However on a more serious note, I have learned that business in Brazil focusses a lot on sustainability and equality. There were many examples of these aspects emphasized by various speakers that we all had the privilege to hear from. I also learned that Brazil imports trash from the US because there is a high demand for recycled plastics. Which leads me to believe that there is always going to room to boost Brazil’s economy through education and initiative.
Throughout a collaborative activity that was executed by all the student who took part in this whole experience, I was a part of a group whose assignment was to tackle the sustainable development goal (SDG) of “Responsible production and consumption”. My group took this opportunity to explore a creative and sustainable way to educated people on the importance of recycling, introduce a monetary incentive for the average person to recycle their goods and providing more recycling stations within Brazil. We aimed to tackle so many problems with our solution. For example, we were aiming to create hundreds of new jobs for people. We wanted to maintain clean streets and we ultimately wanted to keep the millions of dollars being exported out of the country and spent of literal trash, within Brazil.
From this experience I learned that there is business within the unlikeliest things, such as trash itself. Business in Brazil is also impacted largely by bureaucracy. This makes it quite difficult to actually start up a business as it will most likely require permits and authorization.
What have I learned about entrepreneurship?
From what I have heard from many of the speakers that we listened to can be compacted down into a few important things.
What have I Learned about myself?
The simple answer is “more than what I already did”. I found out that I can meet people from the other side of the world and become friends with them within minutes and that also goes to the people who came from New Zealand and live within driving distance of me. Also, I can spin a good yarn under pressure and make something sound as interesting as I believe it to be. I felt like I was genuinely liked for being myself.
Another thing that I learned about myself is that I can appreciate criticism rather than resenting it. I lost the whole attitude of me always being right.
In a whole different direction, I learned that I can pick up a different language a lot better than I expected and a large portion of this is thanks to the help from the Brazilian students and one of our supervisors Talita. This experience had me return home and feeling gutted that I can’t say the words ‘desculpe’ or ‘obrigado’ to someone and not receive a look back as if I just swore at them in a foreign language. Also indulging in the fine Brazilian cuisine made me seriously want to learn how to cook a Brazilian Barbecue because damn!!! The Brazilian culture actually resided very well with me as it reminded me quite a bit of my culture. I learned that I appreciate the Brazilian culture so much because even though I was on the other side of the world the people made me feel like I was still at home. Speaking to the people that performed the capoeira played a huge part in this as seeing so much passion in their dancing reminded me of the passion that I would put behind a Haka. I also found out that I really love Guarana!