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Save the date

Upcoming AmSoc events Feb 4th - Abacaxi Bowl Feb 4th - Little League Sign up / Pancake Breakfast Feb 23rd - Welcome Back Happy Hour Mar 17th - St. Patricks Day Celebration

Monthly Newsletter February 2012

Little League Sign-Up and Pancake Breakfast

Now s the time to make the reservation to have some fun with friends! Join us for the Little League SignUp and delicious Pancake Breakfast on February 4th. No need to make a reservation, just come along and pay at the door. Where: Graded School When: Saturday, February 4th Time: From 9:00 am to 11:00 am Price: R$ 20,00 per person If you need any additional information, please e-mail AmSoc at or call 5182-2074

The Travel Issue

Jet Lag
Page 5: Feel like dozing off for a few hours to get rid of your jet lag? Dont! Ernest White II. explains why.

Gap Year
Page 6: So many options for that precious year before things get serious.

Welcome Back Happy Hour

Come see old friends and make new ones at the American Society Welcome Back Happy Hour on Thursday , February 23rd from 6 pm to 9 pm! We always get a big crowd at our happy hours, so they are a great way to meet people, network and do something a little different during your week. This months happy hour will be hosted at Cervejaria Nacional in Pinheiros, where you can sample their many homebrewed artisanal beers. Be sure to let them know youre with the American Society when you enter so they can tell you which of the three floors were on. Where: Cervejeria Nacional, Avenida Pedroso de Morais, 604 Pinheiros When: Thursday February 23 from 6 pm to 9 pm

Travelling with kids

Page 8: If you travel with your little ones in tow, its all about the planning.

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.

Dance the Night Away in May!

The American Society is hosting its premiere gala in May! A live auction will be held with proceeds benefiting charity and one of So Paulos finest DJs will be spinning your favorite tunes. Mixing, mingling, dining and dancing all for a good cause its sure to be a night to remember! Tickets go on sale this month. Call the American Society office at 5182-2074 for more information and be on the lookout for more details about this special event in next months Forum. If you are interested in volunteering and having a bit of fun in the process please contact Kevin May at kevin.

Presidents Corner
Happy New Year! I wish everyone a successful and healthy 2012. My new year was rather wet, celebrating with By Joe Sherman, AmSoc president an umbrella on the beach, 7 candles, 7 waves, and flowers for lemanja.Anyway, time to get down to American Society business for 2012! The Board is planning many activities this year and the kickoff starts with the Abacaxi Bowl at Graded School on Feb 4. This is a full day event with games, food and drink, and if you are not playing, it will be fun to watch and get you ready for the Super Bowl! On Saturday we will also have signups for Little League with a great pancake breakfast. So dont forget to sign up the kids and mark Saturday, Feb 4 on your calendar for a fun day for the whole family and a chance to revisit with friends. Our St. Patricks celebration will be on March 17. Stay tuned for a new format! We are planning the Annual General Meeting (AGM) for the last week in April, a very popular event among the membership. We will be announcing the 2011 Eric Poliak award winner at the AGM this year and nominations will be accepted in March. I look forward to seeing many of you at our social, sports, and charitable activities this year. Um abrao, Joe

Board Bio
Leslie Reed Cultural Committee Chair Prior to moving to Brazil, I spent seven amazing years in New York City. I grew up in Nashville, TN, and went to college and began my career in the south. The biggest challenge moving to a new city with a different culture and pace was adjusting to life without family and friends close by. Fortunately, it wasnt long before I called New York home thanks to the new friends I made. They became family and made my experience there much richer. Now, a year after arriving in So Paulo, I find myself calling it home. Brian and I miss our friends and family in the States but thanks to Skype, we see them often. We are having an incredible time traveling, meeting new people and experiencing life in a new country. But when asked what we love most about Brazil our response is always the same the close friends weve made, many of whom we met through American Society activities. I encourage anyone looking to make friends, learn more about So Paulo and its culture, or simply network, to join. You can participate in big or small ways whatever works for you. We feel grateful for the friends weve made and happy to have found an organization that helps us feel connected to our new community, and I think you will, too.

Check your spam boxes

We have been told again that some people arent receiving the online newsletters from AmSoc. Our online newsletters cover events that sometimes do not make it for the Forum deadline and serve as great reminders to finally get that afternoon or evening down in your calendar! Please check from time to time in your spam inbox of your email provider if messages from us have been intercepted. Better yet, add our email contacts br and to your contact list. If you need more information on this you can contact the office by writing to

About Forum

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

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.

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



The American Society of So Paulo

Meet our New Members

Name: Barbara Brown Origin: I was born in Chicago and raised in the suburbs of New York. I began my career and attended graduate school in New York City. My husband and I have two children and we have lived in New York, Florida, Hawaii, Georgia and Florida again. So Paulo is our first ex-pat assignment. Why So Paulo: My husbands company selected Brazil as the location for its first global company and we were chosen to be the pioneer ex-pats. I experienced my So Paulo shock and awe moment a year ago while looking at the city from the 23rd floor of our hotel. We relocated to So Paulo from Florida this past September. Best Things So Far: It is very exciting to live in such a vibrant and cultural city. I can always find something new to see and do (or eat!) just by walking out of my apartment. The paulistanos I meet treat me with kindness and patiently encourage my attempts at Portuguese. My fellow expats are a source of support, friendship and shared information. There is no end to places I want to visit and explore. Early Frustration: The most frustrating experiences have been the little things that take forever to be accomplished: banking, Internet, cable TV, appliance deliveries, container deliveries, etc. Meeting others in my same situation was very helpful; we could share a laugh over the initial craziness. The larger things like language, finding my way around, meeting people and creating a new life are coming with time. Have saudade for anything back home: I miss authentic chocolate chip cookies, my favorite peanut butter and affordable spaghetti sauce. Progress with Portuguese: After three months I am an expert at greeting everyone and talking about the weather. Through classes and listening to Portuguese I understand more each week. Reading comprehension is developing faster than speaking but everyone seems fine with my attempts to communicate in a mixture of Portuguese and charades. Favorite place to hang out: I enjoy meeting with new friends at different cafs for coffee or lunch. All food in Brazil is fabulous! I have found a sculpture studio where I can take lessons and hang out with fellow artists. Art galleries and museums are also favorite places to spend time.

