Greetings from São Paulo, Brazil! Woww!! The time is just flying by now. These past two weeks have been amazing and filled with so many wonderful site visits and guest lectures. I am so grateful for all of the wonderful people I have been able to meet from so many different careers.The main emphasis these past few weeks has focused on birthing processes as there is a very high prevalence of c sections here in São Paulo. I was able to hear from both midwives and doctors themselves about their thoughts on the birthing process as they are extremely different.
The second week was primarily focused on HIV and the treatment and counseling services outreach available to those in need. I was able to visit an area in São Paulo where many drug users live. Many NGO's are surrounded around these areas as this is where the greatest needs for their resources is. I was also able to meet a nurse who has worked specifically in this community for 16 years. He spoke about how difficult this job is; yet he described it has his calling to help others and he has no plans of ever finding a different job.
I was also able to meet another community health agent that works in a immigrant community. He, himself is from Bolivia and within the community there are people from all around the world. He strives to unite his community and as a former professional soccer player he chooses to do so through weekly soccer games. It was absolutely amazing to hear all of the great work he does both through the medical prevention and outreach to the true community he strives to maintain. I am continuously so inspired by all of the wonderful narratives of the incredible people I have met throughout this trip. I am truly inspired by their efforts to make such positive change in the world even with the little resources they might have.
Now that the end of the semester is vastly approaching I have spent much time finishing up many papers and presentations which has allowed for some very long days with lots of work. In between all of the work there has been time for some fun too. Last weekend my group had the opportunity to celebrate the birthday of one of people on my trip! :)
brithday em picture
I was also able to go to a soccer game last weekend which was AMAZING! The game ended in a tie but it was absolutely incredible to see such a high level of skill right before eyes. It was so cool to see how much support and livelihood the game of soccer can bring to a crowd and the greater community around the stadium. Soccer truly brings people together and it was so amazing to see this unfold.
Throughout my time here I have been able to spend some time touring the different parts of the city which has been very exciting as well. Brazil specifically São Paulo s known for their bakeries and delicious treats. Brigadeiros are by far my favorite dessert here; they are so good!
street music at market yestersdya!
I was also able to visit Liberdade which is known as JapanTown it was such a great place with so many little markets surrounding the streets. The area was surrounded by wonderful architecture and was beautiful to visit.
pictures from the market
Finally I was able to go to São Paulo, Pride Parade last Sunday. This parade is one of the largest in the world as approximately 4 million people attend each year. It was so amazing to see the incredible support people were able to give to one another. There were also many services present that gave information on services targeted towards the LGBT and gay/lesbian communities. I had a blast! :)
It is so hard to believe that this my 16th week of traveling the world. The time has just flown by; from planes, trains, layovers, hostels to everything in between; my group has been through it all. This program has changed my perspective on the world. This program has opened my eyes to many parts of the world that are never exposed. I am continuously reaffirming my future plan to go into a career in public health. I strive to impact communities in ways that alll of the incredible health agents have been able to. I have exposed to so many disparities that are very shocking both in the US and abroad and I want to make change. My experiences I have had will never be forgettoen. I have made memories and friendships on this trip that will last a lifetime.
"Never believe that a few caring people can't change the worl. For, indeed, that's all who ever have. -Margaret Mead
I am so grateful for all of the incredible support I have recieved throughout my time here. I could not be here without everyones support. I am so thankful for my family and friends that really have continsouly inspired me to step out of my comfort zone to purse a study abroad I would have never imagined going on before. I strive to make positive change in the world and this program has been one of the most inspiring four months of my life.
Happy Mother's Day shoutout to a mother that goes always way and beyond in all that you do. I cannot wait to see you in a week! xoxo
Hillary! :) xoxox
"You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer sprit of hope and achviement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand." -Woodrow Wilson