Whitman Wire

Untranslatable Words

October 23, 2014

If you ask a Brazilian for a Portuguese word that can't be translated into English, he or she will probably think of the word saudade (sao-DAH-gee). Saudade is a feeling of longing for someone or something...

My Experiences with Race in Brazil

October 18, 2014

In June, I went with American and Brazilian friends to the small town of Pedro II for a music festival. There were several groups of journalists roaming around doing interviews, which we Americans -...

Brazil’s Hottest City

October 18, 2014

When I tell Brazilians from São Luís to São Paulo that I live in Teresina, their response is unchanging: "It's hot there, isn't it?" It is. Even people here accept that heat is Teresina's claim...

Robbed

October 17, 2014

My first time almost being assaulted, I was in Rio. I was strolling along Copacabana beach deep in conversation with my friend Nick when a man approached us. He asked if we spoke English. Used to getting...

Political Jingles

September 9, 2014

Brazil has a strict limit on political campaign seasons. Unlike in the United States, politicians here have three short months to drum up support. Now that we're now less than a month away from federal...

Brazilian Road Trip

September 9, 2014

In June, I got to travel to some off-the-beaten-trail places close to Teresina. Pedro II Pedro II is a town that calls itself the "Switzerland of Piauí." People here explain to me that Pedro II is...

On Strike!

July 9, 2014

Every day, from 11 to 1, a huge number of students wait in line for lunch at UFPI's main cafeteria. Although the food is never anything special - usually it's rice, beans, salad and some part of a chicken...

Into the Lençois Maranheses

June 30, 2014

During Holy Week, I got to explore parts of Maranhão, the colorful state to the west of Piauí. Lençois Maranheses "This better be stupid beautiful," Mike said as we bumped along the road to...

Brazilian English

June 5, 2014

Not far from my house in Teresina stands the Riverside Shopping Center. The name of the place, as well as the food courts and chain stores inside, could make you mistake Riverside for a mall in suburban...

Dangerous Roads

May 23, 2014

In the Dominican Republic last summer, almost every bus, taxi, and car had a decal like this slapped on the windshield: - God is loyal. - God takes his time, but he never for forgets. - With God by...

Crack Open a Cold One

May 5, 2014

How do you like your beer?  Here's how people in Teresina prefer it: Like a wedding dress  (Como vestido de noiva) Like a concrete worker's leg  (Como canela de pedrero) Like a seal's rear-end...

Childhood Friend of the President

April 29, 2014

Hearing first-hand stories about how famous adults acted as children and teenagers is always fun. I recently got such an account about a former Brazilian president. Let me explain. On the way from João...

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