Slice of Life in Brazil

20 February 2023

Since I was in sixth grade, I have had an interest in Brazil. It was the year we studied South America, and I chose Brazil for the country I wanted to focus on. I had never been there before last week, so when I got the opportunity to go, I jumped at it. As a fascinated tween, I remembered the built-from-scratch capital city of Brasilia, the Amazon, the cattle ranches, the rain forests. (I don’t think the southern cattle ranches had dangerously encroached into the rain forests at that time.)

After 55 years since studying Brazil, last week I helped to lead a Simply the Story workshop in São Paulo with young people from all over Brazil. The people of São Paulo are called Paulistanos. We felt warmly welcomed in this huge city. Here is an elfchen I wrote with Ethical ELA and Margaret Simon on Saturday about the Paulistanos we got to see each day in São Paulo.

Greet kindly
Pursue life audaciously
Drink deeply of Amor

Here are a few photos. But really, where do I start with all the amazing experiences I had?

One of many neighborhood Carnaval celebration.
Barbecued tilapia with rice and tapioca bread.
Do you see the VW in the garage? There were many on the roads, and lots of graffiti. Not too many stray dogs, though.
So many electrical wires!
I love these little bananas.
One of the lanes in the neighborhood where we stayed.
Did you know they eat mashed potatoes on hotdogs in Sao Paulo?
Brigadeiro is a sweet I saw in a few places. A young man made and sold these ones to help him earn support.
Tereré was a very interesting discovery. It has been “a social beverage for centuries…an important ritual signifying trust and communion.” Two of the participants came from the place in Brazil that practices this gentle tradition.

Now, as we look ahead to a daily Slice of Life in March, would you like to continue in April joining us at Ethical ELA for writing poetry during National Poetry Month? Click here to sign up.

Poetry Friday – Brazil Bound

Today is Poetry Friday and Carol Varsalona at Beyond LiteracyLink has the Pre-Valentine roundup complete with lots of love. 

I am on my way to Brazil for a week! I’ll be part of a team leading a storytelling workshop with Simply the Story.

I’ll write poems in Brazil this week! I’m so excited. For now, I’ll finish getting ready for a 24-hour travel day. I’ll arrive on Saturday morning. (Comments coming on some Poetry Friday posts while I’m on my layover in Dallas-Fort Worth.)

In the meantime, here is a poet from Brazil for you to meet. Her name is Paula Valéria Andrade. She made the image below as a participant in a Visual Poetry presentation:

Did you notice “arco-iris” is Portuguese for rainbow. I think it is such a beautiful word.

I used the English translation of her line for my Valentine Golden Shovel:

I am so happy that I get to
know your technicolor self,
all the ins and outs,
the ups and downs, the
colors of pain and sadness,
of joy and gladness–
the whole kaleidoscope! Every
rainbow splurge of love
with splashes of hope.
You are a treasure!

Here are some more of Andrade’s poems in English. Don’t miss the last one called “Farewell,” with these lines:

…then left
my heart
as a used rug
on the floor.