Welcome to the River of January...
… Rio de Janeiro – the town where supermarket clerks will double-bag a liter of milk – where bus drivers think they are pod racing (nerdy Star Wars joke) – where men consistently grab their crouches – where even Mexicans are called gringos – and where every local has at least one tattoo. Also, the town where giant and forest covered cliffs peak up abundantly – where wide bounty beaches stretch along a sea crowded by oil platforms and tankers – where everyone will dance and sing with the slightest opportunity to do so – where rich, poor, monkeys, middle class, pelicans and hummingbirds co-exist – where homosexuals and ladyboys thrive – a town of eternal summer, cockroaches and tropical showers – the town of... uhm... okay, let us stop here!!!
I arrived on the 5th of October 2011, took the bus from the airport to a stop where I got picked by my first couch host, Aline, a punk rock girl with dyed red hair, lots of tattoos, a music composer and a stylish painter who lived in the party neighborhood of Lapa. My Portuguese was still very beginnerish, so we would converse in English. I spent around a week at her place, together with two other couch surfers. Feeling new and a bit insecure in the giant metropolis, I took it fairly easy and spent time with my host and the other surfers.
One of my first nights in this new place I woke up to a furious thunder storm raging outside. I went on the balcony to save Aline's painting material from the rain, as well as roll up the giant curtain which seemed likely to break in the strong winds. It was on the 11th floor and quite a sight – a nightly thunder storm in Rio from that height. Suddenly, while I was struggling with rolling the curtain up, lightning struck right in the street below me. It hit a power mast with a shredding “DRRRHHH” sound a bright flash from thousands of sparks emerging from the mast. In that moment my heart skipped a dozen beats and then started racing while adrenaline shot through my veins. I doubled my pace turning the metal handle rolling up the curtain, fearing I might be the next target! Though scary, it was quite an exciting moment as well, witnessing this raw power of nature.
After a week at Aline's place I moved to another couch host, Gaia was her name and she was living with her mom Elke in Copacabana. It was a really nice house and friends of Elke and Gaia would be passing everyday, along with the occasional couch surfer. A social nexus point one could say.
Gaia liked to drink and party a lot with her university friends. She would probably go out four times a week at least, and so I ended up going out a lot as well, holding back on the alcohol though. Her preferences would be places with jazz, and I found that here in Rio legends such as Herbie Hancock actually gets their deserved tributes through cover groups. I was truly impressed by the absolutely brilliant musicians in this town, as well as how well people would receive musicians by lightheartedly participating with both singing and dancing.
During these days at Gaia's I went to the Cinelandia Square quite a few times. This square was where the 'Occupy Rio' movement had put up their tents (you know, the global movement against the corrupt democracies and failed systems of capitalism). The Rio movement consisted of lots of solidarity, political discussions, visions of a better society and also lots of music, dancing, painting and other creative and unifying stuff. I contributed with some guitar and singing every now and then, and at any time the Cariocas (Brazilians native to Rio) would back me up with percussion, flutes, more guitars, singing, etc. from what seemed a national genetic musical heritage in their blood.
One day while playing some traditional Rainbow songs, a Rainbow brother and -sister came up to me, being my first encounter with the Brazilian family. Bruno, tall, long black hair, typically dressed in black, guitar- and flute player, Vipasanna meditator and with a very calm ambiance around him. And Daniela, light brownish hair, dressed in loose colorful or bright dresses and somewhat resembling a druid woman from days of old. Both smelled innerly of peace and love and I came to spend much time with them the next many moons.
At one point I contacted some people from the 'Occupy Copenhagen' movement back home, and was very informally made international correspondent by one of the organizers here, hehe. I am afraid I did not quite live up to that title though!
It is safe to say that I really enjoyed my first weeks in Rio. After around two weeks at Gaia's, my time to move on had come. I was headed to an orphanage in the mountains north of Rio, where I had negotiated a year long voluntary position with food and accommodation. I still had not finished my thesis, which every time I worked on it seemed to get further from finishing! I would simply have to focus on it between the work with the orphans, I thought.
