Believe it or not... I did it!!!

by Jocely de Deus Pinheiro


Dear Farm Friends,

People say I’m courageous but I always thought that people exaggerated when making comments about the things I like doing. I usually travel on my own because my friends hardly ever have holidays the same time as I do. Sometimes they1 are on holidays but they don’t have the same interests as I have, so the solution is to go alone. I think it’s quite normal to travel alone even when it means travelling abroad. Well, I travel alone but I never stay alone for a long time. I usually meet other people who are travelling and we end up becoming friends... This is exactly what happened on my last holiday when I went to BONITO-Mato Grosso do Sul/BRAZIL.


After a very tiresome five hour flight to Campo Grande and a six-hour bus journey to BONITO, I finally arrived at the BONITO Youth Hostel. Shortly after I arrived, I met a very nice guy called Heitor. We talked for a while and then I discovered that, like me, he was also a university professor; he taught Computer Science at the Federal University of Alagoas(UFAL), in Maceió/BRAZIL. A couple of minutes later, I met Heitor’s very good friend, a federal police officer called Edmundo, who2was also from Maceió. It was “friendship at first sight”... Heitor, Edmundo, and I really got along well and we stayed together for six lovely days doing all sorts of activities such as snorkelling, trekking, riding bikes, riding squad motorcycles, dancing, going to bars, shopping, sightseeing, and believe it or nor rappelling!!! We were like brothers and sister and the Youth Hostel was our home.







On October 14th, shortly after lunchtime, Heitor, Edmundo and I got a taxi to get to the ANHUMAS ABYSS, an enormous cave of 72m depths with a beautiful transparent blue lake inside it3. Of course we had already done the rappel training the day before on a 12m high platform, but that4 was different from rappelling in a real abyss... Heitor and Edmundo went down the abyss together but I went down on my own... As the abyss revealed its forms, its beautiful rock walls, and the fantastic lake, I got more and more amazed with such beauty. I felt like staying there, hanging on the rappel ropes forever!!! When Heitor, Edmundo and I were already in the abyss, we changed clothes to go snorkelling in the lake. The water was freezing and not even the neoprene clothes I was wearing couldn’t help me keep warm, so I just snorkelled for about 20 minutes. The boys snorkelled longer... Going up the 72m was the hard part but I did it5 in only 20 minutes; the boys took much longer and I felt victorious for doing really well on a sports which is most practised by boys!!!

Now, back home here in Fortaleza, I really miss my lovely friends: I’ll never forget them...


1.       Find synonyms for the following words:

  1. that is not afraid              ___________________________

  2. in/to another country     ____________________________

  3. to have a good relationship  _________________________

  4. general name for a natural rock formation ______________

  5. activity you do in the water__________________________

2.   TRUE or FALSE?

Jocely travels on her own because she likes to.

True        False

It took Jocely 11 hours to get to Bonito.

True        False

Jocely’s new friends were both professors.

True        False

Jocely dated one of the boys.

True        False

Neoprene clothes are clothes to help keep warm.

True        True


3.   What other words/expressions do these words refer to?

a) they1 (paragraph #1) _____________________

b) who2 (paragraph #2) _____________________

c) it3 (paragraph #3) _______________________

d) that4 (paragraph #3) _____________________

e) it5 (paragraph #3) _______________________



4.    Answer the following questions:

a)       How does Jocely react to people’s comments about her life?


b)       What happened to Jocely in Bonito, Mato Grosso do Sul?


c)       Describe Jocely’s feelings when rappelling the ANHUMAS.


d)       What did Jocely and her friends do in Bonito and how did she feel about them (and about the Hostel)?


e)        Describe the RAPPELLING ACTIVITY in the ANHUMAS ABYSS.




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