BRAZZIL - News from Brazil cover
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JULY  2003 CONTENTS:
 

 

Brazilian Music: Minimalist Luciana
Luciana Souza has miraculously managed to elude the trap that besets so many of her fellow culture-crossing artists. Singing in English she manages a neutral accent that allows the songs to shine unmolested. A key ingredient in the formula is the singer's absolute restraint at all times.
by Daniella Thompson

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Brazil: Indians Unhappy with Lula
Indigenous peoples and their allies want indigenous policy of the Lula administration to be defined. They are promoting meetings to debate alternatives and strategies and join forces to pressure the government to take urgent and effective measures to change the present situation of violence and instability.
by Cimi

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Sweets, the Brazilian Way
According to Yahoo! Brasil, the Brazilian creme de leite craze is catching on outside of Brazil too. In 2001, the quantity exported was a little over 271 kilos. In 2002, the number went up to over 65.7 tons! Now, that is a substantial increase! If you bought stock, you are lucky.
by Monica Trentini

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Brazil and IMF: Eyeballing Each Other
The Brazilian government and the IMF have not yet discussed the possibility of a renewal of their agreement, which expires in December. It's doubtful that Brazil will commit to a continuing primary surplus of the magnitude it is now amid clamors for more action on social problems and stimuli to the economy.
by Richard Hayes

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Brazilian Beer: This Xingu is for You!
Excellent beers come to Brazil from different countries including Germany and England, but Brazilians also produce their own good stuff. One of the best is Cerpa. When in Brazil, uma gelada, belezola, breja, cerva, um chopinho and loira gelada are all ways to say you want a "stupidly" cold one.
by Monica Trentini

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Brazil: Ary Barroso's Unknown Album
Researcher Omar Jubran has been working on the Ary Barroso project for about ten years now. However, securing a release for the projected 20-CD collection isn't so simple, as sponsorship has yet to be found, notwithstanding Ary Barroso's centennial, which occurs this year.
by Daniella Thompson

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Trying to Halt Brazil
Let us hope this display of bullying by the joint blue and white collar sectors continues. This will show the lengths to which some people will go to look after themselves, regardless of the common good. The judges threat to strike is a serious challenge to democracy and an intolerable abuse of power.
by John Fitzpatrick

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FTAA: Brazil's Poison Pill - Final Part
The successful policy against AIDS implemented in Brazil will be put in jeopardy if the country adopts stringent intellectual property rules in any FTAA negotiations. The Brazilian government should analyze carefully the trade-offs of this deal in order to avoid the mistake of trading export dollars for lives.
by Andrea Garrafa Gouveia

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FTAA: Brazil's Poison Pill - Part 3
The Brazilian initiative to distribute AIDS drugs caused negative reactions among the international scientific community. If not properly administered the drugs could generate mutant forms of virus. Those fears, however, proved to be unfounded. Poor countries can also fight AIDS effectively.
by Andrea Garrafa Gouveia

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FTAA: Brazil's Poison Pill - Part 2
Pharmaceutical companies have been criticized, in particular by developing and less developed countries, who claim the need for cheaper medicines to treat their vast portion of population that suffer from serious disease and who, due to poor economic conditions, cannot afford the pricey medicines.
by Andrea Garrafa Gouveia

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Brazil: History and Emotion
Pittsburgh on the day of a Steelers Super Bowl can't compare. Nothing in the U.S. can compare, either to the totality of the response to soccer all over the country or its intensity, even on the part of people who purport not to care. For the World Cup, Brazilians are reborn as a people, and then they recreate themselves as a nation.
by Terry Caesar

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FTAA: Brazil's Poison Pill - Part 1
Will the AIDS case in Brazil be worsened if the FTAA is established? The US wants to see Brazil strengthening Intellectual Property Rights. Brazil is asking itself though if it is worth to sacrifice lives through the compromising of its AIDS program, in order to enhance agricultural exports.
by Andrea Garrafa Gouveia

