Time Capsule Letter
To our dearly beloved Session 1 students,
We miss you already! Can you believe it’s been six months since we were all crying in the airport singing “I’m leaving on a jet plane…”and waving good bye to Cristo Redentor with the sounds of the Amazon birds and bugs still chirping in your ear. As we write this letter, we are reminded of just how lucky we all were to be a part of such a special program and group. Since day one, everything ran so smoothly, and that wasn’t us, that was thanks to you. We never had to beg you all to speak up in activities, or lead a game, or be on time.
You all took it upon yourselves to focus on your individual goals and the group as a whole. We were so impressed with the way you looked out for each other, your maturity and flexibility, and enthusiasm for learning and life. The way you helped each other navigate through the forest’s slippery bridges and paths. The way you decided as a team which campsite you would spend the night in, took everyone’s opinion and comfort into consideration, and challenged yourselves while always supporting each other.
The way you danced like crazy in our dance class even though you didn’t know the samba steps until Jorge showed us what was up in Rio. You were an ideal example of how eleven individuals from all different backgrounds and lifestyles can come together and with a little Bunny Bunny and deep conversation can bond and unite like no other. One mentor group activity that particularly stood out in deepening our family was Five Categories, where we all had to choose one most important person, place, thing, memory, or dream to keep and discard the rest.
Each of you allowed yourselves to be vulnerable in front of each other, to be open and share your life stories. It was admirable and touching to see the way you allowed each other in while at the same time standing firm in your decisions and values. Throughout our three weeks together you all constantly did your best to live the GLA values. Not only did you show each other respect and compassion but you embraced everyone you met with the same love and open mindedness. Remember playing futebol with the kids at Abraco Campeao in Complexo Alemao? You had such a blast even when you didn’t speak the same language or know the first thing about those kids.
How are your goals coming along? We hope you are continuing to work on your goals to listen to your inner self, and focus on having a healthy mind, spirit and body. Yoga became an important part of our routine, and it was amazing to see many of you embracing the practice as a pathway to personal growth. Always remember ohm, shanty shanty shanty!
Peace out, love, beleza!
Beca, Kelby and Dafne
Sunday June 23, 2019
Arrival Day #1! Today we welcomed 7 out of 11 of our students to Manaus. After the long journey and various arrivals throughout the night, the students slept in as long as they wanted and enjoyed a lovely fruit- filled breakfast at the top veranda of the Hostel, overlooking the city skyline. Then we walked around the city center, saw the famous Opera House, colorful colonial houses, and walked through a local market.
We tried some local foods: tapioca, which is similar to a crepe made from ground manioc, filled with various fillings such as ham and cheese, banana, cheese and nuts, and egg. We tried delicious fresh natural fruit juice of various local tropical fruits: goiaba (guava), maracuja (passion fruit), taperebá, and cupuaço. And fresh coconut water! So refreshing especially in the humid heat! Then a much needed afternoon break for napping, socializing, and watching the Brasil vs. France Women’s World Cup game.
Dinner was a traditional plate of rice, potato salad, fish & farofa (also made from manioc— a staple food in Brasil), and skewers of juicy grilled chicken, beef and sausage, coupled with a sweet soda made from guarana, a local fruit. We happily took advantage of the evening breeze to walk around the city square and caught a glimpse of a street clowning performance, which none of us understood 😛
We returned back to the hostel for a chill evening of ice breakers, games, and lots of laughs! Students slept soundly and staff made runs to the airport to welcome the rest of the group! We are all soaking in the sights & sounds of the city and also excited to head to the home base in the Amazon tomorrow!
Tuesday June 25, 2019
Hi, parents and friends and people we love!! These last few days in the jungle (“a floresta”, or “mata” in Portuguese) have been amazing. Last night we were “serenaded” by the monster-like roar of the howler monkeys while we fell asleep among lizards, moths, and all of the rainforest life in our cabin. In the morning, some of us embarked on an early hike with Kelby, one of our mentors from Australia, and he educated us about some of the ecology of the ecosystem.
