Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Lula... La La La Lula...

With apologies to the Kinks. : - ) Lula, of course, is Brazil's President, a lifetime socialist who kind of looks like my late Dad, and who Dad surely would have appreciated. Today is the end of my 19th trip to Brazil, my 28th to South America, my 47th to Latin America, and my 87th trip overall. Brazil now ties Mexico as my most visited country. This 'competition' will surely heat up this year, as I have further business to do in both places.

Upon my arrival I was puzzled by the painted faces, in jigsaw puzzle shapes and nursery school colors, of swarms of upper-middle-class Brazilian teenagers, stopping cars in the streets with bizarre requests. The explanation, it appears, is that universities just began a new school year, and these face-painted escapades correspond to initiations of fraternities in the US.

I am home tomorrow at 7am. The Gates await.

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