From Rio to Chicago

“This is the last time I will be riding this boat in this direction for a while”, I think to myself as I take the ferry across to Niteroi one last time. Golden light seeps into the cabin, as the ocean gently rocks the craft. White collar workers doze off around me like babies in a cradle. Since making a good friend who studies at the Fluminense Federal University a couple months ago, I have gotten used to making this …

Identity Crises

My brown is not Brazilian brown. In fact, my brown is not even brown here. I am considered white with a foreign tan, and every day that tan is fading as fall slips into winter. I realized I was white for the first time while eating dinner with a local friend, when she asked me if I identified as ‘Latina’. I gave her a long-winded response about how I used to identify as ‘Latina’, then came to discover ‘Latinx’, then …

Engolindo Sapos

As I begin to write this I imagine what this post would have looked like if the murder had not happened. I would have probably focused on writing about the silly activities underclassmen are subjected to during the first weeks of college–like using buckets as backpacks. I might have written about the oddities of young Brazilians’ vernacular, where every sentence includes either the word cara (face) or tipo (like). I would have probably detailed the homecoming festivities in the villas, …

Are you staying for Carnival?

“Vôce vai ficar para Carnaval?”  Are you staying for Carnival? When I first arrived in Rio de Janeiro over a month ago this was always the second or third question people would ask me. Cariocas (people originally from Rio de Janeiro) would ask because they are used to having foreigners, both from other countries or other parts of Brazil, ambush their city during this pre-lent festivity. In fact, I learned a lot of cariocas try to leave their own city …