Connecting with teens around the world Name Thiago Marins Vivacqua Ruschi Age 17 City Vitoria Star sign Scorpio Vitoria is located in the south-east of Brazil. The weather is very hot most of the time, and there's almost no difference between seasons. It's such a warm city that I usually wear light clothes such as T-shirts, tennis shoes, flip-flops - they're so common, they're almost Brazil's national footwear - and shorts all the time. But at night it's cool enough to need long trousers. There is a lot to do at night in Vitoria. There are lots of bars and some night clubs, and the Federal University often puts on shows and events. During the daytime, there are many beautiful beaches to visit and hang out on. My school life in Brazil is very calm. I study chemistry, maths, physics, history, geography, literature, Portuguese and English. Some schools teach Spanish and other languages. I speak a little Spanish and English and I'm currently taking Chinese classes. My first language is Portuguese, not Spanish as many people assume of Brazilians. Carnival is the most popular festival in Brazil. It takes place 40 days before Easter and marks the start of Lent. It is an explosion of colour, music and dance, and everyone has a great time. During the holidays, I usually go to my beach house or go camping with my friends and family. I like all sports, but prefer team sports such as football, basketball and volleyball because I enjoy interacting with others. But sometimes you've just go to work out on your own, so I do boxing and go to the gym, too. I love my country: the hugely varying landscapes, the food, the costumes. But the people are the best thing - they are strong and generous. Teenagers in Brazil don't like to study very much. They play a lot of sport and always enjoy themselves, but they are also very close to their families. I'm a huge movie fan - I watch everything from dramas to horror movies. It's the same with music. I like everything: rock, samba, pop, jazz, blues, but especially MPB (Brazilian Popular Music). We have a maid, so I don't have to do any housework except at weekends. I also have to walk my dog, Woody. I'm polite, happy and sometimes shy with people I don't know. But I'm very friendly and I love my family and my friends. In the future I want to study law and international relations. I had never travelled outside Brazil, but I always wanted to study or live in another country. So I joined the AFS exchange programme in Hong Kong and now I live with a host family in Tuen Mun. Hong Kong seems to be a great place, with marvellous traditions and very intelligent people. I'm very excited to explore it and to learn more about Chinese culture.