All posts tagged: Brazil

The Old Apartment


São Paulo from above.

São Paulo, Brazil

“So he’s just going to let us in without identification? He’s not gonna think we’re trying to break in or something?” I glance at the stern-looking doorman guarding the apartment building.

Rosa, with the confidence I’ve admired since we became friends on the first day of kindergarten, stares at me. “I’ll just tell him I’m Felipe’s daughter.”

Whitney BrunoThe Old Apartment

Bahia Has Its Jeito: Pt. 2


The moment I succumbed to life in the suburbs for the duration of our two-year stay, my husband’s employers offered us an apartment in the middle of Salvador.  We promptly packed our twelve suitcases and moved to Barra, a neighborhood on the peninsula between the Bay of All Saints and the Atlantic Ocean.  Again, the steep hills and winding sidewalks dotted by sprawling almond trees evoked in me an eerie familiarity.  The main bedroom’s built-in wooden closet smelled musty, old-world, and opening its doors never failed to conjure up my grandmother.

Emma CroweBahia Has Its Jeito: Pt. 2

Bahia Has Its Jeito: Pt. 1


My family and I recently relocated to Brazil, the motherland I left over twenty years ago.  Our reasons for moving were whimsical, devised in the middle of a torturous Wisconsin winter: the lure of adventure, the tropical climate and, our one practical excuse, the opportunity for my husband and daughter to master Portuguese – a language I considered my own.

Emma CroweBahia Has Its Jeito: Pt. 1

Even Here

The wrinkled Brazilian landscape passes below me, brownish green through the haze.  Every so often the disordered mountain ridges grow crisp and straight, in parallel, like ribs.

Then the land flattens, consumed by endless trees to the horizon.  As jungle overtakes the soil, no variety strikes the eye except for rivers:  one, two, three, four, five veins of muddy brown lifeblood, traversing the sleeping green chest of the Amazon.

Beside me sits my traveling companion, my mother, who was born and raised in Brazil.  For the first time in many years we’ve managed to match our schedules to travel here together from the U.S.  She’s eager to show me parts of Brazil I’ve never known.

Above this seemingly interminable forest, who would believe the rate of Brazil’s growth – skyscrapers sprouting, small villages exploding into cities, cars crowding the highways – into the 6th largest economy of the world?

Olivia ZhengEven Here

The Challenge of Life Hill


For two hours we watched storm clouds gather as our speedboat cut through coffee-colored waves on the Içana River.  We beached at the base of a sandy cliff called Paitsidzapani in the Baniwa language, named for a kind of edible frog. Brazilian Portuguese has no word for such herpetological minutiae, so the Baniwa also call the place Serra do Desafio da Vida, or “Challenge of Life Hill.”  Baniwa Indians stop here to partake of its dual enchantments: some stay at the base to gather coal shards endowed with a miraculous capacity to promulgate the eponymous (and by all accounts delectable) frogs. The brave, however, look towards the top, fix their eyes on dry twigs lining the precipice, and climb the steep embankment.

Emma CroweThe Challenge of Life Hill