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Samba in the Snow

For those of us who work in front of a computer screen, writer's butt is one of the greatest wintertime career hazards. The more time we spend with our butts in our office chairs, typing away productively, the more we neglect the largest of muscle groups in our bodies. Less oxygen flows through our lungs, hearts, and brains, thus sabotaging our productivity. It's a vicious cycle.

What we need is butt care. Butt care is a kind of self-care, but it's best not to do it by yourself. As I am learning this month, thanks to my daughter's Little Passports subscription, Brazilian communities are demonstrating that collective butt care has the power to save the whole world.

Starting last fall, I've cared for the health of my butt (and therefore my brain) by committing to walking my daughter to and from school every day, in every kind of weather. I've heard that other writers and desk jockeys get the same health benefits by acquiring a dog that needs regular walking. And for those who have neither children nor dogs, there's always adult human workout buddies. In any case, it helps to identify another creature who will hold you accountable for your butt care.

It also helps to live in a walkable, safe, and healthy community such as Curitiba, Brazil, the world's first sustainable city. The architect of Curitiba's sustainability, three-term mayor Jaime Lerner, says that
The car is the cigarette of the future.

Sitting on our butts for travel, while fumigating ourselves in fossil fuel exhaust, is terrible for our health--physical, mental, communal, and environmental. Communities that make it easy for people to walk, use green public transportation, and dance the samba with friends are healthier, happier, richer, and have a higher standard of living. Brazil produces many good authors as well. Coincidence?

In any case, we can't all live in Curitiba, though we can follow the example of nearby big city São Paulo and get our marching boots on to fight for our own area's right to party--sustainably!

The huge accomplishments of these Brazilian communities, along with the impending celebrations of Carnaval on February 13, have inspired me to up my butt care regime. I have successfully walked my daughter to and from school for half a year, including half of this brutal winter. This practice has been good for my personal health as well as reducing traffic and emissions in the school parking lot twice a day. But... now I say it's time to turn up the heat and samba in the snow!

This is my daughter IRL and me in spirit.

As a writer / researcher / wanderluster, I have been enthusiastic about exploring the nation of Brazil with my daughter this month. We are reading stories, listening to music, trying out recipes, reading fun news (such as the mermaid tail swimming phenomenon), watching travelogues and movies, and learning how to say Brazilian Portuguese words. And it has been so nice to virtually immerse ourselves in a tropical land in the middle of this epic Michigan winter.

I found this samba instructor in Pittsburgh who understands the struggle:



If she can do it, so can I!

I'm going to make my husband learn a beginner-level dance with me so that on February 13, we can samba in the snow together. For our butts! For the good people of São Paulo! For the earth!

Who wants to join us?

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