By: J. Lotufo
I woke up in the late in the night, more commonly perceived as the early moments of dawn. To my delight, as I slid my bedroom windows open, a photogenic sunrise awaited me - had I spent more time looking outside (taking advantage of the photo opportunity), perhaps my father's scorning would be more extensive that the spoken disapproving "Come on, Julia. You're going to be late for Brasilia."
Roughly seven hours, two bus drives and one plane trip later, we had arrived at a churrascaria to have our first meal, which became a pleasant prequel to our investigations of the city. We only had to cross the street to begin our activity at the community residential complexes of Brasilia, known as the Superquadras (aptly nicknamed Super-blocks by Miss Watson). A different sight to see through the eyes of São Paulo residents, the Superquadras were something uncommon to us, and their concept sparked political debate amongst the members of my group. To be fair, truly, nearly everything led to intricate political debates; supposedly there isn't a better place for such discussions than the capital city of a country in the midst of economic and political crisis.
Our arrival at the hotel was common enough. This might be a good time to mention the source of entertainment that we most looked forward to was empty: the swimming pool lacked water. This didn’t stop us from having a good time, though. Whilst some played football and basketball at the courts in the dying evening light, others spent time observing the Paranoá lake. Yet most of us found fun in inconspicuous places. For instance, the hotel’s convenience store, was almost always filled with St. Paul’s students buying chocolate, Cup Noodles, or popcorn to consume in the comfort of their own rooms (typically accompanied by Netflix).
The following day was occupied by our visit to the Supreme Court and the Congress (which included the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies). The overall feeling, for me at least, was mixed. For one, the excitement of seeing the place from where our country is governed is undeniable. On the other hand, there is a sort of reluctant resent that accompanies the realisation that so many of the politicians present during our visit are corrupt. The lesson taken from our brief trip was that there is hope - the possibility of change exists; the difference is made by those that grasp onto opportunities. Those that believe in a future of dignity for the people, and efficiency for the country. Yet, in an anticlimactic approach, the most lasting sensation from this day can be identified as the never-ending heat that was felt inside my blazer, underneath the blazing 30-degree-celcius sun. This is obviously outweighed by the complete experience of the day, but was, nevertheless, unforgettable.
The conclusion of our visit to Brasilia took the form of bowling. Also, a birthday. The whole year went to the shopping mall, where we all made our way towards the bowling alley. We held a surprise birthday celebration, which made everyone content (brigadeiros never disappoint anyone, really). Competitions and laughter emerged from the alley, and I believe that we could all agree on the pleasantness of the moment.