A change of plans
The orphanage was located north of Rio amidst lush and wild mountain nature. From the contrasting dusty red roads leading to the orphanage, you could see green and algae covered lakes sitting at the bottom of valleys. It was about an hour walk from the nearest town through this kind of intriguing landscapes, and I felt good being out of Rio and back into nature.
The orphanage itself consisted of several tall multiple level buildings connected by terrace bridges. It had a big dirt court and even a cemented outside sports area under a giant roof. 23 kids lived there, the youngest being 3 years old and the oldest 11. My first impression was very positive indeed, but as it was, it did not last long...
Several things struck me already my second day. First I noticed how the employed social workers would talk to the kids in a quite unpleasant and superior way. Then how the kids would get punished by breaking simple rules such as speaking without raising a hand. Structure and discipline seemed to be the keywords of the general pedagogy.
The other volunteers did not have much experience from working with kids before, so they somewhat blindly followed this pedagogical line. On top of this, the volunteers were given 48 hour shifts which included cleaning, during laundry, serving food, which when considering 23 kids meant a lot of chore work. Honestly I was not there voluntarily to do such work. Then something quite disturbing as well was how the washing machines every day unloaded huge amounts of dirty and chemically (soap) affected water right unto the naked earth. It was off the sewage grid I guess, but for me there is no justification of such direct pollution, especially at a place where children live and learn about life.
After less than a week I told the director that I was sorry, that I had to leave and I explained him why and how I felt about the practices. It was all sorted calmly and with full understanding from all sides.
There was another reason for me leaving as well, and maybe it was actually the biggest one. Upon arrival I felt good about my year long position, but as soon as I had seen the place and had my room shown to me, I kinda felt something was not right. During the next few days further introspection revealed to me that I simply was not ready for this sort of dedication. I had quite my job with the Red Cross to go on this journey, and though I had been three months on the way, it felt like I had merely begun. Dedicating myself to one place was not what I wanted to do at this time.
I am truly sorry for the inconvenience I might have caused the orphanage, as well as I feel bad for just abandoning a place because I did not like it right away. But I feel I did what I had to do, and thankfully it seemed the kids were doing great there as well as there were some inspiring and passionate volunteers to take care of them.
Before I get on with my tales, let me just zoom in on one night at the orphanage, where I met Mickey Mouse himself!
It was late, and I was sitting all by my lonesome on the porch of the volunteer house, reading in some guidebooks to Brazil I had found there. Around me was dense forest and the sounds of crickets soared in from all directions. Above me I had a roof with some lights, and many spiders, big as golf balls had opportunistically woven their webs there. Once in a while a big buzzing bug would get caught, and I would anticipate the following struggle – would the bug be able to break free before the golf ball's piercing fangs would seduce it with poison? And can you believe it, whenever a bug got caught I could not help cheering for the spider!
Then suddenly, I heard a strange tripping sound behind me. I was sitting/lying in a big arm chair, and slowly I stuck my head out to look back and see what it was. Right there in front of me, a huge mouse looking creature – definitely a rodent of some kind – was staring right at me. It was the size of a big cat, yet had the perfect shape of a mouse, it's fur all black and a naked tail ending in a white tip. It's nose would be sniffing like a rabbit's and with two round and shining black eyes sitting close to each other, it was staring directly at me, less than two meter away. I froze and stared right back at it, and there we were for about 10 seconds or so. Then it decided to trip on, and slowly it went of the porch and back into the pitch black forest. “Wow, Mickey Mouse is real”, I thought to myself...
Sit alone and completely quiet in the night, and nature will reveal itself to you. I really enjoyed meeting this guy, and being this close to the wild Brazilian nature for a moment had me consider my thoughts about leaving. Yet I stuck with my decision, said goodbye to everyone and went for Rio to reorganize myself for the now unknown future.
