A new, old world

Leaving DIA was simple, arriving in Sao Paulo was difficult. A severe thunderstorm in Houston closed the airport leading to a four hour sit-and-wait at the Austin airport. That delay lead to me missing my connection to Brazil and to spending a night in a Houston hotel. I was given a flight from Houston to Panama to Sao Paulo. I would arrive a day later than expected but at 4:30 a.m.

So as I stared at the seats of an airplane for hours and hours, I wondered what Brazil would have in store for me. Later I would learn how many barriers I had rebuilt in my mind about people since my last escape from the United States.

Flying over Brazil at night there were several super bright epicenters illuminated in the darkness. Then there was Sao Paulo. Probably the biggest city I have ever seen. I have been told by a few that Sao Paulo would be like combining New York City and Los Angeles. Diana drove us to her hometown city from the giant metropolitan area and along the way there were slums (favelas) and people warming themselves near small fires on the roadside. It is the start of winter here and the locals are used to much warmer temperatures. When we arrived in Campina, Diana's city, I was surprised to see the size and scale of it. With a population of nearly two million, it is not a small community by any means. The road system is similar to the States, even more so to the horrid roads in the city of Boulder this time of year. Potholes and speed bumps abound.

After catching up on a bit of sleep, Saturday Diana took me to a park in the heart of the city called Taquaral. It is a park with a dirt path around the lake and a trolley. Various animals and plants thrive there as very athletic Brazilians race around the circuit.

For Mother's Day we traveled back into the heart of the city to visit a craft fair along with one of Diana's brothers. The diversity of this country is something that Americans really only talk about. I have been having to break down stereotypes of what a typical Brazilian should look like. There is not a typical Brazilian. This woman is a Japanese artisan that has lived in Brazil for 40 years. Speaks fairly fluent Portuguese and her native Japanese. She was only the first of many folks that did not fit my cookie-cutter concepts. I am still learning many things about this country and it's people.

More later. Have to run, litter ally. I've been eating way too much bread and cheese. It's a major staple of a meal here.

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