Name: Stephanie Cirihal Origin, time here: I was born and raised in the U.S. and have lived in So Paulo (1996), Zurich, Barcelona, San Francisco, Michigan, and now we have come full circle, returning to So Paulo again in March 2011. Why So Paulo: I think because my Brazilian husband brings value to his American company here - hes working on a great new sustainability project that we both

believe in and that brought us here. Best things so far: The nightlife, the warmer weather, and the feira - love the fresh food here and the pastel! Also the ability to help bring Zumba and Nia to Brazil! Early frustrations: Ive found it difficult to make new friends (versus acquaintances), and have yet to adapt to the fluid nature of things here (meaning that things seldom happen the way they are originally planned). Have saudade for anything back home: The community I had established teaching Nia classes in Michigan, and great Mexican food.

Progress with Portuguese: After our last stint here, I realized that for me, learning the language is a key to happiness here. I have worked hard, and attained a livable level of Portuguese. People think its because my husband is Brazilian, but in reality we only speak English at home! My LIFE is a Portuguese lesson - with him I just want to relax. Favorite place to hang out: Having come from a small town, I love experiencing the city life and to me nothing exemplifies that more than having a drink at Sky Bar at Hotel Unique OR having a pastel at my Friday feira on Elias Zarzur.



Go Anywhere... By Air
By Ernest White II, staff writer TAM operates non-stop flights from its hub to 17 cities outside of Brazil, including five destinations in Europe London, Paris, Frankfurt, Rome, and Madrid and twice daily to three cities in the United States New York, Miami, and Orlando. Most recently, TAM began daily non-stop flights to Mexico City in November, operating an Airbus 330200 to compete with AeroMxicos two daily 777s. TAM is also in the process of merging with Chilean carrier LAN, a multinational Latin American powerhouse with hubs in Santiago and Lima, to become the largest airline in Latin America and one of the largest in the world. Operating under their current brands, the airlines will be joined under the LATAM Airlines Group and are expected to move completely into the Oneworld airline alliance, as industry experts predict that TAM will relinquish its affiliation with the Star Alliance. The carriers offer a combined 13 daily non-stops to Buenos Aires and 8 daily non-stops to Santiago, four of which must be divested to a competing carrier such as Gol, Brazils secondlargest airline, which also operates hubs at So Paulos two airports. Gol flies to 9 international destinations from Guarulhos, including four Caribbean locales Caracas, Aruba, Barbados, and Punta Cana under the diminished Varig brand that it acquired in 2007. Though not affiliated with any major airline alliance, Gol signed a code-share agreement with Delta Air Lines in December, providing an easier connection for Delta passengers headed to secondary Brazilian destinations via its gateways in So Paulo, Braslia, and Rio de Janeiro, and is subsequently canceling its agreements with American Airlines, effective this September. And to solidify its position as the strongest Brazilian carrier after TAM, Gol is finalizing the purchase of lowcost start-up WebJet, Brazils numberfour airline. Aerolneas Argentinas, AviancaTACA of Colombia and Peru, Copa of Panama, Pluna of Uruguay, and Aerosur and Boliviana of Bolivia round out the carriers serving Brazils Latin American neighbors. 2011 proved important for Guarulhos, with new international carriers entering the market and others expanding service. In March, awardwinning Singapore Airlines began thrice-weekly flights to Singapore, via Barcelona. Iberia of Spain responded to this service by sending an Airbus 340 from the Catalan capital to So Paulo twice a week. Singapore, thus, joins two other airlines with one-stop service to East Asia: Korean Air flies to Seoul with a stop in Los Angeles three times a week, providing the only non-stop link between So Paulo and the West Coast of the United States, and Air China flies to Beijing twice a week, with a stop in Madrid. Other Asian airlines flying from Guarulhos include Emirates, with daily service to Dubai, and Qatar Airways, with daily flights starting in Buenos Aires and stopping over in So Paulo before continuing on to Doha. Unfortunately, El Al, the flag carrier of Israel, ceased its thrice-weekly operations to Tel Aviv in November, citing increased fuel costs as a major factor in the discontinuation of service.

Part of sustaining Brazils economic growth is making sure the country and in particular, So Paulo, the economic capital is connected to the world. Despite complaints about the terminals at the citys dank, unwelcoming international airport at Guarulhos and the lack of public transportation options, So Paulo has the largest collection of airlines (32), servicing the largest number of international destinations (48) from any South American airport, and handled the largest number of passengers of any Latin American airport in 2011 (approximately 26,850,000, just squeaking past Mexico City). Okay, its not exactly Atlanta, but were no small potatoes when it comes to flight options. As of last month, airlines offered non-stop services from So Paulo to cities on five continents, with only Oceania and obviously Antarctica missing direct links. The major player at Guarulhos is TAM, which acquired the top spot among Brazilian carriers in 2006, when storied airline Varig ceased operations.



