Between You and I

Julia Carter - Brazil


April 4, 2013

I ask who ever is reading this, to think back to a time when you traveled inside or outside the United States. Whether that trip lasted a few weeks, a few months or a few years. Now I ask you to think back to the time you arrived home to your family and friends and remember whether it was easy or hard to recount what you had experienced. Describing to people the things you saw, the people you met, the smells you smelt, is not an easy task–especially when those people haven’t been there to experience those things themselves. But an important part of traveling is being able to share your stories to others and finding connections between here and there. During ICO (In-Country Orientation) our Team Leader, Sol, asked all 15 of us to think of different parallels between the United States and Brazil. The task was proven quite difficult because at that point in our Global Citizen Year, we hadn’t been exposed to a lot of Brazil. But as our time in Brazil slowly comes to an end, the thought of parallels between my home in the States and my home here in Brazil, have popped back into my mind. Despite the immense differences between The United States and Brazil, there exists  small little parallels that can connect you to me.

I was so inspired by what Sol had us do during our ICO that I wrote a poem about these parallels. Enjoy!

A stretch of land distances you from me,

More divides us than
a glistening sea.

The contrast between you and I

Is hopefully plain to your brain

Because between you and me,

We are as different as can be.

 

Across land  and sea,

Awaits this life we never knew.

There lies a string of messy parallels,

Permitting you to find a little bit of me in you.

 

New York to São Paulo,

The Grand Canyon to
Chapada Diamantina,

Los
Angeles to Rio de Janeiro,

The Everglades to Pantanal,

 

Open your eyes and begin to see,

A world set far from
your course,

Is not as different as you’d like to believe.

  

Towels to
sarongs,

Rum to cachaça,

Ice cream to aç,

Mardi Gras to Carnaval

 

Blink twice and open your eyes.

These parallels are small, but bring together you and
I.

In the end, it becomes clear to see

That the differences between you and me is solely

A stretch of land and a glistening sea. 

Julia Carter