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Save the Date

Upcoming AmSoc events: Feb 2nd - Little League Signup Feb 2nd - Abacaxi Bowl Mar 16th - St. Patricks Day Party May 10th - Annual AmSoc Gala

Monthly Newsletter February 2013

Join Us for the American Societys Annual Gala 2013!

Mark Friday, May 10th on your calendar and join us at the 2013 American Societys Annual Gala for a fun and elegant night of dining, dancing and auctions. This years event will be held at the centrally located and beautiful Buffet Colonial in the neighborhood of Moema. Similar to last years event, we will have wonderful items (trips, dinners, jewelry, art etc.) for auction. The silent auction will take place during cocktails, and just before dinner, we will have a handful of exciting items to bid on during our LIVE auction. Proceeds from this event are used to fund: Am Soc general activities and two of AMSOCS sponsored social programs. This year the Community Action Committee has selected Projecto Sol and SPACE. Projeto Sol is a community-based organization serving children aged 7-17 of the Favela Vinte in the Cidade Dutra, located in the South zone of So Paulo. With the proceeds from the Annual Gala, they plan to furnish their new kitchen and eating space with tables, chairs and appliances. This space feeds 400 children, two meals per day. SPACE (So Paulo Action for Children and Education) is a young non-profit organization that pays for educational scholarships for needy children. Beyond the academic education, SPACE takes the children on cultural outings, holds regular Career Days, teaches the children English and invests in the education of the mothers as well. In 2012 SPACE had eight children in its program. Proceeds from this years Annual Gala will help sponsor students education for a full year. Organizing of the 2013 American Societys Annual Gala is well underway but there is still a lot to do. If you are interested in participating in one of the committees (Auction, Auction Logistics, Fundraising and Budget, Marketing and Communications, Ticket Sales), please contact Committee Head, Marlene Rubeiz ( Tickets are already on sale at American Societys office and can be purchased for $275 before March 8th or $300 afterwards. Gather seven of your friends and buy a table for 8! Make your plans now for an exciting evening!

The Awareness Issue

Type 1 Diabetes
Page 5: Kristina Dooley on her daughters recent diagnosis with T1D.

Indigenous Communities
Page 6: Learn about Brazils indigenous communities and what is - and is not - being done to preserve their heritage.

Travel Safety
Page 12: How a friends death brought travel safety into focus for our travel writer Melissa.

Our Mission
The American Society of So Paulo promotes friendship by organizing social, cultural and athletic events for its diverse membership; encourages integration with the Brazilian society; and supports the American traditions of education, philanthropy and volunteerism.

Presidents Corner
A long time ago, as a young kid on family home leave in the U.S., my parents were doing the normal shopping of treasures not available in Brazil. In those days we travelled By Joe Sherman, AmSoc president by ship so we could bring back foot lockers of stuff. I liked a baseball cap and had one dollar, the cap was 98 cents. So I went to the checkout counter by myself to buy the cap. The cashier rang up the cap and it was $1.02 so I argued that it was only 98 cents. She explained that there was 4 cents in sales tax. Luckily the person behind me gave me 2 cents. So, I learned about sales tax. As you know the sales tax in the U.S. varies by state between 4 to 8.5% depending on the state and productin some states there is no sales tax on food for example. On December 10, 2012 the President in Brazil sanctioned a law that will include the sales taxes on the bill. This will take time to organize and will be effective on June 10, 2013. The sales receipt will include an estimate of the following taxes: Imposto Sobre Servios (ISS); Imposto Sobre Circulaao de Mercadorias e Servios (ICMS); and the Contribuiao para o Financiamento de Seguridade Social (Cofins). Today the consumer has no clue on what taxes are included in the price of the final product. We hear comments that half the price of a car is taxes. Argentine wine costs less in California than in Sao Paulo, and so on. According to UHY Consultoria, Brazil is second in highest value added taxes, behind India. The Instituto Brasileiro de Planejamento Tributario (IBPT) has estimated the taxes included in many products. The following is a partial list and includes the percentage of taxes based on the final price (January 2012); Motorcycle 50%; Bicycle 35%; Medication 36%; Water bill 30%; Light bill 46%; Gasoline 57%; Meat 19%; Rice 18%; Soybean oil 37%; Sugar 40%; Milk 34%; Pasta 35%; Margarine 37%; Detergent 41%; Toilet paper 40%; Bottled water 45%; Beer 56%; Cachaa 83%; Microwave 57%; Refrigerator 47%; Clothing 38%. I am not sure how accurate these percentages are, but you get the general picture. These high percentages are incredible, and affect the rich and the poor. Why the high taxes on basic food items and clothing? OK, perhaps this made sense many years ago (25) with only 5 million Brazilians filing income taxes and a large underground economy. This is no longer the case, and if you add the other taxes such as income taxes, property taxes, automobile taxes, it is one of the highest tax burdens in the
Lynn Cordeiro, editor and layout Ernest White II, staff writer Forum is printed by EGB. ( Views expressed in Forum do not necessarily reflect those of the American Society board of governors, members, or staff. Forum reserves the right to edit content for brevity and/or clarity.