The American Society of So Paulo

Many long-time fliers mourn the loss of Japan Air Lines, which suspended its twice-weekly flights from New York to So Paulo in October 2010. The one-time leading Japanese carrier code-shares with American Airlines on the route, as does Oneworld partner Cathay Pacific of Hong Kong. Recently, Monocle magazine reported that All Nippon Airways is considering a link between Brazil and Japan. Meanwhile, American offers two daily non-stops to New York for travelers connecting on to Asia. Delta and United Airlines also provide daily service from JFK and Newark airports, respectively, while TAM runs to JFK twice daily. Other U.S. destinations from So Paulo include Atlanta and Detroit, flown by Delta; Chicago, Houston, and Washington-Dulles, flown by the newly enlarged United; and Dallas and Miami, flown by American. Despite intense market pressure, dont expect any new service between Brazil and the States until at least 2013, when restrictions on traffic between Brazils main international gateway and the U.S. are eased. Toronto is the only Canadian city with non-stop service via Air Canada. The major European financial centers London, Paris, Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich, Milan, Rome, Amsterdam, Madrid, and even Istanbul all have between four-weekly and twice daily service offered by the major airline of each country. TAP of Portugal is the sole provider of flights between Brazil and its former colonizer, with 11 weekly frequencies to Lisbon and two weekly runs to Porto. Southern Africa is served by South African Airlines 11 weekly flights to Johannesburg and TAAGs thrice-weekly flights to Luanda, capital of Lusophone Angola. Rumors of a Kenya Airways nonstop to Nairobi in 2011 have proved to be just that, though the airline had officially announced service back in 2009, which never got off the ground. So theres no reason to ever feel trapped in So Paulo. You may have to fork up a real or two, but youve always got plenty of options to get you out of Dodge.

How to Avoid Jet Lag

By Ernest White II, staff writer With Brazil jutting into the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, most of us who end up here from foreign lands have to deal with the effects of changing time zones. From Western Europe and the East Coast of the United States, this time difference might be between two and three hours, and even more for people from farther afield. Either way, most of us arrive via an overnight red-eye flight, which means were most likely hitting the ground with a sleep deficit. Meanwhile, the usual annoyances of jet leg fatigue, insomnia, bowel trouble can fray the Make sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. The air in the cabin of the plane is almost always cool and dry, exacerbating your dehydration. A void alcohol and caffeine these only make the effects worse. Be sure to set your watch to the destination time before even boarding your flight. Try and sleep or remain awake as if youre already at your destination. If its daylight where youre going, avoid sleeping on the plane. If its nighttime, try and get some sleep. There are plenty of accessories you can use to help you sleep, including eye masks and ear plugs. Comfortable seats in premium cabins also help (hint, hint). And eating like youre already at your destination skipping dinner on the plane because its usually served based on your home time zone also helps your body adjust to the change. Once you arrive at your destination be it So Paulo, Berlin, or Los Angeles try to spend as much time as you can outdoors, preferably in the sun. Sunlight actually works to convince your brain that youre in a new time zone. Limit any naps to 30 minutes, as they can worsen the effects of jet lag if you try and make up for the sleep you lost while traveling. All exercising helps combat jet lag, but exercises done in the sunlight will minimize the ill effects of zipping through time zones. If youre only heading out of town for a few days, try to maintain your home schedule to avoid having to change back once again. So remember, dont oversleep or overeat; try to maintain the schedule of your destination if youre going on a lengthy journey, and set your watch to the destination time once on the airplane. This isnt a guarantee that you wont ever have jet lag, just a warning so youll now how to avoid it the next time you take flight.

nerves of even the most experienced traveler as his or her body clock struggles to synch itself with its new environment. Heres our handy-dandy guide to beating back the adverse affects of time zone travel. Depending on where youll be traveling and how great the time difference, experts suggest adjusting your schedule for eating, sleeping, working, everything one hour back or one hour forward each week, unless youre only spending a few days away from home (in which case, try to maintain your home schedule). If youre flying across five time zones, try to get a head start five weeks before traveling. This may be impractical, depending on your normal schedule, but its worth the extra effort to have less of a problem adjusting once youre at your new destination. While youre traveling, there are even more precautions you can take.



Oh, The Places You Will Go! Gap Year Travel

By Kristina Dooley or work so they can discover their vocational strengths before launching into an academic arena filled with uncertainty. A great option for a student fitting this description is a Gap Year Program. Taking a year off before heading to college is something that many universities actually encourage, including Harvard. In fact Harvards Dean of Admission, William Fitzsimmons, wrote an article entitled Time Out or Burn Out for the Next Generation outlining the reasons why a student should take a year off before beginning their university studies. According to Fitzsimmons approximately 50-70 students defer their entrance into Harvard to take advantage of opportunities such as a gap year. Gap year programs have been commonplace in the UK for years and have recently been gaining popularity worldwide. A booming market has been created for students wishing to consider gap year options including international travel, language studies, and volunteer work. A bonus for some gap year participants is that many programs offer college credit for participating. One program offering participants university credit is Carpe Diem Educations (www. yearlong Latitudes Program. Latitudes participants can study environmental conservation in Tanzania, scale Mount Doom in New Zealand, or learn Thai in Southeast Asia along with other students. In addition, the Latitudes program includes a 12-week solo volunteer/study placement in the students country of choice. Recent participants have studied kung fu in China, worked with street children in Guatemala, and mastered organic gardening in Patagonia. Another gap year program offering extensive travel opportunities for students is Where There Be Dragons ( One example of a Dragons program is the Himalayan Studies Semester during which students spend 10 days in a Buddhist monastery, learn bronze casting in Kathmandu, and explore a rural Nepali village. Another program, The Rhythms of West Africa, provides students the opportunity to take drum and dance lessons, study the Fulani culture while in a home-stay, and explore human rights issues in Dakar, Senegal. Students interested in traveling throughout Central and South America will find value in LEAPNOWs (www. LEAPYEAR program. Aside from being immersed in the Spanish language, students in this program will participate in a yoga and meditation retreat at the foot of a Guatemalan volcano, complete a 2-week service project with a local NGO in Nicaragua, and trek through the Sacred Valley of Peru to Machu Picchu. No matter what their interest, any student interested in taking a year off before college can find a gap year program that is right for them. Gap year programs provide students with the opportunity to grow and mature as young adults before beginning their university studies. The opportunities to explore the world and volunteer make these programs a truly wonderful experience. Kristina L. Dooley is the founder of Estrela Consulting, an Independent Educational Consulting firm helping families navigate the college and boarding school search processes. A former college admission counselor, Kristina enjoys sharing her behind the scenes tips with families embarking on this exciting experience. Kristina is a former AMSOC member now living in Mexico City and can be reached via email at Kristina@ or online at