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Brazil: Fun Around the Fire
Festas juninas were brought to Brazil by Portuguese and Spanish settlers celebrating the harvest and their favorite saints. The cool June weather calls for bonfires. People will eat special sweets and drink quentão, dress up like country bumpkins and play typical games and win prizes.
by Monica Trentini

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Brazil? Which Brazil?
Brazil has several ethnicities and they are as complex, contradictory, and creative as Brazilians themselves. Brazil received influence from West Africa as well as from Amerindian and European cultures that have converged and adapted into a unique ethnic, religious and cultural syncretism.
by Alan P. Marcus

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Mato Grosso: Work of a Weary God
Mato Grosso! Brazil's vast savannah is not nearly as famous as the Amazon, so not nearly as visually available in countless nature films. Remoteness excites me. This land excites me. The horizon is so limitless, that Mato Grosso ("thick forest") becomes one of those areas of earth that presents itself less as a sight than as a vision.
by Terry Caesar

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Curitiba: The Real and the Fairy Tale
Curitiba has enjoyed an international reputation as Brazil's point city for the twenty-first century. Its bus system is celebrated, its ecological awareness much-publicized, and a number of its progressive social policies have been widely imitated. The city has now parks honoring immigrant groups such as the Japanese or the Poles.
by Terry Caesar

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Brazil's Latest Landless: The Indians
Federal Police officers helped by three army helicopters removed some 700 Indians from a Bahia indigenous land they had taken three years ago. The indigenous people—many of them were small children—were put in plastic tents by a road where they were left without any assistance.
by Cimi

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How I Taught English in Brazil and Survived to Tell the Story: Lesson 3
Many newcomers to Brazil are completely unaware of the so-called service and use hidden charges. You will become an expert on them, I assure you, once you have been a frequent utility, telephone and computer user. Your lifestyle may need to be "readjusted" as a result of them as well.
by Joe Lopes

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How About Some Portuguese?
Even the basic verb to be can be difficult for someone learning Portuguese since there are two forms of the verb in Portuguese. But, the biggest problem you will probably have is the notion of masculine and feminine nouns. 'It' unfortunately does not exist in Portuguese. People, things and animals are either 'ele' or 'ela'.
by Prof. Rose

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Brazil: Why Is Everyone Partying?
A party happens on a birthday, or a wedding. I loathe parties. I can't see the point of getting drunk with strangers. Today lawyers went wild and even the grannies and kids started dancing. The waiters stared. Twenty years of catering and they'd never seen a large drunk gringo howling.
by Peter Beresford

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The Brazilian Experience
Since 1990, Brazil has been made into a laboratory for disastrous economic recipes that hurt its productive capacity and increased its external vulnerability. An end must be put to international financial anarchy. It is essential to do away with the protectionism that marginalizes poor countries.
by Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva

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Brazil's Lord Protector
There is no discussion in which Brazil's Chief of Staff José Dirceu does not give the final word. It seems like he is the one in power. Unlike in England, though, he exercises it on behalf of the king—sorry, Lula. His attitude increasingly resembles that of Cromwell, as he ties together the political and administrative controls of the State.
by Carlos Chagas

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TV Killed the Movies in Brazil
Cinema revenues have been vastly reduced over the last half-century as Brazil's cinemas have been suffocated by TV. As the television industry has grown, many people have opted to stay at home in front of 'the box' rather than going out to a film. The failure of television to purchase movies has also proved disastrous for the film industry.
by Tom Phillips

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Brazil and the Yankee Way of Being Black
In Brazil, race and class interact to create a highly stratified society where most people of color are poor, and most middle class and wealthy are "white." To view this situation through the US lens of racial categories and racial purity is not only intellectual dishonesty, but smacks of colonialism.
by Francis Wardle

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Amazon: A Record to Be Ashamed of
Producers from the south have invaded the city of Belém, state of Pará, buying all the available land. All of this is happening without any study to identify the economic potential of the region. The richness of the Amazons is in the forest. Great part of the soil of the region is uncultivable.
by Adital

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Out to the Ball Game, in Brazil
If one of our players makes a mistake he's an asshole. If a referee makes a call favorable to the other side, he's a son of a bitch. If one of their players fouls ours, he's a motherfucker. Not even at the most rabid American football game I've attended have I heard so much cursing. We feel more ourselves. We feel like men.
by Terry Caesar

