So, my first 24 hours... so many thoughts and impressions and ideas, soaking it all in.
I have a long list of things to get done online today, with 2 hours before Livy and I leave for the Pequena anotherwordiforget, which, according to Livy, is a project in the jungle, but we were corrected by a favelan yesterday, that he doesn't even consider it a forest!
It's a civilized nature place apparently. AND I might know someone there from Switzerland who went to the same school as me!
So, within blocks of where Livy lives, is this gas station, very cheap gas, and this internet cafe - the owner's nephew or son is in France studying and the daughter went recently to visit for a month - I guess opening an internet cafe in the area from 8am - 11pm was a good idea capitalistically speaking.
Pooping - I was advised upon entering my sister's house/apt not to flush the toilet paper or the toilet will explode
My head is a bit congested, probably due to the air pollution, the chainsmoking of the european volunteers....literally constant, and the fact that the little house I am living in has a bit of mold. Ok, not a bit of mold, but 3 years ago had a foot of sewage in it and noone inhabited the place until January. Needless to say, we have to keep the window open at night or it really stinks. And it's normal to have a swollen face in the mornings when you awake from the hard mattresses.
The first food I had was some wholegrain bread and cheese... The cheese was hard to stomach, but I am not going to waste any food,
security - in response to my dads comment that I should be security concious. I am following Olivia's lead and advice on this one. My belongings are safe, and I'm following the instructions that, during the day, if I stick to the couple of places that I know, I will be perfectly fine. Also, I need to keep some cash on me in case I get robbed because they won't believe me if I say I don't have any. After 8pm, however, I must walk around in groups if I go anywhere.
When I go travelling by myself next week, I will find other travelers to join up with for any evening activities, won't have anything but my camera that could be stolen, and will speak anything but english :-)
The only concern she brought up was that there have been shootings recently in the favela, but she says it's all drug-related and non-touristy and at night.
It's cold here! Much colder than the internet weather websites were indicating... however, it was 90 degrees or so according to locals just a couple of days ago. So who knows how it'll shape up.
Even just in the 8 months Livy has been here, there have been changes in the favelas, such as a new law against billboards, and another saying bars have to close at 10pm, along with electricity, meters and poles on most streets. She said that on the other side of the hill in the same favela they steal all the materials and electricity.
The organization she volunteers for has many kindergartens, community centers, artistics workshops, schools, and more, all in the same small area. It feels like a small camphill community plus waldorf school (camphill is a community that takes care of handicapped adults based on Rudolf Steiner's philosophy).
Being surrounded by a new language is always exhausting for a day or two if you are trying to engage and interact with it... I can mostly understand portuguese at this point, but it's a double-whammy because the volunteers all speak to each other in german so I've been speaking more german than portuguese so far!
Everyone I meet, tells us that we don't look like sisters, which we protest, and then asks us which one is older. It's true, I can look quite young, especially with pigtails.
Much more to write, but I've got to spend my internet time wisely and get health insurance, etc.