Upcoming Club at EAB: Medlife

By Lucy Landry

IMG_5746A new and promising club has begun at the Americna School of Brasilia: Medlife. The Medlife chapter at EAB is fighting for healthcare and education access to disadvantaged communities throughout South America. Medlife, short for Medicine Education Development for Low Income Families Everywhere, envisions a world without poverty from local to international outreach.

Representatives on EAB’s Medlife Executive Board said that through this organization, students are “raising awareness about mental and physical health topics, promoting local primary care, and participating in projects to aid local communities and international communities.” They also point out that this club informs students about global issues concerning healthcare that are often overlooked by larger society.

EAB’s chapter of Medlife is the first one to be established in Brazil and is headed by founder and president Carolina Santana Morvan. The club will be organizing both a service-learning trip and a project concerning dentistry access this school year and will be traveling to Peru to volunteer at a mobile clinic to assist poorer communities.

“We listen, we give, and we care”

“We listen, we give, and we care” is the motto of this organization, and is extremely evident in the amount of care they are putting into the developing world.

Students who wish to be part of Medlife and its mission to create a world without poverty can join the group’s Monday meetings in room US27 during the second half of lunch. The chapter encourages students to aid them in their quest to provide Medicine Education Development for Low Income Families Everywhere and forge a world where medical aid is available to all.

 

Movie Review: Captain Marvel

By: Kenton Heidemann

Marvel is back at it again with a new movie, Captain Marvel, released on March 8th 2019 and in theaters now! Here is a review of the Marvel film.

WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

If you don’t want any spoilers but would like to see the overall review, scroll down to “Summary and Overall Rating”

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Photo Credits: vox.com

For this review, let’s start off by talking about the star of the movie. The movie stars Brie Larson as Carol Danvers/Vers/Captain Marvel. People have been excited for this movie ever since it was announced. The first official trailer was posted on YouTube on September 18th 2018 and this made people even more excited for the movie, except for one thing. Brie Larson’s acting wasn’t great in the trailer or the movie. Throughout the movie, Carol is finding out so many things about herself, such as the fact that the Kree have been lying to her and she has been away from her real home for 6 years, but Larson still seemed to just keep a straight and emotionless face through almost the whole film. We are hoping that this will change in Avengers: Endgame. Other than that, Brie Larson was a great decision for the role of Carol Danvers.jpeg;base64e799d10447075814.jpg

Photo Credits: movieweb.com

Alongside Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson has returned to the big screen as Nick Fury. Jackson stole the spotlight in this movie with his once again great acting and funny character, but there are also some points where the movie made Fury seem like less of a serious character than he is supposed to be. The humor of the character is great but there is a point where it is too much. For example, in this movie they made it that Nick lost his eye because of a cat (Flerken) named Goose. It got a lot of laughs, but it made some of Fury’s more serious quotes from the other movies seem less serious. Such as when Fury said in Captain America: The Winter Soldier “Last time I trusted someone, I lost an eye” while talking to Steve Rodgers about “Project Insight.”

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Photo Credits: indiewire.com

Despite those things, the movie’s storyline remains great. The movie is about how Vers, a member of the Kree military, gets kidnapped on a mission by another species named Skrulls and ends up getting stranded on planet C-53 (Earth). While she waits for the Kree to find her and get her back to the Kree home planet Hala, Vers discovers she once lived in Earth, her real name is Carol Danvers, and that the Kree are the real enemies. This was a great way to introduce Captain Marvel into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It gives the background of the character in an interesting and exciting way and Carol wasn’t the only who was given a little more of a backstory in this movie. It gave more information on characters such as Nick Fury and Ronan (the antagonist of the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie). Not only was the storyline great, but the fight scenes were choreographed really well and definitely kept the audience’s attention.

