Brazil through the starry eyes of BY alumnus

 In Youth Exchange Programs

BHAVISHYA YAAN (BY) alumnus and now RCB Rotary Youth Exchange (RYE) Ambassador, in Brazil, Vedant Kadam, was received with a lot of affection and warmth by his host mother Maria upon landing in Sao Paulo.

Driving to the home that would be his address for the next few weeks, Vedant eagerly devoured all the sights on the way. He noticed that Sao Paulo on the ground was prettier than the beauty he had seen, wide-eyed, from his aircraft window, prior to landing.

The first of the pleasant surprises awaiting him was a room to himself. Coming from a humble abode in Lower Parel, Vedant felt catapulted into a dream world.

His Host Mother Maria was hospitality personified and treated him like a member of her family. Over the first few days, she took him to meet her grown-up daughter Stephanie (“my Sister” mentioned Vedant, excitedly!) and host Brother.

He had taken a lot of Indian farsan for them and introduced them to the exciting, mouth-watering flavours of India. Vedant had also thoughtfully taken small Ganapati idols for them.

Maria showed him around Sao Paulo. They visited a nearby garden where Vedant saw a collage of pictures of various species of birds from all over Brazil. He also witnessed a local festival there where he was wonderstruck to see different types of mushrooms in a variety of colours.

Like today’s Indian kids, he also follows football and knows about the great Brazilian teams and players such as Pele, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and the latest sensation Neymar. Needless to say, Vedant was on top of the world when he was taken to a football stadium.

Being a Mumbaikar where there is a wide variety of food available from all over India, what else would excite
Vedant next – local food in Brazil. He was introduced to tasty Brazilian dishes – Coxinha, the delicious fried
chicken croquettes and Pastel, a tasty, local, fast food dish.

Having got over jet lag and more familiarized with Sao Paulo, his new home, Vedant embarked upon the formal aspect of his trip.

On September 21st, 22nd and 23rd, Vedant attended the global RYE orientation programme for inbound participants of RYEP 4610, who came from all over the world. This was held in Hotel Alpino, a leading hotel.

He interacted with students from different parts of the world and, of course, with Rotarians who were there in the programme.

Flags and badges were exchanged with fellow RYE participants from various countries and he got to know a lot about Rotary International and its programmes.

Vedant made a number of new friends from among fellow participants – some of them being Diego from Mexico, Mathis from Germany and Guillaume from Belgium.

Along with other RYE students, he visited a farm where they saw lots of animals and had loads of fun. The experience ended with a party, Sao Paulo style.

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