Then, we had an incredible breakfast of fresh fruit, cuzcuz (a dome shaped loaf made of cornmeal), bread, fresh butter, and fresh cheese. We spent the morning talking with Rafael (a local guide originating in Manaus) and Vanessa (an activist and the owner of the lodge that we’re staying in) about the rainforest and their mission to conserve it and educate as many people as they can about the widespread impacts that the Amazon Rainforest has on the rest of the world. We viewed satellite images of deforestation, damming, farmland, and indigenous regions to better understand how far the destruction of the forest is really reaching.
We tried Ingá, which had fluffy, sweet, white flesh and large, purple seeds which we tossed into the forest to grow new plants. The flesh was mild and sweet, and our lovely guide, Kenna (Vanessa’s daughter), taught us that eating the GRUBS that live in the beans is good for you! So we ate the ones we could find (it was chewy). Later, she brought us fresh ant heads to try, which tasted like pungent lemongrass. Who knew fresh bugs were so delicious!? Muito bon! Although we ate bugs, we also had a larger lunch of fish and vegetable soup. Fish is a staple here, and it’s so decadent! Following lunch, we had a Portuguese lesson with Kinan, Vanessa’s son, who taught us how to say things like “Hello!” (“Oi”), “good friend” (amigão), and “delicious!” (muito bom). Obrigada, Kinan!
Then, we set off on a trek into the rainforest with Leo, activist, owner of the lodge, photographer, and forest friend. We visited his gardens (experiments), where he showed us different edible plants and shared his experiences and intentions with his gardens and projects. As he describes it, his gardens are “edible forests” which he is only tending so they can grow as healthy and big as the forest around them.
We hiked further into the forest, after trying many different plants, and visited the pond which is intended to provide a sustainable source of fish which can be fed by the surrounding trees. And we all jumped in and splashed around in the water! It was so refreshing. We talked about relaxation, and how central it is to indigenous life (and a healthy life!), and how the rainforest provides everything we need for daily life without having to participate in a more commercial system of living. Independence and a sharing community are central!
Once back from the forest, we ate rice, salad, fish, and farrafa, a crunchy side dish made from dried tapioca pellets, and seasoned with tangy and spicy ingredients. Muito bon! We had an appreciation circle and spent some time exploring the values of compassion, integrity, innovation, optimism, respect, personal growth, and cooperation, by performing skits in groups based on which value we felt the most connected to. In the end, all of the values lean on each other and build each other up, just like we’re doing on this trip! We can’t have a whole if one is missing, just like in the rainforest ecosystem. When one piece is damaged, the rest struggles to stay healthy. It’s a community!
Wednesday June 26, 2019
Bom dia todo mundo! Today several members of the group started the day with an early nature walk, although we did not see any animals, we did see a huge snail! Then the day continued with the word of the day, community, in Portuguese this word is “comunidade”. After breakfast we participated in an activity called “Where I am from”. In this we wrote about special characteristics of our life that indicate who we are. Next on the schedule was a cooking class in which we made brigadeiro, creme de cupuaçu, and macaxeira frita.
Following this activity, we had some down time and took a yoga class in front of our gorgeous view of the forest. Next our courageous group walked among the animals and medicinal plants of the amazon. We eventually ventured off the trail, went off into the jungle and walked for almost 5 hours! On this walk we learnt about an indigenous tradition where boys between the age of 8-15 must put gloves on both hands covered in bullet ants and endure the pain without crying.
