I was right; nothing prepared me for life in the Brazilian favelas. Being here challenges all the preconceptions I had of what it would be like. I arrived last night at 12:30AM, took a $20 cab ride to the entrance of the favela. Interestingly cabs do not venture inside the favelas…Apparently some Brazilians still hold a lot of prejudice towards favelas. I was definitely worried for a second when the cab left me on the side of the road with all my baggage and I’m standing at the bottom of this huge hill looking up at tens of thousands of apartments and houses. A Brazilian man I met on the plane thought i was crazy for what I was doing right then. I was frozen for a few minutes, not sure where to go or where to find Elliot. Thankfully Brazilians are very friendly despite not really speaking English (something like 5% of the country speaks english) and I was directed to where Elliot was waiting for me. Bottom line, with a little common sense, this favela is completely safe. This doesn’t mean forget where you are, but Rocinha is much safer than many cities in the United States.
The vibrant hillside life of the favela is very impressive. Lots of traffic, motorbikes, little storefronts with food, fruits from the Amazon, and other various goods. Everyone is in the street; life is in the street.
I took some video and photos today. Mostly just getting acclimated to the environment. The temperature is pretty great, not too hot during the day and perfect at night. I’ve had several delicious acai smoothies that Elliot swears by and definitely recommend if you get to Brazil.
It’s difficult to put into words all that I want to say about the beauty, vibrance, and uniqueness of Rio. Let’s just say my eyes are wide open and there’s certainly lots to look at!
Tomorrow we start production! Super excited to put my GoPro on a motor taxi and ride around the favela 🙂 you shall see soon!
Fun fact – I discovered today that Brazil is larger than the continental United States