Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Blue Skies and Better Days - São Paulo

Yesterday, at the moment of the protest start in Largo da Batata, this was the sky over my head at the club, 2 kilometers away. As most know, there were protests yesterday with more than 65,000 São Paulo residents hitting the street. In Rio de Janeiro, there were 100,000 more. Other cities also protested--the scene in Brasilia of people at the National Congress was scary and emotional.

What's it all about? Well, it started with a small bus tariff hike, and moved along to general unhappiness with how things are going here in Brazil. As I said in yesterday's blog, the reasons are World Cup overspending, corruption, lack of justice, bad education, health care, and onwards. Brazil is finding its voice after being quiet for years after the military dictatorship.

I find myself well on the periphery of the anger. I see the problems here every day. I hate that my kids live behind walls, I hate that they have to go to a private school that the average person could not afford, and I hate that I see lines out the door at the public health facility near my house. But I am not a voter here. I am a tax payer but I am not a voter. I am American and I will not apply for dual citizenship. I love this country but the fight is not mine. I am, however, sympathetic.

I realize that my kids, as dual citizens, will have to make decisions in their future--where they will live, how they will be involved, how to make peace with their lives as they live them. Here's hoping for a better Brazil by the time they have to make their choices.


  1. Hi,

    I'm a young brazilian living overseas, and I can tell you that I find it very emotional seeing what is happening over there. I have friends going out protesting, supporting the demands and I'm so proud to know them, because the way I see it, they are making history - brazilians have never cared so much about other people's problems to be out in the streets like that. There's alway been a culture of letting that 'brasilian way' happen (jeitinho brasileiro) because they didnt think things could change. But truly, I think it will.