While crossing the stage at high school graduation, fear fills the minds of the parting seniors. A chorus of dont trip, dont trip, dont trip is paired with please dont let my father yell Thats My Boy!. As if these thoughts werent enough to encompass all that is going through the heads of these newly-minted responsible young adults, the realization that freshman move-in day at their chosen university is just 2 months away begins to add to that sinking feeling in their stomachs. Too often graduating high school students move the tassel on their cap while fretting about the plans they had thought through so well just a few months prior. In this moment of panic, it may seem that that low-paying, non-benefit reaping summer job may just become a full-time gig. Pair this with the thought of living at home until theyre 40 and you may just have a full-blown breakdown on your hands. Before launching into the world is ending mode, its important for the student to take a deep breath and consider their options. Believe it or not, colleges have students asking to defer their offers of admission every year. However, the reason for a deferral should be legitimate and the intention to enroll the following year should be genuine. A common reason for deferring an offer of admission is a simple one: the student just isnt ready yet. Oftentimes a student needs a year to mature and grow as an individual. Many students have a desire to travel, volunteer,



The American Society of So Paulo

Save your cash: Travel Agencies vs. Internet

By Melissa Harkin, AmSoc member Steven Levitt, author of Freakanomics and Super Freakanomics, mentions in the first book that the internet took the advantage away from those who profit with misinformation. An example of this is the Travel Agencies. Their commissions and profits are tied to the tourist not having any idea of the actual cost of the services. With the Internet, you can search and book hotels, buy train, bus or plane tickets, rent a car and plan tours with small agencies in the destination. The advantages are greater independence and the possibility to save enough money to make a second trip. To the consternation of travel agencies, internet connected tourists grow each year and they are more unlikely to fall into traps like those of train tickets in Europe. And since I consider myself an internet connected tourist, I decided to write a little about how you can save money on your next trips, based on personal experience after traveling to 41 countries, sometimes using travel agencies and other times using only the Internet. However, on a recent trip abroad, I spent roughly 50% less planning the trip ahead of time and with the help of the Internet. Here are a few ideas to help you plan your next trip: 1: Buy your own train tickets Traveling to Europe, for example, can cost a lot less if you purchase the train tickets on Rail Europes website: At Rail Europe, a purchase is taxed only once at 45.00. If you buy 10 train tickets for 500.00, the total cost will be 500.00 + 45.00 + R$ 20.00 (Sedex). In travel agencies, the same fee is charged for each ticket. meaning that 10 tickets are equivalent to 10 different purchases. Total cost is 500.00 + 450.00 + withdrawal at the Agency. 2: Make your own Hotel reservations Booking is one of the largest websites suitable for those who will make trips abroad and even here in Brazil. Because of fierce competition among the hotels, the consumer has the advantage of information and therefore price. I found hotels in Germany and Austria for less than half the price charged in travel agencies. And I could also read other guests comments on the hotels, which really helps you make a more informed choice. Even knowing if the hotels had employees who spoke English or not. 3: Save on Transportation with Geolocation Use Google Maps or Bing Maps to view the hotels location and its proximity to restaurants, shops, transport services and tourist attractions. This facilitates access to buses, vans, subways, trains and decreases the distance traveled by taxi. Many agencies usually charge a higher fee to book rooms in the best locations and decrease the price of far away hotels. 4: Shuttles Shuttles are another way to endear the trip artificially. Just use Google and sites to find the airport bus lines, vans, hotels and fixed fare taxis. Agencies charge $ 100 or more for a shuttle that costs around $ 25.00. In the U.S., many hotels near the airports provide free shuttles. In So Paulo, several have van service (shuttle) to Congonhas and even to Guarulhos International Airport at fixed intervals. 5: Online Travel Guides and Tips Look for sites with tips on tours, sights and atypical places where few tourists go. An example is the Botanical Garden of Rio de Janeiro. Admission is R$ 5.00. Christ the Redeemer is a saga in a crowd and it costs less than R$ 60.00 per person. Sugar Loaf, R$ 44.00 per adult. In comparison, to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower costs 8.00. 6: Airline tickets There is a cartelization of the industry. The airlines and travel agencies have agreements for the sale prices directly to consumers to be always higher. In this case, the travel agency still has the advantage and uses it as bait to offer other services such as tours, guides, city tours, etc. Some Travel Agencies: Now, if you still dont feel comfortable about doing the hard work yourself, be sure to go to a good travel agency, big enough to offer support services here and abroad in case of problems. CVC has branches in 11 states in Brazil, was elected the best travel agency in 2011 and offers a wide range of options for both national and international trips. At this time of the year, my suggestion is that you take advantage of the Brazilian summer and go on a cruise. Check CVCs options on cruzeiro_1024/default.jsf. Agaxtur Viagens is also a good travel agency, with national and international trips, cruises, group options and a multitude of destinations to choose from. Other good and big travel agencies, with a several options to choose from and a good support structure are TAM Viagens, RCA Tours, Queensberry and New Age Melissa Harkin runs a translation company called Melissa Harkin Translations www.melissaharkin. com (11-8428-8714)

