strolled up to the front of the building,  I realized we had walked by the house in December but it was under renovations at that time. Now, newly renovated it has a sense of grandiosity to it but is still simple in some way. We approach the art deco building, walk up on the front porch and enter into the breezeway.
We are greeted by a Brasileira (Brazilian lady) with a welcoming introduction and a smile. I actually only pick up a couple of words but I can tell just by the first five minutes that she loves her job and I would probably enjoy speaking to her in length. If only I knew the language better. (study Dave –STUDY!) There are magnificent details all around us as the guide gives us a quick introduction. We are taken through the first floor of the home (museum) and I am impressed as around every doorway, antiques and collectibles are reveiled.   All being origninal to the home when Governor Pedro resided there. I am also impressed with the preservation of the items and the obvious care they have been given. It’s like stepping back to the 1940’s and again I begin to day dream about living during this time. I am sitting in the comfortable rust colored chair in the corner of the library, pulling a book off the shelf to spend the afternoon reading and lounging. Only dozing off a for a minute before friends who are swinging by for afternoon coffee awake me...OK – just a day dream – how easily I go back to the same dream. Sure wish that would happen when I awake from a dream in the middle of the night. It is so frustrating that those dreams never have an ending once awaken. But I digress, back to the tour of the museum. I am impressed with the wood features of the home. Surely Brazilian wood, used to cover the floor and the railing of the stairway leading to the second story. The wood is a beautiful dark wood and the guide may have told us what type of wood it is but I am more interested in looking around then focusing on what she is saying and seeing if I can catch a word or two that sound familiar. Luiz is translating some, but I am not too worried about it as I am just enjoying my surroundings.

We finish touring the downstairs which includes a trip to the kitchen with its 1940’s baby blue stove and tan Frigidaire refrigerator. Once we have traveled through the formal and non formal dining room it is time to head up the stairs to the second level. There we find all kinds of artifacts from the Governor and his wife like clothing, dishes, military awards, military uniforms, and more. The rooms are decorated with the original furniture of the family and the views of the city from the windows are wonderful. There is one point in the tour that Luiz notices a plaque on the dresser. It is of someone’s graduating law school class with small photograph buttons in an outline of Brazil. He recognizes that his cousin's dad is one of the buttons on the pin. He and the guide talk a little about this coincidence and I think how small the world is and how so many of us are connected in some way or another (I am pretty sure?). Now it would have been WAY different had it been a cousin of mine on the pin.

The last part of our tour is of the back yard and servant's quarters. What a wonderful place it would have been  for the Governor and his wife to escape the city. All of the trees were planted by the governor when the house was built. The two Brazilian Mahogany trees are simply majestic with their thick trunks and bulky canopies. The final destination is the garage where the governors last vehicle sits parked. A 1953 Orange Chevy Truck – it is just like it was left years ago and obvious has not been drive since the Governor drove it through the city he founded.  We thank our tour guide and wish her luck as she needs to prepare for the school children scheduled to visit later in the afternoon. We are off to the rest of our day exploring. What will we find? What will we see?  (Read more about Goiania)

For the official website if you want more information or if you want to vist yourself -- go to - Museum's Official Website or Website de escritório do Museu em português

Governor Pedro Ludovico and his wife

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