Monday, June 23, 2014

Because Brasil

When things happen here and I can't understand why, I've adopted thinking "Because Brasil."  Whether it's a bus that says it goes one way so you get on it and it goes to a completely different part of the island, whether it's the bold scent of marijuana as you walk through Lagoa, whether it's dancing samba on cobblestone streets on a sunny Saturday afternoon, whether it's trekking up and down mountains along the coast, it's Because Brasil.  Because Brasil because that's what happens here, and also because it wouldn't be Brasil without these things and many others.

Often, Brasilians and foreigners alike ask why I chose this country to love.  I don't know if it was that much of a choice, Because Brasil seeped into my head years ago and stayed.  Recent events have made me think about it more, so let me back track a little.

Anyone who knows me knows about CISV, an NGO that furthers peace education through cross-cultural friendships (http://cisvusa.org/).  7 summers ago, I went to CISV Summer Camp in Vancouver with delegates from 9 different countries, including Brasil.  The following summer, when an opportunity for Interchange with Brasil arose, I knew I had to go.  From there, my love for CISV and for Brasil has spiraled.  It has led me to study NGOs and Portuguese, and has brought me to this small island in the south of Brasil that continues to shrink...

Saturday night, I went dancing with friends and ended up meeting people from Australia, England, the Nederlands, France, the list goes on.  It just so happens that one of the French guys is the older brother of one of the delegates at my camp in Vancouver.  We met 7 years ago, and somehow his brother and I ended up at the same place in Florianopolis.  Then, one of my CISV friends from USA and one of my best friends from FSU were both at the Alhambra yesterday in Granada, Spain, posting the same pictures.  If CISV doesn't make the world small with these strange coincidences, then I'm not sure what does.

So why do I love Floripa?  Every day here involves a new cultural exchange, a wild adventure, a range of emotions, a great friend.

Because host family
Because friends
Because learning
Because CISV
Because Brasil.

Flowers through fences


Santo Antonio da Lisboa

View of Lagoa and beyond

M-C, Riso, Elizabeth

Lagoinha do Leste

Ana & M-C

M-C & Riso in Beira Mar

Because Brasil.

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