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Rio: Funking Away in City of God
The funk ball is on in Cidade de Deus tonight. "We're not going in there, are we?" our taxi driver enquires pleadingly. We are escorted into a world that reminds me of a Terminator film. The ever-so-cheap Colt AR-5 seems to be favored here. I wish I had my I-Spy Book of Firearms with me.
by David Alexander Robert

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Lula: Tree-Hugger He Isn't
Is Lula becoming the nightmare of ecologists? In a visit to the Amazon, the Brazilian President lamented how the Amazon has not received investments over the years in the name of preservation. He made fun of ecologists saying that the Amazon is not something untouchable or from another world.
by Rodolf Salm

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Women for Sale. Made in Brazil.
Human trafficking is the utter objectification of human beings. Brazilians are preferred in Spain, Italy, and Switzerland; Germans, however, prefer Venezuelans. Women are transformed into an identifiable object, like a brand of beer, which can be chosen according to the tastes of the customer.
by Adital

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In Brazil, Gossip Is News, Too
A royal horse in Spain condemns Lula's bad manners by doing its business in front of the President's ministers. TV tycoon Sílvio Santos "jokes" that he only has a few months to live and thinks this is funny. And Mick Jagger wishes he had not had an affair with leggy Brazilian model Luciana Gimenez.
by John Fitzpatrick

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Madame Satã: Driven by Rage
In Madame Satã, Brazilian director Karim Aïnouz invites the audience to be a fly on the wall of the underbelly of the bohemian Lapa district of Rio in the 1930s, and into the very masculine world of the movie's main character. The sex in Madame Satã resembles x-rated versions of Wild Kingdom.
by Mary Beth Barber

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Brazil: Churrasco Is No Barbecue
Churrasco is a culinary tradition in Brazil. It is composed mainly of top quality meats with very few extras. Churrascos can start anytime and go on into the night. After a successful churrasco, no one will even eat a cookie. You'll learn here how to make it, how to find it and how to eat it.
by Monica Trentini

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Lula, Left of the Third Way
American influence in Brazil has been massive. Brazilian president recent trip to Europe was a way to counterbalance this influence. At the Progressive Governance Summit in London, Brazil, Chile and Argentina announced they would present a united front at the next WTO meeting.

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Lounging to the Sounds of Brazil
Bossa Nova Lounge, a two-part collection is a selection of rare tracks with songs that most people would be unfamiliar with. Serious fans will appreciate the presence of many hard-to-find tracks from long-deleted albums. The casual listener will enjoy its varied blend of songs.
by Ernest Barteldes

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Brazil: Misery and Hope Unite Twin Cities
Guaribas in Piauí became known when it was transformed into the showcase town where the Zero Hunger program was inaugurated a few months ago. Guaribas in Pernambuco, is a Quilombo, a settlement originally populated by runaway slaves. Their descendants heard that the Zero Hunger program will assist them too.
by Xico Sá

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Watching the Titanic Sink in Brazil
There are few nursing homes in Brazil, due to the fact that the entire social service structure of the country—from its public hospitals to its government-sponsored welfare—is so rudimentary. There's no outside to the family. Both young and old belong to you and the end of life is more hopeless than the beginning.
by Terry Caesar

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Brazil's Vik Muniz: You Can't Pin Him Down
Worst Possible Illusion, a documentary on Brazilian artist Vik Muniz, takes us on a whimsical world-hopping journey. We watch him construct dazzling works of art that fool the eye. His photos test our notion of the representation of reality commonly associated with photography.
by Abbe Harris

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Déjà Vu: Lula da Silva Quadros
Six months ago, who would be deranged enough to predict that public servants would be rallying in the streets, that the Judiciary would rise up against the Executive? Or anyone daring to imagine Lula's party trying to expel legislators for remaining faithful to the party's agenda? Public works stopped? Social programs immobilized?
by Carlos Chagas

