Take just a moment to think of two things, experiences, or ideas that are extreme opposites from each other. It could be winter or summer, good and evil, or sadness and happiness. Now imagine having the opportunity to experience these two extremes and everything that falls in between them all in the same day, creating a scene of unique diversity. Today we were able to experience the growth and development of beautiful diversity across the incredible sites of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Our morning began at Parque Ecologico Imigrantes in the Atlantic Rainforest where we embarked on a short, guided hike through the vibrant rainforest. There were more types of trees and plants and spiders than I had ever seen in one place before. The diversity present through the entire rainforest was amazing in and of itself, not to mention the thoughtfulness and care towards nature that our tour guide expressed. It was truly inspiring and made me appreciate this opportunity even more after living in the fast-paced city for the last two weeks. While walking through the trees there was time to think about anything and time to process all of the different emotions that come with international travel. It was a time to connect with yourself again. The diversity of the nature we were surrounded with felt like a door opening for our thoughts to fly. The endless plants to observe led to an endless path for our minds to wonder and relax from the uptight tension the city can sometimes cause. 

It’s crazy to think that only an hour drive away we would be in the middle of the fifth largest city in the world. Sau Paulo is filled with gorgeous cathedrals, apartments, restaurants, and any kind of store you can imagine. The streets are constantly congested with all different kinds of people. It’s beautiful. My eyes have truly been opened on this trip when experiencing the diversity within the city. However, the city provides a different kind of diversity than nature as well. Tonight our wonderful  host family brought us to the top floor of the highest building in Sao Paulo. From 42 stories up the city illuminated light for miles and miles. We couldn’t see the end. It was one of the most gorgeous sites I had ever seen. However, I couldn’t get it out of my head that while we were enjoying the expensive site with expensive drinks in hand at the top of the building there were men and women walking around the streets at the bottom with no clothes and no home to go to for the night. While diversity can be beautifully presented in Sao Paulo throughout the differences in terrain and among the millions of unique individuals, it can also make you think about the extremely diverse population of the city living amongst the street, in a penthouse or anywhere in between. This type of diversity leaves me wondering how this gap became rapidly extreme, but also full of hope for the future generations to produce change. I know God has a plan for everyone of the individuals he placed on Earth and this experience has caused me to grasp onto my faith even tighter. He has created the beautiful diversity present in Sao Paulo and has incredible plans for it in the future. 


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