Today I woke up feeling well rested and in disbelief that i was actually in Sao Paulo. I was introduced to a traditional Brazilian breakfast consisting of medium sized loaves of bread (that you eat on your own) with thin slices of cheese and ham. Brazilians also like to eat loads and loads of fresh tropical fruits like guava, melons, bananas, papaya, figs, pineapple and even starfruit. You can also eat sweetbreads like pineapple upside down cake, coffee cake, a sweet pound cake and flan. The meal wouldn’t be complete if you didn’t top it off with a glass of fresh juice or a few glasses of very delicious and concentrated cafe!
If you know me well, then you could probably guess that I am totally in love with what Brazil has to offer for breakfast!
After breakfast we headed to Ibirapuera Park. This massive park was designed by a very famous Brazilian Landscape Architect. (I still need to look up his name). The park is definitely similar to Central Park in New York because it contains many important museums and recreational aspects like trails for biking, walking and running. A handful of us walked around the park and used it as an opportunity to work on our Portuguese! We received many weird looks from some people when they realized we were speaking English and doing our best at not butchering the pronunciation of their everyday phrases like good morning, which is “bem dia” but is pronounced like “bonggg geea”. Portuguese is a very fascinating language and I’m determined to leave Brazil knowing at least very choppy conversational Portuguese!!
We spent the rest of the day with a local graffiti artist who took us to all of these different locations in Sao Paulo that artists use to express their views. I learned that many of these graffiti alleys are extremely difficult to tag because you have to be really good and know the group of people who run they alley. We were able to try our hand at tagging a wall ourselves… it was pretty funny because most of my peers just wrote their names and made flowers or smiley faces; of course we also showed some WSU pride.
It was fascinating for me to look at all of this different graffiti and receive the translations from our guide. Graffiti is used so extensively here to allow the public population to learn about all of the issues or corruption (I’m using this as an all-encompassing word, I’m not saying Brazil is corrupted) that can be found in the city. The graffiti that I saw makes me think that this is an outstanding way for community members to show their activism and commitment to building awareness for others on issues that the public needs to know. It provided me with some affirmation about the community and how community is a common purpose in places all around the world.
It was a really good day truly immersing ourselves into the culture. Every day I feel more comfortable, and it truly helps that Brazilians are extremely warm and welcoming!