About Forum

Forum is published monthly, with the exception of January and July, by

The American Society of So Paulo Rua da Paz, 1431 04713-001 So Paulo, SP Tel: (11) 5182-2074 Fax: (11) 5182-9155 email the editor:

world. Today Brazil is uncompetitive in world markets and the high taxes discourage investment. If you consider the corruption and the fact that we get very little in return in terms of education, security and infrastructure investments, what can I say? On the positive side, I think the government is getting the message, for example the recent exemption/ reduction of the IPI federal tax on automobiles and major appliances. This helped the sales of these products. The government signed a decree to reduce our electricity bills by 20% on January 14, 2013. The reduction starts this month, check your bills. Lets face it, GDP growth of about 1% last year is terrible for an emerging market country, taxes are strangling the economy. Last December President Dilma mentioned that one of the objectives in 2013 would be tax reductions. Lets see. This new law, with the itemized taxes in the invoice will take effect in June, and once Brazilians see the amount of taxes I expect surprise and questioning of the level of taxation. We need to start questioning what we are getting in return for our taxes. Getting back to the American Society, one of the best values in town is your membership. A yearly family membership is R$250; two people cant go to the Fogo de Chao rodizio for dinner for that price. Your membership includes a cocktail party at the AGM, the 4th of July celebration, plus the Forum newsletter and the membership directory. You can choose among the other events, such as Little League, and the Christmas party which is charged at cost. We have two new Board members to start the year- Marilia Vallarelli de Tar and Valeska Gedeon, welcome on board. Your Board is already busy planning this years activities including a dinner/dance Gala event in May. All the best in 2013, vamos em frente! Abraos, Joe



The American Society of So Paulo

Welcome to Our New Members

Welcome the following New Members who joined us recently. We are very grateful for your support! Last Name SEABRA ZOUAIN GUIMARES WARD CAHILL GRIMM MOTA GURTNER WOZNIAK MIYAZAKI SILVA HORN Name Victor F. SEABRA Renato Sorroce ZOUAIN Cleusa GUIMARES Evans WARD Chistopher CAHILL Thomas GRIMM Margarete MOTA Werner GURTNER William WOZNIAK Karen MIYAZAKI Stephanie Regina Menezes SILVA Mark Tara WOZNIAK Adriana MARQUES Ana Paula CAHILL Denise HIRO Spouse Luciana F. SEABRA Maria Jos Soares Gonalves ZOUAIN Membership Family Patron Membership Family Patron Membership Single Patron Membership Family Membership Family Membership Family Membership Single Membership Helping Hands Membership Helping Hands Membership Junior Membership Junior Membership Single Patron Membership Mark Horn and Associates LLC Inex Tecnologia Organizacional Werner Gurtner Taminco do Brasil Produtos Qumicos Ltda. Rolls-Royce Brasil Ltda, CSME Geodis Company Hospital Universitrio da USP FECAP, FAAP, ESEAD Law Office Nationality Brazilian Brasileiro Brazilian American American American Brazilian American American Brazilian Brazilian American

Board Members of the American Society

Name Joe Sherman Ruth Hollard Frank Pierce Richard Wegman Eileen Tasso Isabel Franco Jacques Vaney John Kennedy Julie Gattaz Judy Zanchi Luis Barros Kevin May Leslie Reed Marlene Rubeiz Ricardo Rubeiz Jr. Suzana Sheffield Valeska Gedeon Marilia Detar

Position President Vice President Secretary Treasurer Chairman Contributing Member Contributing Member Chairman Chairman Contributing Member Contributing Member Chairman Chairman Chairman Chairman

Committee --Corporate Sponsorships 4th of July CAC/ Xmas Angel Party Corporate Sponsorships Corporate Sponsorships Athletic Membership Committee Social Committee Corporate Sponsorships Gala Event Cutural Nominations Corporate Sponsorships


The 2013 Erik Poliak Nominations

The American Societys mission statement states that we support American traditions of education, philanthropy, and volunteerism. Once upon a time, there was a man named Erik Poliak, an expat, who moved to Sao Paulo and found time to volunteer within the Amsoc community. He was Chairman of Chapel Schools Churrasco fund-raiser, he was the Little League Coordinator (even though his own children did not participate), he was Chairman of 4th of July picnic, he was President of Amsoc, he was very active at Fellowship Church, and he served on many other committees. One day, Erik was at a Little League practice at Chapel School when suddenly he was struck by a massive heart attack and passed away instantly. The American community was in shock. It was decided to create an award to honor this very fine man. The first Erik Poliak Award was given in 1985 and is now awarded annually to honor a member of the American community who shows outstanding community volunteer dedicationabove and beyond the call of duty. Nominations are now being solicited for the 2013 award which will be presented at the Annual General Meeting on April 25. Eligibility: All American citizens living in the state of Sao Paulo are eligible to receive the award. The volunteer project must benefit the community (Brazilian, American, or other). The recipient must be an American citizen, but not necessarily a member of the American Society. The volunteer projects must involve time which otherwise could have been spent on leisure activities. Clergy and teachers, whose profession by definition is helping others, are also eligible if their efforts are significantly superior than what would be considered to be their normal responsibilities. To nominate someone who you feel deserves this distinct honor, please send an email with Erik Poliak Award in the subject line to Ruth Hollard, who will be coordinating the selection process, at . Please include the reasons you feel this person is worthy of the 2013 award. Nominations must be received by midnight on March 15th.



