So here is another one of my ‘travel- stories’. This one is when I, as an 11 year old, went to Brazil for a month without my parents…
Ok, that sounds scary- right, are we trafficed (from Norway to Brazil, obviously)…? The answer is no…
CISV or Chrildrens International Summer Village is probably one of the best ideas in this crazy world of ours. The concept is that children from all over the world at the age of 11/12 meets up somewhere in the world and learns how to interact at an early age. So when I went to Brazil we were four kids from Tromso, one junior leader at the old, old age of 17, and one leader at the staggering age of 28… I do not remember it exactly, but I think there were around 20 nationalities gathered in Londrina for one month.
In addition to staying at a camp where we lived in dorms, we also had two weekends staying at a host family I can remember the first family being quite less fortunate than what I was used to (which is ridicolous, as all the host families have children that have been on a CISV camp, and if you can afford that in Brazil- one is rather well- set…- stupid norwegian girl at the age of 11). But I remember the first family having posters of Ayrton Senna- who had died the same year, and was a brazilian- they were still sad about his death when we were there, he was huge star (and- no, the family I visited had no relation to him other than him being a star)!
Londrina is a small city in Brazil, with only 500 000 inhabitants- for me, coming from a town of 60 000 inhabitants- this was a lot!! We went to some amazing places, among others a forrest where there were monkeys just running around, we went to a football stadium and to a farm where they grew berrys of some sort- just remember we bathed in a swimming pool there. It being 15 degrees c in the middle of winter it is an ok summer in north of Norway, but I would imagine the southern european people being amazed that we bathed (only a thought, don’t have any memory of this) though.
We had special nights where every country were to present themselves, just remeber the Americans had so much stuff for us, tasted cracker jacks for the first time… We had traditional folk suits on (of course not the originale ones, as they are expensive!). And we traded everything with the others, I think I got an Italian folk dress for mine.
Remember the swedes, norwegian and the danish sticking a bit together. And the Americans being soooo cool, and one canadian girl being so ennoying. We even had weddings there- think I got one of the two american boys- the nerdy type… Even think the cool one was named Colin… gosh what one remembers from 17 years back..::)!
We stayed at an all girls school that was closed for winter, but it was cathloic and run by nuns. One night we were awakened by the team of junior leaders that had made an nigtnly actitivty based on groups running in the garden of the school- gosh I was scared, there were bats flying around and the job of the junior leaders was to scare us as much as possible!
Even remeber that the milk they had there were so fat, that we requested them to sift it… spioled brats we were!
This was the year that Brazil won against Italy in the World Cup in USA, we all watched the finale togehter, and I just remember the Italians being so upset when they lost- and the whole of Londrina exploding in fireworks when Brazil won- football truly is a religion over there!
The last part I must emphasize is the different between poor and rich. When we went to this ‘monkey-park’ we were on top of some sort of hill/mountain, and I can recall the sight of one street splitting the city from ‘western’ wealth to what one could describe as a favela, with tin- roofs and horse and carriages. (the poverty is still very present in Brazil, but it is actually one of the up and coming economies of the world, with yearly increases in the last years where the rest of the world have been in a bad recession).
Londrina (which is a string on the name London in Portugese)