Post 2: Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge

Essa semana passada enquanto esperava nosso voo para o Brasil, comecei a pensar sobre algumas dicas para quem for viajar neste final do ano. Quis compartilhar com vocês. Algumas das dicas abaixo são especificamente para quem estiver viajando de avião, porém várias podem ser usadas para qualquer viagem.

1) Um dos jeitos que achei para dormir é sentar bem pra trás no assento do avião, abaixar a mesinha em sua frente, por um travesseiro ou uma blusa em cima da mesinha e deitar a cabeça ali. Para quem consegue dormir no avião essa pode ser uma nova maneira para tentar descansar. 
2) Vá com roupas confortáveis e leve uma troca de roupa em sua bagagem de mão. Há pessoas que viajam com roupas sociais e “chique”.
Ai do lado passo eu…
andando pelo aeroporto vestida com um cobertor.
(Ta, técnicamente é um vestido de flanela super comfortável, mas que parece uma coberta de flanela parece. Admito.)
Nas primeiras vezes que viajei, me preocupava muito com o que vestia. Viajava com roupas passadas, botas com salto e roupas sociais. Acho que faz parte da cultura Brasileira–nos arrumar pra sair. 
Porém com o tempo já aprendi. Quando você viaja, voos atrasam, o que faz você precisar correr de um lado do aeroporto para o outro para pegar a conexão; malas extraviam ou voos são adiados deixando você só com sua bagagem de mão; aviões são desconfortáveis e certas roupas não ajudam a circulação; roupas amassam; e a temperatura do avião pode variar de Antártica a Deserto do Saara. 
Enfim, até achar a medida certa entre conforto e elegância–conforto é sempre o vencedor. Então em vez de sofrer na viagem, viajo com roupas confortáveis e levo uma muda de roupa na minha bagagem de mão. Nunca é uma má idéia levar roupas extras. Qualquer coisa que acontecer, você pelo menos tem duas mudas de roupa. Chegando ao seu destino, você pode trocar de roupa antes de sair do aeroporto. 
3) Água. Beba muita, muita, muita água. É impressionante o quanto o corpo da gente precisa de água no avião. Evite as opções carbonizadas ou com cafeína e escolha água.
4) Também recomendo óleos essenciais para relaxar. Não uso óleos essenciais com freqüência, mas desta vez que estávamos viajando tinha alguém no assento de trás que estava usando um óleo bem suave. Me ajudou relaxar só pelo cheiro. Alfazema é um dos meus preferidos.
5) Encontre paz. Faça uma oração; dedique tempo para respirar, meditar, orar, ler e relaxar. Mesmo que seja uns cinco minutos mas faça o necessário para encontrar pensamentos positivos e lembrar que vai dar tudo certo. Viajar é sempre um pouco estressante, porém no final do ano pode ser mais ainda. As filas serão longas, e crianças estarão chorando. Terá de enfrentar voos cheios, atrasos, surpresas, trabalhadores estressados (ou estressantes), e provavelmente até um pouco de turbulência. Mas você vai chegar, vai dar tudo certo e vai valer a pena. Então tente não se  estressar. O tamanho do estresse que você passa depende do tanto de estresse que você aceita.
O que você adicionaria a lista?

Visit to Rede Vida Studios.

Uncle D. he’s so cute.
Studio whose name I forgotted.

As I mentioned in my last post, my super fabulous uncle let me tag along with him as he and a couple of his coworkers spent an afternoon in São Paulo in two TV studios in order to promote a new line of health products. I was able to get a peek at behind the scenes work and “ahhhhh” it was thrilling. (Communication students get easily excited by this stuff.)

I got to stand behind the crew and before that I got to sneak around the host’s studio and stare at everything. It was pretty cool. I’m a curious person, so to be able to have the whole room for me to look around and discover was pretty exciting.

What did I get from the experience? So much, but here are 10 things that you might already know but were confirmed to me during my visit:

1. TV people are super busy.
2. TV people are people. They are super people, but still people.
3. TV studios are amazingly versatile. One medium-sized studio can become six sets.
4. There might be a lot of glamour on TV but behind the scenes it’s simply a lot of hard work.
5. Some people are born to be on TV–born to arrive and host.
6. Others are born to crack the whip and keep everything going on time and on schedule.
7. Others are born to provide what the host will say, others to film, others to answer phones and e-mails and others to watch. Thing is, everyone has their part.
8. What happens to all the food that appears on TV as props? It goes out into the hallway with little plates and anyone passing by can take some. So you can walk down the hall and boom! fresh fruit banquet. Nom.  
9. Trays with wheels. Lots of them. All the time. Everywhere. When one comes in another goes out to get set up and then it goes back in and switches places with the other tray and so on.
10. TV is an incredibly fast paced environment. Not only is everything timed and things must air, start and stop on time, but the content that is presented has to be content that will only be discovered next week, however the media has to be onto it already.
Have you ever visited a studio? Are you in the TV business or know someone who is? Would you agree with my 10 things or did I miss something?

