About Me

My photo
Sao Paulo/ Santos, Brazil
I am participating in a Group Exchange Program sponsored by Rotary International in Sao Paulo/ Santos, Brazil. Follow me as I journey through this beautiful land!

01 June 2009

On the road again....

It has been a few days since my last post. We were attending the District Conference in Lindoia(about 3 1/2 hours from Sao Paulo). This place was very peaceful and a great get-a-way from the hustle and bustle of the busy Sao Paulo. Each year over 2,000 Rotarians from District 4420 descend on this resort city for conference.

We finally met the British Exchange Team(John, Alex, Joe, Jayme, and John-team leader) They were just fantastic! I feel I have made lifelong compadres! We ate, dance, had great conversations, and laid out by the pool together! The Brits are not half bad! ( It´s an inside joke). I have already talked to my husband about planning our trip to Europe next fall.

I must say that the no one parties like the Brazilians! OMG! We literally had some fun event each not of the conference. One night, it was a tribute to the Beatles--there was a great cover band singing all the hits from this unforgettable group. The finale was the Costume party-my team went as USA cheerleaders! Nita, our team leader made the outfits! Check out the pictures.

So, now I am in what is know as ¨ABC¨--Santo Andre, Santo Bernardo, and Santo Caetano. It is very similar to our Ark-la-Tex region. I am at the home of Katia and Douglas and their dog-Kaki. Katia is an english teacher at a Rotary sponsored school and former Economist who gave that up to do what she was most passionate about! Douglas is a Systems Analyst for Volkswagen. They met at Volkswagen when Katia worked there almost 20 years ago! How sweet! They have welcomed me into their home and I am most gracious!

Tonight, we presented at Santo Andre Campestre Rotary Club. The meeting was held at Baby Beef Jardim, the food was excellent!

I am having a great time and have met so many amazing people. I am truly excited about the thought process this trip has started for me! Obrigada--Thais, Monica, Renato, Rafael, Ouichi, Syndney, Valfredo and Nelson for showing me so much love during my time in Sao Paulo! I will never forget you!

As they say here in Brasil, ¨Dorma bem¨--sleep well!

24 May 2009

One week down....

Wow, it has truly been an amazing week! I have met so many wonderful people and had experiences that I will remember for the rest of my life. This week has taught me a lot about others, but much about myself. I am constantly amazed at how life works. It has been my prayer to be international for a long time now.... I know many would say that I am at the beginning of my journey, I agree. But I know that there is a calling on my life to reach many. I embrace this call and pray for the skills necessary to complete my task. I would like to thank my husband, Patrick for his support. None of this would be possible without him! He is definitely my rock.

Last night, we went to a Samba club and boy were the people moving. There was beautiful mix of people of every hue! Several people even thought I was Brazilian!! I love the fact that nationality supersedes ethnicity here! Everyone is one! The music was wonderful and the people dance beautifully!

The week could not have ended on a better note.... My host sister--Monica Geromel(who is drop-dead gorgeous) scheduled an opportunity for me and the rest of my team to have massages this morning! It was just what I needed. Then we were off to Embu, a small city outside of Sao Paulo with great "shoppings"(as the locals say) of native hand-crafted goods. It is autumn here but the weather is perfect.

Tonight, I had the pleasure of having dessert at the home of Renato and Regina Rodrigues(Monica's sister and her husband). Regina works for Visa and Renato is a Policeman who works in Communications. He participated in a Exchange program to America when he was younger. It was a joy to be in their home, which over looks the city. I was treated like royalty and dined on several different desserts. I really like the Ricotta Cake--it was simply delicious! Also, they gave me a gift for being in their home! Can you believe that?

23 May 2009

A picture is worth a thousand words

International Traveler

Well... it has been a busy couple of days and I have not had time to share my travels with you. Since my last post, I have attended several Rotary functions to include a 6th anniversary, club induction, and weekly meeting. I have also visited the following: Sao Paulo Central Market, "Center of Sao Paulo(this is where the city began), 25 de Marche(a locals shopping area), more wonderful Rotary projects and purchased my first pair of Havaianas(very popular flip-flops made in Brasil).

I have also eaten some amazing food! I have tried new things and like many of them. I have decided to share the past couple a days with pictures of my travels.

Bom noite!

19 May 2009

"A mind is a terrible thing to waste"

"It is not enough to have a good mind; the main thing is to use it well."
--Renee Descartes

Today I spent the majority of the day at a Rotary sponsored project, CAAP--Central Support to Professional Learning. It was very informative and spiritually rejuvenating. This project is for teenagers ages 15--17 years old. The determination of these kids to be successful against the odds is truly inspiring!

17 May 2009

My Host Family


India.Arie said it best... "I want to go to place where mountains high enough to echo my song."

Being here in Brazil, even for this short period of time has changed my life forever. For so long, I have wanted to be an international traveler and now I am! Meeting with the Rotary Host Families of Brazil was a most memorable occasion. Everyone is so nice and open! The land is so densely populated. There are people everywhere!

My host family is amazing.! Renato, Monica, and Rafael. I experienced my first churasirra! OMG so much food, I cannot explain. I will not be able to eat for days!! haha.

I am so blessed to have this wonderful opportunity. I am very tired now and must retire. Please stay tune!

15 May 2009


Ok. I think it has finally hit me! I am going to Brazil!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

14 May 2009

Ready, Set,Go!

Well, it is about time! After several months of preparation... my teammates and I will leave on Saturday, May 16 to travel to Sao Paulo and Santos, Brazil! I am so blessed to be a part of the Rotary International Group Study Exchange Team representing District 6190-North Louisiana. This blog will capture what I am fully anticipating will be a life-changing experience.

I would like to say a special thank you to Bruce Willson, Executive Director of United Way for such a wonderful opportunity!