Pies and pasties, it seems, are a main stay of Brazilian cuisine. I had no idea! Before arriving here I imagined that I’d find lots of fantastic tropical fruit, which is certainly the case, and plenty of places serving grilled meat in all its forms: also true. But it seems I have landed in pie and pastie heaven with every conceivable variation available morning, noon and night.
And so to work……..
I’m finding it quite a challenge to walk the line between being a tourist in a new city and being in Rio to work. I am no longer eating all my meals out (although it’s fair to say the majority), paying for everything with large bills and drinking Caipirinhas at every opportunity. But at the same time I can’t help but marvel at the sights of the city and still have a long list of places yet to visit. My days have more structure, with client meetings, personal development sessions and Portuguese lessons three afternoons a week, plus homework! Then there’s the morning workouts and the evening group workshops – I’m finding myself rushing through the metro station, raising my eyes at anyone who’s dawdling and blocking my way, checking my watch and beginning to feel some of the stresses that I thought I’d left behind in London. This has to stop and I need to learn from the locals on how to take a more relaxed approach to life – especially when it comes to timekeeping – although anyone who knows me will confirm that this is not going to be easy! Read more
Startups & Social Enterprises
After ten days or so of being a tourist, it’s time to work. I have come to Rio to volunteer as a Social Impact Consultant with _SocialStarters, a startup company set up to match volunteer career breakers like myself with talented social entrepreneurs in India, Sri Lanka, Brazil and the Philippines: six weeks working alongside creative and cultural youth and community projects, providing business mentoring and transferring business skills, while also enjoying the fun and cultural experience of being in a new city. Perfect – travel with a purpose!
Rio – Cidade Maravilhosa
The last few days have been completely crazy. I have moved from the sanctity of my lovely hotel in the more genteel area of Santa Teresa and into a shared flat situated slap bang in the middle of ‘party central’ in Copacabana. Now I’m beginning to feeling like a true Carioca; one however, who doesn’t speak a word of Portuguese and still finds it hard not to gawp when looking up and seeing Christ the Redeemer staring back.
I have one last day of being solo and a tourist, before my flat mates arrive and we being our volunteer programme, so I so decide to spend time in the areas of Jardin Botanico and Leblon. Read more