Wednesday, April 18, 2012


When I was 15 I had the opportunity to participate in an exchange program to Natal, Brazil.  It was the beginning of what has been a lifelong love affair…with the country, its culture, and, ESPECIALLY, its people!

I have now had the absolute privilege of travelling to Brazil three times, with a cumulative time spent there of about a year and a half.  Even though it has been years since my last adventure to this colorful, vivacious, and welcoming land; the memories and my friendships made on all three trips continue to be as cherished today as they were 20 odd years ago (no need for detailed math here I figure! ;) !).

That first trip, before I’d even turned 16, planted a seed for me: that worldly experiences benefit young people in ways that are hard to quantify or qualify, but that undoubtedly have lifelong impacts on how we view the world and its inhabitants; regardless of colour, religion, or culture.  I believe that if every young person were given the opportunity to live, learn, and love in another country, our global society would be much healthier, more forgiving, and more accepting resulting in an even more wonderful world. 

Tomorrow my family will welcome Joao Paulo Gil Cavalcanti to our home for the coming few months.  Joao Paulo is my Brazilian nephew, by way of being grandson of the wonderful couple who hosted me for nearly all my time in Brazil, and he is now 19 (gasp, time flies!).  JP will be attending an intensive English course while here, amidst having the adventure of being an international traveler, as he prepares to begin his University career.

Photos 1 & 2: Me & JP at my farewell party in 1994
Photo 3: JP & Vovo Teca (his Great Grandma & a woman who
showed me consistent kindness)
While this post isn’t photography related; it does speak to what I hope for Bella Faccia to represent: admiration of beauty in its myriad forms, love of life, fun, music, memories, commitment, trust, family, and friendship. Brazil will always be an important part of who I am and I sincerely hope to provide a similar learning/growing opportunity to Joao Paulo.

Life is beautiful!