Just seeing these huge ants was pretty scary! After this adventure our sweaty and tired group ate dinner and ate our sweet Brasilian dessert, creme de cupuaçu. Finally, our team had a valuable discussion about the important pillars of life and leadership, slept outside our room in hammocks, and enjoyed the fresh, crisp, night air of Brasil. Thank you for reading, até mais tarde 🙂
⁃ Alexa Fernandes ❤🇧🇷
Thursday June 27, 2019
For those of us that had the energy, we woke up early enough to see a beautiful sunrise. Our energetic, eager, and still tired-eyed group set off on a bird watching trek. With our incredible and knowledgeable guide, Rafael, we walked for two hours searching for birds. We were a big loud group, not great for bird watching, but were still fortunate enough to see some birds. We saw a bird that was a warning signal. This bird makes a distinct noise when a large predator, including human, is nearby, to let other birds and animals know that danger is nearby. We were also fortunate enough to see native and large humming birds, toucans, and these cool birds that danced on trees and made a sound similar to a drum.
The bird watch was very cool, but the coolest was yet to come. Our entire group, walked into the woods with the amazing guides, Rafael and Samuel. When we finally arrived to the camp we were drenched in sweat. Luckily for us there was a natural stream that was right by our camp. Some of us jumped in to clean off and get comfortable. The cold water was the most refreshing feeling I had felt in a long time. After, we were responsible for ourselves, including our stuff.
Considering there were scorpions and bullet ants lurking we had to keep our stuff up when we slept. We, with Kelby, went into the woods to cut down small trees to use to hang our stuff while we slept. Once we got back we relaxed, socialized, told stories, and continued to bond. While we had the luxury of doing nothing, our lovely guide, Samuel, was hard at work. Samuel was cooking fish, chicken, and vegetables. We showed our appreciation by thanking him in Portuguese, “Obrigado”, and eating everything he cooked. It was an amazing adventure with amazing people and we have many more memories to come.
Shout out mom, dad, Andrew, Sarah, I love you all!
Friday June 28, 2019
Today was a very relaxing recovery day after a fun night in the Amazon, but nevertheless it was still productive. After returning from our overnight we enjoyed a regeneration period to catch up on sleep or just relax and chat. After which, we enjoyed an impromptu yoga session and achieved savassana with a new friend Brynn. Following a much needed lunch we enjoyed a surprise break before evening activity. Personally, this time was my favorite of the day because I was able to listen to music and enjoy a long conversation with others. When the rest period ended we began a group activity named “value lines”. We would shift to one side after making a quick decision as to how we felt. When we finally wrapped up our decision making we had a fine conversation. It consisted of justifying our reasons for which side we picked, but also provided some nice time to find out the deep values of the group. Currently, we are winding down a great day with some post dinner games and then transition into tonight.
-by Bennett Brosnan
Saturday June 29, 2019
oday was a huge change of scenery for our group. After eating a lovely breakfast this morning, we gathered our bags – filled with clothes, hygiene products, our journals, and other essentials – and loaded them into three vans that were to take us to the Onça (Jaguar) Waterfalls. Once we arrived, we gathered our belongings and were lead by our wonderful guide Samuel for about 15 minutes down a sandy trail that lead to an incredible, beautiful waterfall. Almost as soon as we entered into the clearing that held the waterfall, all of us had dropped our bags under a small manmade canopy and raced to the water. We were able to walk up into the base of the waterfall, and swim in the beginning of the shallow creek that began at its feet. We had so much fun riding in the small slide made by the winding current, walking across a log which connected both banks of the creek, feeling cool water on our skin, and just enjoying each other’s company.
After spending about two hours at the waterfall, Samuel took us back down the trail to the river we had to cross on our way there and explained to us that we would all be able to swim in the river. We put our bags in another shelter on the bank, but before our river run could commence, we saw a group of monkeys climbing the trees on one side of the river and jumping to the trees on the opposing side. This spelled was just the beginning of a good I Sérgio time at the river. We had a very tasteful lunch of sandwiches and fruit before we could enter the water. Next, Daphne said that we had to take a swimming test in order to swim for the next two hours, which included swimming from one bank to the other and then floating a certain distance. Thankfully we were all able to pass, with varying degrees of difficulty, and allowed to swim. During our time eating lunch and taking our swimming test, our guides Samuel and Raphael set up a manmade rope swing for us to use. Honestly, it was so much fun, and entertained us all for almost the entire time. As it was time leave, we then picked our bags and readied to leave, but Raphael decided to take us on a small bird watching trek for about 30 minutes.