Squatting in the center and a week on the New Earth
Coming back to Rio I had got lucky with a last minute (or emergency) couch, but could only stay a few days there, though time enough to get accepted at another host. Between them I had some homeless days though, so I decided to go back to Cinelandia Square and put up my tent with the squatters. I was literally camping in the center of Rio.
It was an interesting experience, but not enough for me to stay there. Besides the many positive elements of solidarity and creativeness, there were a lot of problems as well, specifically with the homeless people whom there are many of in Rio. They would hang out with the squatters, drinking alcohol and smoking maconha (marijuana) and generally interfere in quite rude ways with the idealistic squatters. On top of that my ears were hurting from car and bus noise 24/7 and in the morning it would reek of exhaust fumes inside my tent. So I went to stay with my new couch host, Eddie. He was a lawyer and had a very big and nice apartment in the Botafogo neighborhood, where he lived and sometimes with his daughter. We got along well and I felt good at his place where he told me I could stay a week. Those days, besides getting on with my thesis, I kept going back to Cinelandia to help out with practical work, participate in the workshops, and spend more time with my new friends, Bruno and Daniela among others. And it was then I found out about this upcoming festival, Nova Terra (New Earth) which would be held soon. It practically sounded like an organized Rainbow with real facilities. Even one of the days at Cinelandia, an actual Rainbow Caravan passed, a group of more than 20 brothers and sisters from 10 different countries, coming from the last years Worldbow in Argentina, spreading love, peace and arts on their way through village after village. They were on their way to the next Worldbow here in Brazil, yet before that they would go and help out with the Nova Terra festival. I was excited and thankful to meet more family, and I even knew some of them from the Euro Gathering in Finland back in 2010.
In the mean time I had moved couch host yet again, but this time back to Gaia and Elke. I stayed there a few days, left some stuff there for then to take off for Nova Terra. And I was welcome back at their place afterwards they told me.
11/11/11 was the day I took off for Nova Terra. Meeting up with Tainá, an only 17 year old Carioca with a beautiful soul who had approached me at a metro station (probably thinking I looked interesting with my fire staff and Andean woven guitar cover), but whom I mainly knew from my time at Cinelandia. Given her young age she was truly a brilliant being, open-minded, empathetic, dealing with intimidating homeless in courageous and skillful ways and already something like a young yoga-mastress. Girls like her are the future of this world.
We would first participate in some sort of 11/11/11 ritual near the Cinelandia Square, and then joined by a girl named Angelita, we caught the bus that would take us out of Rio towards the festival.
Angelita was a not so tall black girl with long curly hair. She had a mysterious and beautiful face, a lighthearted and calm presence and she was into capoeira, tambourine percussion and mouth harp. Just a few years back after her Daime initiation (Santo Daime is a Brazilian religion from the Amazon region, mixing Christianity with Shamanism and the holy drink of ayahuasca) she had found a new path in her life to follow, and her job as a geologist at an oil platform, was not something she hoped she had to continue much longer. From our first meeting there was something of a chemistry between us and we ended up spending much time at the festival together, and sharing a tent every night.
Nova Terra was an absolutely wonderful time for me. It was only a few hundred people and took place in a serene natural spot, with a big white rock mountain rising in the background. Swimming pools, a huge sheltering dome, a stage, a community kitchen, sheltered places to eat, a sweat lodge and lots of grass areas to play on, and then no alcohol and lots of beautiful people playing, dancing, chanting around bonfires, all the usual, etc.!
I hung out with the Rainbow Caravan, and made friends with this Norwegian brother also named Martin. He is on an amazing path in his life and puts lots of effort into realizing the visions of the Rainbow family. I look much forward to spend more time with him at the Worldbow.
