Friday, June 20, 2014

Unthinking the idea of comfort zone

This past week has been a whirlwind of amazing. I made a promise to myself to make sure I find a way to un-think the idea of comfort zone. I’ve been making connection after connection and gaining new perspectives on the world around me. I made a lot of great friends that have really helped me do this. One of the more prominent friends I made was Eduado, I honestly think he might be the next Cesar Chavez. He's a 29 year old accountant at Nestle, who is rethinking his life and wants to better understand the world. He put in his one month notice last week. We shared lots of books, ideas, and helped each other process the world we live in. We’ve had lots of great conversations during our guitar jamming sessions about the parallels of race and socioeconomic issues of both of our countries. To compliment our conversations, there was some interesting research presented during a debate on the implementation of an affirmative action like policy at USP: of the 3000 professors at USP less than 20 are “black”. Comparative studies show that in Brazil while socioeconomic status limits one’s mobility, a great influence is one’s perceived race. I say perceived because in Brazil everyone has almost the same mix of “race” in his or her background, and so it just comes down to individual’s complexion, which may be very different from his or her other relatives.

I’m not going to say no to a chance to take in Brazil’s culture through the more cliche approach of tourists going through a museum! It was great time with my Sao Paulo Crusaders. 
I recently turned 21 and so I’m finally legal. I really really really enjoy wine haha. Most of my friends are a little thrown off by this. But it’s okay, I made some new friends that appreciate wine as well. Here’s a great group picture after a long day of wine tasting. A few doctors, dentists, nuclear physicists and then there's me. 
I felt pretty classy in this picture. And so I made it my Facebook picture. 
I’ve played soccer for the longest time in my life and I was so sad when I decided to turn down my offer to go collegiate with the University of Michigan. After my failed attempt at skateboarding with Eduado I played pick-up soccer with some Brazilian about 20 years old. I’m an extremely defensive player but I found a way to two put three pretty sick goals into the back of the net. 

That being said! There’s no way I was not going to support my Nigerian troops in their first game vs. Iran. I went to Curitiba by bus.

The atmosphere was amazing. Honestly, when you take some time to really understand the message of the FIFA World Cup there’s no way you cannot support it. I feel as though it’s one of humanity’s best attempt at peace and love.
“Develop the game, touch the world, and build a better future” – FIFA’s Mission statement 
I met a new friend at the game, Wheezy, who took me to get some Nigerian food that I’ve been craving for the longest haha. And then paid for me! Thanks bro! 
On my bus ride to Curitiba I saw a glimpse of life in the slums and not a surrogate experience. Today, I took a short bus ride 10Km outside of Sao Paulo and explored this area. Does society not realize that anyone can be born into the injustice that we call poverty? 

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