During the trek we were fortunate enough to see one of the treasures of the Amazon, the Musical Wren. A small bird that symbolizes that the Forrest is healthy, began to sing its otherworldly tune. It was such a wonderful sound to hear – a beautiful, fragile sound – only a few feet in front of us. It truly was incredible. After our closer, Raphael took us back to wait for the vans where we played with 5 puppies until their arrival. The vans then took us to the hostel that we will be spending our next two days and two nights. It was nice to be able to relax and enjoy each other’s, as well as our phones as the hostel has WiFi, for the night. It was only fitting that our great day would be ended with a movie that we all watched together. It sure was a day to remember.
– by Austin Lichtenstein
Sunday June 30, 2019
Today is Jun 30 and we are at Presidente Figueiredo. The town is very beautiful and authentic and everyone always has somewhere to go. Which reminds me a little of New York City a little because people are working hard to live to a better life.
Around 7am, everyone woke up and had a delicious breakfast. After we ate, we walked to a market that sold fruits and vegetables for the local people. We were assigned a scavenger hunt. There was a list of different fruits and vegetables such as avocado and passion fruit in Portuguese. Luckily the group I was in, Alexa, could help us find the items by speaking to the people there in Portuguese. We had to take a picture with the items and we came in first place. The feeling was rewarding as well as I felt like I learned new words in Portuguese. Also, learning how kind the people in the market were by helping us find items on our lists and taking pictures. The experience was exciting and I respected their language and culture even more.
After, we hiked for about fifteen minutes to the Urubuí River Rapids to go swimming. Though we were all sweating bullets, the town around us was open and beautiful. We had time before lunch to go shopping for homemade chocolates and sweets. Most of us bought cupuaçu candies with sugar or nut. Cupuaçu is a traditional and popular Brazilian fruit. They were very delicious and savory. We ate lunch and fed a stray cat on the street which was very cute. Then we crossed the river, found a shady spot, and got into the cold stoney water. At first, the water painful but after feeling the sun it felt like heaven. We swam with the rapids, had chicken fights and took turns throwing each other in the water. Later, we all became tired and happy when a man came by selling with ice cream. We dried off and laughed about each other’s falls.
After a shower and rest break back at the hotel, we played an activity called hot seat. It was very intriguing to see people in our group open up to us. I felt in the activity we bonded in a deeper level. Dinner was ready by the time the activity ended, the food was incredible per usual. We all exchanged laughs and memories with each other about our day. After finishing our barbecued food, Alexa kindly cleaned all of our dishes.
A little later, we did an activity with five different categories, that listed about your favorite people, memory, things, places and dreams. They were in a form of post it notes and we had to take out five items at a time then two items. The point of the activity was to narrow one part of your life that you want to keep. By the end, we all had one post it note that meant the most to us. When ask to explain the significance of the post it note, some of us including me got emotional. A few people talked about how much they love their mothers, fathers and dreams. Though we have only met about a week, tonight was the most we connected without the feeling of judgment or embarrassment. So happy to be apart of this group and to call them my friends.
Monday July 1, 2019
We spent our last morning at the hostel in Presidente Figueiredo packing and getting ready to go back to home base. But we first made a short stop into a store that sold jewelry and woven goods made by indigenous Amazonians. Many of us bought beautiful rings and bracelets made from nuts and seeds and other materials from the rainforest.
