Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Carnival in Rio de Janiero...Priceless!! It is unexplainable! If you ever have a chance to go, take it! And call me because I would go again! It starts at 9pm and goes way into the early morning! You are just dancing and singing the whole time, it is amazing! The floats and costumes are just magnificent!! I was able to go with a big group a people, some from the institute and the dutch folks..Tim, Miranda and Geronimo! I posted pictures and videos on facebook, I´m still trying to figure out how to post them on the blog. Kisses!!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

What does it matter what kind of car you drive or how much money you make...as long as you are happy and grateful for the things you do have!!! The institute where my retired grandparents still work at is called Instituto Central do Povo, People`s Central Institute. Currently they provide childcare for infants to 4 years of age. They used to school children up to high school but they no longer have enough funding for that.
While touring through the institute as I have always done once I have arrived; I am once again humbled by its lack of necessities. The workers and teachers are few, the children are many. They are not certified or contain degrees; they train for one day...ONE. And with that they began their day at 7:30am when someone rings a handbell to say to all that the school day has started. They feed the kids three meals a day and bathe them as well. One teacher for many children leaves no time to hold them or play with them.
As I approach one of the building around lunch time, the kids hunger cries can be heard. They can only be feed one at a time...I picked one of the children up, but she continued to cry, the little thing was just hungry. It broke my heart! It makes you just want to stay there forever and hold them!
The following day I returned to the institute in the morning with my grandmother to take some pictures and spend a little time with the children. In the afternoon I went for my second time up the favela (slum hill). Again reality slaps you in the face! Life is a gift and you should be grateful for what you have.
So..I am very grateful for my family and for the months I will be spending in Brasil! It has already made a difference emotional and physically. I´m trying to take advantage and be grateful for every opportunity such as, walking to the market to get fresh bread, walking in the small park and buying sweet popcorn from the cart vendor and today I´m headed to a big block party with some Dutch folks that are visiting and working at the institute. And I´m extremely grateful for the chance to go to CARNIVAL tomorrow!!!

Monday, February 28, 2011

I'm back in the city of Rio..with it’s crazy, constant traffic, havaianas, barely there clothing, amazing food and constant partying!! Man I love this city! This time around I’ll be here for more than just a month; I’ll be here for seven!
Maybe I should start from the beginning…I AM A BRASILIAN!! As in I was born here, both my parents are Brasilian and although I became a naturalized American citizen and grew up in the states, my first love and first passport belong to Brasil! I moved to the states when I was four with my mom after my parents divorced and have been there ever since. I always came back every year or every other year to visit family, but never for this long.
I'm already on Day 5 and I feel like I’ve done so much!! The short version is I’ve visited some of my family, studied Portuguese and maps of the city because shortly I’ll be driving, I’ve visited the Institute that my grandparents work at twice and taken many pictures for my Grandmother’s presentation, sweated liters of water because it is so freakin hot and taken two COLD showers a day because again it is so freakin hot, gone Marianna’s 95th birthday party, ridden in several taxis and buses, eaten a lot of amazing fresh fruit and meat, driven through two police raids, seen way to many people living and sleeping on the streets, kissed the cheeks of many people that I know and don’t know (Brasilians greet people with a kiss on both cheeks), seen Bruce Willis everywhere because he is on billboards and commercials for an English school here, realized I left my toothbrush and all my contacts in the states, jaywalked, taken the metro, ate at the kilo place (the amount you pay is based on the weight of your food), attended church and went to two different Carnival block parties and danced in the street!!
So..I guess you can say I’ve been enjoying myself so far!! And for those of you who know me, I haven’t eaten a single kids meal here!! I already have many pictures to show but I have to leave and pick up my Vovo (Grandmother) from choir practice so I will do when tomorrow sometime. I miss you and love you all soooo much!! Kisses!!