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October 18, 2011



Nice post! Will start reading Piauí.

Alex F

Wow! Go Flora!

I just lost myself in your blog archives for an hour. You've got a great voice.

I spent a semester at PUC too as US exchange student and found your observations spot on.

Rio Gringa

@Alex, would you perhaps be willing to help with a related post about foreigners studying abroad in Brazil? Please let me know or shoot me an email (riogringaconsult at gmail). Thanks!

Rogério Penna

are red heads so uncommon in Rio? As well as pale people? Maybe Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul are not really Brazil.


@Rogerio, maybe that is why Flora thought there were so many "tourists" in Penha. Obviously all of the pale, blond portuguese descendents were not from the neighborhood. If she had bothered to check the sign-in book, she would have seen that 90% of us who were there were locals celebrating the "Festa da Igreja da Penha" and "Nossa Senhora Aparecida" day, not children's day, at a park that is a permanent part of the neighboorhood.

Her attitudes (walking around neighborhoods of the Z.Norte by herself on quiet days when she doesn't know where she is going are really dangerous and are probably what call attention to her as a "gringo" more than her skin or hair. The wide-eyed look, camera and ipod are usually dead give-aways that most gringos tend to lose with time.

As a pale, freckled American with reddish hair I get constantly asked if I am from the brazilian south, but not if I am a gringa.

While she got the PUC article dead-on, I feel like she should have known what she was walking into by studying "letras" at a university famous for rich kids buying their diploma. She seems very out of touch with Rio today (in terms of ignore safety concerns of people who were here during the car bombings, unfairly categorizing various parts of culture in Rio, etc) and is trying to force her observations into an antiquated and imaginary mold. I guess we can't expect everyone to be as objective as Rachel when writing, but I think a lot of people are shocked to see that Piaui picked up a blog like hers.

Carolina André Freire

I'm Brazilian and I think Flora is all correct in her observations about PUC in Rio. Not generalizing, but college experiences depending on where you go to study here in Brazil seem sometimes as a big high school extension.

Marcio Bernardo

Carolina, I think she is correct about college in Brazil. She should generalize her comments. Puc-Rio is a top-10 University in Brazil and on some areas (Economia, Eng. Eletronica and a few others) top-5. I decided to study at PUC eventough I passed to two Federais because its economics course was the best of Brazil at the time (still is top 3)

But this isn't news, many ppl pointed out that we are really outranked in education by the rest of the Brics and this should be addressed



Account Deleted

I just read your post "Purpurin" on Piauí Magazine. I really liked the way you write. With humor, but fresh and gentle. Really nice for a handover Carnival day! ;)

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