An Afternoon in Parque Ibirapuera

The emerald heart of an oftentimes gray city, São Paulo’s Parque do Ibirapuera offers respite from the urban madness among cool, shady trees and mentally-stimulating structures… – Trip Advisor

Today was sunny and bright. I wouldn’t realize how precious this is until I’d wake up to gloom and rain the next few days.

I jumped out of bed and quickly scanned my room to figure out who kept me awake half the night with their loud snores. I spied on 3 guys on the upper bunk beds. I saw their huge backpacks on the floor and a feeling of excitement rushed over me. I am one of them now. Once in a while, I have to live with the backpackers’ snoring club.

Happy 28th birthday to me!

The major urban park in São Paulo was just a few minutes away from my hostel. They say its importance to São Paulo is comparable to that of the Central Park to New York City.

Ibirapuera Park (2)

Getting to the park I had to cross this long bridge.

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Ibirapuera Park (5) Ibirapuera Park (6)

The young generation.

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Ibirapuera Park (10)

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The first thing I noticed is the abundance of shirtless men.

Ibirapuera Park (11)

Ibirapuera Park (8)

3 essentials a good park should have: free water, garbage disposal and a football field.

Ibirapuera Park (13)

Ibirapuera Park (16)

Ohh lala lala lala…

Ibirapuera Park (15)

Want some ice cream?

Ibirapuera Park (14)

I spent the afternoon writing in my journal, walking around, and breathing in as much fresh air as I can to make me last another few months in the Sandbox.

Ibirapuera Park (17)

Ibirapuera Park (9)

I found a male version of me! See how neatly his shoes are placed beside him. This is so cute.

Ibirapuera Park (18)

On my way back I got lost.

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Ibirapuera Park (19) Ibirapuera Park (20)

Getting lost is fun until you realize it’s getting dark and no one around you speaks English. But the nice thing about this country is people try. And you feel how genuine they are in their attempts to help you out.

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Having lived in the UAE for some time, I have developed the instinct of going the opposite (or not at all following) directions pointed out by strangers.

Asking directions here and there, it was more than an hour before I realized I was going round and round the park. I was unconsciously not following people’s instructions!

So I stopped, asked one person for directions and adjusted the gears in my brain. 15 minutes later, I was home.

uvaia

I came home to Gustavo, the hostel owner, making homemade pizza. This is my birthday pizza he made especially for me!

My 27 years is like coming home to this pizza.

My life has not been a nice walk in the park. A lot of times I chose to go my own way apart from God’s directions. But He always find ways to lead me back home. And every time I am given this grace, I bow down in repentance knowing that as stubborn as I am, His love always reaches out with a warm pizza of cheesy toppings just for this lost traveller.

Hello, 28th year, I’m ready for you!

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