Summary and Overall Rating

The overall rating of this movie is a 7/10. Larson’s acting could be greatly improved and made the movie a little boring. The comedy was funny at times, but there were points where it made quotes from other movies sound weaker than they should be and a few jokes were badly timed and not needed in the final film. Despite that, the storyline and the fights were very well written and interesting. Along with that, there are the great performances from actors such as Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Annette Bening as Mar-Vell. It’s recommended that you watch this movie.

 

Things to Look Forward to in 2019

By Luiza Boiteux and Huat Hee Chiang

The moment of glory has finally arrived: 2018 is coming to an end.

Perhaps you’re wondering why this is a moment of glory if you’re like me and the fact that we’re already in December has caused you to drown in existential dread and made you think about how quickly time passes and that we’re all marching toward an unavoidable sad and lonely death.  *clears throat*  But enough of that. I’ll give you some reasons to be excited about 2019. Just think: soon enough all of the tiring school work will be over and a brand new year is going to come for you to make things right (and maybe work out your fear of existence).  

Films

Movies are probably the first thing that comes to mind when we talk about what’s to come in 2019. The first movie coming out is Pokemon Detective Pikachu, which portrays a world where people collect Pokémon for battle. Some beloved childhood favorites will also be making come-backs to the big screen all the while sending older generations immense nostalgia. We are of course talking about the new Disney live-action re-makes, such as Dumbo and Lion King. Toy Story 4 also comes out on June 20, 2019. And for the superhero fanatics, Captain Marvel will be released as well. This movie tells the story of Carol Danvers, who becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes, when Earth was caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races.

Speaking of superheroes, don’t forget about the sequel to Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, which comes out on April 2019! Its teaser trailer was released in recent weeks, and it’s already expected to top its prequel’s box office of 2.05 billion USD!

Games

Now for the people that spend their entire days neglecting assignments to finish that one level of a game, here is some good – or bad – news for you. The most beloved action role-playing game, Kingdom of Hearts III, will be released. Days Gone, an action adventure game, will also be coming out next year on April 26.

An eagerly anticipated game, Cyberpunk 2077, can also be expected to be released in 2019, though its release date is officially still to be decided. Set fifty-seven years later in dystopian Night City, California, it is a role playing game which explores the cyberpunk sub-genre (hence the name, duh). It is developed by CD Projekt, which is important because they are the same developers of the Witcher 3, the winners of the 2015 Game of the Year Award.

Music

In 2019 lots of great artists will be dropping new albums to please our ears. Firstly, there is Maggie Rogers with the album Heard It in a Past Life, with pop songs mixed with folk imagery. After that Dodie releases her new album Human, with hits such as “If I’m Being Honest” and “Burned Out”. Backstreet Boys will be coming back with their new album DNA and Dream Theater, a progressive metal band, will also be releasing the album Distance Over Time.

 

See you in the new year!

 

 

 

Image Source: Garcia, Kelsey. “For Everyone Who Thought Disney’s Lion King Remake Was Going to Be Live-Action . . .” POPSUGAR Tech, 27 Nov. 2018, http://www.popsugar.com/entertainment/Disney-Lion-King-Remake-Animated-45521891.

Behind the Scenes of “the Miracle Worker”

The Room’s a Wreck, But Her Napkin is Folded: The Incredible Amount of Patience That Went into Producing the “Miracle Worker”

By Madison Holman and Emma Holm-Olsen

Let’s face it. You probably struggle to even walk up the stairs without tripping over your own feet in the dark. But if you thought that was hard, try adding a blindfold that would completely handicap your eyes. And might as well add a pair of ear plugs in there too, while we’re at it. Now I know you’re probably thinking – I thought we were talking about the play, not role-playing being blind and deaf. Welcome to the world of method acting – a world where if it’s written you’re blind, you bet your eyes will be of no use. Or welcome to the world of the four girls that are casted as Helen Keller, a blind and deaf girl in the late 1800s of America that learned how to speak, in EAB’s production of “Miracle Worker.”

When asked what the hardest thing about the play has been so far, director Kate Riley answered: “I wanted to give as many people as possible the opportunity to play a giant leading role, so I double-cast, but then I cast 4 Helens. So we’re going to have four productions, with one Helen [Keller] for each cast … We need about 480 hours of rehearsing that we have to fit into somewhere around 120-130 hours of rehearsal.”

