Saturday morning the sun rose into a clear sky over the beaches of Rio. Packing day. I’ve done some shopping while here, and most of what I purchased is somewhat fragile, and mostly too large and/or too heavy to put in my carry-on, so it took me a long time to get everything packed away safely. Then down to breakfast about 0800. Next, up to the rooftop for some sunshine and final pictures of Rio.
Most of us are leaving today. One left Friday, two leave later this week, and one of our group is staying 2 more weeks for the World Cup, in a town well South of Rio where the winter weather can be really cold. The tournament begins June 12 and lasts for a month. Brazilians are very passionate about soccer and their national team, but as I pointed out a few days ago, people are more reserved usual, or even downright hostile towards the event, due to the corruption and wasted opportunities I have written about previously. On the sidewalks in Rio you can see an outline of the spray painted slogan “FIFA GO HOME”. This is a remarkable sentiment; it would be like going to Disney World and seeing guests with signs reading: “Mickey go home”.
However, as this story in today’s WSJ Magazine shows, there is still a pure passion for soccer in rural Brazil that both strengthens and connects communities.
I’ll miss our study group; we really got along great with each other. I’m sure to be following up with at least three of our group; two are located in Florida (Rachel, at Flagler in St. Augustine, and Mark at Lynn in Boca Raton), and Krista from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA, who is a sociologist; we have a shared interest in corporate governance, social responsibility and ethics (although to be sure, we have different perspectives on the topic), and we expect to share some class materials and research ideas with each other. But every member of the group is a person I would be happy to travel with again. What a delight it will be a few years from now to be at a CIEE seminar in (fill-in-the-blank) and be reunited with one or more of my ‘carioca’ friends.
It is good to be home with Ginny, Kristina, John and Liam (and Charlie, too). My travel home was relatively easy, and I’m sitting in my home office gazing out at the pool and lanai. It is easy to say how large the quantity and how excellent (and intense) the quality of the experiences have been in this seminar, and my entire trip. It will be days or weeks (or maybe longer) before I can really grasp how my experiences in Brazil have changed me and how my life and career will be affected. These are stories to be shared personally, among friends and family. I look forward to those conversations. And I will continue to share updates on all of the Brazil-related stories I’ve been blogging about this week on my twitter feed: @MarcusAIngram. Most of that material is related to higher education, finance and economics, with a splash here and there of sports, religion and politics. And humor!
Thanks for sharing your time with this blog.
Peace be to you,