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[2017 Retrospective] – Part I Posted by on Jan 8, 2018 in Brazilian News, Brazilian Profile, Culture, Sports, Video

Hey, everyone! Olá a todos! Feliz 2018 – Happy 2018

2017 foi um ano e tanto. 2017 was quite a year.

Some believe that it was um ano (a year) of extremes. So let’s take these first moments of janeiro (january) to look closer into the events that shook the país (country), made the headlines and left a lasting impact on us Brazilians:

Menino do Acre | The boy from Acre

One of the episodes that most puzzled the country in the past year was the intriguing disappearance of a young man from the southwestern state of Acre. The 25-year old psychology student Bruno Borges went missing for five months and vanished under very strange and peculiar circumstances. Prior to the occasion, his sister reported that he would lock himself in his bedroom all day long affirming that he was working on a secret project. Once he vanished, Bruno left behind codes and symbols written across his walls, along with 14 encrypted notebooks containing enigmatic inscriptions and a R$20,000 (around $6,500) statue of Italian philosopher Giordano Bruno right in the middle of his bedroom. Since he was young, he had always displayed a keen interest in topics like alchemy, philosophy and occultism.

A number of theories began to emerge trying to figure out what could have possibly happened to the kid, and there was even speculation that he had been abducted by aliens (as there was also a painting of him standing next to an extraterrestrial creature in his room). Five months later, mystery ended when the boy returned home, although he still refuses to reveal his hiding spot. Some people believe it was all a publicity scam to draw attention to his work (which now has a publishing contract), but Bruno claims that he needed to isolate himself with the main goal to stimulate people to pursue knowledge. Whether he was just pulling a stunt or trying to change humanity, the boy from Acre left a lot of Brazilians bewildered by the eerie and obscure case.

Incêndio na creche | Fire at the nursery school

Tragedy struck in the most perplexing way when 13 people – among children and adults – were killed by a fire at the nursery school Gente Inocente (Innocent People, sadly) on October. The whole country was left speechless when a man, identified by police as Damião Soares dos Santos, splashed fuel around the premises after locking the door, setting himself and others alight. Over 25 people were hurt and hospitalized with severe burns and some classrooms were turned into ashes. The 50-year-old perpretator worked as a security guard at the same nursery school and was allegedly mentally ill, according to investigations for a possible motive. Some reports inform that he chose his father’s three-year anniversary of death to perform the act, telling his family that he would give everyone a gift.

The arson attack took place in the cidade (city) of Janaúba in the state of Minas Gerais, where the government is now investing not only in the reconstruction of the daycare center, but also in the building of two other educational institutions, one of which will be named after the brave teacher Heley Batista. Heley was granted the National Order of Merit by the president after the heroic gesture of saving at least 25 children and sacrificing her own life during the tragedy. The country still remains in shock with this regrettable case of murder-suicide and the painful losses will always be remembered.

Neymar no Paris St. Germain | Neymar in Paris St. Germain

Big news for sports enthusiasts all over the world: the promising 25-year old Brazilian soccer player Neymar Jr has decided to transfer from the giant Barcelona, where he played with other major talents like Lionel Messi, to the French club Paris Saint German. What is most striking about the transition are the impressive numbers involving the millionaire transaction. The world-record fee for the buyout, the condition to sanction his departure for another team, was an unprecedented $263 million payment, making it  the most expensive in history.

Besides, the soccer star has signed a five-year contract and will likely be paid around €30 million a year. Although Neymar has scored over 100 goals for Barcelona, he had been expressing his wish to leave the high-stature club to find new challenges in his career and join PSG. Paris Saint Germain fans are justifiably with high hopes for his performance, after all he is considered to be one of the world’s top players, along with former colleague Messi and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, in addition to winning Olympic gold at last year’s Rio Games.

Neymar in PSG (photo by Antoine Dellenbach (Neymar Jr Presentation | Press Conference for PSG) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)

Até mais! See you later!

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