Our Undiscovered Country

Trip Start Jun 16, 2006
Trip End Aug 15, 2006

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Flag of Brazil  ,
Monday, June 19, 2006

The first thing you`re going to do is accuse me of embellishment. But I swear to Deus that I am telling the truth. Ok, enough with the Mark Twain introduction. Letīs just say I am going to give you a very accurate description of my travels, even if you donīt believe me.

So I have only spent a couple of days now in Brazil, but I remain thoroughly convinced that it is our undiscovered country. South America is truly underappreciated in the world, and Iīm confident that Brazil will be among the key economic players in the 21st century among nations. It has a population of 180 million people, making it the 5th largest country in the world. It has a geographic size comparable to the area of the United States and endless natural resources to boot. You can read in the Economist that it has put up consistent GDP growth rates of 3% a year, not a small figure for a rapidly industrializing large country.

This is not to say that Brazil does not have its fair share of social problems. You could talk about the painfully obvious disparity between the rich and poor--the blatant concentration of wealth in the hands of the few. You could also talk about Brazilīs environmental and health problems (it has one of the larger HIV infected populations in the world). But to be truly fair, you would have to mention Brazilīs progress in the past two decades. Brazil has displayed a commitment to modernization, take for example the fact that it has the largest fleet of ethanol burning vehicles in the world. Talk to most Brazilians, and youīll find that they possess an uncanny optimism about the future that is quite refreshing. These are people who know how to have a good time, whether itīs playing football, going to the beach, or dancing and singing samba. There are more important things in life than worrying about how much money is in your wallet.

Now, Iīm not going to write about what it is like to be an American traveling in the world, because frankly it is so damn cliche. Instead, Iīm going to write about what it is like to be a person who has traveled a great deal before, but who travels to a new place and still encounters new experiences (just as cliche I know).

Alexandro Eder
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fuhrmann on

Guten Tag
I don't know how to say 'Good Day' in Portuguese so German will have to suffice. Sounds as if you are having a good start to your trip, Alexandro. You'll have to describe in your next post the mood of the country. I am interested to know if the people are worked into a fever about the World Cup. You should also provide a small itinerary as so that we should know where all you will be traveling.

I agree with your sentiments as well about the potential of South America. By your accounts, this country should be a world leader in the next few decades.

As to the last topic, perhaps you should focus on the people and not just the details of the trip. Places, buildings, and monuments are static. People, moods, and living conditions are dynamic, hence more interesting and less cliche. Just a suggestion.

Good luck with your trip!


ehamm on

Bom Dia
Hey Playboy,

Gentlemen Indeed. If you weren't a punk you'd be starting this thing from India, but hey, it's ok, bad decisions happen. Seriously, glad to hear you're in Bazil and living it up, and glad to see you writing. Be sure to update me on the crazy stories. Cheers

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