Sure enough she was right; this play has been incredibly time-consuming and tiring. Eleventh grader Thomas Brassanini playing Captain Keller, Helen’s father, told us that memorizing lines was especially difficult.

It was hard because Keller’s lines are pretty wordy, very long, and very specific, so to actually get it word for word was very tough.

But aside from the difficult lines written in “old-timey” language that many of the cast members have been struggling with, we also all had to learn accents for the show- southern accents for most of us- while the girls playing Annie Sullivan had to pull out an Irish accent.

So then there was learning the accents, which range from a mild Greek, to an Irish to an Alabamian southern accent. Ninth grader Abe Barlow, playing James Keller, Helen’s brother, said:

You can start by trying to learn the accent, but what’s hard is getting into the rhythm to be able to switch back and forth between your normal voice and the accent you’re trying to portray.

But even though this is a pretty difficult production to put on, co-director and former EAB student Jader Neto says he is incredibly proud of the work that has been put into this show: “Well, I’m proud because this is my first time directing anything, and I’m proud to see all of my friends who have been acting mates in the past getting this play, [which is] not an easy play by any account … The play’s coming through really nicely, and it’s really good to see all the effort everyone is putting in is coming together into this, like, piece of art, that will definitely touch people.”

The cast couldn’t agree more. We’ve all had so much fun working on this show, and we hope that the audience gets as rich an experience out of seeing it as we got working on it. The story of Helen Keller is unbelievably important, especially nowadays when people have started to forget her life’s accomplishments. I think the two of us speak for everyone when we say we feel incredibly grateful to be a part of the retelling of this amazing story.

 

Come see the “Miracle Worker” on Thursday November 8 at 7:30 pm, Friday November 9 at 4 pm and 7:30 pm, and Saturday November 10 at 3pm. We hope to see you all there and we can’t wait to share with you all of our hard work!

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION! Three movies hitting theaters this fall.

By Fatima Kane

Here are the top three most anticipated movies of the fall! Mark your calendars!

  1. A Star Is Born

Release Date : October 11th

Trailer : https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1517451/videoplayer/vi94288665?ref_=tt_ov_vi

A STAR IS BORN

Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga star in a romantic musical saga in which the paths of a troubled superstar and an young aspiring singer-songwriter collide – a modern-day remake of the 1976 A Star Is Born, featuring Barbra Streisand. The incredible voice of Lady Gaga combined with original lyrics have created “spectacular” musical hits, and the movie is predicted to be nominated for several Oscars. Definite a must-watch!

 

  1. Crazy Rich Asians

Release Date : November 1st 

Trailer : https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3104988/videoplayer/vi1884338201?ref_=tt_ov_vi

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Crazy Rich Asians is the first Hollywood blockbuster with an all-Asian cast and is the highest-earning romantic comedy since 2009 – and it’s no surprise why ! This “Cinderella”, culture-clash remake will make you laugh, cry, and leave you wonderstruck as we follow the story of Rachel Wu, a native New Yorker who is very much in the middle class, who visits her boyfriend’s family in Singapore, and is shocked to find out they are not only wealthy, but crazy rich. Don’t miss this highly-acclaimed romantic comedy/drama! It might just be a new favorite. 

 

  1. Fantastic Beasts : The Crimes of Grindelwald

Release Date : November 15th 

Trailer : https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4123430/videoplayer/vi2545334809?ref_=tt_ov_vi

 

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While I know any Harry Potter fan is just counting down the days until this film comes out and surely knows every single detail about it, I’ll help the unknowing few catch up about this highly-anticipated sequel in the epic world of Harry Potter. The Crimes of Grindelwald will feature the adventures of self-proclaimed magizoologist Newt Scamander as he battles the threat of Dark Magic and the infamous wizard Grindelwald (played by Johnny Depp). November 15th cannot come soon enough!

