Small Towns Pt 2.  

madeinmichigan 41M
39 posts
8/3/2006 9:09 pm

Last Read:
8/4/2006 11:28 am

Small Towns Pt 2.

In my sophomore year in high school, I became motivated to get beyond the city limits of the town I grew up in and to break free from the monotonous weekend rituals associated with being a teen in a small town. I looked into the Rotary Youth Exchange program and signed up to be an exchange student in Brazil for a year. This was very exiting for me at the time and I couldn’t wait to leave, even though I didn’t speak a word of Portuguese.

The entire flight to the small town of Corumba, Brazil took over twenty four hours and five separate plans. This town was in the middle of the Pantanal flood plain on the western border of Brazil with Bolivia. It happens to be the hottest area in all of Brazil, reaching an average daily temperature of 110 degrees F. It was so isolated that there was only two means of transportation out of town, one being the airport of course and the other was a road that was inaccessible during the raining seasons due to the fact that it was covered with water. Even during dry seasons, the road was not a continuous stretch of road; barges would pick vehicles up in some areas and transport them across vast stretches of river and marshland. It was incredible to be in an area where one would see a flock of Macaws fly over head instead of Canadian Geese for a change.

Corumba was a small town for Brazil, but was much larger than my home town. The people were so great. There was an avenue downtown with open-air bars and a dance club. Live bands would be playing acoustic guitar rifts in the bars. Come to think of it, I don’t remember anywhere that I went in Brazil where I didn’t hear some sort of music playing in the distance. Even at parties or BBQs someone would break out a guitar at some point and everyone would sing traditional folk songs.

Soccer of course was huge in Corumba. I was a member of the soccer club and I played both indoor and outdoor soccer. I was outclassed on several occasions. Everyone seems to be born with talent for the game. One interesting experience with soccer was where I played in a four on four soccer tournament. It was held during the raining season so the smaller scale field (smaller than a basketball court) was a mud pit. It was so much fun.

I will write more later about my experiences in Brazil, so much happened that I will not be able to contain everything into a single post. Keep checking back!

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