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I decided to write this book because I enjoyed my time in Brazil so much that I wanted to share it with others.
When I finished my tour in the Office of the Chief of Naval Personnel, I wanted to get out of the rat race in DC. I requested an assignment as a defense attach.
My detailer gave me three choices for an attach assignment. They were Yugoslavia, Chile, or Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
I was not interested in Yugoslavia, but Chile interested me until I found out two American teenagers had been doused with gasoline and set on fire in Chile during a demonstration. I chose Rio as my first choice.
Prior to going to Brazil, I received a year of Brazilian language class in Washington, DC. My family was living in a home next to my wifes mothers home in Battle Lake, Minnesota, which is a small town in Northern Minnesota.
I lived in Bachelor Officers Quarters (BOQ) in US Naval Activity Anacostia, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, DC.
The BOQ was on the Columbia River, so I decided to try my hand at fishing for catfish. When I caught my first catfish, I filled it and fried it. I tasted awful, so I stopped fishing for catfish.
The Officers Club next to the BOQ had a band every Wednesday night that imitated the Blues Brothers. I had to go early to get a seat at the bar to watch the show. The club was always full for the show. A great time was had by all.
One of my teachers, named Marissa, at the Portuguese language school had red hair and did not look like a Brazilian like the other teachers.
I asked her about it, and she told me she was from a small town in Southern Brazil that was settled in by Germans after the Second World War.
The language instruction included a one-on-one session every day. I was able to request Marissa. She was very patient with me, and I learned to speak Portuguese fairly well.
Once a week, the students and teachers would bring a dish from their native country.
I decided to make bruschetta, a dish of toast with tomatoes and olive oil, which I had learned to make when we were living in Italy.
When I made the toast in the BOQ, I made some smoke, which set off the fire alarm.
We had to evacuate the building until the firemen had arrived by a fire truck to check out the cause of the alarm going off. I did not tell anyone that I caused it making toast.
One the weekends I worked for a local company that took children and teenagers skiing.
We rode from Washington, DC, to a variety of mountains in West Virginia.
I enjoyed skiing with older, better skiers as they did not need a lot of instruction.
I also skied a lot with a CIA agent who had taught the Greek army to ski. He skied on long skis in the Austrian style. I bought some long skis like his, and to this day, they are the only skis I am comfortable with.
Skiing every weekend got me in great shape. I lost a lot of weight, getting down to 180 pounds, which is what I weighed when I graduated from high school.
In order to get around DC, I bought a 1963 Fiat convertible, which was literally falling apart.
I used the garage on the US Naval Activity Anacostia to repair the various wrong things with the car.
I welded a sheet of aluminum to the floor of the car, which had a large hole in it. I also had to repair both front and back bumpers.
The Fiat did not have a heater, so one snowy winter day, I tried to drive it back to Anacostia from language school. I got so cold that I finally drove off the main road in Alexandria, Virginia, toward the Metro Station.
I drove as far as I could and parked the car alongside the street in a snowbank. I walked to the Metro and took it back to Anacostia.
After language school, I attended an attach training at the Defense Intelligence Institute on the US Air Force base next to the Naval Activity.
After I completed language training, I attended defense attach at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).
The DIA is the central producer and manager of foreign military intelligence for the United States.