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I will never forget getting off the plane and entering the airport in Sao Paulo, Brazil. I was only 18 years old and was supposed to be staying with a local family. Their daughter Nina, was going to be my host. I entered the airport to have her entire family there greeting me, I kinda felt like a celebrity! The first thing she called me was “machina” which I still do not know to this day exactly what it means, but from what I was told it is really a great compliment. She did call my towel a girl's beach towel, which was fine given that was my main customer anyway! I usually carry around for my trips the Brahma, it is mostly black with a meaningful mandala design. But to each his own! A girl's beach towel is probably going to be awesome to have here since there was so many potential customers.
The family took me to their apartment which was located in an amazing penthouse overlooking the city of Recife, I was amazed they lived so close to the ocean. Unfortunately when I went to check the waves I noticed large signs everywhere with a shark on it saying NO SWIMMING. Nina explained to me that due to over fishing the area the competition for food has gotten out of hand. You literally can’t enter the water, I noticed one swimmer about a week in, must have been from Europe. But within 10 minutes they were dragging him out and he was missing his leg from the knee down. I knew I would have to search somewhere else for waves. Nina and I shared my girl's beach towel and talked about a possible wave that was driving distance.
She revealed to me that her parents had a beach house in a place called Maracaipe.
This cape was supposedly protected with nets and the family claimed there has never been a shark attack there. My next objective was to secure a surfboard. Nina took me to a local shaper, who showed me his entire warehouse. It was an amazing operation. I asked for the perfect shortboard, and within 2 weeks I had it in my hands. The minute I picked up the board, Nina’s father handed me the keys to the beach house and said to enjoy. Nina drove us to Maracaipe and once we entered I noticed surfing billboards everywhere. Seemed like I was in the right place. I told Nina that she could use my girls beach towel while I surfed.
After surfing for a few days, I noticed that Nina was not a beach person. I was kind of bummed but she was eager to go back to the city. I was never into the city life, especially the club scene which was HUGE in Brazil. I went to a few raves and parties on the beach that were absolutely mind blowing, but I couldn’t do that every night. I asked Nina if she would mind if I stayed, and she gave me the number to her cousin if I ever needed a ride.Well that next day, I ran out of food. So I called up her cousin, Vivanne, who was so gorgeous. She was much older than me, but she seemed to love the fact that I was an American. I gave her the girls beach towel as a gift for showing me around. She took me all over Brazil and was super knowledgeable about the history.