It’s been non-stop travel and participation in the World Social Forum at Porto Alegre, Brazil, since I left the United States on January 22.
Starting with the flight from San Francisco to Sao Paolo through Miami, I’ve met many interesting people. On that first flight I met Victor, a guy who lives in Pueblo, a town near Mexico City. He was flying to Recife, Brazil, for a foreign exchange program from his school. He is 23 years old. He’s also going to meet up with his boyfriend Heldaar, a young Brazilian studying marine biology. Victor and I got along quite well and he moved from the seat in front of me to the seat next to me for the last half of the flight from Miami to Sao Paolo. We cuddled under the blanket a bit on the plane and he tells me he’d like to come visit me in San Francisco, perhaps on his way back to Mexico from Brazil.
I started noticing people headed to the World Social Forum while in the Sao Paolo airport waiting for the flight to Porto Alegre. Waiting for that flight, I met Marina who is a journalist and a teacher at New York University. We chatted until the plane filled up with passengers and I talked with a Palestinian fellow, also attending the Forum, who sat down next to me on the plane. We discussed a bunch of topics, including the Islamic religion and its tenets with regard to women, adultery, and homosexuality. The conclusion: fundamentalism is a problem whatever the religion.
I’ve very much enjoyed attending this conference and meeting people from all over the world who are committed to improving the social and political conditions of the world.