Or why Brasilian dental care is the best in the world.
Seventeen years old, a young, lean, tanned and lovely young lady walks out in the morning sunshine of Ipanema, catching the eye of every one who passes.
She has just returned from a summer in the interior with an aged aunt, and it feels good to be back at home in the city. There doesn't seem to be much of a breeze, but there is a haunting voice in the streets...a gentle, sussurating presence of sound, like the wind.
She settles in her favourite place on the beach, nestling into the warm sand and catching the feel of the sun on her skin. A beach boy with a coolbox on his shoulder pads by, kicking up clouds of sand. She ignores him and lies back.
There is no wind and she loses herself in the sounds of the waves on the shore, the noise is wide and around her as the water pounds the sand and the vibrations surround her.
She is troubled. On her return her mother has declared childhood to be over, and after the summer, she has to confess that the evidence is on her mother's side. It is time for her to get a job; earn a living.
But there is nothing in life that she feels passionate about. Her family is all about passion, but the sun and the beach and the city are what she loves.
As the morning wanes on the sun climbs to a point where it is too hot even for this girl, and she reluctantly rolls up her towel and heads home, winding her way through streets with old men at cafe tables sitting and watching the world go by. Again, even though there is no movement of air, she is haunted by the sounds of wind moaning through the washing lines above the streets...well, that's what it sounds like.
This is our man, the reason for The Specialisation, the reason for the boom in medical immigrants to South America, the reason that teenagers from all the rich countries of the world are dragged by demanding parents to the crazy tapestry of Rio de Janeiro; the principal man behind the boom in dental care. He doesn't know it yet. The decision that puts him in this role has yet to be made, but he will make it.
He's a teacher. A young, enthusiastic type. A man with a dream, a passion. He wants to help the young ones, you see, and the headmistress can see it in his eyes. He does twice as many lunch duties as any other of the grizzled and world-weary staff members, and he has yet to notice. He also holds, rather pivotally for our story, the post of Careers Tutor.
Here we find him, idly spinning a pencil back and forth between his fingers and staring vacantly at a faded map of the world pinned with tacks to the wall. His class is being taken for morning prayer by Father Santos, and he has ten minutes to himself. His tie is wrought thin and absent-mindedly against a pale blue shirt. He is thinking about his geography class this afternoon.
A strange noise rises and breaks through the dampening effect of the plaster wall. It's a breaking wave of gentle vocal exhalation, but the sheer number of lungs giving rise to it brings it above the threshold of hearing.
There is a knock at the door.
The door is opened, slowly, and our familiar young girl from the beach walks in. There is a chair to one side of our teacher's desk, and she crosses the floor of the office to reach it.
The young girl flinches.
"I'm sorry, I don't know what came over me," says the teacher.
"It's okay," she says. "It's happening a lot."
"Er, right...what is?"
"The aaah thing. Lately."
"Right, what can I do for you?"
"Mother says I need a career."
"Really? Any ideas?"
The girl shakes her head.
"Okay," says our teacher, and he nods to a chart on the wall. "Take a look at that chart over there and let me know if there's anything you like."
The girls gets up and walks, slowly across the room.
The teacher frowns at himself and the girl flinches again, but she peers at the chart.
The whole financial makeup of a continent hinges, with bated breath, upon this moment.
She traces a finger along a line on the chart.
"Where are you?"
"Uh, 'Do you like helping people?'"
"I like it a lot."
"Where does that bring you?"
"It says 'Medical'."
"Okay, sit down, and let's chat."
The girl looks at the teacher warily.
"Come on, come on," he says, "sit."
She passes the front of the desk again.
"LOOK," explodes the girl, "WHAT IS going on? Why is everyone doing this?"
Our teacher is flabbergasted. He starts fiddling with his pencil again. Flicking it back and forth, over and round and swinging again around his fingers.
There is a pause while the world holds its breath.
"How do you feel about becoming a dentist?"