Without a doubt, our first day in Rio was a day to remember!
Francisco and "Vinicius"
Rickie with "Tom" stuffed mascots
Mike and Paul with "Vinicius"
Emily and Chelsea at the Arrivals Terminal
After the students got some airport mug shots, we headed to our "hotel," which is really a boutique Pousada or inn, in the Barra de Guaratiba neighborhood west of central Rio. More on this later, but we only had enough time to drop our bags and change clothes before heading to Rocinha Favela for the group's community service project.
Our service project was organized and led by Paul Harris, who contacted a local NGO, Project Favela, and arranged to have our students donate school supplies to its education program and deliver and set up mosquito nets to several of the community residents' homes.
Paul is shown here with volunteer teacher Matthew and program director Christine. Unfortunately, today being a state holiday, school was not in session and we did not get to meet the Project Favela students at school. We did, however, get to meet several of the program's students in their neighborhoods.
Jeremy "Candyman" Proto makes some new friends.
Rickie Rizos shares some of her booty with a child.
Ryan finds that he is quite popular with the neighborhood kids.
Francesco Siniscalchi attracts quite a crowd with his three-card monty card trick!
Rickie and Chelsea practice their Portuguese on this vendor in making a transaction.
Emily "Picasso" Painter
Erika makes her mom proud dousing herself in mosquito repellent (her SECOND application of the day)!
Francesco Siniscalchi, Kylie Hamakawa, Chelsea Johnson, and Rickie Rizos engage in some international goodwill.
Our students pose for a mug with Project Favela leaders and students.
Tyler Kasuba at the Project Favela classroom.
Paul Harris, Paul St. Pierre, Jeremy Proto, Ryan Smith, and Mike Spratt show off their work after setting up a mosquito net at one of the favela resident's bedrooms.
Back at the Pousada, Francesco, Tyler, Jeremy, and Ryan enjoy their pizza dinner after a long day's work!
A bit weary, perhaps, but Chelsea and Rickie cannot betray their happiness for the blessings of the day!
Chelsea, Rickie, and Erika get ready to enjoy some typical Brazilian fare for lunch.