Saturday, July 23, 2016

Bossa Nova, Wine, and Swag

Let's put on some classy bossa nova to go along with this post, press play and read on!  I give you permission to grab a glass of wine and read slowly.

A day of good work comes to the end.  Rio, one of the largest cities in the world, is a unique place in many respects.  Brazil is very diverse, much like America, yet prosperity in its smallest form still hasn't reached everyone, depending on what block you are on.  Quite literally spitting distance from the richest parts of town are favellas, the poorest parts of town.  A couple days ago I posted a picture of the view from the top of my building looking toward Copacabana beach and Ipanema beach.  Here is the view from the top of my building looking the other direction.  Although I'm in a prosperous area, the hill behind me is filled with shack houses.  Christ the Redeemer statue is way in the distance.  Can you see it?  I'll spend some more time on this in the future, but these elements will be prominent features in the ceremony using an amazingly creative design and staging.  You'll have to see it to believe it.

Favellas near Copacabana
I spent a meal today eating fish, drinking wine, and listening to bossa nova, pondering what I was going to write about in the few minutes I had.  What better way to explain this complex city than by listening to bossa nova, a refined art rooted in the favellas and Brazil's multiculturalism.  Bossa nova sways with elegant melodic phrases, jazz-influenced improvisations and harmony, touched up with a perpetual samba rhythm - obviously, we can't make a production about Brazil without it!

And speaking of the show, everything is full steam ahead.  The cauldron has been tested, and although it is a big secret - you won't believe how cool this is going to be!  Everything is going so well, it's scaring me!

For example, in Sochi, it took me almost 30 hours to get my credentials.  Here in Rio, I merely waited in line and within 2 minutes I received my accreditation.  Today I picked up some swag (free stuff promoting the games); a design that would likely send Tim Gunn to hide in some safe corner of Mood - but hey, it's free.  I'll make it work!

Rio Olympics work uniform
All in all, I received a bag, two pairs of strange silky zipper pants that turn into shorts at the knee, three pairs of short socks (long socks are very unpopular in Rio), three polyester shirts, a jacket, a rain jacket, a belt not unlike a boy scout's, a multi-pocket man purse/sachel, handbook, water bottle, water bottle belt clip, a flimsy baseball cap (ironically, baseball is not included in the Olympics this year), and an awesome pair of shoes.  This sort of acts as my uniform when we begin full runs.  The color indicates my position, similar to the star representing a general in the US Army, everyone knows who I am within the volunteer workforce - although in this case, they can tell our roles using the Google Maps satellite image given how bright everything is.

Finally, I took a selfie today at one of the samba schools near the stadium.  Another "behind the scenes" teaser for you!  Tomorrow, I have some adventures planned - hopefully a good blog post will follow!

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