I also met this incredible singer, Luciana. She sings with a power and passion that only few people have, and mainly everything is completely improvisational. She sings with her soul, one could say. The way I met her was when Angelita and I were sitting and jamming quietly with my claves and her mouth harp, and Luciana sat down with us and asked if she could sing. “Por favor”, we told her, and seeming rather emotional for some reason, she started singing and it was like magic flowing out from her lungs. Later at the festival she was performing on stage with a violinist and banjo player, all during improvisation, and I was spinning some fire nearby with some borrowed poi. Like metal to a magnet I was drawn towards the stage, and ended in front of her and the musicians. I started following her voice with my dance, and without any of the advanced technical stuff I know, I truly connected to the music, the fire and to my body and being. It felt amazing, and after Luciana had finished and the audience was applauding, we looked deeply and thankfully at each other.
“Let's make a new Earth, and let's start right now”, was the message of the festival, and it will sing in me forever. Some time ago, inspired by the Rainbow in Finland, I have written a poem, which I find fitting to relate just now:
I want to make a place
start right now
a search for somewhere green
to put it in;
lush terrain and carve a garden,
from heart through fingers sow -
then share the earth on ground,
bless and transform trees,
shape wood with children's dreams;
When evenings come and circles form
I'd watch eyes being born
into bonfires' calm.
Daniela whom I had met in Cinelandia was also at the festival. Knowing only that I wanted to go to the Worldbow in January/February, and my temporary homes mostly being couch hosts, she offered me that I could live at her place, if I needed somewhere to stay for longer time. She also lived in Copacabana close to Gaia and Elke's place, and so a few days after upon returning from the festival, I moved to Daniela's.
Almost settling down in Rio
I ended up staying in Rio for two more months after Nova Terra. Daniela showed incredible kindness, taking me into her home, and I repaid as good as I could by contributing with shopping, cooking, cleaning and such. Her home had a very calm and grounded energy, always clean and with small figurines from various religions here and there along with her own colorful paintings on most of the walls. I had my own room and there was a nice balcony with a hammock to catch the morning sun in.
Every morning Daniela woke early, made green juice – which she would leave a glass of for me for when I got up – and took of for work on her bicycle. She worked with aroma therapy and made essential oils for various purposes. We would sort the garbage, and all the organic stuff we collected in a big bucket, covered it with earth layer by layer, for then when it was full to carry to the little garden which was part of the complex and give it back to nature in the form of compost. The garden extended into a proper forest going steep uphill one of those high cliffs Rio had lots of. Both cobras and monkeys would live there, but I did not see any in my time. It was just where the roads and human habitation ended and about a 10 min. walk to the famous Copacabana beach. In other words, the perfect spot and the perfect hostess.
I felt blessed having met her and gotten this opportunity to settle down. Believe it or not, I actually managed to finish my thesis while there, after one year of working on it (sporadically I may add). There was indeed a very creative energy in her house, and so several songs/compositions were as well channeled through me, songs which I now intend to cultivate at the Worldbow. My Portuguese also improved significantly, from conversing daily with Daniela.
While staying at Daniela's, often I would go to visit Luciana in her home. She lived with an elder named Ricardo and a girl named Daiana, in yet another beautiful house full of art from and spiritual decorations from around the world. “If you want to receive divine energy, take off your shoes”, would be the first words you would read upon entering.
I enjoyed much my visits there, always treated to food and chai, and playing music and chanting together with other passing brothers and sisters. One line sung from Lucianas mouth is truly like a divine blessing cast upon you. I have never heard a voice like her's.
One special evening there, Luciana, Daiana and me turned their couch to face out the window and watched the full moon rise. It was a magnificent sight, first covered by a thin layer of ever-changing clouds, giving away imaginary shapes of whatever came to us. Then after some time the clouds cleared and an incredible bright moon shun its light upon us. We fetched Ricardo's binoculars and took turns getting high from watching the moon mountains, shadows and craters through the zooming glass. It was the day before Daiana had to leave for Europe and visit her boyfriend in Barcelona for three months. I felt a strong connection with her, and though sad that she would not be to find in the Worldbow, I was just happy to have met her and to carry a bit of her with me in my heart and mind. Luciana and Ricardo would be going though, Bruno and Daniela, and many more I had made friends with during my time in Rio.
