Archive | September, 2013

The Best View in Rio… And It’s From a Favela

His name was Francisco, and he’d always lived in the favelas. “I was born in Rocinha,” he told Kay in Portuguese, proudly, “but I built this house eighteen years ago.” The blue-green building sits neatly on a corner of the narrow road that leads up, ever winding, to the very top of Rocinha: Rio de […]

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Community, Compromise and Hard Work: Back to Basics in the Brazilian Jungle

The late afternoon sun was strong as I clambered across the gleaming white peaks of the kitchen hut roof, paintbrush in hand. It already looked like I was standing on top of a giant meringue, and things were only going to get whiter. Two coats down and I was starting on a third when I […]

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How to Live the Local Life in Bogotá

“Welcome to Bogotá!” Felipe shouted, joyfully, as we raced over yet another gaping hole in the road. His words were almost whipped from his mouth by the wind; I held on tighter to the back of his leather jacket, and scanned the streets for unseen graffiti as we turned up yet another side street. If […]

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Two Weeks of Spanish Classes with Nueva Lengua

The beginning of September has brought with it the sudden realisation that I’ve been in South America for seven months. Which means I’ve also been speaking Spanish for the same amount of time – or at least attempting to. When I first arrived in Ecuador, I barely knew a single Spanish phrase. And after an […]

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