I had no expectations for this Saturday in Santo Andre. All I knew was that I wanted to experience something new or exciting. Little did I know that this Saturday would be one of the most meaningful and heartwarming days of my life. It was a day that showed me that Brazil is not all about futebol and carnival, as my host mother Sol says, but rather Brazil is all about the relationships you form with people.

I found out as I woke up in the morning, that every Saturday a market runs down the street of my host family’s house. So as anyone would do, I went and explored it. As I walked with my host family, everyone was eager to converse and say hello, but one thing that stood out to me was the owner of a specific stand, who I took a picture with. Through my host family he found out that I was American, and it was portrayed to him that I had never tried many of the exotic fruits he sold. As I was ready to grab my wallet to buy some and try them, I was immediately caught in awe, when he just started handing boatloads of beautiful fruit to me. The next 15 minutes were like a miracle.

I think I tried every fruit in Brazil for free, and the beautiful thing was, the only thing he wanted back was to get to know me and form a relationship. He did not want anything in return. But I felt that this generosity had to be “reciprocated” in some way. So I decided to buy some of the favorite fruit that I tried, atemoia. It reminded me of a pear, but much sweeter, it was especially great with lemon. The most amazing part was that when I was leaving, he decided to double the fruit I bought on my way out, showing me that he didn’t want my money, rather he wanted to simply communicate with me, and form a relationship through generosity. 

This made me realize how different Brazil’s culture is and how warm their people are. This same event occurred all throughout the market on that beautiful Saturday, not just with my new friend. At least every 5 minutes I would have someone spark up a conversation with me, expecting nothing in return, just wanting to know about me. They were interested in me, nothing else, which felt so pure. 

This combination of generosity and communication is beautifully exemplified in my host family. For example, after they bought me a beautiful lunch of pastels, we sat at the table and talked for hours; just talking and getting to know each other. Due to this day, I have been shown the passion of Brazil in their citizens’ souls, and how much they generally care about forming relationships with each other.


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