2010 2012


Travel with kids

By Kristin Barbieri What more appropriate place to write my article on travel with kids than a comfortable Cometa intercity bus traveling between Ribeiro Preto and So Paulo. The only reason I do have a moment to write it is because my kids stayed back with their grandparents. Seated across the aisle however is a family of four (mom, three kids) and another family of three (mom, two kids) in twoseaters. It might be a loud and long four hour bus ride... Traveling by intercity bus in Brazil is usually quite comfortable. Air-conditioned, fullyreclining seats, a stop every few hours to stretch your legs. Your main issue will be entertaining toddlers or babies. Traveling by plane is faster and possibly better with smaller kids though I dont miss the hassle of security screenings and folding up strollers and explaining juices and medicines to the harried workers. To me, buses more frequently take the place of drivingrenting cars is expensive in Brazil, and tolls reach up to $100 reais on a 300 km trip (So Paulo-Ribeirao for instance). I am sure there is not a single reader/ parent of the Forum who doesnt believe in car seats and chairs until a child reaches 8 years old, but I will tell you that if you bring a car seat on a bus or plane within Brazil, you will most likely be the only one. Not the only one with kids...the only one with a secure Travel with the appropriate documents You will be asked for identification not only to get on airlines, but also to travel on intercity buses (note to Americans: your state-issued drivers license does NOT work as ID within Brazil). I did not have to show my ID to get on this bus but I did need to write my name and document number on my ticket stub that I handed to the driver. As a parent, you also have to be aware that you cannot travel alone with your child or children, without the signed and notarized permission of your spouse. No one else can travel with your child (say a nanny or a friend or a relative) without the written notarized permission of BOTH parents. Medical and health planning Make sure you check with your local pediatrician if any specific shots or medicines are needed for the area you are visiting. Many shots are available for free at the public health clinics. Double check your first aid kit and bring along those medications that you know and are comfortable with. Pack the most important ones in your carry-on bagsdomestic flights do not have the same restrictions on liquids as

restraint. Dont be shamed into leaving it behindbring one that is easy to lock into whichever seatbelt and off you go. Yes, intercity buses do have a lap belt. While I am no expert on traveling with kids, I have had a number of wonderful trips with them: Guaruj, Praia da Forte, Cumuruxatiba...and I can boil my learnings down to five main pieces of advice:



The American Society of So Paulo

those on international flights. Plan for the worst-case scenario a flight delay of two days should not wipe out your supplies. Bring important prescriptions with you, and check your health plan about what they cover in case of emergency. And of course, bring sunblock. Monitors Now here is a word that should strike happiness into the heart of any harried mom or dad. Many bigger hotels and resorts have babysitting/entertainment services called monitors or kid camps. Depending on the place, there may or may not be an extra fee for the service of some energetic young folks playing with your kids through dinnertime even. Ahhhhh, a relaxed dinner at the resort with your spouse. Nice. Most monitor service is for four to twelve year olds but make sure you ask when you make your reservation. If you are booked into an all-beach all-the-time place like Praia da Forte or Jericoacoara and you have the unfortunate luck to get a week of nonstop rain, these monitors will save your sanity. You may find yourself wanting to give them lots of money and name your next child after them in these cases. Worst case scenario planning Here is my best example of a worst case and you all can think of whether or not you would have weathered it with your own family. True story: friends of ours (husband-French, wife-British, kids ages 7 and 9, girls) came to Brazil in 2010 based on our encouragement and promises of relaxation and sun. We recommended Rio (culture and beach) and Praia do Forte (beach and relax). The family landed in Rio and had a lovely day and a half of sunshine until all rain broke loose. Four days of drenching rainthe rain that carried away cars and broke loose parts of mountains near them at a hotel in Santa Teresa. They managed to get their (heavily-delayed) flight to Salvador and Praia do Forte where it was raining. And rainingthe first time in recent history that Bahia has had seven straight days of NO sunshine. None. Seven days at their resort on the beach with three swimming pools and biking and hiking trails (this is where you will understand that if they had had one more child, his name would have been Raimundo for the monitor who kept those girls entertained with art projects and hide and seek). Returning through Rio, they thought they were home free to France when their flight was canceled for three days in a row due to a volcano in Iceland. Now take a moment to review how many suitcases you want to stuff full of entertainment for your kids: DVDs, videogames, arts, crafts Jeitinho Heres an fact unproven by data: Brazilians love kids. This can be worked to the tired family travelers advantage. Ask to get on the bus or the plane first. Through lines first, snacks first, whatever first. Best case scenario: you have a Baby Bjorn carrier sized baby hang him or her off your chest and let their little eyes convince the airport security guy that you dont have to throw away the Stilton cheese (long story). You can also try holding just about any sized kid in your arms and ask to go through, or to sit in a certain place or whatever. Bring extra muscle relaxants for after you pick up your teenager. So thats it: my five personal secrets to travel within Brazil with your children. I should also note at this point that my bus was delayed an hour and a halfcompletely stopped on the highwaywhen a mudslide covered lanes in front of us. Did the parents across the way have entertainment prepared for their kids? No. Did we all suffer the consequences? Think about it.



