Friday, April 5, 2013

North America v. South America

For my first trip outside of North America, I think I did pretty well.  We chose a beautiful location with great people and great food.  Candace and I really tried to immerse ourselves in the Brazilian culture by eating Brazilian food and drinking Brazilian beverages.  We attempted to learn Portuguese, but the differences between Spanish and Portuguese proved to make Portuguese difficult.

I personally battled my OCD, fear of germs, a bad head cold and unexplained facial swelling.  Together we battled differences in what it meant to be on vacation.  Despite these small challenges, I had an amazing trip that I hope I can repeat with my family in the future.  To put it plainly:  I'm in love with Brasil.

The United States is good.  We have a strong infrastructure, clean water, clean streets (for the most part), and democracy.  I don't know much about Brazil's economy or politics, but I do know that after a week in the country, the United States has a much better infrastructure.  Our sewer system is much better: Water in hotels works even though it is raining.  In many ways, the United States is like Brasil:  We have homeless people.  We have good areas of cities and we have bad areas in cities.  Brazilians, however, don't seem to be so stuffy and overworked.  The trip made me thankful for what we have here in the U.S. of A, but also made me realize some changes that would benefit Americans. 

I'm so happy to be back home.  I'm still sick and choosing to see a doctor today (something I was very skeptical of doing while in Brazil).  I missed my kids and Scott terribly and it was so great to see them yesterday.  I'm looking forward to the weekend.  Even though it will be cold, I'll worry about work, we'll spend the weekend doing chores and paying bills, and the closest body of water is a murky lake, I'm relaxed, content, and already planning my next international excursion.

Rio De Janeiro

Sao Paulo

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