Exchange counselors from Brazil enjoy time in Oklahoma

Gabriel Rodrigues Marques Moreira and Danielle Cardosa de Souza arrived in Oklahoma in May.
by Matt Patterson Modified: June 11, 2013 at 6:01 pm •  Published: June 12, 2013
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— Gabriel Rodrigues Marques Moreira and Danielle Cardosa de Souza had a long journey to Oklahoma from Brazil, and they arrived right in the middle of tornado season.

Gabriel, 19, and Danielle, 24, are working as camp counselors at the Edmond YMCA. They arrived in May and have been getting settled in while learning a little about Oklahoma's most feared weather events.

“It wasn't scary to me but to all my friends and family it was,” Gabriel said. “I always knew that Oklahoma was a dangerous place about storms, but that makes you prepare for it.”

Both visited Moore after the tornado. Daniell volunteered for debris cleanup along with her host family.

“I think people are so nice to be involved in helping everyone,” Danielle said.

Their jobs center on interacting with children who spend their summer vacation days at the YMCA's many camps.

Their native city of Belo Horizonte is in the mountains of southeast Brazil. The city is large, with about 5 million people and an impressive, modern skyline.

Still, there are plenty of differences. Fast food and banks are two.

“If you eat McDonalds in Brazil every day you are a very rich person because it's so much more expensive,” Gabriel said.

And while most McDonalds restaurants have a drive-thru in Brazil, banks with a drive-up window are few and far between.

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by Matt Patterson
Reporter
Matt Patterson has been with The Oklahoman since 2006. Prior to joining the news staff in 2010, Patterson worked in The Oklahoman's sports department for five years. He previously worked at The Lawton Constitution and The Edmond Sun....
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