The American Society of So Paulo

How Sweet It Is: Our T1D Journey

By Kristina Dooley, former AMSOC Member and very serious, damage such as heart and kidney disease, nerve damage, and blindness. In order for Isabella to live she needs to have a controlled diet, constant monitoring of her blood glucose levels and multiple injections of insulin each day. We estimate that by her 18th birthday, Isabella will have had more than 40,000 finger pricks to check her blood sugar, and 23,000 insulin injections. Compared to most children who endure shots just a few times in their life, these numbers are staggering. Immediately following Isabellas diagnosis my husband and I decided that we would do everything we could to raise awareness of this disease. Many misconceptions exist about T1D Since Isabellas diagnosis Ive had many people ask me if Type 1 Diabetes is caused by what you eat. When I tell people about her disease their response is often along the lines of So she cant have sugar, right? The reality is that, as opposed to Type 2 Diabetes, T1D doesnt develop because youve indulged on candy bars and cupcakes. Also, having Type 1 Diabetes doesnt mean Isabella will never know the joy of red velvet cake or have to miss out on Trick or Treating or Easter baskets. What it does mean is that she will have to know the exact carb count of EVERYTHING she consumes for the rest of her life and adjust her insulin accordingly. As the number of people, particularly young children, who are diagnosed with T1D rises each year, the availability of support systems worldwide is also growing. We have been fortunate to connect with other families with T1D children via JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) groups in both Ohio and Florida, as well as FIND (Fundacin Investigacin en Diabetes) in Mexico City. In fact, we have raised over US$10,000 in just 4 months via awareness walks and unique fundraisers to support these organizations and their search for a cure. Though we are still a few months away from Isabellas first Diaversary, it seems like our journey has already been quite long. However, with support from family, friends, and even strangers, we have been able to forge ahead and raise awareness about T1D. The thing that keeps us focused on the positive is the thought that someday well be able to say, Our daughter USED to have Type 1 Diabetes. Until that day well do everything we can to make sure Isabella never feels different from her siblings or peers and that her infectious smile never fades. For more information about Type 1 Diabetes and to read more about our story, please visit InspiredbyIsabella.

Long before becoming a parent I dreamt about the milestones Id celebrate with my children. Birthdays, graduations, weddingslots of memories, lots of dates engraved in my mind. Now, as a mom to 2-year-old triplets, Ive accumulated many dates in my mental calendar, including August 28, 2012: my daughter Isabellas Diaversary. Just 2 weeks before she, her brother, and sister would celebrate their 2nd birthday, Isabella was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). A combination of parents intuition and an observant preschool teacher lead my husband and I to Google what we thought could be symptoms of something: excessive thirst, lethargy, frequent urinationall common behaviors for a toddler. However, when combined, these symptoms are clear indicators of possible T1Dsymptoms that often go unnoticed by many parents until the child is comatose as a result of high blood sugar. Though this was not how the scenario played out for Isabella, had we waited just 24 hours longer to contact her pediatrician, this could have easily been our story. Each year 30,000 people are diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in the U.S. alone. People with T1D dont produce insulin because their immune system attacks the insulin-producing cells in their pancreas. Our bodies need insulin to move glucose (sugar) from our food through our bodies to convert into energy. Without insulin to shimmy the sugar along it just hangs out in our blood where it can cause long-term,

and we want to educate other parents since it is not, as most people assume, simply genetic. In fact, neither my husband nor I have any immediate family members with Type 1 Diabetes. First, we are often asked if Isabella will grow out of her diabetes and, unfortunately, the answer is no. While insulin is a tool to manage T1D, it is not a cure. Also, many people wonder if Isabellas siblings will eventually be diagnosed with T1D and the answer is that we truly dont know. Neither of them has shown symptoms of T1D but we do plan to have them, as well as us, screened in the future.



Brazils Indigenous Communities and The Country of the Future

By Ernest White II, Staff Writer education. The Indian Protection Service (SPI), established in 1910 by Brazilian army officer and advocate for indigenous rights Cndido Rondon, after whom the state of Rondnia is named, deteriorated after his death, turning from a benevolent oversight organization into a corrupt entity enabling land speculators and cattle ranchers to abuse the tribes, almost a hundred of which are suspected of being completely wiped out during the first half of the 20th century. Since 1958, when the Xingu National Park in the state of Mato Grosso was established as a reservation for indigenous tribes, the federal government has exerted control over much of the land inhabited by these communities under SPIs successor organization, the National Indian Foundation (FUNAI). However, during Brazils military dictatorship from 1964 to 1985, indigenous communities faced renewed assault, as the federal governments push to become The Country of the Future meant clearing huge swaths of Amazon rainforest for hydroelectric dams, roads, cattle ranches, and other development, without regard for protected indigenous land rights and resulting in massive deforestation and flooding. Localized acts of opposition by individual tribes were met with ferocious crackdowns by the authorities and vested interests. Organized opposition to these territorial incursions and systemic repression remained rare until at least the 1970s, due to the countrys immense size and the brutality of the military regime. The Catholic Church became the main catalyst in organizing a political movement on a national scale through the Indigenous Missionary Council (CIMI), created in 1972 as part of the National Conference of Brazilian Bishops. Under the concept of liberation theology, the affiliated clergymen took an active role in encouraging resistance to detrimental governmental practices and covered the costs of travel for representatives of various indigenous groups to meet and organize in Mato Grosso, first to establish essential bonds between the groups, then to discuss plans of collective action for the benefit of all indigenous communities, a difficult prospect for many of the tribal representatives who were both monolingual and illiterate. As these yearly assemblies grew larger and more threatening, the government clamped down several times, with the FUNAI or federal police officers disrupting the meetings. In 1978, the government of President Ernesto Geisel even drafted an emancipation decree threatening to terminate the special protected status of indigenous groups, though Geisel never signed it into law. News of this decree served to mobilize and unify the groups into an even tighter pan-indigenous (or panIndian) organization, culminating in the establishment of the Union of Indian Nations (UNI). The very name of this group provoked outrage among several sectors of society and the government called into question the legality of the group, declaring all indigenous people not assimilated into the modern Brazilian nation as wards of the state and calling them relatively incapable of self-governance. It wasnt until the Brazilian constitutional assembly of 1987-88, after the end of the dictatorship, that the UNI received support from non-indigenous entities such as the Brazilian Anthropological Association (ABA) and the National Association of Geologists (CONAGE), resulting in the governments abandonment of integration policies, recognition of ancestral lands and traditional customs, and allowing heretofore uncontacted indigenous groups to remain isolated within certain geographic areas.

