Habits of a HÌ_spede

Nicholas Chieng - Brazil


July 16, 2015

Originally written on January 30th

I’m inspired by Brandon Stanton’s Humans of New York blog and the many other “Humans of” blogs that follow, but one person that also inspires me is my new friend Isaac, a fellow Fellow in Brazil. During in-country orientation, I alwaysremembered how some of the other Fellows and I would be talking about our host families or something cool that we ate, and I’d always ask myself where Isaac went. He would always be talking to someone new: a waiter, bus attendant, stranger, someone that we’d never see again, and I’d always ask myself why would he bother to try and form a connection with someone that he’d never meet again. I’d spend my energy trying to form connections with all these Fellows, so why bother to use broken Portuguese to talk to Brazilian strangers?

I’ve realized the world we live in is so big yet small. If you look at a map of Brazil, I’ve only been to the states of Santa Catarina, SÌ£o Paulo, ParanÌÁ , andRio de Janeiro. There is just so much more to see yet there’s not enough time to see it all. Every day, we walk by so many people that we’ll never meet. But there’s times where you realize that the world can be so small. For me, it was like the time I met a guy named Ronaldo in my English class who had lived for three months in New Bedford which is near my hometown of Franklinor the time I discovered I had mutual friends with some of the Fellows. It’s times like these that I realize although we all live in our little houses in our little towns or cities, we’re all connected.

Nowadays, travel usually means expensive swimwear, and Instgram-filtered and cropped pictures of gourmet ethnic” food at all-inclusive resorts in the Carribean. Nothing’s wrong with either the former or latter; a trip to the beach sipping coconut water is nice

Nicholas Chieng