Tag Archives: salvador

“Be The Change That You Wish to See in the World” – is not just a statement

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Last night I had the honor of sharing my experience in Brazil as a means of paying it forward in my community and here is what I had to say (wanted to share it all with you)….

Every now and then life affords us opportunities that could never possibly be recreated, retold, or even fathomable. And it is when we leave our hearts open that these moments come alive. This is exactly my journey with Red Rocks Community College and US-Brazil Connect.

This experience has proven to me that I am far greater than what I thought possible. It has taken away fears, given me confidence to continue in the direction of my dreams, built my leadership skills, and has continued to show me that in this life, we all NEED to connect with one another.

It has shown me that I can create impacts in the lives of people across the world that will last a lifetime. One of my students expressed to me that I lit the fire in his heart to do greater and bigger things. Another student wrote in a letter to me, that I had given him the courage to go for his dreams and to get himself out of living in a favela. One of the most impactful things that I witnessed was no matter their situation each one of my students ultimately sought out true happiness.

Something that was impossible to deny in Brazil was pure affection, care and love for another, even amongst the most, vast array of beautifully looking people that I have ever seen. I wish that I could count the number of kisses, hugs and moments of compassion that were expressed towards me while I was there. In the United States, we sometimes forget the healing power that this can have on people.

It was also hard to ignore the disparity in quality of life, when Brazil is known as one of the fastest growing economies in the world. This country is growing at the expense of its most important citizens and at the mercy of globalization. It is my generation’s responsibility and the responsibility of Brazilian citizens, which we saw in the protests, to change the way that we think about consumption, success, and profits.

It is impossible to summarize my experience in a short speech so I will leave you with a few key points:

  • always love, always be kind and always be generous
  • don’t ever let your misconceptions get in the way
  • be thoughtful and be mindful
  • truly be that change that you wish to see in the world- it is possible not just a statement
  • never stop observing
  • most importantly never stop learning

I am forever indebted to Red Rocks Community College, US-Brazil Connect, my biggest supporters, the Colorado-Salvador team and most importantly my amazingly, inspiring,  and motivated group of eleven young Brazilian individuals- for this I am truly grateful.

Life is incredibly too short to not seek out your true happiness. Today, I challenge you to do the same.

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“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer”

Every now and then life affords us opportunities that could never possibly be recreated, retold or even fathomable. It is up to us to keep our hearts open to these possibilites and the doors will always be opened. We have to be willing to say yes, to take risks and to step outside of comfort.

I have officially been home for only two days and I still am just beginning to process the past month and its incredible, life changing impacts that it has created in my life. My friends and family are anxious to hear of the experience, but it is true when you hear that the only people that will ever truly understand are the ones that you were fortunate to share the experience with. For this I am grateful.

If I could offer anything that I learned this past month in as little words as possible I would say…..

keep your heart open

travel often and truly as often as possible

don’t ever let your misconceptions get in the way

always love

always learn

don’t ever let your fears get in the way

always remember there is infinite beauty in the world

we are all here to connect with one another

in life true happiness should be of utmost importance

lastly, care and love like Brazilians care and love each other. Be quick to give hugs, kisses, affection and genuine help to those around you. This can heal, connect, grow and fulfill meaning in life.

I will leave you with some of my favorite moments of my journey….

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The US Could Take a Lesson from Brazil

Now being in Brazil for almost three weeks, I have taken in many of the sights, sounds, smells and culture. Brazilians are known for their outgoing personalities and their affection with one another. They are quick to show their care and love for one another and more so, they are quick to help and most of all quick to give.

Since I have been here, I have been showered with food, presents, drawings, movies, clothing, help and love and more. Sitting back and observing my fellow americans with brazilians you can quickly tell the difference who has been acclimated to this type of living. Living to give and love. 

