My final stop was Brazil. I headed down south towards Sao Paulo to meet my friend, Maria. We had not had the pleasure of seeing each other in years! To give you a bit of our history, Maria and I had met at school, aged 16, when she came over from Brazil on the Erasmus scheme. During our reunion hours were spent reminiscing about how we were always scheming an idea. I remember fondly how we always used to try and get the craziest fancy dress for non-uniform day, we’d get creative taking photos believing we could put together a charity calendar of girls dressed as fairies! During our catch up, Maria shared her passion of designing clothes and making a difference in the world with her clothing company. She had started up a company the year before called Miau - or Miow for us gringos! - which supported those who couldn’t afford clothes. I was stunned, this girl, my friend had created something beautiful and full of love for her people.
Our Reunion in Sao Paulo!
We still had so much to catch up on so after Sao Paulo my next stop was Belo Horizonte, Marias home city.
Belo Horizontes Skyline!
Maria welcomed me into her home with such warmth it felt like summer had come! She took me on a tour of the different areas of her home city, from the favelas, to the city centre, to the red-light district, to the wealthy districts. Maria educated me on the Brazilian way of life and the struggles people went through. Families put their children to work at night on the streets to earn money so they could put food on the table. That is when our light bulb moment happened. What if we could do something to help feed people (not just children, but their families) so that the kids could leave their night shifts? My heart had been originally set on doing something for healthcare but helping feed families was even more essential.
Maria also introduced me to Latin Lunches Brazil Style. Honesty you have not lived until you have had a Latin Lunch. They aren’t your standard supermarket meal deal – think more 3 course dinners with all the trimmings and table buzzing with family/friends…. not just on Sunday, but every day! Cami, a close friend of Marias joined us for one of these feasts. We shared our ideas with Cami! She went crazy for our idea and even told us about “Casa de Maria” – an organisation that helps supports the homeless and hungry. It was obvious, we needed her on our team, so we asked her to join. We turned from a duet to a team supreme! With our third member in place and an amazing organisation to support … the work began to start.
The Casa De Maria Team cooking up a storm!
via GIPHY How Maria, Cami and myself working as team supreme!
with love from