Our time in Brazil is officially coming to a close. After three and a half weeks, I feel like I have finally settled into the Brazilian way of life and now have to prepare myself to go home. This trip has been incredibly educational, and I am excited to compile this information for our final project. Despite this, the trip has also been incredibly heavy. We have met with communities that are fighting for the right to live. They are fighting for bodily autonomy and sovereignty and have been fighting for this for the last 523 years.
Understanding that indigenous peoples in Brazil are fighting for their lives and the recognition of their existence has prompted some intense reflection. As a Pākehā woman, this programme has highlighted my immense privilege. This has been incredibly apparent when I have needed to decompress in the evenings. I was able to attend a Monet Live Exhibition in Sao Paulo, a free live orchestra in Brasilia, Samba, and a play about the Amazon. All these incredible artistic experiences helped me to process and understand what I have experienced here. I now realise that this is a privilege as the indigenous peoples of Brazil cannot decompress or escape their own reality.
However, this experience has also been one of the most inspiring times of my life. I have been inspired by the remarkable group of students I have come to Brazil with. I am inspired by our incredible Brazilian guide, Talita, who has embraced us and supported us through everything. Most of all, I am inspired by all the indigenous people seeking to make a change in a world that has never changed for them.
I am looking forward to coming home and returning to my life, but I will remember this experience for the rest of my life.