This is not to say that we are not like this in the states however, it seems to me that this type of genuine love and care for one another has dissipated within our culture. It can be difficult to find someone who can find the time to really listen, find the time to show you love when all you may need is a simple hug or someone that will put them self aside to help even though they may not have the moment to do so….. I challenge people that are reading this to show more affection, show more care, show more love, be quick to give and quick to help. I argue that this can only help not hinder the phenomenon of such a immensely connected yet disconnected culture that the United States has become. The US could learn a lesson from Brazil…. thoughts??Image

My first week with my students in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil!

Oi everyone! I apologize that it has taken me a week to get started on the blog. It has been a little hectic, exciting and busy this past week with the protests going on (I will write about this later) and also the intermittent internet connection.

My first week overall has been indescribable, I will do my best to translate it into words.

The first day that we arrived in Salvador we had just a few hours to rest after coming off of traveling for over 24 hours. The flights weren´t terrible, however I was surprised that our 13 hour flight from Miami to Salvador was only a small plane with only six seats across. We travelled on this flight through the night and it was next to impossible to try and get some good rest before landing.

The initial drive to where we are staying in, Patamares, was one of curiosity and excitement. As many of you can relate when you first land in a foreign place having your face peeled to the new world that you get to experience is a unique feeling.

After we were able to rest for a couple of hours we had a meeting at Sesi and Senai which is the school that we are working at in Salvador. Our students were not expecting for us to be there that day and we had the opportunity to run into a few of them. I wish that I could have stopped this moment in time. It was as if I was meeting my best friends or family that I loved so dearly for the very first time. Brazilian culture and the way that they show appreciation and care for others is absolutely beautiful and powerful.

The next morning we awoke early to head to school and the students welcomed all of us with handmade lifesize billboards with our names and beauitfully drawn pictures. Mine was an amazing drawing of Dory and Nemo. They knew that I love this movie and the ocean! They are so attentive. After we were welcomed the students played an hour long concert for us with food and drinks. They adorned us with crazy sunglasses and gifts. After the show, we headed into the auditorium and performed a play filled with humor, Brazilian tradition, and the story of Brazilian colonization. It was one of the most creative plays that I have witnessed. This students are incredibly motivated and talented.

Thursday, we had the day off because there was a holiday and also the protests were starting to begin in Salvador. With the protests it is very difficult for some of the students to get to school since part of the protests involove transporation and the bus system. We were able to go to the Pelorinho, which is the historic center and spend most of the day (I will post some pictures and write about this later too…)

Today is Friday and every Friday our groups are expected to present based on that weeks theme. This weeks theme was building a team. Our team comprised a skit that started with Queens- We Will Rock You then it transitioned into the Macarana! It was so much fun! All of the groups that presented were so creative and had so much fun with being on stage.

That is a very brief overview of what all has happened with my week with the students thus far and I am anxious to share more with everyone. To wrap up I just need to express the true beauty that lies within this culture. It is one that is so diverse in every kind of way however, it seems to me that great divides don´t neccessarily exist. It is an amazing thing to have the opportunity to witness and it makes me question how this type of love and acceptance could transcend many problems that the United States is facing today….

until next time and I promise to write about the protests and our day in the Pelohurino.

Tchau!!

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The Journey Begins… (almost)…

In 8 days, I am officially heading out to spend one month in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil! I am working for the Brazilian Confederation of Industry and US-Brazil Connect, teaching high school students english through a unique immersion program.

During my stay in Brazil, I am going to do my best (internet connection depending) to blog about my experience in Salvador. I invite you to follow me along in my journey.

I am anxious and excited to be exposed to such a colorful and beautiful culture. I am heading into this experience with an open mind and heart and I am absolutely ecstatic to see what is in store. During part of my stay in Salvador one of their biggest festivals, Sao Joao, will be taking place. I am looking forward to sharing this experience with everyone….. I would love any advice or comments that you may have if you have travelled or wish to travel to Brazil or if you have taught english abroad!

Stay tuned……

Here is a photo of my amazing students that I will be working with (missing three in this pic;)….

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