West Virginia University
31 May

Final Hours in Brazil

Unknown | May 31st, 2007

Rachel Keeling
West Virginia University College of Law, 2L
Friday, May 31, 2007
Day 20 – Reflection

Extraordinary Rio at night

Approaching the last hours in Brazil, our Ipanema Beach House slowly transformed back into the way we had found it. A week before, a long line had formed from the door of the beach house to the street as we checked in one by one. We found our luggage stacked, covering the first floor. The room assignments were given and our pieces of luggage were slowly removed and taken to our rooms. We settled into our summer-camp like arrangements eager to continue our journey. WVU law students had taken over the beach house. Just as our beloved river boat became home, the inner walls of the beach house would provide comfort. And so they did, with the exception of the occasional cold shower.

With the trip coming to an end, for many, the last hours in Brazil were spent reflecting upon the amazing experience we had just had. A Friday morning filled with pastries, the beach, and walks became an afternoon of packing and goodbyes. As we waited for our buses, I sat atop my luggage and looked around the room. Everyone?s luggage once again filled the bottom floor of the beach house, barely leaving room to walk. The drab colors of the canvas luggage reflected the somber feeling in the room. Our trip, our cultural experience, our time together had come to an end. We grew accustomed to the company of our colleagues and found comfort in our close knit group. Weeks of sleeping side by side unified a group of acquaintances. Some of us knew one another before we left and some of us were complete strangers. But these last hours in Brazil were shared by a room full of friends.

The first nights back in the United States seemed very quiet; sleeping in a room alone seemed somewhat foreign. Even though we have all gone back to our ordinary lives, we share an education, a home at WVU College of Law, and lifetime of memories. We were the group that saved the trip to Brazil!

About the program

Participating students had the opportunity to study international and comparative law in Brazil. Lectures and seminars were led by WVU law professors, with some lectures in Rio & Vitória from Brazilian professors. All lectures were in English. Students visited Brazilian legal institutions as well as held classes in Brazilian law schools. Seminars took place throughout the trip on various topics, including international environmental law in the Amazon at a jungle lodge.

Interested in WVU abroad? You can also check out WVU’s From Abroad blog.

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