Brazil is famous for being a multicultural melting pot where people from all corners of the globe have come together and fused into a singularly vibrant, variegated society. Yet buying into this national mythology means ignoring more profound truths such as the fact that even today, that celebrated mixture isnt as thorough as claimed and many communitiesspecifically, a large percentage of Brazils indigenous peoplesremain almost entirely unwoven into the grandly promoted tapestry of Brazilian society. In 1500, the year the Portuguese first encountered the landmass of over 3 million square miles theyd later call Brazil, 100 percent of the population of that landobviouslywas indigenous, semi-nomadic tribes of an estimated 4-to-6 million people, speaking some 2,000 languages. The results of the 2010 census indicate that the current indigenous population makes up 0.47 percent of the national total, almost 900,000 people comprising 305 ethnic groups and 271 languages. Over those five centuries, diseases, murder, and slavery as a result of European colonization, combined with the subsequent assimilation of many tribes into the modern Brazilian population, have led to this severe population decline. Meanwhile, the remaining indigenous tribes were forced deeper into the Brazilian interior or exiled to the periphery of cities where many languish in poverty, with limited Portuguese skills and even less formal



The American Society of So Paulo

Unfortunately, for many of Brazils indigenous communities, the present doesnt seem any rosier than the past. According to a 2010 report by the CIMI, still active in the struggle for indigenous rights, only 325 of the 851 indigenous areas of Brazil are officially registered and recognized by FUNAI. Several tribes living in recognized areas have met with inadequate protection and outright violations of governmental policies and laws. The Awa-Guaj of the state of Maranho face the invasion of hunters, fishermen, and miners entering their territories illegally, decimating local game and increasing deforestation; a mining railway also bisects their territory, causing environmental and noise pollution. The Guarani-Kaiow of Mato Grosso do Sul state had their ancestral lands recognized by the government in 2005, only to see that recognition overturned by Brazilian courts as a result of a petition by local ranchers. Just before Christmas that same year, federal police force of over 100 officers evicted approximately 60 men, women, and children from the land, which was subsequently torched by the ranchers in front of the tribe once the police left the scene, and the next week, a tribal leader was shot dead by a private security officer. CIMI reports that land conflicts have gotten progressively more violent, as indigenous groups defend their territories more intensely than ever before from ranchers, industrial-scale farmers, loggers, and illegal miners. The Belo Monte hydroelectric dam currently being built across the Xingu River in the Amazon region is one of the hottest flashpoints, with environmental groups concerned with irreparable damage to the ecosystem in addition to the dozens of tribes protesting its construction, according to the Folha de S.Paulo. The federal government has pledged $1.2 billion to assist the displaced groups by the dams scheduled completion date in 2019, but the current administration has taken a conservative tack regarding the pro-agribusiness lobby in Braslia, according to anthropologist Rinaldo Arruda of the Pontifcia Universidad Catlica-So Paulo (PUC-SP) as quoted in Folha, and has recognized far fewer new indigenous territories than the governments of both Luiz Incio Lula da Silva and Fernando Henrique Cardoso. Tribal leaders involved in the protests at Belo Monte arent hopeful that the government or the company building the dam will deliver on their promises. The official estimate of displaced Brazilians in the area to be flooded by the building of the dam is 16,000, but NGOs involved in the conflict, led by the organization Xingu Vivo, estimate the number to be at least 40,000. Protests at the construction site at the end of 2012 involved a being investigated by the Brazilian Ministry of Labor regarding allegations by the Xavante tribe of forced labor and forced child truancy. The landowners have erected roadblocks and sabotaged bridges in an attempt to keep the Brazilian army and federal police from evicting them per judicial order. Meanwhile, in the least-accessible reaches of the Amazon, drug traffickers are encroaching on lands occupied by an estimated 600 uncontacted indigenous people, who have lived in isolation from modern society since initial European colonization. In addition to highway expansion, oil exploration, and illegal logging, narcotraffickers have found their way into the borderlands of the state of Acre, which shares a heavily forested frontier with Peru that serves as a haven for illicit activity. According to FUNAI, the region is off-limits to all but those with official authorization, yet large-scale coca production in neighboring Peru is encroaching on Acre, causing potential conflict among the indigenous groups themselves, as well as between the tribes and unauthorized outsiders. Nationwide, a severe lack of formal education, high instances of violence from outside and within the communities, physical displacement, family breakdown, poor sanitation, and increased rates of suicide among indigenous youth are all immense challenges Brazils communities currently face, according to FUNAI and the Brazilian ministries of Health and Education. Awareness of these issues is the first step in recognizing that Brazils beauty lies in its diversity, and that its original inhabitants deserve a secure place in The Country of the Future.

coalition of activists, local fishermen, and indigenous groups, including the Arara, Assurini, Juruna, Kuruaia, Parakana, and Xipaia peoples, and groups have staged mass protests along Avenida Paulista in So Paulo to raise awareness of the issue. While the Belo Monte dam attracts international attention, less highprofile conflicts continue to simmer around the country. The Xavante tribe of Mato Grosso is having its officially recognized lands squatted on by several politically powerful ranchers and landowners, including several ex-mayors of the nearby town and a Supreme Court judge, according to information collected by FUNAI and the Institute for Agrarian Reform (INCRA). The landowners are currently