Image Sources:
Foo, Stephanie. “‘Crazy Rich Asians Isn’t about Money, It’s about Entitlement-and That’s a Good Thing.’” Vox, Vox, 16 Aug. 2018, http://www.vox.com/first-person/2018/8/8/17662164/crazy-rich-asians-movie-premiere.
Marsh, Calum. “Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper Pulled Off a Near-Impossible Feat During ‘A Star Is Born’.” Variety, Variety, 3 Oct. 2018, variety.com/2018/artisans/production/bradley-cooper-lady-gaga-a-star-is-born-2-1202966079/.
Travis, Ben. “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald – Exclusive Image of Newt Scamander’s Return.” Empire, Empire, 10 July 2018, http://www.empireonline.com/movies/news/fantastic-beasts-crimes-grindelwald-exclusive-image-newt-scamander-return/.

 

The MOTH Flutters Back to EAB

By Joel Kreighbaum

October is quickly approaching which means that soon The Moth will be returning for the second year at EAB.

The Moth is a fantastic experience both for the people presenting and for the people listening. Last year the listeners got to learn how Mr. Bair met his wonderful wife Ms. Bree, and I spoke about my very personal experience of getting outed before I was ready. It takes a lot of courage to get up and tell personal stories so it’s important to support the presenters and encourage those who want to present.

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The Moth stories can cover a large variety of subject, from ones that will make laugh hysterically to those so touching that crying can’t be helped. Each story for the Moth is unique and it is a once in a lifetime experience to see each one live, so make sure to be there for this years’ group of presentations. The Moth this year is happening October 10th at 3:30 in the US iCommons Mini-Amp so don’t be late!

 

Image Source: “Tiger Moth Silhouette | Free Vector Silhouettes.” How to Draw a Double-Decker Bus | Super Coloring, 26 May 2015, http://www.supercoloring.com/silhouettes/tiger-moth.

8 Things To Do This Halloween Season

By Sophie Kane

With the month of October kicking off this week it’s time to celebrate one of EAB’s favorite holidays. Whether you love Halloween or you’ve never celebrated before, here are 8 things you should do this year to get in the Halloween spirit.

 

  1. Start your horror movie marathon

Kick off the season with your annual dose of Freddy Krueger and “Here’s Johnny.” Try Silence of the Lambs if you’re feeling particularly courageous or find out what the deal is with Norman Bates in Psycho, if psychological thrillers are more your speed. If you look for Oscar-level performances in your movies, don’t turn away from the genre just yet; check out the critically acclaimed films Get Out or A Quiet Place. But no one will judge you if you’re just in the need for some ghost busting. 

If you’re looking for something a little shorter, put a pause on the Black Mirror and check out the iconic television show the Twilight Zone. 

     2. Eat candy. A lot of it.

You may be too old for trick or treat but you’re never too old for gouging down Reese’s Pieces and Now and Laters. Make sure to stock up on supplies to last all season.

     3. Read books that will keep you up at night

You can never go wrong with Stephen King during the Halloween season. If you’re not ready to commit to an 1,000 page tome on a killer clown the Shining and Misery are a little lighter on the word count, but not on the horror. If you’re not looking for straight-up horror the Diviners is a little bit of everything, but still promises a few sleepless nights (it’s best read during the day for the light of heart). More on the ominous, mystery side of things is Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. You will never see the ending coming.

    4. Deck out your living room in cobwebs and jack-o-lanterns

Okay so I don’t know where to get pumpkins in Brasilia, but now would be a good time to pull out the boxes of Halloween decorations. If you don’t have boxes of decorations gathering dust in your garage you can always DIY your way through holiday decor.

   5. Channel your inner Martha Stewart in the kitchen

Squash soup is always a good option before it starts getting too hot for you to sit inside and eat soup. My favorites of the season are the witch finger cookies though (don’t forget to use green dye in the dough).

