As I began learning about Brazil during the first half of Winter term I was incredibly fearful of the country and our upcoming travels. I thought that I was going to definitely have all of my things stolen and it was likely that I would be abducted and entered into the sex trade. At the very least I was certain that I would be scared throughout our entire travel. How wrong I was…
I never once felt unsafe throughout our travels to and through Brazil. I did as I pleased, was smart while doing it (i.e. go out at night but only bring R$20 and dont bring a camera) and although I may have been stared at more than I was used to (it is cultural for men to stare women down until they can physically no longer see them) I never felt unsafe–even during a police strike in Salvador.
I found almost every single Brazilian that I met to be warm and welcoming and happy to show me their country and culture– even those in the favelas. In no way did anyone want to steel me and enter me into the sex trade. I was very happy about this.
Our class work completely complimented all of the things that we saw and learned in Brazil. We learned about the corruption of the government of Brazil and it was indeed reinforced in talking to Brazilians how truly corrupt their government has been and the large lack of trust that they have in their government. I really can’t say enough about how much our classwork related perfectly and enhanced our experiences during the trip.
I don’t think that I could have loved Brazil term any more than I did. It was wonderful and amazing and taught me to challenge myself and my preconceived notions and I learned so incredibly much. I miss the people at home but not home itself. Even the amenities that we have gone without for 6 weeks have now become seemingly unnecessary. I will be sad to leave this country and its people and I look forward to hopefully returning in June.