Abacaxi Bowl Invite

By John Kennedy, AmSoc board member Agenda: January 10 - 31 - REGISTRATION February 4 - 1-DAY Tournament 8:30 9:45 - Warm-ups 9:45 10am - Welcome and Rules clarified 10am 5pm - GAMES Noon: BBQ, sandwiches & soft drinks will be sold by AMSOC. Where: The GRADED School Avenida Pres. Giovanni Gronchi, 4710 (in Morumbi) Rules: 6 players on the field (unlimited people on team roster) NO SHOES WITH CLEATS. Format: 2 halves of 12 minute (5 minute halftime break) Equipment: Required Team Jersey (all shirts the same color at the minimum) NO CLEATS, just like the last years. Play: - Flag Football rules (a written set of Rules will govern request from John) - 20 second game clock between plays Three 1st down markers: on the 20, 40 yard lines - 2 hired experienced Flag Football referees will be referring each game Jerseys: - Teams MUST wear same color T-shirts or Jerseys - Teams can make Team jerseys: see shirts at Magic T-shirt @ 3813-9131 Costs: Players: - AMSOC member = R$ 20 - Non-AMSOC member = R$35 Food: (sold by a Tabela de precos) - AMSOC will sell drinks & sandwiches (like last year), AND this year, - Brasil Devilz will also organize a BBQ/Churrassco and sell espetinhos de frango, hamburgers and Brazilian carnes! All sold at a minimum price! Registration: Individual or Team Captains MUST email John Kennedy the following: - Names and Team affiliation - Reserve COLOR of your Jersey/ T-shirt (avoids same color Teams jerseys!) - Payment confirmation (Captains must make 1 deposit for Team) Payments: Cash to John K. OR deposit with AMSOC and comprovante to John. Banco Itau Agency 1608 Account number 35.493-0 CNPJ: 62113261/0001-75 AMSOC contact: John Kennedy at 9951-9103 and jw_kennedy@hotmail. com

Below a picture of the 2010 - 2011 Champions The Cougars




The American Society of So Paulo

Abacaxi Bowl History

By John Kennedy, AmSoc board member On February 4th at the Graded School in Morumbi, the American Society will host its 14th Annual Abacaxi Bowl. Last year nine teams participated and approximately 200 players and spectators enjoyed the activities, which started at 10am and ended at 5pm. And last year saw a TV crew from Bandsports on the field filming the games and conducting interviews that aired on national TV two days later at 6pm. The surprise of last years tournament was a first time entrant and third Brazilian team to join us, the Carcamanos. They made the finals but lost to the two-time champs Cougars. This year we expect another first time Brazilian team to make four Brazilian teams to match up with six American teams, combining for the largest Abacaxi Bowl in history with ten teams fighting for this increasingly sought-after prestigious title! The origins of the Abacaxi Bowl date back to the 1990s when a bunch of American men organized themselves to play some pick-up touch football games in January as they got psyched for the weekends of NFL playoffs and Super Bowl Sunday. Over the years as Americans came and left So Paulo with their work, these pick-up games 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 late 1990s, the games were being regularly scheduled on the Saturday before Super Bowl Sunday and in 1999 the American Society formally adopted the tournament and has organized it ever since, coining it the Abacaxi Bowl. Gradually improvements in these games occurred every year, such as flag-belts were used by the players instead of twohand touch, and game referees were established to keep that years established rules uniformly enforced. And since 2006 the Tournament has required the teams players to wear a uniform jersey or a colored t-shirt for play, trophies have been awarded to the winning teammates, an MVP trophy award also, and the rules have remained more or less the same year after year.

The AMSOC Abacaxi Bowls Champion 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 Cougars Cougars PACA PACA US Consulate Runner-up Carcamanos Devilz Devilz Silver Bullets Graded School

Chapel School & Stormin Mormons (tied) Chapel School PACA PACA PACA Ford PACA Graded School Bristol Myers Squibb Ford US Consulate Ford US Consulate Graded School Ford

Fellowship Community Church

The Welcome Place since 1921
Phone (11) 3253-7609

09:00 am - Walking in Faith Classes (English and Portuguese)


10:30 am Worship Service (English only) 06:00 pm Culto em portugus

Conveniently located on Rua Carlos Sampaio, 107 Bela Vista Just a block and a half from the Brigadeiro Metro station on the Avenida Paulista




Consulate Corner
Happy New Year from the U.S. Consulate General in So Paulo! My name is Amy Graddon and I am the new American Citizen Services Chief at the Consulate. I arrived in October for a three year assignment and am enjoying getting to know So Paulo. I am here with my husband Paul, who is also a Foreign Service Officer at the Consulate, and Ive served previously at U.S. Embassies in Romania and in Guatemala. The American Society has graciously offered me space in their newsletter each month to share news and information from the Consulate. This month Ill give an overview of the services that we provide to American Citizens. Next month Ill focus on how American Citizens can vote from overseas in the upcoming U.S. elections. If you dont want to wait until the next issue to find out more, is an excellent source of voting information. The American Citizens Services section is here to assist Americans with both emergency and non-emergency services. The most common services we provide are issuing U.S. passports, adding extra pages to passports, and registering children as American Citizens with a Consular Report of Birth Abroad. We can add extra passport pages on the day of your appointment, but please note that it takes up to two weeks to receive a new passport or report of birth as those documents are printed in the United States. We also notarize or authenticate documents for use in the United States. For routine services such as these, appointments are required and can be made through our website: http://brazil.usembassy. gov/appt-sp.html In addition, we are here to serve the American Citizen community in times of crisis. In unfortunate circumstances, such as when an American is arrested, a victim of crime, destitute, reported to be missing, becomes seriously ill or passes away overseas, we are here to help the individual or family identify options and resources. If you have an emergency such as this, please call (11) 5186-7000 during normal working hours (7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday) or (11) 5186-7373 after hours or on weekends and be sure to identify yourself as an American Citizen with an emergency. For routine questions regarding American Citizen Services, feel free to email us at ACSInfoSoPaulo@ or call (11) 5186-7000 during our daily public inquiry phone hour, between 1-2 p.m. Monday through Friday. More information regarding our services is also available on our website: service.html I look forward to getting to know many of you over the next three years, and wish you all the very best for a healthy, happy and prosperous new year!
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The American Society of So Paulo

Vivenda Young Apprenticeship Program!

