After a meeting this morning, we visited a favela (slum) called Babilonia, which connects with another one, Chapeu Mangueira. The latter is home to Bar do David (David's Bar), a boteco (cafe) which was voted the 3rd best boteco in all Rio (it was the first one located in a favela to enter the competition). The food was incredible, and I even got to meet David himself!
What I found most interesting about Babilonia was the green development plan which will be implemented there. Solar panels, individual meters, water reuse, and integrated solid waste management will all take effect through this program. Even as we walked through the community, we noticed that it was very clean, there were many "green" posters, and the recycling facilities were great. Rock on!
When we returned, I set out for the beach, armed with sunblock, Ovid, and remnants of Cancun-caused tan lines. Though it was not as hot as I would have liked this late in the afternoon, I still enjoyed a relaxing read. (Had Ovid been from Rio, I'm sure his Ars Amatoria would have mentioned the beach as a prime place to meet girls.)
Back at the hotel, I set up a blog page for my music (check it out -- http://365gapdays.blogspot.com/p/my-music.html) before hitting the sack for a bit. Then, Papa and I went for a run on Copacobana! The energy is incredible.
After a quick shower, I had the pleasure of meeting two of the kindest young ladies I have ever encountered. Mila Lobianco and Ana Claudia Fiod are undergraduate students doing research on favelas with Mariana Cavalcanti of the University of Chicago. After connecting at the hotel, we walked across the avenue to the beach and enjoyed a drink of coconut water as we talked about our respective experiences in working with different people here and elsewhere in the world. These girls are so smart, so driven, and so, so, so sweet. I had an amazing time with them and we plan to meet up again on Saturday. I really cannot wait.
In the evening, we went out to a great place in Ipanema. It was nice to catch up with Flavia, Juan Carlos, Sameh Uncle, and Cyprian Uncle at the end of the day.
Have I mentioned that I love Brazil beyond words?