Eu adoro Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

By Brian Harley

  • My Experience
  • Photos

Like some Americans I knew very little about Brazil before actually going there. To be honest I just knew about the beaches, the landmarks, and the world famous city of Rio de Janeiro with its equally famous Carnval celebration. Needless to say my knowledge on this country was greatly limited, but my interest in it was very high.

My experience in the program begins in 2007 when I first heard of Cross-Cultural Solutions (CCS) through my brother who had did a Volunteer Abroad program in South Africa that year. As time went on I started to remember about his time volunteering and the company he went with and checked them out. They had a program in Brazil and I had never been at that point so I made up my mind about where I was going quickly.

Once I finally got to Brazil I was so amazed by its scenic beauty. I finally accomplished a life long dream of coming here. But that feeling of excitement and joy was only multiplied when I actually started to do the volunteer work I had selected to do which was work with the children.

The kids couldn't speak English and I never heard them speak much Portuguese either but they meant the world to me. While they don't know it, they did indeed inspire me quite a bit. They didn't live in a fancy area and were poor which would've been depressing to many, but every single day these children came in with no worries in the world and full of life and energy.

Everyday I was there I was impressed by these children. They truly made my day everyone of the working days I spent in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.

While they couldn't understand me and I couldn't understand them we all bonded. Every morning as I unlocked the door to go into the play area the children would run towards me as if we had known each other for years. They all really made me happy when they started singing Michael Jackson's "Beat it" that I brought in to play on the cd players. I was honored to be there with them.

Maybe they were amazed to see someone as tall as me, maybe they were just happy to see a different face coming to spend time with them. I don't know if I can really answer that question. What I can state is that my thoughts on Brazil have drastically changed. I knew little about before and now I want to know everything and do everything I can to help the people in this beautiful country.

I want to help everyone that I can, especially the children who have carved their own special place in my heart. I am very grateful to have gone to Brazil and more importantly to have spent time amongst the people there young and old.

They all had a significant impact on my life and I thank them all for that. I desire to return and continue my help with the people of Salvador. Muito obrigado.

Additional Info:

Trip Duration: One Month
Country: Brazil
When: August 2009
Travel Provider: Cross-Cultural-Solutions
Volunteer Experience Type: Human Services / Education
Organization: Volunteer Abroad

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