My Introduction

Michael Stivers - Brazil


September 21, 2010

Coming from a small town in upstate New York, I’m still having a hard time trying to simulate the experience that Salvador and its surrounding areas will offer. I have always wanted to not only see other parts of the world, but assimilate myself into the endless number of cultures that it offers. I see GCY as a perfect learning catalyst to do so. In Brazil I’d like to delve deeper into the ideas of social entrepreneurship and social enterprise. The Bahia region of the fifth largest country in the world (in size and population) seems like the perfect area to do this because it exhibits such a wide socioeconomic gap. Even if I am unable to conjure a solution in my new community, I’m interested in learning opposing viewpoints and ideals that encompass these systematic problems plaguing virtually the entire country.

On less of an intellectual level, I am very interested in learning some Capoeira. Capoeira is a Brazilian mix between martial arts and dance. The style is very old and possesses deep roots within the rich cultural it originated in. This art draws me in not only for its clear and present cultural ties but also for the intense physicality of it. I’m assuming activities I once relied on for physical fitness will not be prevalent, if present at all in my homestay. Because Brazil is so large and diverse, basketball, tennis, hiking, free weights, and my other previous forms of exercise may not be available for me in the next seven months. This is a great way not only to enjoy the challenging fitness routines I became accustomed to at home, but also to bridge the cultural gap that I know will present itself.

Michael Stivers