I saw açai hostel and I wanted in, messages were sent and I was on my way, six weeks volunteering in one of the most unique and vibrant cities I’ve been. The city of Salvador has the most preserved African culture outside of Africa itself, it’s loud, messy and a little bit intimidating but I was in absolute awe. I did very little research before arriving other than seeing how much fun the hostel was and reading that it was in fact one of the most dangerous cities in Brazil…comforting. That said, I can safely say that although I saw people chasing after others with machetes, heard countless stories of guns being pulled, and had someone from the hostel robbed or scammed pretty much everyday, I didn’t experience any of this. If you ignore the time a waiter chased me down the street and threw my clearly unappreciated tip at me. Tuesday nights were when Salvador really came alive, in the winding cobbled streets of the Pelourinho it all happened, samba in the streets, Capoeira martial artists and Olodum drummers perform. Although my coordination or lack there of didn’t allow for it, there were people from everywhere following the drums as they wound through the streets into the large squares following on with the set moves from the band, the atmosphere is something that has to be experienced to actually be believed. Samba can only be followed by one thing and that is caipirinha’s and a authentic samba bar conveniently located right across the street from the hostel.Six weeks flew by and before i knew it I was into my last week.To be fair, I don’t really do all I should of in this unreal city, like see the main church or pick up as much Portuguese as I should of, and by that I mean I could get a pineapple juice and that was pretty much it. I did have a ton of fun and experience a very different culture and traditions and see some killer Salvador sunsets.


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