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In Brazil, the One-Tongued Is King
Never in the whole history of the Brazilian Republic has a President uttered so much nonsense in just six months. What we have now is a President who is proud to display his lack of culture, a President who flaunts his monoglotism and brags about not needing to speak any English in order to be respected abroad.
by Janer Cristaldo

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Lula's Credit Rating Downgraded
In the next few weeks, we should see whether Lula's government has the political strength and/or guts to make its pension reform proposals stick, or whether it will give up further ground. The stakes are high, and Lula has much to lose in terms of credibility. His government is not in control.
by John Fitzpatrick

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Brazilian Media: Smoke and Mirrors
Lula's cap crisis was just a piece of clothing that was converted into a political message because we are deeply inserted into a self-feeding circuit where everything is fragmented and reduced to signs. The media needs them to lend meaning to the information, and the producers of information needs them in order to be understood.
by Alberto Dines

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Brazil: The IMF Is Running the Show
Brazil was put on a standstill in order to achieve and even expand this bogus and obscene basic surplus, which is neither basic nor a surplus because the country remains in the red, sending the largest chunk of our wealth abroad. All this in detriment of the biggest part of the investments necessary to resume economic development.
by Carlos Chagas

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Brazil's Lula: Advising the World
In his three-day visit to London, Brazil's Lula criticized the US and the way business is done at the UN, pledged support for Africa and asked for a new world pact for peace. He also repeated pledges to fight corruption, poverty and unemployment in Brazil, through his Zero Hunger and First Job programs.
by Tom Phillips

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The Princess Goes to Rio's City of God
Bonds deepen between the Princess and the attentive angels, for despite the fact that their social backgrounds are worlds apart, they all bravely overcome the same obstacles. Paola gains yet more respect when she informs the group that she would never rely on merely modeling to secure her future.
by David Alexander Carvalho

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Confederates Find a Home - II
Ozell was the only member of the Oliver family ever to return to Alabama. After his ambassadorial stint in Rio, Henry Hilberton re-started his law practice in Montgomery. He began to write to Southern émigrés in Brazil, telling them that things were better without high taxes and recriminations from Washington.
by Carlton Jackson

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Brazil: The High Cost of Illiteracy
It is necessary to stop boasting about the shame, bragging that 95 percent of Brazilian children are in school, instead of apologizing because, five percent of our children have never attended school. We have no right to manipulate the data to give the impression that things are going well.
by Cristovam Buarque

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A Trap for Lula
London's brightest and best are trying to redeem their fallen idol, Blair, by crowning Lula as the head of an absurd derivation: the "New PT (Workers Party)". In Brazil, the appellation exudes the distinctive smell of a set-up. Lula has too much work at home to be the European court jester.
by Norman Madarasz

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Lula's Road Is Paved with Good Intentions
The action by Brazilian Finance Minister and Central Bank President is about the only positive thing that can be said about Lula's government so far. Joblessness increased, Zero Hunger is a farce, tax receipts have fallen and the pension reform bill will soon be mutilated. The populace is becoming restless.
by Richard Hayes

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Brazil Cinema: The Best Shots
In Premiere Brazil, MoMA introduces the first of what will be an annual film presentation whose title is drawn from a sidebar of the Rio festival that presents the most original and accomplished new films from a country that is becoming as well known for its accomplishments on the screen as on the soccer field.

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Piranha: Deadly and Delicious
The Amazon is filled with danger. Soldier ants march by the millions devouring all life in their path. Crocodiles lie in wait for the unwary, the Anaconda uses heat-seeking guidance to find its next meal. But none of these carry the fearsome mystique of the voracious piranha.
by Larry M. Lynch

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Brazil: Portrait of a Paulista Family
What I can imagine is the terror of living in a country where you can't trust the police, for whom the laws are even more a function of individual whim as of enforcement. From the predatory policemen to the city officials to the school that won't pay salaries on time, an individual just can't fight.
by Terry Caesar

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The Unique "Brazilianness" of Brazilians
The rampant and gross indifference to the separation of the various populations of Latin America in the United States and elsewhere is interesting. In countries where populations of European ancestry exist these populations make sure their differences are clearly known, loud and distinct.
by Alan P. Marcus

