A front garden, a singing tv chef and an artist

June 9, 2008

In the morning the team were invited to look around the ‘garden’ of an artist who owns a large area of virgin forest. The land surrounding his house was beautifully landscaped.

They then had lunch with a TV chef who loves to sing her recipes (will post more info and link later) .

She also has an interest in promoting Brazilian art and after lunch she took members of the team to meet artist, Byron Mendes. He has already made a number exhibitions in Europe and has another exhibition arranged at a London gallery soon.

http://www.brazilian.org.uk/events/stairway.php


Chilling out in Petropolis

June 8, 2008

Today the team travelled by minibus through spectacular mountainous scenery to the area surrounding the imperial city of Petropolis.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petropolis

Their destination was a beautiful country house where they are to stay for the following three days. Later that evening they were treated to a family meal with some friends of their host family which featured a spread of Italian and Brazillian food, local beer and, of course, Cachaça.


Dirty dancing and hot steps

June 8, 2008

Rotary in Brazil is different from England and British Rotarians act differently when in Brazil. Elaine, Katie and Georg had a few life changing dance experiences during the post-conference party.

It’s still not clear which team member was the star of the evening – Elaine who was asked to dance by numerous hunky looking men, Katie who found almost no time leave the dance floor for a drink or Georg who performed surrounded by a large group of female Rotarians. The night ended late for our three ambassadors and the next morning with aching knees, feet and (for Georg) a heavy/worried head came way to early.

Meanwhile Chris was safe in bed having spent the entire evening recovering from his mysterious allergy.

Photos coming soon.


Conference, roses and cheese balls

June 6, 2008

The team arrived in Sao Lourenca, a thermal spa town in the mountains outside Rio, for the District conference. This year the theme is ‘Conference of the Roses’ – named after the district governor’s wife Rosa. The group made their presentation on Friday afternoon after Samuel talked about the GSE programme and Maria talked about her GSE experiences in the UK and the Isle of Man. After the presentation the team were presented with Brazilian flags.

The party later on included lots of Cachaça and some magnificent cheese balls that were enjoyed by all. The conference closing ceremony was a riot of colour as delegates paraded with flowers, singing about the marvellous city of Rio de Janeiro.


Monobloco and the scouts

June 2, 2008

Tonight Chris, Katie and Chris’ host Bemvindo went to watch the famous Samba collective Monobloco rehearsing in the Baden Powell theatre.  Baden Powell was a very famous Brazilian guitarist and as far as I know had nothing to do with the scout movement. 

http://www.monobloco.org/

About 80 people were participating on stage and the collective trains many people who are new to playing percussion instruments.  The visiting party thoroughly enjoyed this insight into the band and are greatly indebted to Paolo and Fred for providing the opportunity.


Chove chuva, chove sem parar

June 1, 2008

(It’s raining cat’s and dog’s, it’s raining without end)

In stark contrast to the weather so far today’s weather consisted of relentless rain.  This meant that the second opportunity for the boat trip passed the team by, but Chris, Georg and their host, Milton, still enjoyed a stroll along the beach at Copacabana in the rain.

 

Chove chuva, chove sem parar, chove chuva, chove sem parar
Pois eu vou fazer uma prece pra Deus nosso senhor, Pra chuva parar de molhar o meu divino amor. Que é muito lindo, é mais que o infinito, é puro e belo inocente como a flor. Por favor chuva ruim, não molhe mais o meu amor assim. Por  favor chuva ruim, não molhe mais o meu amor assim. (Jorge Bem Jor)


Yacht club feijoada

May 31, 2008

On Saturday the team were invited by Antonio to lunch at the Rio de Janeiro naval club.  Unfortunately the weather wasn’t conducive to a trip in his boat but the feijoada at the club and the company were certainly worth the visit.

http://www.icrj.com.br/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feijoada

Antonio is a doctor working with Cancer patients.  He has worked in London at the Royal Marsden Hospital and also paid tribute to the work being done at Christies Hospital in Manchester.

http://www.royalmarsden.nhs.uk/rmh

http://www.christie.nhs.uk/ 


Coffee and biscuits with the military police

May 30, 2008

In the morning the whole team went to meet a representative of the military police at their headquarters in Copacabana.  Here they had a very interesting discussion about the problems associated with drug trafficking in the city’s slums and also the problems they encounter in the tourist areas of Rio.

After the discussion they saw the team responsible for monitoring CCTV cameras at work and were then treated by the captain to coffee, biscuits and croissants.

http://www.policiamilitar.rj.gov.br/

After this meeting the team took the metro across town to the Rio chamber of commerce where they presented to Gloria Rotary Club on the 15th floor.  Chris and Georg’ hosts Milton and Lia were present along with their nephew Tiago. Milton is the club president.

After the presentation Chris, Georg and Katie walked around the city centre with Tiago and Ana.  The fantastic weather broke briefly with a torrential downpour.  The team sheltered in a colourful local market.

To round off the day the team, with Ana and Paolo met up in Bar Luiz for a few Chopps ( a local draught beer).  Bar Luiz is a German bar that, before the second world war, was called Adolf’s!  After some protests at the time the name was changed.

http://www.barluiz.com.br/


Don Juan and the Japanese

May 30, 2008

After the school visit in the morning Chris and Katie were shown round some of the museums situated in downtown Rio by Ana who works at a language school that she runs with her husband Paolo.  Their daughter Sofia arranged tours of the museums and also came along.

The first museum exhibited clothes from the time Don Juan spent in Brazil.  It used these clothes to give an insight into life in Brazil at that time.

Brazil has the biggest Japanese population outside Japan and so the second museum visited showed various aspects of Japanese culture.  These included kite making, military history, origami, art and animated films.

George and Paolo joined the others late in the afternoon for a visit to Confeiteria Colombo – a magnificent cafe lined with huge mirrors that has remained largely unchanged since the 1800s.

 


Visit to Padre Francisco Da Motta School

May 29, 2008

Today the whole team went to vist Padre Francisco Da Mott, a school funded partially by Rotary International in a poor area of Rio.

There they were shown round the classrooms and treated to musical performances of Mozart and Samba. Some of the children were learning English and German.

The school caters for the poorest children in the area and tries to give them a sense of family life that they would otherwise miss out on. It also tries to involve their parents as much as possible and provides facilities for the whole community including the library which is open to all. For some children the meal they are given at the school is the only meal they have each day.

After a tour of the school the team made a presentation to Saude Rotary Club. A group of children from the school also attended the presentation. They were inquisitive, friendly and behaved impeccably.

In an emotional speech the principal of the school thanked the team for coming and said that she hoped such visits would inspire the pupils at the school.

Towards the end of the meeting it was suggested that it would be great if a suitable project could be found for the UK and Brazilian Rotary districts to work on together.