Like I said, I eat beans and rice everyday. I love it. I could do it forever. My body, however, cannot. 

Eight months and fifteen pounds later, I will soon be returning to my Utah home. A home full of crisp apples, baby carrots, cold water, peaches, celery, fishy crackers, and fruit snacks. All things I live without here in Brazil. 

Rice and Beans- Brazils namesake. Brigadeiro- the soft bolinhos that glue Brazil together; butter, condensed milk, cocoa powder, cream. Two dishes so simple, yet so delicious. 

In a lot of ways Brazilian cuisine can be boiled down into three aspects: Innovation, Combination, and Simplicity. The majority of Brazilians I've met, and of those I've seen get down in the kitchen, seem to have a mindset of "These two things are good separate, they'll probably be great together." An idea that things can only, or probably will improve. The positive attitude and willingness to try, and possibly fail, simply for the chance of making something good –> great. This attitude is ingrained since birth from the well known "Ordem e Progresso" which translates into "Order and Progress." A phrase displayed in the middle of their national flag.

Order is kept because the attitude is tranquilo and simple; take two things and make one. Açaí e Leite Ninho. Separately- two good things, together- one delicious thing.

Progress has been made because you can now quickly drop in at your local Mini Kalzone for a cheap Mega Ligado.

Life is better, people are happier, stomachs are fuller. 

Before taking a Gap Year I practiced a vegetarian diet, but the prospect of partaking the world-famous Brazilian BBQ was enough to sway me back into the carnivorous world. Alas, upon arrival in my host family I learned that my host mom has been a pescitarian for the past 15 years! I am so grateful for her and our mutual distaste for meat. She is a fabulous cook, and incorporates these same three principles everyday; Innovation, Combination, and Simplicity. Everyday I ask her how she creates such delicious dishes, and everyday she replies "Onion and garlic." 

So that's that my friends. Onion and garlic, the "Foundation of every meal." There are lessons to be learned in any situation, and Global Citizen Year provided me with the opportunity to see this. Whether cooking, baking, or building the foundation for your life, keep those three things in mind. Be Innovative, Combine the Good (your talents, your efforts etc.) into Great, and keep it Simple. Progress will come through your efforts, and your desire for [[possibly/probably- somewhat chaotic]] Order in your life. 

That's all from me on this Introduction Series. Hope you've enjoyed me pulling deep lessons out of seemingly shallow holes. It's been quite fun reflecting and introducing the surface, with the depth from these past eight months with you. 

Até mais.