Then we loaded up into taxis for the 30 minute drive to home base. I rode in the smallest cab with Winnie, Ben, and Dafne. Our driver was really cool when he gave us the aux cord to play our own music. We were jamming so hard with the windows down to Travis Scott, that everyone was dancing, even our driver! Ben and I stuck our heads out of the windows and danced, and when we were stopped and waiting for someone to open the gate to home base, we all jumped out and started hardcore dancing to Cardi B. It was soo fun.
Getting dressed for our first day of service work was a little difficult because we were so used to the A/C in the hostel. We were all sweating so much!! We started out by helping Leo with his bio-charcoal. Basically, we climbed up and down hills to gather thick branches, and threw them around this hole in the ground where he would burn them to make the bio-charcoal for composting. We took a lot of breaks, but it took a couple of hours to completely finish. Thankfully it was raining most of the time, so it wasn’t too scorching hot.
Then we split into groups: one would continue with the branches and cutting them into shorter pieces, while Shannon, Winnie, Thomas, Amber, Kelby, and I helped hands on with the compost. We gathered up fallen and rotten fruit around the property to throw into the compost, cut up branches and sugar cane and put them into a grinder, and then shoveled the pieces into the compost.
We were done just before 5, and we all ran up the hill to take showers, because we were all extremely sweaty and covered in orange tree sap. Probably the best shower this entire program.
We did another simulation about whaling and whether or not it’s okay when it’s apart of a culture which sparked a really near discussion about commercial whaling. During dinner, we sat and had a really interesting conversation with a couple people from the yoga retreat next to us.
Afterwards, Vanessa gave us an amazing dance lesson with Brazilian music. We had so much fun and starting sweating all over again. It was a great way to end the night!
Your favorite leader of the day,
Tuesday July 2, 2019
Hello! Today we took a morning trek with Leo through the jungle to check the cameras. We saw many cool animals including a couple ocelots and a jaguar! We had a lot of fun getting to know each other more while walking through the forest. Something that stood out to me during this activity was the groups interest in animals. Personally I love animals and I found that many others have a love for them too.
Another thing we did today was our community service. Today was our second day of community service. We participated in planting new trees in part of the secondary forest. This piece of the forest was cut down by the previous owner. Now Leo is trying to convert it into an edible forest. Partly for us but also for the fish in the pond next to the plot of land. This was an amazing experience and I can’t wait to experience more of these awesome activities!
Wednesday July 3, 2019
This morning, instead of an early morning activity we surprised Kelby by decorating the breakfast table for his birthday. We all had fun making a card and signs, and decorating the breakfast table with barnyard themed plates. After breakfast and a game break we got another “surprise” in the form of unscheduled service work. We planted more trees around the home base and helped with more compost while a few of us worked on making a stovetop birthday cake for Kelby.
After a break and lunch, we headed for the posada to get ready for climbing the princess tree. We were split into three groups that rotated between climbing the tree and learning to make handcrafts with Samuel at the campsite. Two groups went today, ascending inch by inch into the canopy 55 meters into the air. It was definitely work to get up there, but we were rewarded by the beautiful panoramic view once we made it. We could feel the breeze and the branches swaying, and we were able to see a lot of tropical birds up close, including the bird of paradise and several species of hummingbirds.
When we weren’t in the treetops, Samuel taught us how to make bracelets, anklets, and necklaces using string and beads made from vines and fruit pits. Weaving the bracelets together was difficult at first, but as always, Samuel was a good teacher, and by the end of the day we were all able to make our own souvenirs from the jungle.
When the second group reached the ground, we headed back to the posada and put away our harnesses and helmets. Some of us ended up sitting on the bench before dinner, overlooking the jungle in silence, each of us lost in our own thoughts. We sat there as the jungle grew dark, and then rejoined the rest of the group for dinner and cake before we ended another amazing day.
Thursday July 4, 2019
Today we did an activity called trust yourself and others. The activity was about values and receiving and giving feedback. We wrote down what 5 words best describe us and then 4 other people wrote what they believed were the best 5 words to describe you. In the end of the activity, you talk with a partner and give and receive feedback.
