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Brazil and the Time Space Continuum

I feel so proud of myself that I still remember how to spell continuum. Yes. Really.

Have I mentioned that I like things to flow smoothly? Or that I like closure? I think I have.

Well, it's true, and if I had my way life would make sense like a movie with a really bomb soundtrack. You would be able to predict the next general plot point, the cinematography would be epic, and everyone would be happy at the end.

But, as much as we try Life continues to refuse our efforts to make it conform to the standards of others. So, even though I would have loved for my time in Brazil to have strung along the same continuum as that of Peru, it did not. It continued to amaze and confuse me. It broke my heart again. It showed me that when people are placed in your heart, they are there for good. 

I haven't been to Brazil for four years, and I was so happy for a chance to get back there and reconnect with some people who are really important to me. I met the kids in Piratininga over 7 years ago, and they have stayed in my heart this whole time. Surprise! Now they are huge. A few years ago they were still kiddos, and now the youngest is 10. In their world being a teenager comes with a lot of isht. They have a mother who struggles with addiction, empty bottles all over the house, a ready availability of things that come in little baggies, and big void where a lot of love should have been. It is both terrifying and hopeful to watch them struggle in their daily life. Some are trying SO hard to cope and others are just looking for whatever makes them feel loved. Oh how I love them. Four years ago loving them meant lots of hugs, drawing things in sidewalk chalk and epic water fights. Now, loving them means sitting around playing cards, taking pictures on each others cell phones, and asking them about their boyfriends and girlfriends. Boyfriends and girlfriends!!! How is that for scary?

When I wasn't catching up with someone I was with my dear friend Flavinha. We are living proof that a language barrier does not exist. While I struggled through my portunol (a mixture of Spanish and Portuguese), she spoke very slowly and expressively. Speaking slowly is a real challenge for her, but we made it work. We used a lot of hand motions, and a lot of sound effects to have REAL conversations about what is going on inside of our lives. It is amazing to have a friend like her.

Brazil is red dirt and green lines of trees, the white cows that watch me on my run, the street graffiti, the tents and people sleeping in the dirt in Sao Paulo. It's the samba beat jumping through your body, hugging my gigantic children, and seeing the green, yellow and blue bandeira spread out in the wind. It turns out that Brazil has a part of my heart too. There is no continuum, only this feeling of "vale la pena"; which means that all of this is worth whatever pain comes along with it. Loving people is worth the pain of saying goodbye to them. Again. It is worth running through Bogota at 2 in the morning to make your connection. It is worth the mosquito bites and the new swear words coming out of their adolescent mouths. It is full of beautiful surprises like a day in the sun and a night at a Bossa Nova concert.

And on the Time Space Continuum, there were these great moments of being right there, 100% with it. Whatever was happening, whether it was happy or sad, I was there, not anywhere else in the world. 


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