The Invisible Man and the Girl Who Saw Him.

If looking for other writing samples, please click here (personal essay) and here (editorial written for Youth Messenger).

     No matter how diverse their cultures and where they are located on the world map, most cities have at least some things in common. One of the most common constants is the existence of a group of people we have named, "the homeless". Different cities have different methods to attempt a "solution" to the amount of individuals that linger on the outskirts of towns or mingle in the throngs of people walking downtown and who occasionally come up to us and ask for change. 

     Brazilian cities are no different, except, perhaps, in the amount of individuals that refuse to hide, rather who make a living by begging and placing themselves in strategic locations where the public passes by so their pleas may have a greater chance of being heard and answered. It is fact that if you walk downtown in most cities, you can observe these individuals either laying down in alleyways, against buildings, under benches or walking among the multitude of shoppers and sellers. Most of the time we observe but ignore because of the uncomfortableness of the situation.



These are people who ask for help, but only the kind they want not the kind we believe they need. Shelters, homes, even jobs and education are available, but that would mean conforming to rules and standards such as curfews and showers, responsibility and meals at specific times. Yet the question that keeps nagging us is, "are we right to ignore them?" They want money. We have our suspicions and don't want to feed their addictions. 

Last week I was one in the multitude that paced frantically from one store to another downtown Presidente Prudente in the interior of São Paulo, Brazil, in hopes of buying everything I "needed" to purchase before the stores closed. As I wrapped up my shopping and was on my way to the car, I witnessed something that made me think of this exact topic. A homeless man, wrapped in blankets and his belongings somewhat scattered closely around him had chosen to sit down in the middle of the walking area between the buildings of commerce. There he leaned against a pole and settled himself. He was invisible to everyone, including myself. He was simply another vagrant that was probably going to beg soon so I should change my course and avoid him. In my hurry to get things done and obtain, obtain, obtain... The thought of what I could give didn't even cross my mind. 

Out of the corner of my eye I caught sight of a little blur. A girl around seven years old with a head full of curls was running out of a store. She hopped outside and slowed her steps, and I noticed what she had in her hand. She was unwrapping a piece of candy. As she came out of the store and closer to the man, she cocked her head and slowly rewrapped the candy. Without a second of hesitation she approached the man without fear, without disdain, without anything but an outstretched arm and a candy in her fingers. The man took the candy with a smile that lit up his face and blessed* her. She smiled and hopped back to join her mother outside the store. 

I have been pondering this topic since then and have come to the conclusion that ignoring individuals is never the solution. Although the little girl's sweet act (pun intended) didn't change the man's situation nor did it solve the fact that so many people live on the streets in dire conditions, but it changed that man's day and, if her act of solidarity filled me with hope and made my day, I'm sure it brightened his. Maybe instead of being overwhelmed with the task of solving a worldwide issue, what we're meant to do is better the world around us. How does it go again? Oh yeah, "The ocean is made of little drops of saltwater and after all..."

*It is a Brazilian custom for the elderly to bless those younger than themselves. Children are taught to greet their elders with "bless me" to which their aunts, uncles, parents and grandparents will respond with "God bless you".


     Every time we go to Brazil it’s a big hurry to get to visit all (or at least the greater part) of our family. Unfortunately they don’t live all in one city, so we travel from grandparent’s place to the other’s (a 8-9 hour road trip.) On our way back, we try to stop every year to have a family reunion with my mother’s aunts, uncles, cousins and family. They live in a town called Boituva. 
     Boituva is well known in the state of São Paulo as the city of skydiving. As you pass the city on the highway, you look up and see tiny specs falling from airplanes up above. As these specs plummet closer to you they open up a lifesaving patch of canvass and the thrilling plummet morphs into an awe-inspiring glide. 
This year I stayed down on the ground looking up and photographing. What say you? Let’s jump next year? Would you be brave enough? Have you ever done anything like this?