M&F's visit to Brazil has been very well covered in the Danish media.
Brazil is emerging as a future super-economy and as such it is of great interest to Danish commerce.
And as one journalist explained: The rank and status of M&F ensures that the accompanying Danish businessmen meet people on a considerably higher level than they would otherwise have met.
There are basically two stories about the DRF in this weeks BB, M&F and an interesting interview with Joachim, which I will translate when I get time to do it.
Summary of a number of articles in Billed Bladet #38, 2012.
All written by our woman in Brazil, Anna Johannesen.
On the first day Mary was supposed to cook (*) with Frederik looking on. Mary wore a kind of coat abouve her dress, but springtime has arrived in Brazil and it was more than 30 degrees C, so the coat went off quick enough!
Mary, with the help of a chef or two, prepared the traditional Danish dish, Brændende kærlighed = burning love. Burning Love - (Brændende Kærlighed)
the way I make it! The mashed potatoes were squirted from a siphon (**) into beakers with onions, bacon and beetroots, garnished with ash from burning hay!
M&F have been to Brazil before and Frederik described the atmosphere: the mood here is still direct and spontanous.
People here have a positive attitude. Here is a lovely relaxed atmosphere".
Mary added: "Right now we have only been here since this morning, so we have to settle in first".
They enjoy travelling together. Frederik explained: "It's nice to travel as a couple. That gives (you) double strength. It's been a long while since we travelled together officially".
Before that M&F visited the Scandinavian Chruch and here eight boys played samba. Inside the singer Raina Magdalon sang Ave Maria.
Have they danced samba with each other? Mary: "Yes, at some point we have".
The next day Mary visited a cupport centre, Cidinha Kopcak, for abused women in one of the more modest neigherborhoods of Sao Paolo. Here Mary listened to some of the stories the women told.
Domestic abuse is a major problem in Brazil and a problem that has very much been neglected by the authorities even though women on paper have all sorts of rights and by law ought to be protected.
One woman who managed to fight her way free from a abusive marriage was 48 year old Monica, mother of seven children. She lived in abusive marriage for 23 years and only when she one day read about the centre in a paper, did she leave her husband. She has also started to take an education as a social worker. She was beaten as well as abused psycologically.
When she had told her story, Mary went up and took her hand.
Another woman was Maria aged 25. She was afraid and didn't trust anyone and when she finally got enough courage to go to the police, the police was simply unprepared to deal with domestic issues like hers. It was only after going to court, she managed to sort out her life.
With the help of an interpreter Mary then told about the Mary Foundation and the project "Affording life" (About helping women to reestablish themselves after having left an abusive relationship).
Q: What impression has it left on you that the women here are so open about domestic violence?
Mary: "I think that the women who are ready to tell their stories often are very open, because they know they can make a difference for other women.
When you put a face on the abuse it is sometimes a lot easier to understand how to help fight it".
She emphasized how moving it had been to listen to the stories.
Before Mary left the women decided she should hear their battle-cry, so to speak. Alas, it doesn't rhyme in Danish, nor in English I'm afraid: "Violence against women is not something we wish and if we see them we hit back with cooking spoons".
It was far more official at Sao Paolo's Jockey Club. Here 375 guest were invited to a galadinner. Actually they paid 600 Reals to be invited.
Here Mary wore a copper-colored dress and displayed a new hairstyle, curtesy of Søren Hedegaard.
After the dinner a number of Danish companies in Brazil were awarded the Prince Henrik's Medal of Honour. Then it was time for coffee and light entertainment, Mary was observed holding her husband's hand, while he was chatting to the host, Jens Olesen.
Accompanying M&F on this trip is the Chief of Court, Christian Schønau. Mary's LiW, Tanja Doky. A maid and a valet. And last but not least Mary's hairdresser, Søren Hedegaard.
(*) Perhaps they should consider letting Frederik do the cooking at such events? I understand that some women find men who cook sexy. So Frederik in a cooks outfit... or am I completely wrong ladies?
(**) Mashed potatoes from a siphon?!?
Good grief! Mashed potatoes shouldn't be squirted, mashed potatoes must, repeat must, be shovelled onto a large plate. - I bet there was hardly any trace of real butter in it as well.