My Grandmother used to tell me how beautiful her country was. I recall, I was so young sitting beside her with my ruffled blue and white dress and my feet barely touching the floor on that white armed sofa, as she recounted how much she loved Brazil and stories about how vast it was. Time went by and she went back home to her beloved Brazil, and as we spoke over the phone, she asked me to visit her telling me “I want to see all my grandchildren by my side” and we are many, it was my dream to be with her again and enjoy her elegant company and savour on the flavourful Brazilian food she used to make for us that until today no one could match. My grandmother Neyde was a beauty.
6 years ago, much to my sadness, my Brazilian grandmother left us too early and I never was able to see her again. Heartbroken and feeling guilty because she always asked me to visit her, I was so committed to work that I couldn’t afford taking time off to make my Grandmother’s dream come true. I lived with the memory of her asking me to visit her.
36 years later, my dream to visit Brazil, like an ode comemorating my grandmother, came true. As I landed, I could hear my grandmother telling me, how beautiful her home land is, I could taste her food and feel her warmth, and her powerful personality, I missed her dearly, and I know just like my cousins we all loved her a lot.
This trip was not only to reunite me with my loving big family, adorable uncles, aunts and gorgeous Brazilian cousins, but to live the moment seeing Rio through my late grandmother’s eyes. Overwhelmed by its beauty, by guilt and by nostalgia, yet mesmerised by a Godly attraction so perfectly designed by nature, I couldn’t but fall in love with Rio.
Rio de Janeiro, you are colourful, beautiful, natural, humble yet so rich, you are mysterious, abundant, and overpoweringly vast. My grandmother was right to have loved you so much, I missed her in every part of the journey, but today I miss her even more and I know, I left a part of my heart in Rio.