Thursday November 24, 2016

Brazil's Seasons

By Alexandria Erin

In the United States we are used to a variety of different ways seasons can go. However, we have the understanding that summer is generally hot, fall is in-between the hot season of summer and the cold season of winter and then spring is in-between the cold season of winter and the hot season of summer. It varies around the United States whether or not the seasons are a traditional summer heat versus winter snow or if it’s determined by which times are rainier.

In Brazil, their summer season is when we – in the United States – are heading into our winter season.  It was so strange for me to grasp my head around this. As I am traveling around the world I am realizing that it feels so strange to not be getting my winter clothes out as we head towards the end of November. However, I have been here before when I lived in Hawaii my freshman year of college. But this time it’s different. This time I can’t understand the language, there is no Thanksgiving turkeys filling the window shops. Instead everyone is starting to get ready for Christmas, in his or her summer season!

While I was in Salvador Brazil, I experienced another difference in that the sun got up around 5AM and so did most of the Brazilian people. The people started their day and also started opening their shops just a few hours later. They were ready and awake and not because they had had their morning Starbucks, but because they awoke with the sun and got down to business. As their shops opened they also stayed open until around 5PM. As I spoke with some of the Brazilian shopkeepers that I was able to kind of understand with their poor English (as I did not speak any Portuguese), I came to understand that work was their lives. They lived for the tourists and knowing that they were selling things we weren’t used to was what kept them going from 5AM until they closed their shops in the evening.

As I go about this journey I realize that everything is so much different but we all have so much in common at the same time. I love it! I love seeing what differences I can have with other humans and what similarities we have. I do miss my Upstate NY fall where the leaves change, into my Jackson Hole Wyoming winters where the powder is perfect for skiing, to my Ohio spring where life begins to peep it’s head out of the dreary snow covered ground to my adventurous summers where I travel all over the United States hiking, biking, kayaking and sailing! Seeing that many of the places I’ve been around the world don’t experience seasons like we do in the United States makes me so grateful for what I have back home. It’s not just because it’s familiar, it’s because I associate it with memories and a beautiful reality of how blessed I am to have what I have. I’m excited for the differences in these countries to become memories that bring me excitement for the rest of my life! But I have to say I’m starting to understand the statement – there’s no place like home!

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