A truly special handful of people that more than filled the void of city life, unloved food and internet. A simple life. I would wake up before sunrise and as my eyelids rose from meditation they would be greeted with the sol´s rays shining over the deep verde valleys and mountaintops of this sacred space.
|Come play with me!|
|Beautiful woman dancing naked.|
After getting our fill of greens for the day we took a bus to the bohemian artsy neighborhood of Santa Teresa. Kasey´s powerful intuition said "stop the bus" so we did and not knowing exactly where we were we hopped off and before we could cross the street I spotted a friend from the hostel in Florianópolis! Such a small world. He then led us to the Lapa steps where we delighted in the array of colors and broken tiles that together formed this legendary staircase.
Once reaching the top a man with 3 huge backpacks and a limited supply of air stopped before us to catch his breath (and make a couple new friends). An interesting fellow to say the least. Chef-traveler-shaman-artist-musician 50 something year old whom had spent much time in the sun and the jungles of Brasil. His leather skin told stories f adventures outside while his deep blue eyes told stories from within. He pointed out the local howler monkeys that were running along the electricity lines overhead and gave us some tips on the city. More than that he shined his light on us and helped Rio to feel all the more like home.
(Now I know this sounds like it could be bad news but… he was so genuine and shining with the light Kasey and I trusted our strong intuitions and went with him.) Before embarking on the downstairs journey (one that required much focus and energy for him) he pointed out the favelas spread across the opposite hillside.
He is also a lover of cinema. Alfred Hitchcock in particular. Kasey and I know close to nothing about the art of cinema nor about the movies that were popular during his time. Regardless, he shared with us his joy and once again dug into his Mary Poppins like bag to pull out a brochure that was carefully wrapped in the protection of a used plastic bag.
|You can use the body God gave you!|
|We Made It!|
|New experiences (and challenges) offer new perspectives.|
|Everything Happens for a Reason|
|New Goal: |
Pick up trash... all over the globe.
I was opposed at first to going on “a tour” of the favelas as if they were some tourist attraction, but upon thinking more about it I saw the benefit in seeing them up close. I have studied the history of these communities in some of my sociology classes and I knew that having the opportunity to experience one first hand would provide all the more truth to the facts I´ve learned. I knew that I would also be able to use the knowledge gained to further my own studies as well as share this experience with those around me.
|Jean, a 13 year old artist, sells his artwork along with |
6 other painters in a collective in Rocinha.
Kasey and I happy with our new beautiful paintings.
|No contractors, no plans, no papers.|
Just homes built on top of homes, built on top of homes.
|The best drum music I ever heard composed from pieces of trash.|
This being our final day in Rio also happened to be a Sunday. What do the Brasileños do on Sundays??? ¡Vamos a la playa! We did as the locals do and laid out on the beach all day. Mmm... delightful.
There was an ever playing sound track of the wandering beach merchants. Men walked by with ice chests full of beer, sodas, waters and juices. Others danced around with sandwiches and saltados. Even more cruised along with bathing suits hanging from umbrellas, sarangs hanging from their necks and sunglasses hanging from home-made display cases. A parade of crafts and comidas. Nearly everything you could ever need brought right to your towels side.
|Wishing us Bon Voyage, we snapped a picture with Mr. Edward Scissorhands.|
Sweet, but slighty creepy and not the best hair stylist.
The center of town has a beautiful huge market where one can find everything from beans to light bulbs. The Incan heart still beats to rhythm as a vast majority of people still wear traditional clothing that is as colorful as the rainbow itself. Kasey and I fell in love.
Let the pictures set the stage...
|6 years old going on 30.|
This sweet little girl came up to Kasey and I and initiated a conversation with such sauve style, as though she talks with strangers regularly. No family in sight, and 4 brothers and sisters at home. Her dad lives with another woman. A strong spirit and vibrant personality, she told me I have light in my eyes. Where does a 6 year old learn to say something like that?
She loves mathematics and enjoys studying in school. I bought some lollipops for her and her brothers on the condition that she would continue to work hard in her classes. She kissed us goodbye and waved her wrist back and forth in such velocity and excitment all that was in front of her wseet face was a blurr of goodbyes.
Kasey and I tears in our eyes, both wished to adopt her.
Just then she ran back for one more round of kisses and goodbyes and ran off, turning around again 10 yards away to wave goodbye once more.
An angel indeed.
|Kasey and I unexpectedly but fortunately so, arrived in Cusco during the week celebration of Inti Raymi.|
A celebration of the sun god as well as the anniversay of Cusco.
These Peruvians know how to party. All day parades, all night concerts and...
Kasey and I will be hiking the Inca Trail on the fourth of July,
so we got our fill of loud fire cracking excitment tonight.
|The celebration continues!|
Such a powerful way to both keep the culture alive and bring the community together.
Everyone is involved, either directly participating or supporting by watching.
|Two different |
ways of living
and yet not that different at all.
|After 5 long months, I have been reunited with a favorite love of mine.|
|This town also has something in common with us. A LOVE FOR CAKES. We cake hopped this afternoon… to five different shops! Mmm….|
|Meet the King and Queen.|
The Incans had three main laws. Don´t lie. Don´t be a thief. And don´t be lazy. Possibly some of the most hardest working people who have walked the Earth, their character has inspired me to use my energies all the more effectively- and with power!
|The Little White Engine That Could|
|Willi Wonka Wand|
A village in the middle of the jungle´s floor...
|Meet the toilet.|
|A tree that walks... really. Every few years or so a new root grows in the direction of sunlight.|
Don´t ask me how it works but over time, the tree "walks" in search of the sun on the thick jungle´s floor.
|It comes in all shapes and sizes.|
|Lake cruise, like an Italian gondala in the pursuit of birds.|
|Nature´s tye dye.|
|Can you smell the fear?|
I am realizing more and more that there are so many different ways to travel. Some seek out relationships, some desire to see the main attractions, and others want to taste their way around. Others simply want to live and just be, but in a different location on the map. All are good and all are enjoyable. I have tried many types of traveling within the past 5 months and while it was hard for me at first to board the bus with a handful of other hat wearing, fanny pack holding, camera snapping foreigners… sometimes you´ve just got to do what you´ve got to do. And we want to see so many of the wonders that Peru has to offer. So onward Captain! All aboard!
|Quite possibly the largest bread I have ever seen in my entire life.|
|Impressive irrigation system that still works.|
|Volcanos in the distance.|
|And to think I was afraid of a parrot...|
|Whose laughing at who?|
|Deep in the canyon.|
|The group. Check out gramma and grandpa on far right.|
Passionate bird lovers, they never stop watching.
|Condors, can get up to 23 feet long!|
|Moove out of the road|
|Children play the same all over the globe.|
|One of the most stunning street dogs. It is uncommon to see a dog on a leash.|
It is much more developed than any other city we have been to in Peru and upon arrival Kasey and I honestly felt a bit out of place. Just like Dorothy, we knew we were not in Cusco anymore.
|The day ends bringing closure and will once again begin with the gift of opportunity.|