World Cup Comes to Belo Horizonte

The World Cup starts in less than one month, so I expect that I’ll be thinking a lot about our former home.

I spotted this video the other day–two guys romp through Belo Horizonte to showcase some of the highlights for visitors. It’s silly, but it made me miss the city! Tehno saudades! as a Brazilian would say. The duo visits the Mercado Central (one of my favorite spots), wanders through the park where I walked Governor each day, and grabs coffee and pão de queijo (yum!) at the cafe where we went every Saturday morning for breakfast. And, of course, they make mention of the local futebol clubs.

I’m optimistic that Brazil can pull off the Copa, and it will be a great event. There has been plenty of controversy leading up to it, including the important protests last year during the Confederations Cup about government corruption and inadequacies in Brazilian health, education, and other infrastructure–a stark contrast when you look at the huge amounts of money that has been spent on Copa preparations. Those problems certainly haven’t been fixed in a year, so I expect (and hope) that the people will take advantage of another opportunity to have their voices heard while the world is watching.

But Brazil is a spectacularly beautiful and interesting country–a place that I would encourage people to visit and explore. The upcoming Cup is an opportunity for more people to find that out for themselves, and I hope they have the chance to do so.

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