The world famous carnival plays an important role for the Brazilian population. Photo: humedica
Short stories from Brazil
For one year now Rebecca Groß, the daughter of humedica managing director Wolfgang Groß has lived in the Brazilian town Nova Friburgo, in order to work for the big children’s day care center there and for the linked humedica family sponsorship program. And even if the everyday working routine takes most of her time, in her free time she has learned to know the country and its inhabitants much better.
In the last weeks, two experiences have especially impressed her: the famous Brazilian carnival and a trip into the green countryside of South America.
Carnival in Brazil
“During the last weeks, there has been only one important topic with eight letters: carnival. And finally, I have been there live. The world famous Brazilian carnival is exactly as we imagine it. Loud and full of colors. Those who don’t have the possibility of going to the great parades in Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paolo personally, watch the spectacle on TV. On the parades different Samba schools present all their skills and the craziest costumes one could imagine.
In the evening of the great parade, around midnight, we met around the TV in the living room of my guest family. After a while, I could understand why the participating dancing schools had trained for year just for this day: Each Samba school had an hour and a half to present itself.
And as the end has still not arrived at two o’clock in the morning, I went to bed. My guest father, who each year has undertaken to watch the whole parade, had already fallen asleep on the sofa.
Of course also at Nova Friburgo, my living place and location of the humedica children’s day care center, there were different carnival parades. However, unlike the spectacle in Rio, these are not much different to a German parade. Finally, I was glad when everything went quiet again and the normal everyday life came back after the carnival.
Trip into the countryside
In order to get some change from the working life in Nova Friburgo, from time to time we make a trip to a small village outside the city, where the parents of my guest mother, Magali live. The small village makes me think a lot of the small village in Sri Lanka, where my own grandmother lives.
Because here, too, there is nothing else but mountains, plants, some small houses and a tiny food store. Not to mention any internet connections. A circumstance, which quickly makes you forget the stress at work.
Our last visit led us to a friend of Magali’s father Pietro, in order to harvest the so-called manioc roots. Manioc is a vegetable which looks like a potato and which is eaten fried or boiled. But before we could even start across country, we had to push Pietro’s car three times to be able to move at all. Arriving at the befriended farmer, we shortly visited his land and learned to know his family.
To arrive at the manioc roots, we had to walk a short distance through the bordering land. Right of the path there were cows grazing and left of it there was a steep slope going down at least five meters. So you had to take care where to put your feet. The landscape resembled the deep green cow paddocks in Allgäu, without the sound of the bells on the cows’ necks.
Arriving at the manioc plantation, we enjoyed a wonderful view of the small village we had just come from and I heard Pietro tell his wife: “Look at this view. Let us move here and plant manioc roots, too.” But his wife, who was still breathing hard of the ascent, only answered: “You crazy old man, now you’ve lost your brains.” I had to laugh and, once more, I was glad to be able to call Brazil my second home.”
For many people in Brazil the world famous carnival and the impressing nature are just one side of the medal. On the other side, there is structural poverty and the hard struggle for work and prospects. At the project location Nova Friburgo humedica has been committed to the directed sponsorship and support of needy children and their families.
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