Intern at the Danish Embassy in Brasilia
Since the beginning of February, I have worked as an intern at the political section at the Danish embassy in Brasilia, where I will be until the end of July.
Not one day is the same at the embassy
I work 37 hours per week from Monday to Friday, but that is also almost the only thing that is certain. My permanent assignments are to follow the Brazilian medias for news about Denmark and keep myself updated on other topics that could be relevant to Denmark. Moreover, I receive daily assignments from the Minister Counsellor, the Cultural officer or one of the two growth advisors. So far I have been working with such different things as Zika, Brazil´s economy, an exhibition about Danish architecture and research on IT and health. Moreover, I am participating in a lot of lectures that the embassy is invited to or that the Universities are arranging. Some of the topics have been Brazilian campaign financing, Brazilian decision-making processes regarding international relation and Brazil and UNASUR´s military cooperation and security policies.
But it is not all-hard work
When I am not working Brasilia is certainly not a boring city to be in. As the capital of Brazil, Brasilia has together with Sao Paulo been the centre of the chaotic politic situation, with demonstrations several days per week. One of the largest occurred on 17 April on which the Chamber of Deputies was voting for the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff. I went to experience the demonstrations first hand with my friends and the atmosphere was relaxed and the pro-impeachment side, which we visited seemed quiet confident on success. Moreover, I have been “networking” at parties at the American, the Dutch and the British embassies in addition to the parties arranged by the Dominican Republic. All of them has given me the opportunity to talked to other interns, diplomats and Brazilians working at the other embassies, besides getting a decent hangover the following day. I have also participated in the Carnaval in the city and been at the local stadium, which is the second most expensive stadium in Brazil after Maracana.
To live in Brasilia is not to live in the “real” Brazil
It is easy to forget that you are living in Brazil, when you are living on the embassy compound surrounded by other interns and diplomats from the Europe. In addition to that Brasilia is one of the cities with the highest income per capita and lower crime rate, than other major cities in Brazil like Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. Moreover, Brasilia does not have any favelas, not a lot of beggars or homeless people although all of this occurs in the satellite cities just outside Brasilia. Because of that I find it important to come outside the compound and the city to experience the nice nature that is surrounding the city or to visit other regions of Brazil to see the other side of Brazil.
The last time in Brasilia
With less then three month left, I am hoping to travel some more, both around Brasilia but also around Brazil. Moreover, I expect that it will be interesting to see how Michel Temers new temporary government will work out and if it can change Brazils bad political and economical situation. Moreover, I am looking forward to be part of the embassies preparation for the Olympic games and to learn even more about working on an embassy and the Brazilian society. Besides continue to meet interesting people here.
Written by Nicolai Kammersgaard