Oi from Rio!

Sunday, March 9, 2003
Well, Carnival came and went, and so did all those nights that I never slept! What a great festival. I joined in the parade with my very own costume.... and again when my samba school, Mangueira, came in second place and was included in the Carnival champions parade last night. I can not even begin to explain what it was like to parade in Carnival, the world´s biggest party... the Cariocas (as people from Rio are called) go absolutely crazy! They support their samba school with the same passion that they support their soccer team - which I also witnessed from the stands yesterday. I had heard that I should expect people to be throwing dead chickens at the opposition, but I never saw one.

It was also great to see some old friends who came out to to Rio for Carnival.... Jane, Lara, Hugh, Mark, Todd.... as well as meetingall those other new friends who we shared the apartments with and met at the hash. Thanks to Sarah and Caroline for organizing the desfilaring for us, it was an honor! I will see all you hashers again in Ilha Grande, thanks for the invite!

Had some great long nights checking out music and street parades, taking the cable cars up to Sugarloaf, and seeing Christ. Really, I saw Christ! If you have ever seen the skyline of Rio, you will notice that there is this GIANT sculpture of Christ who guards the city with open arms.

Now that practically everyone from the carnival crew of people has left for greener pastures, I´ll be heading up north to spend few more weeks traveling around Brazil before I head home. I decided the other day to cancel grad school for yet another year (who knows if I´ll ever go) and stay in Brazil a little longer before I head home! Great to hear from everyone and keep in touch!

Love, Alison


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