2010 2013


Consulate Corner: The Love Visa

By Cynthia Knudson, American Consulate you are, the faster your case can be ready for an interview. To request a K-1 visa, file a Petition for Alien Fianc(e) (Form I-129F) with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office that serves the area where you live in the United States. Once this petition is approved, your fianc(e) will submit an application for the K-1 visa to the U.S. embassy or consulate where he or she lives. In Brazil, the U.S. Consulate General in Rio de Janeiro handles all K visas. For specifics about requirements and the application process, please refer to application-requirements/fianc-visas. html. Please note that to enter the United States on a K-1 visa, you cannot already be legally married, so be sure to hold those vows until after you travel. If you are already married to a Brazilian citizen (or any other nonU.S. citizen) and would like to move to the United States with your spouse, you need only petition for immigration status for your spouse by first filing an I-130 form. Recent processing changes have increased efficiency and spousal cases are now being approved in about the same time it takes to process a fianc(e) case. After the petition is approved, your spouse will submit his or her application and attend an interview at the U.S. consulate or embassy located in the country of residence (Rio de Janeiro for Brazil). Residents of Brazil must file the I-130 petition with our Chicago facility, but the petitioner does not have to travel to the United States in order to do this. More information can be found on our website at reconsiderations.html. While love can sprout from any corner of the world, in the end you want to live with your family. If you want to live with them in the United States, the K visa will help pave the way.

CAC News
Thank you to all those who supported our charities during the holidays. Congratulations to Projeto Sol and SPACE. They will be this years beneficiaries from the proceeds of the upcoming Amsoc Gala. Both very deserving organizations, please read about them on the front page. Save the Date: April 20, 2013. 3rd annual Volunteer Day at Us Consulate. We need you: We have several members of our committee being relocated and we need to fill their positions. If you are interested in being part of the Community Action Committee please contact Eileen Tasso at This is not a big time commitment, we can use your help to help others.

Romance knows no national boundaries and citizenship categories, does it? Fortunately, our nations laws acknowledge this fact, and the United States has created a special visa category for fiancs and fiances. The K visa is a nonimmigrant visa that can help you and your intended spouse begin your journey as a new American family. Even with the popularity of dual careers and long-distance relationships, people who marry usually intend to share a home. But, until the marriage has taken place, a U.S. citizen cannot file an immigrant petition for his or her spouse. That often leaves the couple facing separation. This is where the K visa comes to the rescue. It allows the couple to live together in the United States while waiting for a more permanent status. The K-1 visa is a single-entry visa that allows your fianc(e) to travel to the United States to marry you. This marriage must take place within 90 days of arrival in the country. After the wedding, your spouse can adjust his or her status to a legal permanent resident of the United States. If your intended spouse has children, you can request K-2 visas for them through the same petition. The entire process will take several months, but the more prepared


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The American Society of So Paulo

Health Awareness: Flu Season 2013

By Dr. Delcio Amorim Since December, in the emergency unit of Hospital So Luiz-Rede Dor Morumbi, I have seen patients arriving from the USA presenting general complains of cough, malaise, fever, weakness for more than one week. It is flu season in the USA but since most people living over here did not yet take the flu vaccine they are susceptible to the disease. Other can return without the disease, but carrying the virus and transmitting it to others. You may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick. Most healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. Some people, especially young children and people with weakened immune systems, might be able to infect others for an even longer time. In Brazil, flu season occurs during the winter months (June to September). The key point is that we are living on a very small little planet, so an out of season epidemic flu is becoming more common. We advise you to take flu vaccines even if you are not planning to travel. Most experts believe that flu viruses spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. Less often, a person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, eyes or possibly their nose. In Brazil public health services offer the vaccine starting in May for children has its mutations (like the new H3N2) and only the new vaccines will use the identified mutations. Normally the flu vaccine is available in the US starting in September. It takes 2 or 3 weeks to be protected after being vaccinated, because your immunological system needs to produce antibodies. Another important thing to have in mind is that we are currently in the middle of Dengue season in Brazil (summer) that is transmited by the bite of Aedes aegipt mosquitoes and there are no available vaccines. Therefore, NEVER EVER take aspirin (methyl salicylic acid) when you have flu like symptoms, unless advised by a doctor. It can worsen the hemorragic events in the case of Dengue and produce serious side effects in virus diseases. If you just arrived from the USA - or had contact with people who have - and have a cough, fever, malaise, weakness, chills, muscle aches, do not think twice to see a doctor or go to a pronto socorro of a hospital for a proper diagnosis and care. Dr Delcio Amorim is a General Surgeon and Emergency physician at Hospital So Luiz Rede Dor Morumbi Additional data in this article taken from the CDC website

between 6 months and 2 years old, pregnant women and anyone above 60 years old. If youre not eligible for free vaccination, you should find a private vaccine clinic. You should be vaccinated every year once the vaccines are made using the most commom virus occurred during the last year. Medical staff at any clinica de vacinas can give you more information about the vaccine and the need of taking it here and in the USA, too. The H1N1 virus



Little League
By John Kennedy, AmSoc board member 2013 sign-ups The Little League season will start-up again on February 2 at Graded School with sign-ups taking place from 8:3011am, accompanied with coffee, donuts and OJ for all. Little League games will start on February 23 with the same sports this coming season, namely soccer from 9am to 10:30am, followed by baseball (or football) and tennis from 10:30am to 12 noon. The Saturdays until June are being discussed with the American schools, Graded, Chapel, and PACA. We are confident that we will have at least two Saturdays per month for Little League as well as several friendlies against other club teams over the next 5 months. These friendly matches will most likely be just for soccer and take place at the opposing teams field which would mean a third Saturday per month of Little League! Then in June we will have our midseason ending picnic and awards ceremony following a morning of sports. Please check our website for the Little League 2013 calendar. 2012 Finale Little League ended its season on December 8th at the PACA school with a picnic and awards for all. In addition, the Amsoc Little baseball players had their first real game against a Brazilian club team, the Giants. And without playing even one practice game all year, a scrappy Amsoc squad led by (just turned 14) Andre Medeiros, a hardthrowing pitcher, Amsoc only trailed the well-trained Brazilian team 2-0 after 5 innings. However, after normal player substitutions we made in innings 6 and 7, the Amsoc team couldnt hold back a deep Giants team, so AmSoc went on to lose 11-0. Needless to say, it was a great day for the AmSoc kids because they got a taste of a real baseball game. And in the end, they walked away with their first baseball trophy as well as their team jersey with their name and favorite number on it!




