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Dec 20, 2018

Sao Paulo Reflection - Yonni Kepes

Brazil taught me a lot of things, it taught me to appreciate culture, to make the most of who you meet and what you learn and to even take it easy eating meat at a Brazilian steakhouse!

yonni

On hearing that I had won a trip to Brazil, my first opinion was that the country seemed strange and I wouldn’t be a massive fan of the culture there. On returning from my trip, my opinion has changed a lot; I loved the country, the people and the culture!

Walking through the airport on the first night of our week here in Brazil, straight away I knew that this experience was going to be very different to the one I had imagined. Previously, I had very little knowledge or interaction with Brazil and its culture, however, what I did know, was that they have amazing BBQ and steak.

Culturally, I loved experiencing the street markets and the city, music and the food that was on offer in Brazil. Walking down Paulista Avenue listening to all the music and checking out the small stalls was an awesome experience and something that I wish we could have here in New Zealand. As well as this, I thoroughly enjoyed trying all the different Brazilian foods and learning about the old city in Sao Paulo during our bike tour.

Yet, Brazil wasn’t just about experiencing the culture. A significant part of our trip was filled with interesting visits to Brazilian businesses and learning what the start-up ecosystem is like in the country. From touring a Jewish club and start-up centre known as Merkaz to learning about Leitissimo’s brand; we truly learnt a lot about a wide range of businesses that operate here in Brazil.

I thoroughly enjoyed these business visits and loved learning about the emphasis on sustainability that many Brazilian businesses are now operating with. I believe that our visit to B-Corp really drove this idea home for me, helping me to realise the significance of sustainability in businesses these days and how important it is to be a sustainable business in Brazil and the greater Latin America.

So, how does one sum up such an exciting trip away to Brazil? It’s hard to put into words what this means to me, so I hope that the opportunity I was given will be reflected in my actions in the months and years to come. Brazil taught me a lot of things, it taught me to appreciate culture, to make the most of who you meet and what you learn and to even take it easy eating meat at a Brazilian steakhouse!

I think the opportunity and sense of obligation that I have after my time spent in Brazil, is summed up well in a quote that I’m often told, ‘from those too whom much is given, much is expected’. I hope to make the most of what I’ve been given and use it to solve the issues my generation face and help make this world a better place for our grandchildren.

 

Thank you.