Lost in Lapa
In the middle of December I had quite the night out of the ordinary which I want to relate now. But first things first, so let me start by introducing you to Rudi.
Rudi, half way through his thirties, was from Italy and about three weeks earlier I had met him on the Copacabana beach. He was playing with his poi and I had as well some juggling stuff with me. So naturally as juggling tends to do, it connected two people. It turned out we shared passions for not only juggling, but also playing guitar and singing and he lived just on the street next to me, working in hostel, and we just got along really really well. Having been in Rio for two months now, I was able to hook Rudi up with some likewise artistic people and so, easy to imagine we have had some stellar fire dancing and jam sessions together.
Rudi had come to Rio partly because of a Russian girl he knew from Barcelona where he was living before. Unlike Rudi, his girl was not having a good time here and she had decided to go back to Barcelona. She left the very same day Rudi had to move away from the hostel he lived and worked in, because of some negative energy and tensions between him and the owner. Loosing his girl and his home in one day, I thought we should do what ordinary guys would do, something out of the ordinary for both of us; go out Friday night, drink alcohol and lose ourselves to the night life of Rio de Janeiro. This is where my tale of this crazy mid December night starts.
Rudi was with me on the going out plan, as well as this guy Tom we had come to know – a philosophy student from Seattle. Together with four girls – two Norwegians, one British and one Carioca – we headed out into Lapa.
During the week Lapa is just a regular non-beach neighborhood in Rio, but during the weekends, the streets get closed to cars and both Brazilians and Gringos join together in a massive street party; samba orchestras in the open, other musicians and jugglers street performing, probably hundreds of bars and clubs, and crammed with thousands of averagely very alcoholized young people. Every single weekend throughout the year...
We started off walking around drinking beers and caipirinhas. We were undecided as to which club to go into, but with lots of huge speakers and party on the streets, we were in no hurry neither. We ended up in front of a funk club. Brazilian favela funk that is, and yeah, it is not at all what we would normally connect with funk. I think best I can describe it as a non stop looping of very dirty and sexist lyrics or female sounds, blasted out with a heavy bass, a duk dak-dak duk-dak rhythm and a DJ's otherwise electronic creativity. It lends itself to a very naughty energy outlet, and the Brazilians, boys and girls alike, tend to get it done by rapid body shaking, primarily a bend over booty or otherwise the upper torso part, while consistently making sure the crowds are watching. In other words, Brazilian funk is very literally in your face. The funk originates from the favelas in the seventies, and as such it is related to the hardcore life of drug dealers, slum dwellers, prostitutes, etc. and cops may even arrest funk artists for their lyrics alone (especially when they are about killing cops!).
Standing outside the club I was the only one who really wanted to enter. I guess the others were intimidated by the reputation of funk as having a hardcore crowd, but my philosophy for that out-of-the-ordinary-Rio-night was all or nothing. Rudi had gotten hold of some marijuana and the group shared a reefer which on top of the beers and caipirinhas had me beautifully high in no time; the music started to grab me, my body instinctively moving in connection with the aggressive funk energy, and before I knew it, I had left the group to find myself inside the dark funk club, lit up only by neon lights and green laser beams.
I went straight to the dance floor, closed my eyes and started dancing like I was the only person in the room. I definitely was not and I found myself at the center of attention of on one side pimped up boys, doing their best to challenge my poi inspired body choreographies, and on the other side extremely challenging dressed girls and ladyboys waiting for someone to take them with style. It was intense and lasted about thirty minutes, before I found my way outside again to check for my friends. They were no where to be seen amongst the thousands of people partying. I walked around a bit and ended up back at the funk club without any luck.
The night was meant for cheering up Rudi, but in a place like Lapa during these packed weekends, I thought I might as well give up searching and enjoy the moment instead. So what happened next was I ended up in a dance battle outside the funk club, pitted against two beautiful booty and upper torso shaking young girls accompanied by two extremely flexible ladyboys, during splits and otherwise impossible moves. I was easily beaten, though my yet again poi inspired jumping around did earn me some cheers and street credit before I went on to see what else this night would have in share for me.
