Halfway through the NWCCI program, Ricardo Guiatoko, an IT student from São Paulo, Brazil, studying at Edmonds Community College, reflects on his first experiences here in the Pacific Northwest.
The first weeks here in Lynnwood were filled with
It was early in the morning, which for college students, means before 11am, and the sun was still rising. We felt so much freedom going down that road with the wind blowing on our faces and the marvelous view of the American-style houses (wide open garden spaces, lots of flowers, cars in the garages, and typical edged roofs). I want to give special attention to the houses and the trees, because they were definitely what made the bike ride worth it. In the city I am from in Brazil, São Paulo, there is not much space for houses, and due to the violence we always have them protected by fences or gates (not so pretty). This also means that we don’t have lots of tall trees and open space for gardens, which here in Lynnwood is very common to see.
After getting to the beach, we gathered everybody to take some pictures. Then we had our first contact with the ferries and the train. It is such a nice view… It truly astonished us. Lynnwood and Edmonds may be small cities, but they have great businesses. So, most of the people in the streets are not residents! We started walking around to get to know the place (we left our bikes at the station), and to our surprise there was a street market, very crowded and kind of big. Most of us have these markets in our own countries, so we were very excited. Lots of hand crafted stuff and seafood were the main goods.
The place was very nice, but nothing that could beat our hunger. We had to find a place to eat, and there were lots of restaurants. As usual, we started to walk around indefinitely so we could figure out a restaurant for everyone, as some of us are vegetarians or cannot eat certain types of meat. We walked a few minutes, away from the main street of restaurants, to find a good place. There it was… we decided to enter in a place where the sandwiches were huge, and I don’t know exactly why (our hunger talked for us, probably). We were so hungry that when we called Osmy for a picture he thought that the food was ready (“Huh? Is it ready? Ah, a picture!”). We spent some time there, as the sandwiches and fries portions were huge.
It was around 2 pm when we finished, and we had plenty of time to explore the place. We went to the rocks to get a better view of the sea and the ferry, talked to strangers (people here in Washington are very kind!) and then went to the port. It was so peaceful it made us want to stay there forever. The blue sea, the fishermen, the afternoon breeze, nice people…perfect, isn’t it?
I wanted to learn more about the place, so I turned on my GPS. I saw a park, Marina Beach Park, and told everyone to go there. After a long 15 minute walk, we were there. It was marvelous. The sun was starting to set and we had an open view of it. We laid on the grass, watching the people playing with their pets, the beach with its calm waters, the blue calm sky. But we had to leave. The bus system here is punctual, so we couldn’t afford to miss it. Well, they couldn’t, because Osmy, Camila, and I still had a daunting task ahead of us. It took 15 minutes for the rest of the group to get home on the bus, and more than an hour for us on our bikes. And I don’t regret it, because again the view was great! If somehow you get to know Lynnwood and Edmonds, take bicycle ride. Don’t waste your time inside a car.