   6. Creep out your family with a Halloween playlist

Now would be a good time to break out the “Zombie” by the Cranberries, “Thriller”, and the Rocky Horror Picture Show Soundtrack. Or maybe just the theme from the Exorcist on repeat.

   7. Plan out your Halloween costume

If costumes are your thing, this is your time of year. If you don’t have time to order a fancy costume wear the one from last year. If all else fails there is always the toilet paper zombie.

   8. Volunteer to help out at EAB’s annual Halloween Party

Yes, we are subtly introducing paid STUCO promotions into the Bullseye. But in all seriousness, EAB’s Halloween Sabado Legal is not one to miss, whether you are organizing or just coming along with your friends and family. 

Have a great Halloween! 

 

Image Source: “10 Ideas For Spooktacular Halloween Events.” Eventbrite UK Blog, 26 Sept. 2018, http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/blog/10-ideas-spooktacular-halloween-events-ds00/.

Here are all the movies EAB students are dying to see

By Sophie Kane

 

Love Simon

Release date: It’s already out!

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykHeGtN4m94

Based off the book titled “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda” (which I have yet to read but everybody loves) this feel-good coming-of-age story has been getting a lot of buzz. When seventeen year old Simon Spier– who has yet to tell his friends and family he’s gay– falls in love with an anonymous classmate via the internet his life gets a little complicated.

“It features the main characters who is a gay teenage boy and a lot of coming of age movies don’t have queer characters, especially as the main character, so it’s really nice to see media taking that step forward to show that kind of thing… and it really is important. You can see it even in the people who worked on the movie because since the movie has been made one of the supporting cast came out as gay and the younger brother of the main actor came out as gay. Seeing yourself represented in media is really important and helps people and I don’t think people realize how important it is until they’re not represented in something.”

Joel Kriegbaum, Grade 10

Avengers: Infinity War

Release date: April 26th (BRAZIL)

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwievZ1Tx-8

This movie has been ten years in the making and spans the entire Marvel-verse. The Avengers and Superheroes are teaming up to take down Thanos before he…you know… destroys the universe.

I guess I’m just excited about a new movie from Marvel in general. You know, it’s Avengers so it’s basically like a big mash-up of all the Marvel characters.

Wenhao Fan, Grade 11

Infinity War is a movie that the Marvel universe has been building up for ten years. Usually in Marvel you get to see some [of the superheroes] but not all of them, but this time you get to see all of them, which is a major thing. And somebody will die. Usually nobody dies in a Marvel movie, but somebody’s going to die in this movie. Well, that’s what it looks like from all the trailers.

Ashika Das, Grade 11

Solo: A Star Wars Story

Release date: May 24th (BRAZIL)

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNW0B0HsvVs

We don’t really know what to expect from this new Star Wars prequel, but based on how much we’ve loved the recent stream of Stars Wars films, we have high expectations. This story follows a young Han Solo who we get to see navigate  through the criminal underworld of the galaxy, meet Chewbacca for the first time, and run into the infamous Lando Calrissian. Of course it all takes place a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

I’m excited because I’ve been a fan of Star Wars since I was young and I really love Hans Solo’s personality. And honestly he’s the one who makes the movies really entertaining and fun to watch.

Sherlynn Chew, Grade 11

The Incredibles 2

Release date: June 14th (BRAZIL)

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJDMWVZta3M

This long-awaited Disney Pixar movie is finally coming to the big screen! This time Helen is in the spotlight leaving Bob to the household heroics and shenanigans, made difficult by the fact that the family is still unaware of baby Jack-Jack’s emerging powers. Meanwhile a new villain is up to no good…

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Release date: November 15th (BRAZIL)

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5sEaYB4rLFQ

Calling all Harry Potter fans! The second installment in the to-be five film franchise is coming to you this November with a star-studded cast including Eddie Redmayne, Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Ezra Miller, and Zoë Kravitz. This screenplay has also been written by J.K. Rowling so it’s sure to deliver. We of course will be reuniting with the foursome from the first movie, but Rowling fans have been especially excited about the appearance of a young Dumbledore in the film. Stay tuned…

Mary Poppins Returns

Release date: December 20th (BRAZIL)

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzcaR1N0pTI

Disney is returning to the world of Mary Poppins starring Emily Blunt in the leading role and none other than the creator of the musical Hamilton Lin-Manuel Miranda. The film introduces three new Banks children and is set in 1930s depression-era London.