The American Society of So Paulo

Abacaxi Bowl
On February 2nd at the Graded School in Morumbi, the American Society will host its Abacaxi Bowl XV. Last year nine teams participated and approximately 150 players and spectators enjoyed the activities, which started at 10am and ended at 5pm. The origins of the Abacaxi Bowl date back to the 1980s when a bunch of American men organized themselves to play pick-up touch football games in January as they got psyched for the weekends of NFL playoffs and then Super Bowl Sunday. Over the years as Americans came and left Sao Paulo with their work, these pick-up games, which were mostly on Saturdays in January at either Graded or Chapel Schools became a tradition among the American and international community, including High School kids. By the mid-1990s, there were several teams all playing each other on the Saturday before Super Bowl Sunday to decide the winner, and everyone started to refer to these games as the Abacaxi Bowl. In 1999 an AmSoc Board member in charge of athletics decided to turn the Abacaxi Bowl into a formal tournament with two brackets of 3 to 4 teams playing a number of games to become the winner. And over the years each new AmSoc Board member in charge of sports made improvements to the tournament, such as flag-belts were adopted early on instead of playing two-hand touch, and trophies were awarded to the winning teammates, including an MVP trophy award. Since 2006 the Tournament has required the teams players to wear a jersey or a colored t-shirt during play instead of playing shirts versus skins! And since 2011 contracted referees with whistles, flags and stop-watches are used to keep the highly competitive games running orderly and an ambulance is now contracted to attend to minor injuries. Also in 2011, TV Bandsports did a documentary special on the Abacaxi Bowl that was to highlight at halftime on Super Bowl Sunday in Brazil, but at the last minute it was moved to the following Tuesday at 5pm! As the popularity of American football in Sao Paulo has grown enormously in recent years, with many teams and leagues in place, the Abacaxi Bowl has gained a reputation whereby many Brazilian teams now participate regularly every year, seeing the tournament as a must win for the trophy case! In fact, in each of the last five years, four different Brazilian teams have been an impressive runner-up. And interestingly, a revolving group of middle-aged American jocks calling themselves Cougars are aiming for their fourth straight championship.

Abacaxi Bowls
Year 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 Champion Runner-up Cougars Old School Cougars Carcamanos Cougars Devilz PACA Devilz PACA Silver Bullets US Consulate Graded School Chapel School & Stormin Mormons (tied) Chapel School Bristol Myers Squibb PACA Ford PACA US Consulate PACA Ford Ford US Consulate PACA Graded School Graded School Ford




Safe Travels
By Melissa Harkin, AmSoc member On October 7th, 2012, I lost a dear friend. She was a Greenpeace activist for nearly 10 years and I met her during my 2 years working for that same organization. Tatiana de Carvalho, 36, fell from a waterfall at Poo Azul (DF), a recreational area located on km 105 of the DF-001 road between Taguatinga and Brazilndia. A five year old child who was with her, the son of a friend, also fell and broke his pelvis. Tatiana was trekking with family and friends when she slipped on the stones, fell from a height of 15 meters, hit her head and died instantly. The child was taken to the Hospital by the Fire Department and survived, but not without pain he has since undergone 2 surgeries on his pelvis. Brazil is the largest country in South and Latin America and fifth largest in the world. Famous for its soccer tradition and its annual Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Recife and Olinda. It is a country of great diversity, from the bustling urban mosaic of So Paulo to the infinite cultural energy of Pernambuco and Bahia, the wilderness of the Amazon rainforest and worldclass landmarks such as the Iguau Falls. There is plenty to see and to do in Brazil. But Brazil fails terribly regarding safety! And when we think about safety in Brazil we all usually think about the same things: crime rates and a few other aspects that revolve around health and transportation. But what about safety during our touristic activities? Our very own FORUM Editor, Lynn Cordeiro, was telling me about a trip she took a few weekends ago and said: We visited a waterfall in Ilhabela last week and [we] were shocked by how liberal the [tour] guides told us to rappel down unsecured rocks. And the safety issues are not a prerogative of nature activities only. Last February (2012), a 14 year-old girl passed away after falling from a Giant Drop ride at Hopi Hari (So Paulo) called the La Tour Eiffel. She fell 98 feet to her death when her restraint opened at the moment the brakes were applied. The seat had had several problems before and should have been marked out of order. In June 2010, at Terra Encantada in the State of Rio De Janeiro, a 61 year old woman fell 30 feet to her death after the restraints opened mid-ride. These are just a few among hundreds of accidents that happen every year throughout Brazil, either in an amusement park or during nature outings. And they all happened for the same reasons: employees with insufficient training and insufficient knowledge of the rides they control or areas they work in, poor salaries and work conditions, lack of investment on safety programs and safety equipments, and total disregard for all applicable legislation. Tourists must understand that safety is not a priority when it comes to these types of activities in Brazil. Although

there are a few companies here and there that do take safety seriously, most dont. Most of them rely on the offchance of an accident not happening,




