JUNE 2001: A tired Kleber family -- with the Beloved Cat Clarese in tow -- arrived at the Porto airport on June 13... to be greeted by a TV crew from Portugual National TV. Yawn! They were filming Jordan's "return" to Portugal, as part of a documentary about his ancestors who were religious exiles from Portugal in the 1850s. (See "Religious Exiles from Portual" weblink, at the bottom of this page.)
After a week of unpacking, cleaning, and adjusting to the time change, we emerged refreshed and ready to enjoy our new hometown: Braga. Our apartment is just two blocks off the main plaza (photo, left) of this 2000+ year-old town. Join us on one of our favorite excursions: a brisk 25-minute walk from our apartment to the Igreja Baptista, which is also the location of Drex's pre-school, named "Fundação."
FOR THE FULL STORY, including head-bopping photos, click June 2001.
JULY 2001: We call this building "Delene's House", though it is actually the Pálacio do Raio (Palace of the Radius). Situated about 2.5 blocks from our apartment, we see it most every day. Built in the 18th century and covered in traditional colorful Portuguese tiles or azulejos (closeup, right), it's considered one of the world's best examples of the Rococó architecture. Whatever.
TO READ MORE ABOUT JULY 2001, click July 2001.
AUGUST 2001: Ah... August. Vacations, anniversaries and birthdays. And, of course, the HFH World Leader's Build. August in Braga means non-stop street entertainment: rock concerts, orchestras, Spanish flamenco shows, native-costumed dancers and musicians from across Europe, near-nightly fireworks, whew.
For Drexel's sixth birthday we went with Alexandre to Bracalândia, Braga's little amusement park. The boys are pictured, right, in a less-than-PC pose at Fort Apache.
Random Fact: It's a 45-minute drive to our nearest beach, Praia Apúlia (rhymes with Julia), where Drex and
Alexandre enjoy racing the waves.
[The August 2001 Update was not finished due to general turmoil surrounding the September 11 attacks.]
September 9, 2001: Jordan's 40th Birthday
September 10, 2001: Drex's First Day of School
September 11, 2001: Terrorists Attack USA
TO READ MORE ABOUT SEPTEMBER 2001, click September 2001.
OCTOBER 2001: Praxe: pronounced "Prah" (as in Probably, PRAH-bub-lee) and "shh" (as in "Shhh! Be quiet!")... PRAH-shh.
Praxe is the Portuguese equivalent of froshing. University life re-starts in October and Braga is bursting with students. Upper-classmen are easily identified by their regulation, flowing black capes and gender-specific bottoms: women wear knee-length black skirts; men, well, the young men proudly wear black knickers and kneesocks.
Freshmen are usually identifiable by something embarrassing: wearing bright blue buckets on their heads as they are marched through downtown Braga louding singing "Somos Caloiros! Somos Caloiros!" (We are Freshmen! We are Freshmen! -- as if there was any doubt) or, perhaps, dressed in matching pyjamas valiantly singing favorite children's songs in the main praça ("I hit the cat with a stick, tra-la-la!" -- which we try to think of as the Portuguese "Three Blind Mice"). Naturally, the freshmen are always accompanied by a group of stern, yet cheerful, black-caped upper-classmen.
And so it goes for the ENTIRE month. Each new day and every stroll through town brings fresh entertainment. The Braga residents love it, stopping everything to crowd the streets and watch Portugal's best and brightest.
TO READ MORE ABOUT OCTOBER 2001, click October 2001.
NOVEMBER 2001: ... Chestnuts roasting on an open fire...
November is all about chestnuts. Or rather "castanhas." Most every corner boasts two or three elderly Portuguese street vendors, well-wrapped and layered against the cold and damp, minding their roasting-barrels and fanning away the smoke. Throughout the city, the air is ever-so-slightly castanha flavored.
...Christmas is coming...
TO READ MORE ABOUT NOVEMBER 2001, click November 2001.
Send an email to Jordan, Debbie, or Austin. Drex doesn't have email.
Visit Austin's livejournal .
Learn about Jordan's family history:
Religious Exiles from Portugal
Learn about Jordan's family history: Religious Exiles from Portugal