I love Brazil. It is a great place for the Olympics. Barring the threat and fear of the Zika virus, the country and its people embody the ideals of the Worlds games. I am glad it’s in Rio. It brings back a lot of great memories for me. I am offended every time I hear someone say something negative about Brazil these days, as if I was from there. My family knows. I can go on for days talking about the place.
I personally think the recent scares about the virus are overly hyped. There has always been something you have to get a shot for, take a pill for when you travel outside your neighborhood (malaria, typhoid, meningitis) So what’s the difference? Mosquitoes suck.
Like South Beach in Miami, it’s a place of beautiful people. I saw and lived around some of the fittest people I have ever seen when I lived in Brasilia. And that was inland. Even the old people I saw then, (now my age) were slimmer than most of my family back home. I loved just about everything except the plane ride there and back. I especially loved the food. Long before we were into organic, it was there. Running along the road for exercise I remember smelling cars that burned alcohol from the sugar cane. It was a little healthier.
Everything is perspective. Visitors to Brazil shouldn’t expect to have air conditioning in every room, their taxi vehicles, and places you may have back home. Just get over it. This time of year was usually pretty mild.
Crime is no joke in Rio but no different than it is in EVERY city in the world where poverty exist. There are some really struggling people too. The main difference I saw though was the attitude. That was contagious. The biggest separation there was in economics. There were two kinds of people, poor people and everyone else.
The country itself is as big as the US. It is diverse with a rich history. I found the people super genuine, and friendly. The ones I met were pro-US but also very proud of their country. The language is beautiful and contains regional accents like you might notice in the US.
I’d still be there now, if I could have found a job that paid in US dollars instead of their currency which has changed a few times in my lifetime. Money has always been a problem there. And I think their politics as well leaves much to be desired. But they are no longer alone in the world with that concern.
I am fan of the beach towns but you would probably find me anywhere except Sao Paulo if I had a choice. That place is too busy. If you like NYC, or San Francisco, you’d be ok though.
In closing, don’t believe all the crap folks are putting out as The Gospel. Brazil is a great place, with great people. And don’t use the hand gesture we use in the United States the means “A-OK” to us. It is a derogatory gesture in Brazil that means, “you’re a butthole”. I found that out on my first day in country at the airport. I was struggling with my luggage and looked lost. I couldn’t read the signs and was confused. A stranger walked up and helped me move my suitcases out of the way to a safe place near the line I needed to be in. With enthusiasm and passion I gave him the thanks man, you’re A-OK with me, sign with my hand. (Right thumb and first finger making a circle)
He immediately dropped by luggage, and said in broken English, “you’re the A@@hole,!” and then made a comment questioning my birth. I think he said something about my mother too. Either way, I knew I had messed up again and had to learn to do better next time.
After my second year there, my Portuguese was good enough to almost get kidnapped but that is another story…
Eu sinto falta de vocês. Espero voltar um dia em breve e mostrar o meu filho alguns lugares. Provavelmente entre as vezes que ele é o treinamento e comer. abraços
*Wishing my friend and Olympic athlete Kim Rhode all the best in the Shooting events. She has won five times already. Hopefully this will be number six.
Rev. Kenn Blanchard is a professional speaker, writer, podcaster, and digital influencer. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook He is the founder of Blanchard.Media and the GunPodcastNetwork.com