Sunday, July 5, 2015

Muito prazer São Paulo

   This is my first visit to South America and I’m so glad São Paulo was my first city.  Its people and its culture, amidst the pollution, poverty, and water crisis, share a mysterious beauty that no other city seems to have mastered.  The buzz of the streets and the winds from the metro have become an integral part of the music of this city.  My experience here has helped me grow into a more appreciative and observant person.  Moreover, I have learned of how the city functions with its every-growing but somehow limiting resources.  And even though the São Paulo struggles with its own problems, she never fails to surprise me with her overpowering love and her ever-growing appreciate of culture. 

   While I did struggle at first with the language, the amount of walking, and the social etiquette of a sweet kiss on the cheek, I quickly was drawn into the Brazilian way of life by my own fascination and curiosity.  Because I am a romantic and I love rain and food in general, this city has treated me very well. From beans and rice to a salad of just lettuce to green oranges, I have grown to love everything edible here.  The Saturday and Sunday morning food truck parks weren't so bad either.  Props to my girl Malika. 

   But the best part: the people here are incredible.  I have found my spirit animal and a sense of family in my mentor and an unconditional love from all of my friends.  My stomach flips over twice and my heart flutters every time I get a congratulatory smile for my rough Portuguese or an invite to a celebration of the end of a good week or even to a celebration of two people’s love.  From weddings, to birthdays, to hang-outs with the people who have, in such a short time, become so important to me, I have made a family here who sees, loves, and almost always makes fun of, a whole new side of me. 

   This experience has, for lack of a better phrase, been a roller coaster ride.  From Fourth of July celebrations in a city that celebrates Japanese culture and tradition to dancing to Jai Ho in a bar with coworkers to 3am bus rides home with the people I've grown to trust, I had the most unforgettable and truly revolutionizing experience.

   While it makes me sad that I've only a month left in this home away from home, I am excited to see what else I can stumble upon during my stay here.  More to come!

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