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Brazilian Bits and Pieces
Too much fuss about Lula putting on a baseball cap bearing the Landless Movement's logo. The last gimmick on the catwalks is having models wear the bikini top as a bottom and the bottom as top. And a pleasant development: females blowing whistles and flashing cards at football's naughty boys.
by John Fitzpatrick

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Brazil: How to Shop for Food
It is not easy to find products at Brazilian supermarkets. There are so many isles, and they are not clearly labeled. I often find myself walking up and down them searching for what I need. In the meat section, you will be overwhelmed with choices. But I have experienced most disappointment in the cereal isle.
by Monica Trentini

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Herbie Mann: Brazil Was Home Too
Herbie Mann became one of the first American jazz artists to record bossa nova. In the album Do The Bossa Nova With Herbie Mann, he featured a novice Brazilian composer named Antonio Carlos Jobim. In his later years, Mann returned to his first loves, Brazil and bop, for his musical grounding.
by Joe Lopes

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Who Is Killing Brazil's Leaders?
If you do like conspiracy theories and unsolved mysteries, then Brazil is the country for you. On the other hand if you are one of those Arthur Koestler types who believe in coincidence, then there are coincidences galore as well. Check our Brazilian list and send your theories or conspiracy speculations.
by John Fitzpatrick

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Brazil: A Family for Each Street Kid
British Mick Pease is pushing the boundaries of childcare in Brazil. Says he, "The childcare system in Brazil has such enormous problems. There are children on the streets as young as 5, 6 and 7. Fostering is no utopia but it's far better than institutions with 50 or 100 kids."
by Tom Phillips

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Brazil: How to Kill a Landless
There have been frequent episodes when Brazilian estate owners used terrorist methods against the Landless Movement (MST). In 1998, they sprayed poison on an MST encampment. Two years later, the land owners poisoned the water, putting at risk the lives of hundreds of people.

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Brazil: US Confederates Find a Home
The Stanleys departed for Brazil on the rainy morning of April 6, 1876. They left behind them the bitterness of the Civil War and the reconstruction. "God bless Dom Pedro," major Butler exclaimed. "He's become the salvation for many of us—allowing us to get away from the dictatorial government at Washington City."
by Carlton Jackson

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Brazil and US: The Black-White Divide
When Americans are confronted with the existence of differential treatment of Brazilians by color, many turn to the US "black"/"white" model and suggest that this mode is the "best" solution for Brazil. Why bifurcate a population into "black" and "white" to ensure social justice?
by William Javier Nelson

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Brazil's Fundo de Quintal: Scene and Variation
Fundo de Quintal brought a new public to the samba and inspired a generation of sambistas. Their sound has emanated beyond Rio to the U.S. and Europe. They earned numerous gold and platinum records along with ten Sharp awards as the best samba band in Brazil. Soon they will be here in the U.S.
by Bruce Gilman

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Brazil's Smooth Observer
André Vasconcellos's Observatório is a fresh album, which should have a certain amount of cross-over appeal and one which should appeal to the smooth jazz and fusion fans as opposed to the die-hard contemporaries. When André plays each track is often like a journey.
by Wes Gillespie

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Brazil, Through a Kid's Eyes
As the years went by, my longing to see all things Brazilian secretly grew. I studied as much as I could about Brazilian culture. I studied about the place I saw but never really knew. I haven't found all the answers, but I'm fine with that. For me, the journey is more important than the destination.
by Adam Lee

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Sex in Brazil: We Don't Have This in Toledo
Why so many Anglo-American men consider Brazilians to be "so hot" and sexually active? These are guys who probably never let their hair down. Suddenly, pretty prostitutes are draping themselves all over them offering sex for less than two hours' wages back home.
by Thaddeus Blanchette

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Broken Kaleidoscope (In Portuguese)
The first Ana opened the swollen eyes. It was a new day. She opened her arms in an attempt not to bring to mind so much absence, filled up all the space on the mattress and for a moment felt a sense of wholeness. The door opened. She close her eyes while her heart pounded strongly as she pretended to be sleeping.
by Luciene Pinheiro

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