I am in Brazil now. Last night I took a bus from Guayana, Venezuela, to Boa Vista, Brazil. It was about 13 hours because of the heavy rain being experienced everywhere on the north of the continent. I was removed from the bus and searched at the last two checkpoints within Venezuela. The National Guard thoroughly searched through my belongings, but thankfully they did not take anything that didn’t belong to them. It sure did bring back some dodgy memories, though.
As we crossed the border, I was the only Gringo on the bus. Everybody else belonged to an Evangelical Christian group from Brazil. They had just finished some mission work in Venezuela and were headed home. As the “Welcome to Brazil” sign came into view, they all stood up and started clapping and cheering, they were chanting “Brazil, Brazil.” I stood up and started genuinely and enthusiastically cheering with them. I’m sure that they love their country and were excited about returning home. I was just tickled to be getting the hell out of Venezuela.
Once when I was traveling in Central America, a local guy asked me if I ever get tired of being a foreigner. The truth is that I have never felt like a foreigner. I never pray for a safe return home, I never even pray to return home. Every time I get into a jam-up, and I truly need help, it always presents itself without me having to ask. I feel very appreciative to be able to experience what I have, but I have never felt like a foreigner, and I never will.