Brazilian Experience MAG

By Unknown, Unknown, Unknown

   When I told my friends I was going to Brazil for threeweeks, many questioned why I wanted to go. Some thought Brazil was all rainforestwith few populous cities, others thought there was no cultural background to thecountry. Aside from the fact that I have an aunt in Belo Horizonte, I went toBrazil to experience a different culture and get away from the boredom of thesuburbs. Brazil is a country full of life, from the lush botanical gardens in Riode Janeiro to the very social people, to their favorite sport, soccer.

InRio de Janeiro - one of Brazil's biggest cities - there is a botanical gardenthat covers over 100 acres. Calling it a garden is an understatement; it housesthousands of different plants and animals, all growing with little aid fromhumans. The exquisite gardens are very peaceful.

In the treetops, monkeysand tropical birds screech and hoot to one another. Some of the monkeys were soinquisitive, they followed me around and ate fruit from my hand.

Due tolush vegetation and flowers blooming almost all year round, butterflies andhummingbirds are everywhere. I was wearing a red shirt, and in no time thebutterflies were all over me - I needed help to get them off.

The peopleof Brazil are some of the friendliest I've met. My aunt's friends welcomed mewith such love and cheer-fulness that I felt part of their family. We sharedstories about our countries, and I played soccer until it was dinnertime.

When the food came, I was in heaven. We had a shirasco (barbeque) witheverything from grilled chicken to filet mignon, pork and shish kebabs, and evenchicken hearts, which sounded nauseating, but were so delicious, I ate five.After dinner, my new friends took me to a dance club where I met their friends.The next day they invited me to a professional soccer match.

Brazilianstake their soccer very seriously, watching every game their team plays with somuch enthusiasm and love that their bowls of chips have been known to fly intothe air when their team scores. I went to a match in Belo Horizonte where thehome team was playing their biggest rival. The stadium is the second largest inthe world, and when all 100,000 people are screaming and shouting at once, itsounds more like a train than human beings. The stadium was so packed you couldnot even sit down. There were no real seats, anyway, just large concretesteps.

Whenever the home team was in a good position to score, insanechanting arose from the crowd. When the rival team scored, their little sectionwent into an uproar with a series of unusually violent fights. When the home teamfinally won after a very close game, the whole stadium started to vibrate, witheveryone jumping up and down and screaming. Afterwards, many people drove aroundthe city honking their horns and waving flags until two in the morning. TheBrazilians' love for soccer makes them fanatical about their teams and theircountry.

Going to Brazil was one of the best experiences I could possiblyhave. It is one of those countries which, once you visit, you never forget.

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