As a Maryknoll Lay Missioner you get to experience the wonderful culture of the country you are assigned to. We are especially lucky to experience Carnival in Brazil. The Carnaval Samba competition in São Paulo is an amazing two nights of Colors, Music, Costumes, Floats, and Dancing. More importantly, the festival highlights the incredible energy and creativity of the Brazilian people and culture. Here are some photos that attempts to capture a portion of that energy and creativity. Parabéns São Paulo! Enjoy. Tiago
Maryknoll Lay Missioners have the great opportunity to live and serve in six different countries around the world. The experience allows us to learn about different cultures and people in our host countries. It also teaches us about life-sustaining elements that sometimes can be taken for granted. One of those elements is green space.
When you live in a city and metropolitan area of 22 million people, the noise, concrete, and crowds can sometimes be overwhelming. Its helpful to find a place to escape. Green space in a city such as São Paulo offers that escape. In my opinion, the city here lacks sufficient green space. Fortunately, we have a small park near our apartment that allows us to exercise and escape the hustle and bustle of the sprawling city. It’s also a fun place to people watch!
The park is called Parque da Aclimação and it is about a half mile from our apartment…downhill. It has a small lake, an asphalt walking path, several soccer fields, exercise equipment, and lots of trees. Bikes and skateboards are not allowed making it a great, and safe, place to jog. It even has an area where the park attendants leave papayas and mangos to attract a wide variety of Brazilian birds. The colors of the birds are stunning.
Because the park is in an area with many Asian immigrants, the park is dedicated to the friendship between Brazil and Korean Immigrants. As the US celebrates our own 100 years of the National Park Service testifying to the power and life-sustaining magic of green space, I offer you some pictures of Parque da Aclimação and what green space looks like in Såo Paulo.
The City of Sao Paulo recently cut down a large, old tree sticking out of a sidewalk that is on the way to Portuguese class. Now I’m not sure if you are a tree expert…I’m not…but judging by the size of the trunk, this tree must have been over 100 years old. The tree looked healthy and green and offered me as short moment out of the hot Brazilian sun as I walked under it everyday. So its hard to tell why the city cut it down.
Imagine for a minute what sights and sounds this tree must have witnessed as the city grew up around it. How many Paulistas must have used this tree for shade over the years like I did.
I’m not really sure why I’m sharing this story with you but I felt a certain sadness for the tree and those moments lost forever.