Latin America

Meeting of the Waters, Manaus, Brazil

In the Amazon, Brazil: Living with Water

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I have always been fascinated by how human beings interact with water and make water bodies part of life. While travelling around Manaus, in the Brazilian Amazon, it was amazing to observe how rivers, streams, canals, lagoons, lakes and seasonally flooded jungle are all integrated into daily living. Around the world, people inhabit islands and river banks, lake sides and the coast line in ways that are peculiar to the local culture and geography. In the Amazon, the circumstances unique to the region are created by the presence of a mostly — still — impenetrable rain forest, the sheer amount of water carried and collected by a massive network of rivers and their tributaries, and weather patterns that produce dramatic rainfall and changes in water levels throughout the year.

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Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Brazil: Time to Regroup

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Obviously Brazilian football is not doing so well right now. After a 7 – 1 defeat to Germany, the country’s adjusted hopes for a third place in the 2014 World Cup were trashed today with a 3 – 0 defeat to the Netherlands. A long-standing source of national pride, Brazilian…

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The Cathedral of Brasilia, Brazil

In the Heart of Brasilia, Brazil, Love is Hard to Find

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A family event brought me back to Brasilia and led me into some of the insides of living in this city which has always been an intriguing place to me. “The infra-structure is good”, tells me a young resident. “Traffic is good, there are many options of restaurants and violence in the Pilot Plan is low. But people who live here are somewhat snobbish and making friends, if you haven’t lived here for a long time, is difficult. Being in school has helped me. If you depend on meeting people only through work it is much harder.” Young male residents go further. I was puzzled to hear that, in a city in which there are so many young and single people, meeting someone from the opposite sex is a struggle: “If you can pick up a girl in Brasilia, you can pick up a girl anywhere in the world.” The perception of my interlocutors is that the longer time residents prefer to keep a distance, and being invited to someone’s home, for example, is very rare. Goiania, a city located a couple hours from Brasilia, is different, I am told. It is much more welcoming. So how does a city of almost 3,000,000 inhabitants manufacture this kind of loneliness?

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