I haven't lived in many countries, only Argentina. So I don't have a lot to compare Brasilia to. But with my limited reference, I must say that I loved it! I had such a great time there. I loved the people, I loved the food, and I loved to travel within the country.
The embassy in Brasilia is really nice. It has a swimming pool, tennis courts, playground, beach volleyball court, and a little restaurant called the Tucano Club. It also has a small commissary where you can get all of your American junk food and a video store. Inside the embassy building are a couple of courtyards with fountains and gardens where you can sit and eat your commissary food.
The school that I attended in Brasilia was the Escola Americana do Brasilia. This is a pretty small school with about 600 students from kindergarten to 12th grade. It has a very spacious campus that is spread out among various buildings. One of the things I found surprising about it when I first moved was that most classrooms must be accessed from the outside. So there are few indoor halls in the school. In any case it's a pretty nice school, and I had a good experience with the people there.
There's not really a lot to do in Brasilia if you're a teenager since it's still a developing city. There are some malls in the city and on the outskirts, the biggest of which is Park Shopping. In it there are movies, laser tag, a mini amusement park, a bowling alley, and a couple shops in between. Teenagers also have parties often, which last through the night in Brazil and are usually held in mansions.
If you want to travel, there are many opportunities. You can go to places like Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Manaus, Cuiaba, Iguacu, the Pantanal, and Natal. Brazil is famous for its beautiful beaches, and you can go to them in Rio, Salvador, or Natal. If you want to visit the Amazon rainforest you can go to Manaus or Belem by boat. There are a number of resorts in the middle of the Amazon that provide hikes, canoe rides, and swimming for their guests, so you can spend a couple of days in the middle of the rainforest.
One of my favorite traveling experiences was a New Year's spent at Caldas Novas, a natural spring with warm water. There are a number of pools and water parks located in that city that our group (this was an embassy-sponsored trip) took advantage of. It's just a really nice and relaxing place to take a vacation.
Another nice thing about Brazil is the food. Around the country you will find Churrascarias, which are Brazilian barbecue restaurants. They are all you can eat, and the waiters will come by your table and slice off pieces of various meats for you. It's incredibly delicious, and if you go to Brazil you have to go to one! To accompany your dining, some of these restaurants will also provide live musical entertainment. It's quite nice. If you live in Washington and want to get the Churrasco experience go to the Malibu Grill in Bailey's Crossroads, VA, or the Brazilian Barbecue in Rockville MD. Other good Brazilian foods include brigadeiros, which are scrumptious little chocolate balls.
All in all, Brasilia was a nice post. If you ever make it to Brazil, I hope you can take advantage of the traveling opportunities there and get a chance to eat some good local food. But if you do go there, don't rush around the country trying to do everything, because it's simply impossible. Besides, relaxing is the Brazilian way.