A Geek in Brazil!

A Geek in Brazil!

This Post is authored by my Sister Andrea Echeverry, a Colombian exchange student at the University of São Paulo in Brazil, who was encouraged to share with us her life experience in these months that she has been living in another country.

Minhas Adventures in Brazil”Should be the title of my four months of stay in this wonderful country. Why Brazil? Why Portuguese? I don’t even know the answer to these questions well, it was just an impulse to get to know a culture so close but at the same time so different from ours; why Brazil is not just football, Rio de Janeiro and samba, Brazil is cultural diversity, economic development, innovation and lots and lots of food.

Although my classes started in mid-February, I traveled to São Paulo on December 27 to have time to settle into the apartment where I was going to live and take advantage of my vacation to travel and enjoy a little. I had already come twice in 2013 for some church conferences and I had several friends in São Paulo who welcomed me and helped me with matters such as transportation, accommodation, papers for the university, etc. I believed that because I had stayed on my previous trips for about a month and a half, I already knew the Brazilian culture and it would not be difficult to get used to living in a metropolis like São Paulo. But I was wrong. It is one thing to come on vacation for a short time and another is to live and have to deal with everyday matters such as food, language, study or transportation.

Banana boat

Banana Boat with some young people from the church in Guarujá, a beach two hours from São Paulo

Escola da Verdade

At the “Escola da Verdade”, a youth conference at the Sion camp in the city of São Roque.


As for food, I had to get used to the Brazilian daily bread: rice and beans. In general, it is similar to the Colombian one except for some fruits and vegetables typical of the region. Brazilians usually leave free buffets so that each person can serve themselves what they want and repeat as many times as necessary, their meals are loaded with carbohydrates which complicates life for those who try to diet. São Paulo is known for its great variety of restaurants and bars, I have had the opportunity to go to some of them and I have become a lover of oriental food, especially Japanese. It is incredible how this city has adopted so many foreigners that even dishes from those cultures are already part of the Brazilian cuisine, such as the yakisoba some oriental noodles, strogonoff a Russian dish or the famous Brazilian pizza.


Sushi plate at the Japanese rodizio Tanka in the Liberdade eastern neighborhood

Açaí na tigela

Açaí na tigela, a cold dessert made from the Amazonian fruit Açaí, one of my favorite foods in the country! It is usually accompanied (as seen in the photo) with banana, granola, powdered milk and condensed milk (it does not have to be all the ingredients at the same time!). Personally I prefer it with everyone, except condensed milk, since it becomes a little too sweet.