Suginami Aiki Kai Japanese
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Brazil Seminar
Brazil is a very interesting place! We met many people, saw some of the landscape (though not nearly as much as I had hoped), and had lots of intense and good-spirited training. Senseifs seminars were well attended, with 230 participating in the Sao Paulo seminars and another 70-80 or so in the one in Niteroi (just outside Rio).

Dojo people we met were generally wonderful and very helpful. One of Wagner-sanfs students (Satie-san, sansei) served as translator for Sensei, and her husband (Bala-san) did massage for him. During our stay in Sao Paulo, we visited a branch dojo in Sorocaba (about a 2-hour drive). It was a very pleasant place in a smaller city (about 60,000), fairly new dojo and a very well-attended seminar. There was a BBQ in the afternoon when we arrived, a quick visit to the local zoo, seminar that evening, then back to Sao Paulo the next morning.

Our time in Sao Paulo went very quickly, and then it was time to go to Rio (about an hourfs flight). Yokoyama-san returned to Tokyo and Sensei, Peter and I went on to Cabo Frio for 2 days before returning to Rio proper. There was a seminar the evening we arrived, a superb lunch the next day at Fernandofs home (hefs both dojo-cho and a physician), then another seminar that evening. Next day we returned to Rio, and the following morning was the seminar in Niteroi. After lunch, our guides were the dojo-cho and a few students of the branch dojo there. We visited a contemporary art museum, designed by the architect / planner who designed Brasilia, then were on our own for dinner.

Next morning we were met by Mauro and a few of his students who were to be our guides for the day. We went up on the cable car to Sugar Loaf, a mountain of 856 meters, and the views were spectacular! There was a place we could walk some in the jungle / forest below, and enjoyed doing so. After lunch, we returned to the hotel. They met us later for dinner and introduced us to a typical eating / drinking place a couple of blocks down from the hotel, along the beachfront. Next morning we toured the old Casablanca Fort. Then they drove us to the Rio airport, and we began our return.
(written by Susan)

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