Emprego). T h i s program requires companies to hire a certain percentage of its workforce from youth entering the job market for the first time. Vivenda focuses Its often hard for any young person to land a job for the first time. The challenges are even greater, however, for youths in Parelheiros, Sao Paulo one of the citys poorest regions. Apart from being financially disadvantaged, most youths in Parelheiros lack personal connections in the formal job market, live far from the center of Sao Paulo, and receive scant help from the public school system. For the most part, their work opportunities are extremely restricted. Vivenda, an American Society sponsored community center in Parelheiros, aims to counter this problem and help area youths transition into the professional world through its Young Aprenticeship Program (Programa Jovem Aprendiz). Douglas Couto, coordinator of professional courses, explains that Vivenda provides a three month professional course to groups of 30 students at a time. They do a lot of group work during which they develop their understanding of responsibility and that the future is today. I begin the course with a lot of dynamics to underscore the importance of working in groups and how to effectively express one self. As part of the course, the youths have access to interviews for jobs being filled through the governments first job program (Programa Primeiro specifically on local youths and has helped land job positions for 7 people so far, with more spots in the works. To do so, Vivenda has been developing partnerships with companies in Sao Paulo. For instance, Vivenda partnered with La Selva Bookstore in September of last year and to date La Selva has has hired five youth from Vivendas professional program. The first hire through Vivenda, Luan Marcos (19), started work in the companys packing department in October. Luan plans to enroll in a course in administration to develop professionally. Before the course I was really eager to begin work and the class helped me understand the importance of ones attitude. La Selva has been pleased with Luans performance and his success subsequently led the bookstore to hire more interns in the departments of human resources, documentation, marketing and communication, and personnel. La Selva has been an exemplary partner, treating its new hires with respect and offering them the opportunity for both professional and personal development. Apart from La Selva, Vivenda has two more business partnerships and aims to expand its roster much further. The biggest challenge is making the initial contact with potential partner companies since, according to Douglas, once the relationship has been established the results have been very positive for both employer and employee. As part of the relationship, youths from the professional program remain in contact with Vivenda after being hired by a partner company since they return to Vivenda for additional professional training once a week. The company pays a fee to Vivenda for this service, and the cash generated in this way brings sustainability to the project moving forward. Therefore, growing its roster of business partners will be vital for Vivendas social enterprise. If you are interested in learning more about professional partnerships with Vivenda, please contact (Portuguese speaker) Douglas Couto at or (English speaker) Maria Stiehm at .




H ousing
Looking for apartments Looking for furnished, fully equipped apartments in So Paulo. Offer management, promotion, purchasing, remodeling and decoration services for your property. We will rent your flat to foreign tourists & executives visiting the city looking for alternative accommodations. Highly experienced specialized international group. Contact: Paola B. de Estrada 9210-2201, or House in a charming condo For rent / sale: Lovely house in Vila Amrica Condominium. Located just a few minutes from shopping cidade jardim and ponte morumbi. So Paulos best place to live. 4 suites, Office, Adega, Outside gourmet station, Air conditioning, 4 autos parking. Contact: Roberta (11)8256-9543 300m2 apartment in front of Graded Spacious 4 bedroom apartment for rent on the best street in Morumbi, 20 yards from Graded school entrance. 300m2 with 4 car spaces, condo with tennis, squash, full gym, sauna, pool. Master suite with ample walk-in closet, 2 livings with office, sunny terraces front and back. Call (11)3742-8090 / (11) 9933 0706 speak to Leticia or send email to Furnished Apartment For Rent Vila Nova Conceio.So Paulos best place to live. Near Ibirapuera Park. Modern building, with all sports facilities, heated swimming pool, gym, playroom, barbecue, multi purpose sports court.Three bedrooms (1 suite), living room with terrace, complete kitchen, maids bedroom and bath, big service area, two parking spaces. Fully furnished,with allappliances. Call Ana Beatriz or Eliane Phone (011) 3849.7085 or (011) 9626-6229-mail to: Paradise beach house for sale Beautiful home at Guaratuba Beach. 10m from the sand, fully furnished, heated pool,jacuzziand waterfalls. Barbecue place, 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, fireplace, new appliances, guest apartment with kitchen, bathroom and living room. Charming gated community close to Riviera de So Loureno. For pictures: http://lindorecanto. For more information please call Luiza (011) 8555-7556 Rent or Own Sunny Apartment Sunny, ample apartment just a stones throw from the Graded School. Two-story apartment measuring approximately 300 square meters, with two large living rooms; four bedrooms (two suites and a suite americano); a separate TV room/office; large kitchen with brand new cabinetry; and ample rea de servio. Building includes heated pool, exercise room, playground. Each apartment has a depsito and three parking spaces. The full apartment was lovingly refurbished in 2010; the owners are now unexpectedly returning to the United States. Sale Price: R$770 thousand. Rental: R$6,500 per month. Email us at American-Licensed Expat Psychologist Richard Morhaime, Psy.D., offers skilled psychotherapy for children and adults. He also provides complete diagnostic evaluations in English for children with academic or behavioral difficulties, featuring individualized recommendations for school and home. For more information, contact Dr. Morhaime at 5538-0099 or 9669-8057 or visit 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 5051-5988 or 9656-2106 or send an e-mail to pamwax@ Located in Moema.

