Beach prowlers

Bertioga, a municipality in the state of São Paulo, is a beach town surrounded by lush mountains and low-sitting clouds. (photo by Kat Buchanan)

Bertioga, a municipality in the state of São Paulo, is a beach town surrounded by lush mountains and low-sitting clouds. (photo by Kat Buchanan)

On Sunday morning Brian, Bethany and I woke up before the sun rose and made our way through a series of mishaps to the bus station to travel southeast to a little beach town called Bertioga. Bethany’s story required a trip to the coast and I –– being a first-time photo trip taker –– went along for the ride to see how a story is shaped and contacts are made in a foreign city. We spent a lot of time touring the city with Bethany’s guide Ailton and trying to find surfers for Bethany to talk to about starting her multimedia piece.

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A fisherman gets up from his post at a pastel stand near Bertioga’s ferry. (photo by Kat Buchanan)

A little girl leans out her family's VW bus while parked on the ferry that takes travelers from Bertioga to Guarujá. (photo by Kat Buchanan)

A little girl leans out her family’s VW bus while parked on the ferry that takes travelers from Bertioga to Guarujá. (photo by Kat Buchanan)

The cloud cover over the mountains was absolutely gorgeous, but we were getting antsy with the lack of surfers on Bertioga’s main beach. We decided to take Ailton’s advice and hop on the ferry to get over to this surfer trail through the mountains. The winding path led to a beach in Guarujá that is notorious for surfer camps and communities (perfect, right?). We walked for about 30 minutes through the jungle, listening to the sounds of the birds and bugs and trying our best not to fall flat on our faces on the slick rocks under our aching feet. The trip was worth it tenfold –– we found the surfers that Bethany was looking for, and spent time interviewing various natives about their surf stories.

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Eduardo, a 10-year-old surfer from the hills of Praia Branca, poses between his grandparents’, aunt’s and parents’ homes. Eduardo comes from a family of surfers and is already lining his dresser with trophies and prizes from surf competitions around Brazil. (photo by Kat Buchanan)

We met a lot of friendly faces, walked a lot of miles and got plenty of help from Ailton along the way. I’m excited to see what kind of story Bethany gets from the people on the coast –– I know there are plenty to be told. I will be heading down to the far southern coast of SP tomorrow morning to get to work on my photo story, so check back soon to see how it unfolds.

A balloon salesman waits next to his helium pump in Bertioga. (photo by Kat Buchanan)

A balloon salesman waits next to his helium pump in Bertioga. (photo by Kat Buchanan)

Thanks for looking and giving us feedback. It means a lot.

–– Kat Buchanan

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Wheels

Today, Bethany and I spent some time with the same photo group that she and a few other students met earlier this week –– this time, at a makeshift skate park under a large sheltered walkway. Tons of teenagers, children and adults were wheeling their way around the area, enjoying snacks, stopping to look at artwork, playing ball and lounging around the sheltered area to stay out of the rain.

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Stay tuned. Thanks for reading.
–– Kat Buchanan

Where It’s At

The hostel where we’re staying is a real treat. Pousada dos Franceses is located on a beautiful winding one-way street, surrounded by colorful homes and shops –– and it’s just a quick uphill walk away from Paulista Avenue. The hostel employees are incredibly hospitable and it’s been nice these first few days to be able to chat with other tenants and the various people manning the front desk.

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Kin Wan, a fellow guest at Pousada dos Franceses, traveled to Brazil in 2008 to learn the universally popular style of music bossa nova.

 

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The street view from Pousada dos Franceses’ front door.

 

It’s wonderful to work on our respective stories through our contacts and translators in this environment, and I think I can speak for all of us when I say it’s great to be making progress on our stories down here. For now, my mornings are spent finalizing details and making calls, but soon enough I’ll be posting content from my personal story.

 

A pair of Andrew Dickinson's jeans hang out the window after Wednesday night's big storm.

A pair of Andrew Dickinson’s jeans hang out the window after Wednesday night’s big storm.

 

Nickolai Hammar makes a call to further his progress on his story.

Nickolai Hammar makes a call to further his progress on his story.

 

An empty hanger is strung from the laundry line on a balcony.

An empty hanger is strung from the laundry line on one of Pousada dos Franceses’ many balconies.

 

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A view of the São Paulo skyline as seen from the laundry room.

Through the Car Window

I called up fellow UNL student and Portuguese-speaker Karoline Dassie this morning to get help with translations at the office for an NGO called the Instituto Socioambiental, located a few kilometers from our hostel. We drove over to the office, which turned out to be a very grand, old-style building with a buzz-in gate and international flags on the lawn. Of course, the rain picked up tenfold right as we got through the NGO’s gate, and I stashed my camera under my T-shirt to avoid any damage –– a missed photo opportunity. However, on the way there, I took some photos out the window of the car as we drove down Paulista Avenue (which is, Karoline told Brian and me, the “Times Square of São Paulo”) and the surrounding city. I thought I’d share a few.

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Thanks for reading. Stay tuned.

— Kat Buchanan

Getting here

Welcome to the blog.

Over the next three weeks, 10 photojournalism students will populate this page with content from stories we work on in São Paulo, Brazil. We are all fortunate enough to have this opportunity through the College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and we are led by professor Bruce Thorson and assistant Brian Lehmann. Through an endowment in the college, photojournalism students have, in the past, traveled to Kosovo, South Africa, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, India and, now, Brazil. On this blog you’ll see work from Kat Buchanan, Andrew Dickinson, Kaylee Everly, Nickolai Hammar, Brian Lehmann, Matt Masin, Anna Reed, Bethany Schmidt, Brianna Soukup, Morgan Spiehs, Bruce Thorson and Cara Wilwerding.

We arrived in São Paulo this morning at 8:15 local time – four hours ahead of Nebraska time.

What follows are some gratuitous photos of ourselves and our surroundings taken on the journey from Lincoln to São Paulo. We hope you enjoy the blog and the stories we share on it.

photo by andrew dickinson

photo by andrew dickinson

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photo by matt masin

photo by kat buchanan

photo by kat buchanan

photo by andrew dickinson

photo by andrew dickinson

photo by matt masin

photo by matt masin

photo by andrew dickinson

photo by andrew dickinson

photo by bruce thorson

photo by bruce thorson

photo by andrew dickinson

photo by andrew dickinson

photo by matt masin

photo by matt masin

photo by brian lehmann

photo by brian lehmann