Good Friends, The Great Outdoors, and Amazing Food – an Introduction. Pt.1

If you read my official profile on the Global Citizen website you’ll see the line “She [Kara] enjoys good friends, the great outdoors, and amazing food.”

Seven months later this statement still stands true, but if I could just change it a bit.

“Hello, I am Kara Esplin. I have made incredible friends. I live in a the midst of breathtaking nature. I eat rice and beans everyday.”


An Introduction. Pt.1 GOOD FRIENDS.


I am Kara Esplin. I spend 93% of my time with Caroline Smith. Caroline Smith is a beautiful woman, born to the parents of Kathryn Krager Smith and Nathaniel Smith on April 10, 1999. She has naturally curly hair, (a trait I’ve always wanted) which she claims is typically very long (I don’t believe her. Very short haired Caroline only exists to me.) Caroline loves the sun, the ocean, and human beings (maybe in that order.) Caroline believes without a doubt that people are good. She loves before she judges, she believes before she doubts, shes kind before shes rude, and she rarely gets angry.

Caroline and I are exactly the same in millions of ways, and completely opposite in a million and one ways. She is one of my best friends, and my go to gal. She has taught me so many valuable lessons. She helps me grow, and never lets me stay placid. She wants whats best for you, and she’ll let you know what that is- and wont stop bugging you until you’ve done whatever she thinks you need to do to improve yourself (she always knows and is always right… I’m confused how.) I could talk until the sun burns out about how much I appreciate Caroline, and the positive impact she’s had on my life.


Raquel Brum, I was terrified of her at first. Raquel is the one person I didn’t really expect to find in Brazil. Another 18 year old, LDS girl? Who is ridiculously beautiful, intelligent and fluent in English? She was a straight up blessing from above dropped into my lap when I got here. She took me under her wing, introduced me to her friends, invited me to church activities, took me to the temple 5 hours away and so much more. Some of the moments I’ve laughed hardest in Brazil have been with her talking about boys, Mormon Tinder, and terrible dates. Her family was a tender mercy during my time here in Brazil. There is no peace greater than that found in a faithful Mormon home. The blessings on the food and prayers before leaving the house always filled me up. Raquel is applying for BYU and the LDSBC, and I couldn’t be more stoked for her! I cant wait to attend the U of U and be so close to her! Shes definitely a friend for life.


That one Balding Guy from my Church who ended up being the Police Officer in Ratones. Sorry I never actually remembered your name. You’re on my good friends list though because you always waved at me when you drove past on your rounds, and it made me feel special. Thanks dude you’re the MVP.


Carlos Henriquez. Carlos is my heart and soul, and my go-to bus ride partner. Weather an 18 hour bus ride to Sao Paulo, or an ….. also 18 hour bus ride to Lagoa for language classes, I would choose to sit by him every time. There is not another person in this world who can match my emotions or energy more than Carlos can. If I want to ~car dance~ and sing along to I Wont Give Up by Shakira on a public bus, or cry because I don’t understand life, Carlos will be there right along with me. Carlos is steady, he is reliable, and he will always be there. Carlos is simply a good person. A person that everyone loves, and everyone wants to be around. He is funny, charismatic, and I’m pretty sure my host family loves him more than they love me (but that’s okay I would too.) Carlos keeps his cool in the most cool-loosing worthy situations. Carlos has the incredible quality of making me happy, and lifting my heart. Even though I probably wont run into Carlos again, as he’s an incredible person going BIG places, he will always be a kindred friend. No matter where we go in life, I know that he is the kind of person you can pick-up right where you left off.


I have met and made so many friends here in Floripa. Leo, whos salt never fails to make me laugh. Elise, who teaches me something new everyday. Savion, who never fails to confuse me. Trevor, who frustrates me. Mae, who has become my sister. Dominique, who always laughs at my jokes. Chloe, who never fails to lend me a pity laugh. Jorgie, who forces me to trudge through Portuguese. Flor, the only cat in the world who I will let shed on my stuff. From the wonderful people in my community that I only run into a couple times a month, to the fellows I see on a daily basis. Each one has impacted me in a monumental way. I carry with me a bit of everyone I meet, and I know these special people will be with me far after I return home.


To my Good Friends, to my Incredible Friends,

Thank you. I love you all and wish to write you all novels of how beautiful and wonderful you are. I hope you know how good you are, how incredible you are. Beijos.