I spent February to June 1994 in Brazil, staying with a family distantly related to me, who were supported by the Good Shepherd Trust, a charity which has now disbanded. Andrew and Gaynor’s work involved arranging international adoptions, whilst Andrew was also involved in running a Christian book distribution organisation. They were also responsible for a couple of homes in São Paulo (which are being run by another charity) run for children taken directly off the streets, where they were cared for whilst new parents were found. I spent quite a bit of time in these homes, helping to look after the children (first time I’ve changed a nappy, and I’m not in a hurry to do it again!), but spent most of my time looking after the children that Andrew and Gaynor had adopted, getting up at about 6.15am, but having most of the afternoons to myself, time which I largely spent wandering around Mogi das Cruzes, trying to learn some Portuguese! I also spent a week in Rio de Janeiro with my Mum’s cousin, and a week near the Mato Grosso, with a couple I met on the plane. I was in Brazil when Aryton Senna died, in fact walking past the Interlagos race circuit the day he died. It was as if Royalty had died!
Here are some photos of my defining moments, experiences and impressions of Brazil!
It was a very challenging time in my life, as I had never been away from home before (aside from Guide camps 1/2 hour’s drive from home), had never flown before, didn’t know the language, didn’t know what I was letting myself in for, etc. The first two weeks were a nightmare, and I very much wanted to go home, but I persevered and after it got past the halfway point it was much easier! It certainly made going away to university much easier.
- Jubilee Action: Brazil Community Project /Music School
- Oxfam: Work in Brazil
- Not for Kids: Street Children Take over National Congress, 1995
- Task Brasil: The Abadoned Street Kids of Brazil Trust
- Cross-Cultural Solutions: International Volunteer Programme
- Check Amazon for books on Brazil