105, 106, 107… another weekend in Povoacao

Day One Hundred and Five (un cestisimo e quinta dia)

Friday (Sexta-feira)

17 Janeiro 2014

Up and at ’em with a 5 mile run. Romeo was originally scheduled for 1.5 miles of this, because I think he likes the short runs. However, about four minutes into the run I almost strangled him with his leash. He was in play-mode (read: wanted to wrestle with my face) before we left and he continued to try to wrestle me while we ran. Not effective. I shortened his leash and we finished his leg (I figured dropping him off early wouldn’t help with all the energy he obviously had). I finished the rest alone and then I was off to the gym with John where we met Ken. We picked four exercises and did 15 reps of each for four rounds:

  • SB knee tuck to push-ups
  • Goblet squats
  • V-ups
  • Chin-ups (I did shoulder push-press instead)

I am lamely completing this push-up challenge. The boys did 50 last night at practice, so I guess that was day 4 for them. Day 4: 60 stability ball knee-tuck to push-ups. After I finished one set of push-ups, Ernesto asked me if I knew what they were called. I really like it when people quiz me on my Portuguese. Well, I really like it when I know the answer. “Flexunge!” I said, cheerily. “And what do you call that?” He pointed at John on the pull-up bar. I had no idea. Honestly, I don’t really remember what he said, except that it also ended in “xunge” (google translate doesn’t know either). We finished with a shoulder-arm circuit, taking turns choosing the exercise.

After we went to Pic-Nic, I went home to make soup. Now that I have been fairly successful in this department, it is my new thing. Sans-recipe, I did a spin-off of my sweet potato/white bean/couve soup. I didn’t have any white beans so I scratched those and added chicken, carrots, and zucchini (zucchini has a permanent place in most meals now). I had left over zucchini and carrot centers from having peeled off most of the outsides for other things. This time I also sauteed the onions and garlic first. I let the veggies boil for about an hour before I added the cooked, cubed, chicken. It was really good.

Lola was having me and Leila, and some of her family, over for dinner so John had some soup before he left for practice. I had nine women in class and I worked out with them.


I ran home to shower and Leila picked me up. We both knew that Lola lived in lomba de batao but not where, so Lola said she would pick us up from the middle of the lomba. As we were sitting and waiting for her, Leila turned her car off. When Lola arrived, Leila’s (new!) Fiat refused to start. Lola’s husband and her cousin’s boyfriend showed up, and Lola’s husband got it to start only when he was rolling it down the lomba. I’m pretty sure her battery was dead, but they didn’t want to mess around. After they got it started, they drove Leila and her car home and then brought her back.

Lola was with Claudia, who’s husband plays for Mira Mar, too (remember that fight John got in at practice a few weeks ago? Yeah. That would have been with Claudia’s husband). I piled into a car with Lola’s brother (who I recognized as one of the Wednesday-night-gymnasium-futsol players… and also happens to be married to one of the new ladies in my class!), Lola, and Claudia and headed for Lola’s.

Alexandra, who I now know is also Lola’s sister-in-law, and Lola’s cousin Telma were already there. Eventually, Leila, Lola’s husband Lino, and Telma’s boyfriend came back and we sat down to eat. Lola cooked but she doesn’t really eat. She made potatoes, pork, and bacalhau (a traditional Azorean cod dish). It was all really good. Leila made brownies and brownie-like-cookies (MUST ask for recipe) for dessert and Lola had a spread of pastries, too. She also made an apple pie with egg and cream that had sort of a custard-taste to it—extremely delicious. Of course I indulged and then they pulled out Texas Hold ‘Em and Lola brought out poker snacks. Potato chips, fritos, corn nuts, whole peanuts, and these tiny little donut looking things that are like graham cracker covered in chocolate. #nomnomnom

I didn’t play Texas Hold ‘Em but I did snack. I also learned two new Portuguese words from my new friend Alexandra (which, in Portuguese, is pronounced a-luh-SHAWN-druh, it is also Lina’s daughter Xana’s [Shawna] full name). They are boofa and peido and they both mean fart. A boofa is like an air-fart and a pedo is a loud fart (what my dad referred to as a “ripper” when I told him). I learned them because apparently someone gave a boofa in my class earlier in the evening. You couldn’t hear it, but you could smell it.

After Mira Mar’s practice ended, Lola’s husband went and picked Claudia’s husband, Berto up. John asked later if he was nice to me (they have since gotten over the disagreement they had at practice—part of the problem is neither one of them speaks the other’s language), and I told him he didn’t even glance at me. I have found this is true of lots of Portuguese men—they stick to their side of the table. Around midnight I could barely keep my eyes open:

22 or 33 

Lola noticed and offered to drive me and Leila home. Boa Noite!!