After lunch, the last group climbed Princess (the tree). Everyone else did handcrafts with Samuel. We learned how to make a belt to carry people with, how to make string and made bracelets.
After the last group finished climbing we went back and waited for the pizza party. When we we came down, we were surprised to find a bunch of dough and toppings but no finished pizzas. Then Kinan started throwing pizzas in the oven left and right. It was some of the best pizza I have had. After the pizza party, we asked questions to the family ranging from what’s the coolest thing you have seen in the Amazon to what global issue, other than climate change, is most important to you. It was an awesome end to our experience in the Amazon!
Friday July 5, 2019
For our final day at Amazon Emotions we were given the opportunity to speak with Vanessa and her son, Geo. We spoke about all that we had learned over the past two weeks, and how we can continue our sustainability efforts once we get home. Everyone came to the conclusion that we need to try and be more conscious of the chemicals we are putting into the environment. After this conversation, we headed out for the airport to go to Rio.
Saturday July 6, 2019
Today was long. We said a sad goodbye to the rainforest, our lovely hosts at Amazon Emotions, Kena, Igor, Mayara, and Samuel last night at 7 p.m. to drive two hours to the airport in Manaus, where we waited for our flight to Rio to take off. Obrigada/o, Amazon Emotions! At the airport, We occupied ourselves with a fair that was happening in the parking lot! Our flight landed at 6 a.m. today, and we were exhausted. But the view in Rio was amazing, so our moods were lifted instantly. We drove past Christ the Redeemer, some old cemeteries, a bunch of favelas, and the beach.
We had a chill day at the hostel filled with naps and movies, and then we talked with some of the local staff from Community in Action, an NGO working directly in Rio to support the favela communities. We learned that about 50% of Rio’s residents live in favelas, but that doesn’t mean they’re all impoverished! Favela doesn’t mean “slum”… it’s actually the name of a plant that grows native in the mountains here.
Many of the residents are middle class, and each favela is a fully functioning community due to lack of government oversight. They’re built, maintained, and lived in by every resident! Then, we went to a market at Copacabana beach for a few hours, and bought shirts to wear for the Brasil vs. Peru game tomorrow night. The night was filled with Hide and Seek and ice cream.
Sunday July 7, 2019
Bom Dia todos! Today we lived our first full day as a Cariocas, a Brasilian term for the locals of Rio de Janeiro! We started this day off with sharing our breakfast with the city monkeys. After this, in rain or shine, we stepped outside onto the beautiful black and white wave streets of the famous beach, Copacabana and continued to walk to the other marvelous beach of Ipanema. During our ocean day we visited the little artisan markets, played soccer, ate queijo com oregano, and açaí- popular Brasilian seaside snacks.
Later in the day, we had a simulation group activity where we acted as the four different contributing groups that make the decisions regarding human/children rights involving the gentrification of following mega sporting events. We then put on our Brasilian jerseys and walked down to a little Copacabana restaurant and watched Brasil v Peru in the Copa America. As expected, Brasil won the game 2:1! VIVA BRASIL!! As always, Até a próxima vez…
-Alexa Fernandes 🇧🇷💕
Monday July 8, 2019
We started out today eating breakfast with the other group and getting to know each other’s names. Then we went to Abraço Campeão to begin our community service. We met Alan, the one leading this community center, and his team. We were fortunate enough to watch an inspirational video explaining Alan’s goals and motivation. Our GLA students and staff began a four day process of cleaning an area, making the land good enough to plant, and then actually planting. After hard work and an amazing lunch, we played soccer with the kids and listened and danced to music. I’m excited and hopeful for the future and I’m glad I’m able to be part of the change.
Shout out mom, dad, Andrew, Sarah Love you all!