“Rotten Tomatoes: Movies | TV Shows | Movie Trailers | Reviews.” Rotten Tomatoes: Movies | TV Shows | Movie Trailers | Reviews, http://www.rottentomatoes.com/.
“Pier 21.” Wikimedia Commons, commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pier_21_Brasilia_02.jpg.

Top 10 Must-Read Young Adult Books

By Sophie Kane 

Ask which one of these you can get at the EAB library!

In no particular order…

01

Six of Crows

I have yet to meet a single person who has read this high-fantasy heist novel by Leigh Bardugo who didn’t love it. Not only is the world incredible and the plot gripping but the characters are phenomenal. I dare you not to love this book. Trust me, you’ll be racing to the bookstore for the sequel.

02

A Darker Shade of Magic

This is technically an adult book but is read by YA fans everywhere. Little did you know that there was not one London but many alternate versions of London lying in different worlds. Kell is one of the few people who can traverse these worlds, serving as a messenger between alternate Londons. Kell runs into everybody’s favorite cross-dressing pirate, Delilah Bard, and they are put on a mission to save all of their worlds. This book and series by V.E. Schwab are nothing less than brilliant.

03

The Raven Boys

The Raven Boys is unlike anything you’ve ever read or anything you ever will read. It’s about the paranormal and psychics and lost kings, featuring a gang of protagonists you wish you were part of. You definitely want these books by Maggie Stiefvater on your shelf.

04

Cinder

So you might be looking at the cover (or covers of this series) and forming a preconceived notion of what this book is going to be about. Well did you get that it features a plague threatening to wipe out the population of the Earth, mind control, and inter-planetary warfare? You’ll fall in love with this cast of characters. Even if you don’t love this first book, keep reading. You won’t regret it. Then pick up Marissa Meyer’s other fairytale retelling Heartless.

05

The Sun is Also a Star

Mixing it up with a contemporary. Thought this one would be a good one to start with because this book made me fall in love with contemporaries. Daniel and Natasha have just one day together because in twelve hours Natasha’s family is going to be deported to Jamaica. But it’s not just a book about them, it’s about the universe. Then read Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon and name her one of your favorite contemporary authors ever.

06

Eleanor and Park

This book is Rainbow Rowell’s masterpiece. It’s set over the course of a school year and takes place in the 80s. You’ll fly through it and wish it would never end. I really can’t say much about this book outside of go read it. You’ll love it forever.

07

I’ll Give You the Sun

This book wasn’t love at first sight, but all its twists and turns and heartbreaking characters make it a must-read. Just give it a chance. It’ll definitely surprise you.

08

The Diviners

This book is not talked about enough for how amazing it is. It’s everything you didn’t know you were looking for in a book. It’s historical fiction, mystery, fantasy, and horror (it will keep you up at night) all at once. Lair of Dreams is a worthy sequel and the third book in the four book series just came out so you definitely want to get on this one.

09

Strange the Dreamer

This book is about a librarian living in a fantasy world who’s obsessed with this lost city called Weep when he’s recruited by a godslayer to solve a mysterious problem in the mythic city. True to its name it is very strange, but it’s also brilliant. And there are blue-skinned people in it which is pretty cool.

10

Harry Potter

You thought I was going to be that one person who doesn’t like Harry Potter? Well you thought wrong. You don’t really need me to explain, do you?

An Afternoon at the Brasilia Zoo

By Ana Cecilia Oliveira

The Brasilia Zoo may have been forgotten by most Brasilia residents—those without small children in the family, at least—or written off as a decrepit childhood remnant, but it is still a vibrant place! Out of curiosity as to how the zoo had changed in the ten years we hadn’t been there, my family decided to visit last Friday (29). What we found is a place full of helpful volunteers and exquisite animals.

