Monday, October 24, 2011

From Rio to Mumbai

Reading an article called "Global Bazaar" in September's Scientific American just now, I came across the following beautifully rhythmic passage about squatter communities in two cities very important to me:

"Rio de Janeiro's 600 favelas dip down to Guanabara Bay and gallop up the steep hillsides from the famous beaches of Copacobana and Ipanema . . . Mumbai's countless jhopadpattis line the banks of the foul-smelling Mahim Creek, sit on the sidewalks of Reay Road and push against the tracks of the city's commuter rail lines."

Reading this article was super exciting, seeing as I was in Rio 2 Mondays ago, and will be in Mumbai 9 Mondays from today. (The favela pictured above is Santa Marta, which I visited with Patricia on my first day in Rio.) The piece itself was very positive and optimistic, discussing the innovation and value of small informal markets in developing nations. As microfinance is a field of interest to me (thanks to Resham Didi), I look forward to learning more about these markets during my stay in Mumbai this winter!

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