Nineteen months ago I was in São Paulo, Brazil; I was probably drinking suco de manga (mango juice) — because I ordered one every single night — and discussing possibilities for our future on-location course in Brazil. I was in Brazil with Julie Rushik, RWC’s Director of International Engagement, Kevin Mannoia, a member of the RWC Board of Trustees, and two students from the Honors Program. This exploratory trip, funded by the Rinker Global Scholarship, allowed us to determine if we could include an on-location course in Brazil in our brand new Global Honors Program. After 12 days, we returned to the States excited about the wonderful connections we had made with the Methodist University in São Paulo and the anti-human trafficking organization, 27Million. We knew that the on-location course in Brazil was a go!
Fast forward to today, and we are returning to Brazil! Julie and I are headed back (without Kevin—we will miss you Kevin!) with four honors students for a trial run of the on-location course. In May of 2018, we will be taking our first Global Honors Program class (26 students) for the full on-location course. We thought it was a good idea to test it on a smaller scale first! We fly out tomorrow and will be in São Paulo for eight full days. Then, we are headed to Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil to see the spectacular waterfalls and to discuss the experiences we had in São Paulo, including:
- Portuguese lessons at the Methodist University of São Paulo
- Seminars on human rights and sustainability in Brazil at the Methodist University of São Paulo
- A visit to the Atlantic Rain Forrest
- A capoeira workshop (Brazilian martial arts) at the Methodist University of São Paulo
- A job shadow experience within each student’s field of interest
- A meeting with 27million to hear about their ministry in São Paulo.
Wow! This is in addition to normal tourist activities and experiencing a completely new culture—one that is warm, friendly, and vibrant!
I am confident that this trip will change the way that these students see the world, how they see God, and how they relate to those around them. In experiencing the diversity that God has created, we are able to better understand who God is. I am excited to be a part of this transformative experience in their lives!
I am so thrilled to go back to Brazil! I look forward to reconnecting with our friends in Brazil, and I am excited to lay the foundation for this integral component in the Global Honors Program. I must admit that I am also excited to be able to order suco de manga again!! Stay tuned for future blog posts from our four students (Stephanie, Kirsten, Anna, and Martha) as they share and reflect on their experiences in Brazil. Keep reading—it will be just like you are experiencing this exciting adventure with us!