I've always dreamed about being a great photographer. With digital cameras, expensive lenses (which I have no idea how to use), photoshop and apps like Instagram most people can take a pretty good photo but to take an amazing photo takes some serious skill. We've just launched a new cupcake flavour, Strawberry Swirl and Mallory dropped by to take some photos of the new cupcake. She is a pretty exceptional photographer. If you are looking for a food or wedding photographer - check out her work.
And then I read her most recent blog post, and she is a pretty exceptional writer too. It's made me think alot over the past couple of weeks about, if we're going to live here long term, what do I feel most passionate about that I would want to change here. My second daughter is Brazilian, so this country's future is likely to be her future. Mallory says that she usually replies to an question 'How do you like Brazil?' with a 'Mais ou menos' answer. I always reply with a 'Gosto muito!' and yes, I do like it alot. I'm a generally passive aggressive person (unless you meet me with very little sleep) but most of our dinner chat with our Brazilian friends are pretty generic: traffic, weather, cost of living. As we have moved from city to city we have not necessarily had strong community ties, and generally lived a pretty naive expat life. It's easy to ignore what's happening down the street when it doesn't affect your life directly.
I know that it's not that simple - but I really believe that education is the key here in Brazil. How about rich people in Higienopolis who don't pick up their dog shit on the pavements, drivers who believe they have the right of way over pedestrians, or nannies that can't write or read (how are they supposed to read medication instructions for the children in their care?). I know every country has their problems but I will certainly take the time to think before answering the question 'Você gosta Brazil?'... it maybe a 'Mais ou menos' answer ... but certainly more 'mais' than 'menos'!