Interviewing Felipe Andrade da Silva

By Andreas Stoffel

Felipe Andrade da Silva, was born in 1988 in Salvador da Bahia in the North-East of Brazil. After finishing high school, he lived one year in Oxford, England for studying English. Back in Brazil, he started studying medicine at the University of Sao Paulo. At the moment, Andrade da Silva is doing an internship at the Hospital Universitario de Getafe in Spain and will graduate in 2014. After graduating, Andrade da Silva would like to work as a sergeant in a hospital in Sao Paulo. I talked with him about current topics in South America’s biggest country.

Stoffel: As you live in Sao Paulo, I wanted to ask you about the situation there as the city is considered as dangerous. What are your experiences?

Andrade da Silva: Well, as every big city, you might have problems. For example, if you go to New York City, you probably enjoy the time in Manhattan whereas life in Brooklyn can be tough and dangerous. So, the same happens in Sao Paulo where you have very nice and safe areas. Actually, I have never been robbed or kidnapped since I live there.

Stoffel: Is that because you are a local and not a tourist?

Andrade da Silva: No, I don’t think so. I had lots of friends from all over the world visiting me in Sao Paulo and no one had any problems at all. In my opinion, the problem the city has is that because of media, the reputation is much worse than it actually is. But of course, you have to be as careful as in every other big city.

Stoffel: What about the smaller cities and the countryside, what are your experiences?

Andrade da Silva: Because Brazil is a very big country, there are many different areas and cultures. So if you are going to the countryside, the people are very friendly and sympathetic and you will not have problems at all. There are also no favelas like in the big cities and therefore, it is even safer there.

Stoffel: That’s interesting! So, you have been travelling to many places in the world. What are the differences between Brazil and let’s say Europe?

Andrade da Silva: The social gap is much bigger in Brazil. It means that the differences between rich and poor people are higher. Of course, there is poverty in Europe as well as but we have misery at the same time. But I also have to say that over the last few years the middle class became stronger and as a result, the state became more solid. One reason for this development was that our economy was growing steadily and now is one of the top six in the world. Another reason was Lula da Silva, our former president, who tried to make Brazil more competitive and attractive for investments as well as more equal. That was the reason why he was and still is so popular even though he is not in charge anymore.

Stoffel: Now, Brazil is organising the two biggest sports events in the next two years, the FIFA World Cup 2014 and the Olympic Games 2016. Did you already notice improvements in the Infrastructe for example?

Andrade da Silva: As usual in Brazil, they are very late and have problems with the time schedule. It is the way how they make money as corruption is a very big problem of my country. They try to delay and then they have to rush and as a result no one takes a look on the bill. The government is not very reliable on those kinds of things and last year, our minister of sports had to resign after he was involved in a corruption scandal.

Stoffel: What is your personal opinion about these events? Do you think it will help your country or is it just too expensive?

Andrade da Silva: In my opinion, it is a great opportunity to improve our image and to show the world what a fantastic country Brazil is. Moreover, I am sure that we will do a good job as Brazilians are famous in organising big parties! On the other hand, I have to say that there is often no money for new hospitals or schools and suddenly, out of nothing, they have millions of dollar to build up new football stadiums. Another problem is that those stadiums are, compared to other countries, much more expensive even though the wage levels are much lower. Also bothers me that a big organisation like FIFA, which earns billions of dollars, does not have to pay taxes and benefit from governmental money. FIFA also have a big problem with corruption as no one can see how they are organised and where the money comes from. I think that they have to change their structure to become m0re trustful.

Stoffel: Thank you very much for this interview.


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