Just a quick update to let you know how what I’ve been up to since leaving Agurain…
I arrived in Brazil just over 3 weeks ago. I somehow missed my connecting flight from São Paulo to Rio, but luckily my luggage was waiting for me when I eventually got there!
After spending 10 days in a hostel and sharing a room with 8 other people I managed to find a house to live in; a huge, old house that is almost falling down in the Santa Teresa district. I’m now settled in nicely and apart from the fact that we don’t have a phone or any internet it’s absolutely perfect.
I started working with UNICEF just after I arrived and after about 10 days I absolutely love it. It’s quite hard work, and I always have something that needs to be done, a translation, an email, a letter, a report or whatever, but it’s all very interesting and I’m definitely learning a lot and, I hope, helping as well. The office is on the 6th floor of a huge building right in the centre ofRio, about a 30 minute walk down from my house. As it’s winter here, the weather hasn’t been too hot (not higher than 30 degrees anyway!) so its pretty comfortable to walk around everywhere without feeling like you’re melting.
The city itself is absolutely gigantic, I’ve barely seen a fraction of it, but it must be one of the most beautiful places to build a city in the whole world; surrounded my mountains and a lake on one side, the Atlantic on the other. Unfortunately, not everything that goes on in the city is quite as beautiful: there are huge problems with poverty, drugs, and violent crime, even among young children, and you can see evidence of all of this if you walk around anywhere outside the touristy zones.
On the other hand, it is a hell of a lot of fun. The people (cariocas in Portuguese) are usually really friendly and interested to talk to foreigners, there’s always a party going on somewhere, you can go into just about any bar anywhere and join in with whatever music they’re playing, and you’re never more 30 minutes from the beach!
Much as I love it here, I have to confess that I miss the Basque Country an awful lot, and all the friends I made around Agurain and Gasteiz are often in my thoughts (as are the food and wine that I ate and drank!). I will definitely be coming back at some point…
Anyway, until that point I will keep you updated about my adventures,
Agur e até logo,