Tuesday July 9, 2019
Started out with some morning jazz at breakfast. Then took the bus to the service site. We did our second day of service at Abraço Campeão. We continued building the garden and making sure everything was ready to be planted. Around 1 we stopped for lunch. After lunch we went back to work and finished our part of the service. Then we talked, danced, boxed and played soccer with the Brazilian kids. Then we said our goodbyes and thanked everyone who helped us with the service we did there.
When we got back to the hostel, we showered and then split our group and the other into three separate groups and played Brazilian Jeopardy. There were questions about sports, history, culture, geography and Portuguese. After Jeopardy, the two groups separated and we did an appreciation circle. Then we were able to hangout or have a movie night and watch Rio. It was a very productive service day which we all really enjoyed. Tomorrow we are will switch service sites and although I’m sad that we won’t see the final product of our work, I’m excited to work on the next project!
Wednesday July 10, 2019
Today, July 10th, began with a wonderful breakfast made by one of the many employees of the hostel we are currently staying at. All of us ate a hearty amount and were ready to face the day. Before we left for the service site at 9, both groups (ours and session 2) played a fun game of dance imposter which was a nice addition to an already pleasant morning.
Next, our group loaded into a van and drove 30 minutes to the Favela Vidigal. In the favela, we had the opportunity to work at a place called ‘Play Life’ which was a run down miniature soccer stadium for kids that was being renovated by a local group in order to allow Tamires, the woman leading the renovation, to host a girls soccer program there for young girls in Vidigal as well as teach them English.
It was also for another two organizations that used the area as well. We arrived at about 9:30 and after quick introductions began our work. Our work consisted of panting the concrete seats that lined two sides of the stadium and covering the graffiti that was there prior, panting the walls of the rooms that would house the classrooms, and doing overall maintenance of the area. It was hard, but rewarding work that while physically taxing, felt good as we knew that we were making a difference in the lives of many young children. We were very efficient and got a lot completed as our work took us all the way to lunch, which began at one o’clock.
A lunch of chicken, pasta, eggs, rice and beans, and other assorted items while looking over an incredible mountainous view was spectacular and just what we needed to fuel us for the rest of the day. After lunch, a large group of kids came to Play Life and we played a variety of games with them. It was so much fun to interact with all of those kids and to see the joy that Play Life brought to them. We played until four when our van came to pick us up and we arrived back at the hostel at 5. After showers, Dafne gathered us all in the living area and we discussed how our views on leadership had changed in the last two and a half weeks and how we can apply that to our lives outside of Brazil.
It was a very enlightening and enjoyable experience for us all. Lastly, we all participated in a talent show that consisted of a dance to the song Tequila, bad pick up lines, fake conspiracy theories, and High School Musical lip syncs. It was a lot of fun to see what our groups came up with and performed. Followed by another wonderful meal, it was time for bed and to rest for the rest of our trip.
Today we finished our last day of service in the Vidigal favela. An artist from a neighboring favela guided us through spray painting a wall mural of the favela, and we chose to write the words “pride”, “passion”, and “empowerment” on it to represent how we felt making the mural and how we wanted others to feel looking at the mural. Aside from the mural, we finished painting the stairs and fixed a wall with cement.
Later that night, both groups went to a well known sushi restaurant that had chocolate and caramel pizza, but I stayed behind with Dafne and Amber and ate really amazing vegan food!
It was a really fun day and I’m already starting to miss everyone!!
Leader of the Day,
Friday July 12, 2019
Today we took a city tour around Rio and visited many different sights including the Christ Redeemer and the sugar loaf hill. We had a lot of fun going around the wonderful city of Rio embracing our last day together. My favorite sight was the sugar loaf hill where we got to watch the sunset fall over Rios beautiful skyline and mountains terrain.
During our time in the urban forest, we saw a waterfall and a lot of different types of monkeys. We also learned Brazil got its name from a tree will red sap. This whole trip from the Amazon jungle to the city of Rio and everything in between has really been a life-changing adventure full of new and amazing friends who I will cherish for a long time.