GLOBAL VILLAGEOlá from brazilby Maria Cecília Albrecht Pérez My name is Maria Cecília Albrecht Pérez. I was born in São Paulo, Brazil, but I’ve lived most of my life in a beach town called Caraguatatuba. It’s a beautiful place surrounded by mountains, beaches, and rustic houses. I love it here. I’ve always been interested in writing, so sharing a bit about my homeland through writing is a dream come true for me! My average day begins with running with my friend early in the morning near a beach, where we see stunning birds. Then I do schoolwork. I study in an American online school. I always save time in my day for my three brothers and two sisters. We’re all very close.Some of my hobbies are baking, writing, and playing sports, especially soccer and volleyball. I also really enjoy singing. I enjoy singing some Brazilian songs, even though Brazilian music isn’t my favorite kind of music. We have a unique music style. One thing I love about Brazil is our cuisine. I often eat traditional foods such as pão de queijo (Brazilian cheese bread), pudim de leite (a Brazilian flan made of sweetened condensed milk, regular milk, eggs, and sugar), feijoada (a national dish made essentially of beans, beef, and pork), and brigadeiro (made mainly of sweetened condensed milk, butter, and cocoa powder). Another delicious food is churrasco. Surprisingly, the “churrasco paulista” that people eat in the part of Brazil I live in isn’t the same thing as the churrasco I’m used to! Since both my parents came from the south of Brazil, I have something known as “churrasco gaúcho.” It seems to be known in America as gaucho grill. If you ever have an opportunity to try any of those foods, I highly recommend doing so. I can’t talk about Brazil without mentioning our fauna and flora. Brazil has numerous beaches (there are 17 in my town alone), lakes, rivers, ocean shores, mountains, and tropical forests. I live near one of those forests, and I’ve been there many times. Because of this variety, many different kinds of animals live in our country. Something my American friends find funny is the way seasons work here. The television tells me summer is hot and sunny, and fall is a time of colorful leaves and pumpkins. I’ve also heard that winter is awfully cold, sometimes even snowy, and spring is full of delightful flowers. I can’t say that’s what I see here in Brazil. Summer is very hot, with temperatures ranging from the 80°s to 110°F. The best thing about summer for me is when my whole family goes swimming in the pool. It’s always a cheerful party, usually accompanied with a delicious churrasco for lunch. Sometimes even my grandparents join us! Fall is like a less hot version of summer, with a few leaves eventually getting brown or yellow. Then there’s winter: a blessing for people who, like me, can’t stand the hot weather. It does get colder, and in the south, it can get to temperatures below freezing. Some people even get a light layer of ice and snow! Unfortunately, I don’t live in the south. Where I Some handy Portuguese words and phrases! Hello – Olá Please – Por favor You’re welcome – De nada What is your name? – Qual é oseu nome? How old are you? – Quantos anos você tem? How are you? – Como você está? live, the coldest it ever gets is around 62°F. I’ve always dreamed of seeing snow, but as you can imagine, I never have. Brazil is known for its people. In my experience, we’re very friendly and informal. Our population is also multiethnic. There’s no “average Brazilian” — we’re all different from one another. If you’re Brazilian, you’re Brazilian, even if you look Chinese, African, Russian, or Indian. If you ever come to Brazil, I’d say you have a good chance of being warmly welcomed and accepted! Cissa, 13, Brazil, loves to write passionately about anything. She says, “I have always dreamed of the day I would find the courage to send my writing to a magazine and now this day has finally come!” Read her wonderful story “Emilia Dos Santos’ Grand Deed” at