That is the question I have been asked for several months now. To answer simply: No.
Brazil is in the midst of political instability, economic stagnation, and public health concerns. Add that to the normal woes of traveling to a foreign country, and many people are understandably hesitant about going to the Olympics Games.
But I am not scared of traveling in Brazil any more than I am of living in the United States. I grew up in Washington, D.C., and my childhood was colored by the Pentagon attack on 9/11 and the series of DC Sniper shootings in 2002. I have participated in numerous lawful demonstrations and protests against police brutality and racism, and have witnessed and experienced many events that have not painted the United States in the best light.
As a communication major with a passion for storytelling I am going to Rio to show how the Olympic Games affect the everyday lives of Brazilians. We are taking precautions to ensure our safety, and have been educating ourselves to understand the climate we are walking into.
Our world is filled with injustice and instability. Whether in Brazil or the United States, learning to tell these stories and bring them to a bigger audience is a calling that I cannot ignore. I will not allow fear to prevent me from participating in this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Photo: Students Hiwot Hailu (right) and Abby Laine Faber.