The American Society of So Paulo

require the participants, or their legal guardians, to sign a document in which they become exempt from liability if accidents happen. However, experts in Brazilian consumer law warn that when hiring excursions and summer camps, or simpler activities, such as a few hours in a skating rink or a water park, it is not necessary to sign the waiver of liability that normally is shown after the payment of the service. As a former legal advisor I can tell you that the ideal is to not even sign that paper, but if it is signed, no problem. Such waiver of liability has no legal value. The Consumer Defense Code (CDC Cdigo de Defesa do Consumidor) nullifies any clause that removes rights of citizens. This practice adopted by some companies is illegal, because what they are doing is trying to impose an illegal condition on the client. The supplier must ensure the safety of the clients. If there is an accident resulting from the commercial relationship it means that there was a defect in providing the service. Regardless of the blame (for the accident), the one providing the service should be responsible for first aid, medical care, and for the transfer of the injured person to a hospital. If the client decides to go to court, he/she has up to five years after the fact to do so. And it will be up to the company to prove that it was not liable for the damages caused on the client. Although their rights are guaranteed by law, consumers must devote time to seek information about the company that is offering the services. Many companies insist on enforcing this abusive practice because they know that only 3 out of 10 clients will seek legal assistance in securing their rights. Brazilians, in general, are still not aware about this. Usually, the client also does not want to invest time to investigate the company or professional who he/ she is hiring. And that is very simple nowadays: just type the companys CNPJ on the websites of the Receita Federal Brazilian IRS (www.receita., the Junta Comercial of the companys city (for So Paulo, the website is www.jucesp.fazenda. or the Courts of Justice (Tribunais de Justia) to determine whether theres an ongoing lawsuit or not. If you cant do it yourself, you can ask an accountant to research this information for you. It is a good way to avoid, or at least minimize, problems with companies. Meanwhile I urge you to use your own judgment when doing activities. Just because it is offered, does not make it safe. Do not assume that safety standards are in place because the company running the activity has a logo and a leaflet. Be smart, be safe! Melissa Harkin runs a translation company called Melissa Harkin Translations. Visit her website at www. or contact her at (1198428-8714). Special DISCOUNTS for AMSOC members!

and then they rely on the chances (which are big) of the victim or his/her relatives not filing a lawsuit. Do not expect to find a Walt Disney World safety standard on amusement parks in Brazil, for example. In the United States, companies go several extra miles not to be taken to court, and that includes investments in safety equipment, training and procedures. However, here in Brazil, we all know its a different story (that more often than not ends in pizza as Brazilians themselves usually say). Not just because Brazil is the country where some laws work and some dont, but also because of the influence of its level of education (or lack thereof), corruption and socioeconomic status as a developing country. Companies that promote leisure activities, tourism and even the socalled adventure sports - climbing, bungee jumping, hang-gliding flights, among others - are required to maintain the safety and well-being of their clients. Even though, in most cases, they




H ousing
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S ervices
Translation Specialists Over 10 years translating solutions in U.S. cities such as California, Houston and Chicago, SAO PAULO TRADUCOES has had projects with the best companies in Brazil and the world. Solutions in English, Spanish, Portuguese in engineering, legal, med. and many other areas. Free quote: Contact Paulo at: 96657 0170 Please visit us at: Personal Trainer I will come to your home, office, or workout facility and create an exercise/fitness program tailored to your health concerns, fitness goals, and schedule. For adults and children, individuals or groups. Sessions in English, Spanish, or Portuguese. For more information please contact Daniela Franco at (11) 99739-6191 or American-Licensed Counselor. Dawn Morelli, MSW, LCSW. I am an American with USA training and licensing. My expertise includes; mood, anxiety, cultural issues, relationship and family concerns, self esteem, trauma, and personal growth. I have strong skills in assessment/evaluation which allow to identify the best and most effective treatment. I work with individuals, families and children. 98963-2871 or Piano and Keyboard Classes Beginning music classes for piano or keyboard. Special method for children four years or older, teenagers, adults and senior citizens. Classes in portuguese or english. Contact Suely Azevedo 98456-5365. Years of successful experience! Class in your house in Morumbi or south area. American-Licensed Psychotherapist In this busy and ever-changing world, people often feel stressed and overwhelmed with no place to turn. Psychotherapy/ counseling can provide a safe place to receive professional guidance and support. Brief or longer-term therapy offered depending on your needs, goals and expectations. Services: individual, couples, child/adolescent. Certified to conduct Adoption Home Study for American Citizens. Contact: Pamela Wax, MSW/LCSW at 99656-2106 or send an e-mail to Located in Moema. Family Dentistry Dental care you can trust for your whole family. We want to make sure you are comfortable and confident in our care we work only with the highest quality products and equipment, bringing specialists to you so that you dont have to face traffic, and providing you with clear information to make the dental decisions that are right for you. Native English. Tel.: (11) 30443111; Website: Ayumi Photography Im a Brazilian photographer who, like yourselves, lived overseas for many years and speak English, Spanish and Portuguese fluently. Based in So Paulo I do mostly social and corporate events, family, children, newborn and travel photography. Feel free to contact me should you need any information! Ayumi Yamamoto, Cel. (11)997515259, Real English Native english teachers needed ( with or without experience ) to work in a quickly growing english school in the zona sul of So Paulo. Please contact us. REAL ENGLISH, (11) 56313794, (11) 97318-5881 or

Forum does not check all of the advertisers appearing in this newsletter. We urge you to use these services; however, thoroughly check prices and services prior to finalizing any service or purchase agreement.

