By Shelby Stewart
Christmas in America will include plenty of firsts for Brazil native Gabriel Silva Texieira.
The Brandon High School foreign exchange student is finding many differences from his South American tropical homeland where temperatures rarely dip much below 68 degrees and the massive Amazon basin dominates the country. The native language is Portuguese, but Texieira speaks excellent English.
“We celebrate but it’s not like a big event like here, like here you put a big tree up,” said Texieira.
“No it’s like, example I give her a present, she gives me a present, finished,” he said using one of his fellow exchange students as an example.
Another thing that he is looking forward to this season is the weather.
“In Brazil it’s like really hot,” he said. “Snow doesn’t exist in Brazil.”
One thing that stuck out to him when he came to Brandon was the community itself, and how willing they are to help out, especially during the holidays.
“The people here are really cool,” he said. “In Brazil some people don’t care too much and they leave you alone, like ‘I don’t care for you, just do your work’, like here a lot of people help me, like my friends.”
Texieira says that soccer in Brazil is the center of everything, sport wise, and he played in a few games on the soccer team when he arrived.
“I like to run, and I really would like to try to play baseball,” he said Texieira.
He also said he talked to his mom about playing football, and his mom told him he’d get hurt for sure.
Once he is done with school, Texieira plans to follow his interest in science and biology to become a doctor.
“I want to continue what my mom does,” he said. “She’s a nurse and sometimes she helps with surgeries and stuff.”