Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Monday, January 15, 2007

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Well, I'm back from an epic holiday in Brazil - a beautiful country not largely dissimilar from our own. Brazil faces very similar challenges to us, both in terms of social issues such as poverty and crime and in terms of economic challenges as a burgeoning emerging market. Left-leaning president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (more simply known as "Lula" which rather bizarrely means 'squid' in the native Portuguese) has just been reelected on his mandate of social change and a focus on education and the knowledge economy.

The people are also very similar, friendly and open, and the country itself is beautiful. We were staying in an old colonial gold town called Paraty north of Sao Paulo, and then had a couple of days in Rio, staying in the old Santa Teresa suburb. A fantastic trip.