Brazil: Soccer & Social Change – week one

July 16, 2018

Thursday, July 5th

The clock struck 12 and the sun was was beating us down as the scorching air embraced us like a thick blanket in a cold winter night. The 13 of us piled into a van which would transport us to our final destination, the soccer field. As my knees quivered, and my heart pounded an African beat in my ears, we had arrived in the blink of an eye. The practice had started soon after the Caju team had finished introductions. We had started warming up with open gate, close gate, running exercises. After we had warmed up, as out of breath as I was, I continued to gasp for air during drills. My heart cried a sweaty cry because my stress level increased when our non-English speaking coach told us that we were going to play keep away with the Caju team.

– written by Experimenter Aneisy

Monday, July 9th

Today, my pai had to go to a doctors appointment in Campiñas, about an hour away from Serra Negra. While he was at the doctors, my mai and my two sisters Luisa, Lorena, and I went shopping at the mall. Of course this was fun as I enjoy shopping, but in a way quite stressful as well considering I had to exchange the prices to American prices to make sure I wasn’t spending too much. It was also difficult to communicate with the sales workers, at times by only being able to say “obrigada” and “cinco” when asked how many clothes I would be bringing into the changing room. It was a great day out with my family however, and I didn’t mind the long drive because driving through the streets of São Paulo state is one of my favorite things to do. Once we completed our shopping trip, we went to a buffet where they served all types of food, and I ate mostly steak, sushi, and of course, bread. After dinner, we made our way back to Serra Negra for some dessert, and my family and I shared a giant ice cream sundae. Later on in the evening, my sister and I met up with Aidan, Aneisy, and our friend Lucca who was working at the local park selling Krepes. It was an incredible afternoon and evening.

– written by Experimenter Miranda

Wednesday, July 11

Today, we woke up very early and got on the van to go to Copaiyaba to learn about forest conservation and Brazilian trees. It was very cold, but we were warmed by the sight of Demian and Helena. First, we were given a tour of the facilities, including the walk-in freezer where seeds are stored. Then, we helped separate seeds from two kinds of fruit. One kind we had to stomp on to break the shell and the other we had to pick the seeds out of. As we worked, it warmed up. Then, we went down to a greenhouse to plant seeds in planter boxes. We competed with each other to see who could finish fastest. Then, we went to eat lunch, which was two sandwiches and an apple. The sandwiches were either turkey, veggie, ham, or salami, all with cheese, lettuce, and tomato. Sharon surprised us with a dessert of sprinkle covered chocolate balls. Then, we put on chaps to protect our legs from snakes and went for a walk in the woods. Halfway through, we stopped for a couple minutes just to listen, recording what we heard on clipboards. Then, we left the woods and began planting trees. Almost all of us got muddy doing this, but it was still fun. Then, we went back to the place we ate lunch and got a lecture on the importance of trees in relation to preventing erosion. Finally, we got back on the bus and went home to our host families.

– written by Experimenter Aidan