Upon passing some old timers – a fair guess would be they were homeless –, sitting against the wall in a very crowded and moving street, I politely asked if I could join them. It was mainly their bongo drums and tambourines that had caught my attention and shortly thereafter I was cross legged on the street, the king of their bongo and organizing a Manu Chao choir to much alegria (happiness) for these still very positively surprised old timers.
After some time of this I bid them my fondest farewells and feeling a bit dizzy I bought a bottle of water and sat down with some handcraft vendors to fall back on earth. Admittedly, I am not Legolas anymore, and the four beers and the caipirinha, along with the herbs, had naturally taken its toll on me (nerdy Lord of the Rings joke!).
What happened next was I met some Australians who I got along with. We went to sit and chill on this long and colorful staircase famous in Lapa. Walking up the stairs, a very talented congas drummer and his capoeira songs singing friends caught my attention. I stayed to clap along for some songs where after I got my turn as the singer. The congas drummer superbly accompanying me as I gave it all I had with the only complete song I knew in Portuguese – an Afro-Brazilian hymn about the sea goddess Iemanja related to the Santo Daime religion, and I am proud to say the crowds around us loved it. Afterwards I found my new Australian brothers, near the top of the staircase. We sat there for some hours probably, talking, smoking, me leading some more songs and chants and just having a really chilled time.
Before going home I went for something to eat, and not being on the meat wagon these days I had a very hard time finding anything. Brazilians eat meat like chickens eat everything! I ended up with a satisfying corn cake and some bananas and singing through the streets, me and the Australians went looking for a mini bus to take us home (they lived near me in Copacabana). Suddenly a group of about five very young girls, attracted by our at this point very silly singing I take it, came rushing to us and started doing that bend over booty shake right in our faces. They were probably no more than twelve years old, yet they definitely knew how to shake their booties! One Australian responded wisely by simply starting to shake his booty right back at them in the worst Gringo style! It worked and they moved on laughing loudly. “Definitely time to get home”, I thought.
Aboard the mini bus it turned out we were in the company of some other song happy people. Them being cariocas we took turns trying to impress each other with respectively English and Portuguese songs. Everyone together we manage to pull off Wonderwall in the best cliché manner, and I just hope the driver was able to concentrate.
I got home safely under a brightening sky around six in the morning and fell flat on my bed. And that was it for the crazy-out-of-the-ordinary-Rio-night. Indeed a healing day was ahead of me, and let let me just continue the tale with how that went.
The healing beach
The next day I woke up sometime in the afternoon and got a hold of Rudi. I thought I needed to make up for my disappearing the night before. After all the night had been meant for him. We agreed to meet up to play some relaxing music and balance out the intensity of the night before. So a bit later we found ourselves in front of a coffee shop in Copacabana, shot down a cafezinho and were about to find a park or place we could sit and play in, when instantly Rio was at the center of a tropical shower accompanied by deafening thunder and lightning.
We were trapped under a sheltering roof on the street and so we decided to sit down and wait it out. Along the walls on all the streets people stood closely together under the various outer roofs of the shops. I pulled up some light percussion and a harmonica and we started jamming together with the thundering rain.
We sat there for about half an hour before the clouds permitted us to continue the healing mission. The rain had been so heavy the streets had practically turned to rivers, with buses splashing by and soaking unsuspecting cariocas, much to mine and Rudi's delight!
From the amount of rain we figured any park would be too wet to sit in and thus decided to head down to the beach instead. The sand proved to be just perfect after the rain – not too wet nor too sandy. The Copacabana beach typically crowded with thousands of people, now only had a few here and there, I guess because of the rain as well. Thank you rain...
