In 2008 I went to Salvador, Brazil to study Portuguese on a summer program put on by The University of Iowa. My host mom and host cousin thought it would be a good experience to attend a soccer game (Vitória). While it was interesting to see my host cousin transform from a soft-spoken PhD student in sociology to an angry soccer fanatic, the event that will stick with me most was getting robbed after the game as we were trying to get out of the traffic congestion to catch a cab. (Seriously? A two-lane road through a neighborhood as the only way to get to the stadium?)
I don’t normally write poetry, unless you count songs (and in recent years I haven’t been writing many of those either), but I processed the experience with this poem, Salvador da Bahia, which I’ve posted to my writing page.