Day One Hundred and Six (un centisimo e sexta dia)

Saturday (Sabado)

18 Janeiro 2014

I got up and felt like a snail getting ready for my long run (probably all that junk I put in my body the night before!) and eventually headed off for ten miles.


John headed to Pic Nic for the Arsenal(?) game with Ken. When I got home from my run, I quickly showered, ran to Antonio’s for some weekend necessities (bread, cauliflower, oats, and bananas) and met them for a galao. We went home for lunch (leftover soup from the day before) and John and Ken went back to Pic Nic for another game. I took advantage of this quiet time to paint my nails while watching Grey’s Anatomy (which is the only time I watch it). I made gluten-free chocolate chip cookies with oatmeal and peanut butter. I have had a hard time figuring out if oats are really gluten-free, but this recipe claimed they were. Some people with Celiac, like Lina’s niece Julia, can’t have oats.


Although they looked exactly the same when I took them out of the oven as when I put them in, they were delicious.

John came home and we got ready for the Rodizio de Pizza at Toronto Night’s. Lina said she wasn’t expecting many people, and when we arrived we noticed that the (few) tables were especially reserved. We found my table:


Yes, that says “USA LISA”. Ernesto meant to write a “z”, he told me. Although many of the Portuguese people in Povoacao say my name “Leeza”, Ernesto is one of the few that knows my real name.

I was graced with John, Ken, and Marco as seatmates which meant there was lots of talk about soccer, giant muscles, and what makes you sound more gay. The boys had a game the next day, so we didn’t stay for Nights. But that’s cool because:


Half a pizza and two pieces of garlic bread count as one serving of gluten, right?


Day One Hundred and Seven (un cestisimo e setimo dia)

Sunday (Domingo)

19 Janeiro 2014

I got up and dilly dallied for a while until John got up. I walked with Romeo to fill up our water containers and cleaned what I could without being too loud. Once John got up and we had both showered we headed down to Pic-Nic. I had my galao and headed back to the apartment to do some YouTube Yoga and finish the laundry before Pedro picked me up at 2:30pm. The list of things I wanted to do during this quickly-dwindling-time-frame only increased. The next thing I knew it was 2:18pm and Pedro was honking his horn outside! He is never early! I wasn’t even dressed, I hadn’t brushed my teeth, I was just pulling some clothes off the line out back. I filled up my water bottle, grabbed John’s iPad and a pair of flip flops (flip flops?!) and ran for the door. Thank goodness Pedro noticed I didn’t have a coat and made me go back inside, where I also hastily looked for gum to no avail. And back outside I went.

We got to the game early, but Pedro still had to go home and shower so he just dropped me off. Luckily, I saw Serenela and Glebiana (another player’s wife or girlfriend.. but I don’t know which one, she doesn’t speak any English and smokes about 7 cigarettes per game). We sat on the wall behind one of the goals in the sun instead of the seats.


Soon after the game started Marcelo and his girlfriend Andreia showed up and sat with us. Andreia doesn’t speak a lick of English but she is an absolute sweetheart. We watched almost all of the first half from there, until the sun set (my feet were icicles.. flip flops?!), and then we moved to the box seats.


It was a pretty warm day out, and aside from the wind was quite comfortable.

IMG_2746Typical January Azorean weather,

Mira Mar had possession of the ball most of the first half. Of course, as soon as Sao Roque got the ball, they scored. Mira Mar got lucky on a corner kick and tied the game 1-1. John had an incredible opportunity but the goalie saved it. Serenela said to me, “That’s not the really John. The really John would have scored.” because her English isn’t that good.

A few failed opportunities by Mira Mar later, and the game was over. Even though they tied, they played really well and out-possessed Sao Roque. Sao Roque only had two opportunities and happened to score on one. Mira Mar had about a dozen and only scored one. Ce la vie. I learned later that Pauleta (a famous Azorean soccer player) was at the game, because his son was playing. John and Ken were pumped to be able to say they’ve played in front of him.

Ernesto drove me and Zeze home (the guy who flew like a bird when he scored in futsol). I walked Romeo and then shoved two pieces of last night’s cheese-free pizza in my mouth. I was planning to meet John and Ken at Pic Nic (John wanted a Pic Nic burger for dinner) but they arrived when I downing my second piece. We walked over to Pic Nic for beers and burgers and beans (I had green tea). The place was packed when we got there because the Benfica game was on (77th minute) so we stood around awkwardly until the game was over.

When we got home I had my last two pieces of cheese-free pizza and made a sweet potato for dessert. John and Ken watched some English Premier League game on Ken’s laptop until it died, and I gave them mine. I Skyped with my parents about their upcoming trip. They booked a flight that allows no checked bags (I did the same thing for our flight home!) so they won’t be able to bring us as much stuff as we greedily desire. But since we now have limited space to bring stuff home, that’s probably a good thing.



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