A classified of up to 350 characters costs R$60 for AmSoc members and R$80 for non-members. To place a classified please call (11) 5182-2074 from 8:30 a.m. until 1 p.m., or send an e-mail to AmSoc1@

A Note to Our Readers



Place a Classified


February 2013
02 Saturday

The American Society of So Paulo

Learn more about this months AmSoc events (highlighted) at
Important Dates: December - 14 ValentInes Day (Us), 09 -12 carnIVal (bra), 13 ash WeDnesDay (bra/Us), 18 presIDents Day (Us)

Abacaxi Bowl

At Graded School. Av. Presidente Giovanni Gronchi, 4710 - Morumbi. 1 DAY Tournament 8:30 - Warm-ups and Re-confirm Team registration 10:00 - Games Noon - Food Court Opens 4:30 - Award Ceremony Pay the lower of R$550 per team, OR by the number of Players per team: - Player is an AMSOC member = R$25 -Player is a Non-AMSOC member = R$40



Little League Sign-Up & Donuts Breakfast SuperBowl

Join Us For Coffee & Donuts while you register your children for the Little League Sports!! Boys and Girls between the ages of 5 - 13 are eligible. At Graded School. Av. Presidente Giovanni Gronchi, 4710 - Morumbi At BOS-BBQ R. Pedroso Alvarenga, 559, Itaim Bibi - So Paulo At 8pm Amsoc members get a complimentary Beer or Cocktail Drink specials, games prizes. Reservations: 3078-4858 or 1st Monday of every month in the Brazilian British Centre in Pinheiros (R. Ferreira de Arajo, 741). At 8pm Dancing the traditional Scottish reels is an important and enjoyable part of the Societys events. In order to help newcomers learn the basic steps and encourage the more adventurous to learn new ones, St. Andrew Society organizes a meeting of the Scottish Country Dancing Club (SCDC). Time: 8h30 - 11h00. Location: Emporio Santa Maria. Address: Avenida Cidade Jardim, 790 - So Paulo - SP. Website: INC will once again organize a carnival tour on Saturday the 9th of February. The event not only includes your ticket but also safe transport to and back from the Sambdromo and an English speaking guide. At Sala So Paulo, Praa Jlio Prestes, 16 - Santa Ceclia, So Paulo. At 9:00 pm.





Scottish Country Dancing Club

06 09

Wednesday Saturday

Monthly Coffee by the International Newcomers Club (INC) INC Carnival Tour 2013



Opening Concert from Orquestra Sinfnica do Estado de So Paulo

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For more than 60 years The American Society of So Paulo has worked to establish a strong network for expats living and working in So Paulo. Join Today!!! Visit our website at and fill in our on-line form or call the AmSoc office at 5182-2074




Do You Have Expatitis?

By Maureen Kennedy Alves, AmSoc member In the first few months after my move to So Paulo, I came across a blog by a family physician living in Beijing, China. Obsessed with air pollution and desperate to combat the fumes here in the city, I spent hours googling the topic and ways to minimize its impact on me and my family. My search led me to and the invaluable advice of its author, Dr. Richard Saint Cyr. As I was surfing his blog, I happened upon an entry about expatitis, a term he coined after seeing many expat patients with similar health problems in his Beijing clinic. Dr. Saint Cyr describes expatitis as physical and emotional symptoms that manifest as a result of maladaptive coping mechanisms to the stressors inherent to living abroad. In other words, living in another country is not always easy and the stress that it entails can take a toll on our physical and mental health. The symptoms? Difficulty sleeping, stress, depression, fatigue, a lot of smoking, lack of exercise, risky sex, and poor eating habits. Expatitis can hit the working spouse, who may have to deal with long work hours, extensive travel, and language and cultural barriers on the job. And it can affect the non-working spouse, who is suddenly home alone, isolated and facing many of the same language and cultural challenges as his/her partner. Either way, when expatitis strikes, the whole family suffers. I cant speak for the frustrations that arise from doing business or having a high stakes job in another culture. But I do understand the challenges of making a life in a foreign country. I lived in Thailand for a year, back when the only people on the Internet were a bunch of ber smart computer science professors emailing each other from various universities. That meant communication with friends and family was limited to letters on good old-fashioned airmail paper and bike rides to the local post office for my weekly telephone call back home. Essentially I was cut off from life as I knew it, which, in many ways, helped me see what a big deal it was to live abroad. Nowadays, the Internet has completely changed the face of life as an expatriate. We can log onto email or Facebook and in two minutes get the latest news from family, friends and old colleagues. We can see our loved ones on Skype whenever we want and without having to pay a dime (thats a long way from the $10 ten-minute phone calls I made in Thailand). We can even stay current on the latest TV dramas (Downton Abbey, anyone?) and have a landline with a U.S. phone number (hello, MagicJack). With the ability to be connected instantly to the world at large, we obscure the difficulty of carving out a life for ourselves in a foreign country and we numb ourselves to the emotional impact it can have. As a result, we may be harder on ourselves when we have a frustrating cultural experience; expect more of ourselves in our day-to-day lives; or forget, in general, to take extra care. Dr. Saint Cyr offers some excellent tips on overcoming expatitis, which include building exercise into your routine (even if its just 10 minutes at first), getting more sleep at night, taking deep breaths to relax, reassessing your priorities (stop putting off that family vacation), and getting counseling if youre feeling down (and no, going for counseling doesnt mean youve failed or that youre crazy). I would like to add one more suggestion to what the doctor has ordered: Walk away from the computer, turn off the TV and hang up the telephone. Then go take a good look in the mirror and congratulate yourself (no, you dont have to say it out loud) for what an amazing job you are doing just by being here. Having stepped this far out of your comfort zone is no small feat and it may be good medicine to remind yourself of that and throw some praise in there, too as often as is needed.