We landed somewhere relatively close to the sea, away from the noise of the many passing cars on the road behind us. The waves were calm that day, meaning somewhere around 1.5 meters and they made for the perfect background sound for our little jam session, taking turns with my guitar, playing our own compositions and backing each other up with light percussion or the harmonica. We sat there and jammed and talked for a while when suddenly we where interrupted. It was the sky itself that started communicating, in a visual language I rarely have seen the likes off!
A setting sun behind the range of tall houses on the other side of the street where the beach ended, gave for a awe inspiring sight. The cloudless sky immediately behind the houses were bright blue as in the middle of the day. But only shortly, then a first layer of clouds gave off that orange-pink warmth we all now from a sunset. Small holes of blue here and there kept on going until another layer of clouds shining bright as gold blessed our eyes. More bright blue and finally some grayish-white clouds to top it all off, like whipped cream on a birthday cake. All those colors mashed together intuitively got me playing a tune by the Stones:
She's Like a Rainbow
She comes in colors everywhere
she combs her hair;
she's like a rainbow.
Combing colors in the air
she comes in colors.
Have you seen her dressed in blue?
Seen the sky in front of you?
And her face is like a sail,
speck of white so fair and pale.
Have you seen a lady fairer?
Have you seen her all in gold?
Like a queen in days of old.
She shoots colors all around
like a sunset going down.
Have you seen a lady fairer?
“She” obviously not being any woman, but the beauty of our very world when we truly open our eyes to her. Like all members of the Stones being males, the metaphor of the sky as a beautiful woman, nailed it completely for me that evening on the beach. The attraction and passion a woman's beauty can instill in a man's heart, was just what I felt staring and singing against that colorful and beautiful woman that was the sky.
After the song, upon turning my head to look the other way, I got completely overwhelmed by a sphere of the deepest darkest blue I had ever seen, with nearly invisible clouds hanging low and far away in the horizon, brightened up by occasional lightning. Under this amazingly divided sky I decided it was time for a swim, and while Rudi stayed put I ran out and jumped into the waves. The water is not so warm here in Rio, and so it was delightfully refreshing. Even with the relative calm waves, you still had to work a lot to be on top of them. They come in with high speed and go back out very fast as well, pulling you with unless you make an effort. Jumping the waves, diving under them or letting them swim you in, is all good fun to me and it keeps you warm and afterwards I could very satisfied dry myself with my towel.
The sun sets fast in these parts and quickly it got darker while the far away thunder seemed to be getting closer, so we chose to call it a day. We walked up through the city, both of us contrasting the now dressed up cariocas ready for another night of party.
It was Saturday, Rudi and me hugged goodbye and each of us went home to ourselves to enjoy an easy night upon a very immersing weekend. So thank you cariocas, thank you music, thank you marijuana, thank you rain, thank you sky and beach, and thank you all my brothers and sisters for reading this far.
Time to move on
Today it is the 10th of January and I will in just a few moments leave Rio de Janeiro. I have had a nice Christmas with a bunch of couch surfers, and New Year was good as well though it was quite rainy.
My plan is now to do a Vipasanna course, which is a 10 day meditation course, 10 hours every day in complete silence. The final day of the course, when speech is yet again allowed and the participants will talk of the experience, will be my birthday, 22th of January. Hopefully it will be something of a new birth for me, but I actually did not get accepted into the course as it was already full. I will go there still though, and it is a bit out of Rio, so I hope they will show kindness and let me stay.
After the course (or later today if they reject me) I will head straight to Rainbow land in a national bio region park in the state of Espirito Santo, to take part in the World Rainbow Gathering. I intend to stay there the whole moon, and so in total I might now be looking at 40 days disconnection from society and internet. So in case any of you are writing me, be patient and I will respond probably in the end of February.
My blog is now up to present day and it is time for me to leave. What will come next is the unknown future, yet I feel blessed I am where I am and that unconditional love is so abundant in my life these days. I look forward to be sharing it with all of you, whenever we meet again.
~~~ Love, love, love and light my dearest everyone. Maybe to be continued! ~~~