S ervices
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) 9739-6191 or dsf29@ Selling Up Go with a pro! We have been selling household goods for families, individuals, and companies for more than 20 years in So Paulo and Brasilia for embassies. We have hundreds of preselected clients wanting to buy from you, safe and sound! Send an e-mail to or zaquie@zaquie. com or call (11) 5908-1144 or (11) 7997-8808. Ask for Ms. Zaquie Meredith. Argos Dog Kennel Traveling? What about your dog? Argos Kennel Hotel could be his second home in the country. Food, water, and shelter with lots of love and personal care. No lonely kennel for him, but our home and the freedom of a spacious garden. Fetch and carry service. English and French spoken. Call Jean or Christiane at (11) 4661-1430 or (11) 7230-3369 or send an e-mail to Embu Guau, SP.

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@



Place a Classified

A Note to Our Readers


February 2012

The American Society of So Paulo

Learn more about this months AmSoc events (highlighted) at
Important Dates: 14 ValentInes Day (Usa), 20 presIDents Day (Usa), 18 - 21 CarnIVal (Br), 22 ash WeDnesDay (Br)

Samba Schools Rehearsal 04 Saturday Little League sign up, Pancake Breakfast and Abacaxi Bowl INC Monthly Coffee Lets Speak Portuguese Club Wagners Gtterdmmerung (Opera)

Start your Carnival earlier. Join the Samba Schools in their rehearsal. Visit this website to see the days and schools rehearsals SAVE THE DATE! At Graded School from 9:00 to 11:00.

08 09

Wednesday Thursday

From 8am to 11am. For more information visit From 10:30 am to 12:30 pm. Location: To be determined. There are only 15 spots available! Please RSVP to In the final moments of Gtterdmmerung, the hall of the Gibichungs is flooded by the Rhine river, the castle of the gods is engulfed in flames, the all-powerful ring is reclaimed by its rightful owners, and the dramas heroine, Brnnhilde, sacrifices her life for the greater good. Its an epic cataclysm that pulls together a multitude of dramatic, musical, and narrative strands developed over the course of four operas and nearly 17 hours. Live from Metropolitan Opera, the Gtterdmmerung will be presented at the movies. Buy your ticket here Come and join the INC in the Carnival Parade. The Tour includes transportation, tickets, two bilingual guides, personal kit and returning to the meeting point. Starting at 8pm. Price: R$750 per person. Please RSVP to More information at Angela Meade takes center stage in Verdis thrilling early gem. Marcello Giordani and Roberto DeBiasio share the role of her mismatched lover, and all-star Verdians Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Ferruccio Furlanetto round out the cast. Live from Metropolitan Opera, the Ernani will be presented at the movies. Buy your ticket here br





Carnival in So Paulo 2012



Ernani (Opera of Giuseppe Verdi)

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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




Into the Heart of Darkness

By Maureen Kennedy Alves, AmSoc board member

Years ago, many years ago if were being honest, back in high school, one of the coolest guys in my class lets call him Reed, because, well, that was his name went on a trip to the Amazon with his father. When Reed told us all about his upcoming vacation, the conversation went something like this: Reed: My dad and I are going fishing together on the Amazon. Its going to be sweet. Us: The Amazon? Seriously? Whoa. Maybe it was because we had just read Heart of Darkness in Mr. Cuminskys English class or maybe it was because I had seen too many Banana Republic ads, but for some reason I could already picture Reeds voyage in my mind. He and his dad on some kind of small creaky mail boat, snaking their way down a narrow, ominous river. The forest canopy overhead, obscuring the daylight. Perhaps some primitive tribesmen peering through the trees, unbeknownst to the unsuspecting foreigners. I imagined them in their white linen shirts, sleeves rolled up, sitting languid in the heat (maybe even smoking a cigarette), their fishing lines slack in the water. It all seemed impossibly exotic and glamorous. And while there were serious holes in my fantasy (after all who goes fishing on a tiny mail boat and where would the crew sleep), Reeds social stock went way way up. Cut to nearly 20 years later and this

time it was me in Brazil. Not in the Amazon, not yet anyway, but in So Paulo, on an extended stay with my then future husband. During the few months that I was here, one of my best girlfriends from New York City decided to come visit. And like many a guests in Brazil, as you may have already discovered, she wanted to do two things while she was here: lounge at the beach and travel to the Amazon. Now, a lot can happen to a girl in 20 years and what seemed impossibly romantic and glamorous to a 16-yearold may seem a little, well, rustic, to a 30-something. Its not that Im high maintenance I did a three-week Outward Bound course and used my fair share of outhouses while trekking in Nepal. Its just that maybe I didnt have my expectations set straight before we set off on our adventure. You see, when my husband told me the place where we would be staying was really nice, I began to get certain ideas (quite opposite from the ones I had about Reed and his father). I imagined the daytime would be our Heart of Darkness, where wed be on the river or in the jungle all afternoon, exploring the innards of the Amazon. And then at night, wed come back to a civilized lodge with beautiful dining. Sort of like the safari scenes in Out of Africa. I guess thats what happens when you fill your mind with too many books, movies and television shows. In reality, our stay in the Amazon was more like going to camp. A very cool camp to be sure I mean

what other camp offers swimming with dolphins, fishing for piranha or a nighttime search for jacar? But still, there were the rustic rooms, the large dining hall with assigned tables, and even hokey entertainment. I would say this type of trip is ideal for families with children. The activities are generally short and much tamer than they sound, sort of like Disney in the jungle. For the more intrepid who want to get off the beaten path, there are adventure tour agencies that will take you overnight deep into the jungle (see sidebar). And if its luxury you want, look no further than the Hotel Tropical in Manaus, where you can sip a caipirinha in the infinity pool overlooking the river. Then you can tell your friends back home that you traveled to the Amazon and let their imaginations do the work for you. Where to stay? Aria Amazon Towers Hotel Tropical Looking for an adventure? Amazon Mystery Tours (92) 3308-9073 Amazonas Indian Turismo (no website) (92) 3622-0204