5 years ago, and now.
It was the first time, I was crossing the ocean. To the country and the city of my dreams. Rio de Janeiro. As the plane was approaching the airport, I could see the hills of Rio. I could not believe in the panoramic view I had from the window – the unity of the beaches, hills and the forest. I was thinking that I am still watching “The Clone” telenovela. Probably, I was the most excited one in the plane (I have not ever felt that excitement in any other flight). How could not I? I came to the city, to the country of Pele, Ronaldinho, the Christ the Redeemer, Copacabana beaches, the place where the movie Cidade de Deus was filmed.
I had come to a 7-week social project through AIESEC. When my father “confirmed” my trip, he just asked one thing in security terms. I could stay anywhere else except favelas.
Coincidentally, my host family lived in the heart of the favela. This environment that seemed to be dangerous in the first days later turned into a home for me. The gunfire, I could hear every day and the “black market” I was seeing every day became very ordinary for me in 1 or 2 days.
As I was getting familiar with the country and the people, I started to love this place even more. How I can explain that feeling of fun I had while playing the futsal with Brazilians as a football fan? Or to watch the football at the historic Maracana Stadium, the world's largest stadium? Or swimming at the Copacabana beach every day? How to describe the view opening from the place where the Pau de Acucar (Sugarloaf Mountain) and the Christ the Redeemer are? I can not also describe the lifestyle and beauty of the beaches of Ilha Grande Island, the most beautiful island in the world for me. You should see it yourself.
Do a favor for yourself. Start collecting money right now. Do not say “I have traveled a lot” without seeing Rio, Brazil. Yes for sure, you will have difficulties for a year due to the money you collect. But, the landscape you will see as soon as you land in Rio will make you the happiest person in the world.
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