Trip to Brazil

When I tell people I am going to Brazil, they always respond with jealous comments about the time I will spend on the beach. Maybe it was my landlocked Midwestern upbringing, or my dangerously pale skin, but I am just not seduced by beach life. Instead, I head straight to the third largest city in Brazil.

Belo Horizonte sits in a valley in the mountains of the Southeast, an 8-hour bus ride North of Rio de Janeiro. This past June and July, I spent two lovely months escaping from the oppressive heat and humidity of central Illinois in Beagá (Portuguese for BH). Winter in Beagá is fantastic—75 or 80 during the day, 50 at night and sunny every day—perfect for Northerners like me and my Canadian husband.

I first went to Beagá in 2003 and fell in love with the giant intersections of downtown, labyrinthine streets of the suburbs, and, most of all, the people. I stayed four months in 2004-05 and discovered mineiros (residents of Minas Gerais state) to contradict the stereotypes assigned them by other Brazilians. My next few blog posts will be dedicated to describing my experiences in Belo Horizonte—if you have any comments or questions, shoot them my way!

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