February 11, 2020
Carolina Cristina Souza is a guest who is doing some work trade here at the Cream City Hostel. She is from a city in Brazil called Araraquara, which translates to "where the sun lives," a few hours west of São Paulo. As the name suggests, she says it is "very hot, the lowest it gets about 40 F." Araraquara's imports are oranges, which are turned to concentrated orange juice and shipped to the United States, and sugar cane. Carolina loves to travel-- she's been all over South America and this is her fourth trip to the U.S. She likes visiting to see the variety of culture, to make new friends, and improve her English speaking skills. On her current voyage, she has visited Washington DC, New York City, and Fort Lauderdale before landing here. Some of her friends viewed Wisconsin as an unusual choice.
"People in Washington DC looked at me like I was a freak," Carolina laughs. They told her she would freeze to death in the Wisconsin winter and asked if she was considering giving up her career as a freelance graphic designer to become a Dairy State farmer. She describes her arrival here as a "good surprise," and not cows and red barns as far as the eye could see as she expected. She describes Milwaukee as a "quiet city" in a good way. In NYC, for example, "everyone's rushing all the time," the streets are crowded, and the air is filled with aggressive honking, a new English word Carolina just picked up.
Carolina was drawn here to visit Brazilian friends. She admits she hasn't gotten out too much as she's not used to these low Milwaukee temperatures, so she's been inside doing design work and "trying to stay warm." When she has gotten out she's enjoyed the bar scene, sampling new flavors of drinks. She's also impressed with Milwaukee's park system and seeing people out and about enjoying them, "living their lives in this temperature."
Carolina stays connected with Brazilian-Milwaukeeans on a site called WhatsApp. She says there's a fair amount of Brazilians in the Milwaukee area, she's not sure exactly, but maybe around 100. She had a brainstorm to have a special event here at Cream City Hostel to "bring part of Brazil to Milwaukee." Her Brazilian Celebration is taking place here on March 1, 1-5pm.
Music is going to be a part of this event. Carolina has a Brazilian friend here who is going to lead a karaoke session. Carolina talked to us about popular Brazilian music, including samba and Fank music, which she says is popular with young people to dance to at parties. Carolina's favorite singers are Vanessa De Mata and Marisa Monte, who she says would be categorized as MPB or Musica Popular Brazileira).
The party is also going to include a big batch of Feijoada, a traditional Brazilian dish, that is a stew of pork, beef, and black beans, served with rice, braised cabbage, manioc flour, and orange (there will be a vegetarian version available too). Carolina explains that this dish is usually made by Brazilian families and friends on the weekend when they enjoy spending social time and watch football (or as we call it, soccer) games together. This event is connecting Brazilians who might be missing some Feijoada time, but Carolina says the Brazilian spirit of hospitality and kindness extends this event to anyone who is "curious to know more about Brazil, where we come from, our background, have fun and enjoy a Sunday afternoon with us!"
Tickets are $20 advance/ $30 at door and include food and drink. Tickets are here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/brazilian-celebration-tickets-93437164073
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/131271838040748/
Those staying the weekend (Saturday and Sunday night) of the event can get 50% off with the code Brazilian50 !