One of the first animals we came across was the zoo’s newest resident, a spectacled bear! Nei, an eight-year-old male, arrived in Brasilia on September 9, having come all the way from the Rio Grande do Sul Zoological Park. He is the zoo’s first bear of this species since it opened its doors in 1957.

The spectacled bear gets its name from the distinctive markings around its eyes, which resemble eyeglasses. It is the only bear species native to South America, and there are two zoos in Brazil with breeding pairs of the species. The zoo in Rio Grande do Sul is one of them, and Nei comes from that lineage. His arrival is part of an exchange between the two zoos; in return, our local zoo sent a male maned wolf.

According to a zoo employee I interviewed, the zoo’s next move will be two acquire two adult females in an attempt to start breeding them. The spectacled bear is an endangered species, and there has recently been a movement in South America zoos to create more breeding pairs and protect the animals’ genetic diversity. The same employee said the zoo is negotiating with other zoos in Bolivia for female spectacled bears.

When I visited him, Nei was pacing his 800-square-meter enclosure and occasionally  playing with his water tank. “You’re lucky to catch him awake!” a zoo volunteer told me, “Spectacled bears are nocturnal, and he usually sleeps during the day. This is unusual behavior for him.”

It seemed to be a very auspicious day all-around, since we were also able to see a black panther and Pantanal jaguar playing, two cougars sunbathing, and two very friendly elephants who came over to the edge of the paddock to say hi.

In addition to the animals in enclosures, all sorts of others roam freely around the zoo: small micos navigate the fences between enclosures; dozens of wildcats move in and out of the paddocks. Even capybaras can be found relaxing with the giraffes and walking through the grounds! “They [the capybaras] like the popcorn,” a vendor told me, laughing at the capybara that approached him hopefully, “That’s why they come!”

The Brasilia Zoo also boasts an enclosed butterfly garden, where butterflies of 14 different species flutter freely, often landing on unsuspecting visitors. As I was entering, a man was kept from leaving because there were three butterflies on his baseball cap that had to be removed! Visiting the butterfly garden is also an educative experience, since it is staffed by friendly volunteers who are more than willing to answer questions.

“Most of us are studying biology in college and know a lot about butterflies!” Sarah, a volunteer, told me. She also explained that, contrary to popular belief, butterflies don’t live solely off of nectar from flowers. Many species feed off of decomposing animal carcasses or rotting fruit. This is why, in some cultures, butterflies are a 
symbol of death. According to Sarah, you can also tell the age of a butterfly by looking at its wings: older butterflies have wings that are more worn or even deformed, missing pieces due to wear and collisions.

“Some of these animals were rescued from the wild, but we can never return them because they’ve become too used to humans,” said a volunteer in the deer area. This is the case with one of the zoo’s red deer, who is blind. After spending years in the zoo, these animals lose their fear of humans and the defense mechanisms developed to survive in nature. This is why many came to greet us when we came close to the enclosure’s fence, instead of fleeing and hiding.

I may have been skeptical about the zoo’s entertainment value when I first arrived, but I learned a lot from its knowledgeable volunteers and the animals I was able to see. The atmosphere is enjoyable, since the grounds are full of wildlife, trees, and small lakes. Friendly volunteers and guards are scattered around the entire perimeter, making it an enjoyable and informative experience for people of all ages, not just families with young children!

As a general tip: do not visit the zoo from the hours of late morning to early afternoon. These are very sunny times so that the animals aren’t likely to come out, and also peak times when the zoo is packed with people—especially on weekends! But, if you are new to Brasilia or haven’t visited in a while, it is a worthwhile trip on a cloudier afternoon or early morning!

Image Source: “Elefantes Do Zoo De Brasília.” Santuário De Elefantes, santuariodeelefantes.org.br/elefantes-zoo-de-brasilia/.