Saturday, August 1, 2009

Hector’s Blog on Theatre of the Oppressed Trip in Brazil

Day 1 July 31, 2009 to August 1, 2009

I’ve never kept a blog before so I am excited to know how it will finally turn out. The trip officially began, well at least for the administrators on the July 31, 2009, but as my fellow students know we have been preparing for this monumental experience for months now -- an opportunity to work in Rio, the city where TO was developed, how exciting. Today my trip to JFK airport to board TAM Airlines on a direct flight to Rio de Janeiro Brazil was fraught with anxiety given the traffic jams into the midtown tunnel. I was skeptical about the long 10 hour flight. The weather in NY has had its ups and downs lately and this was definitely a down. Although the airline scheduled for an early boarding time the flight was still delayed for an hour. Once the flight took off it was a smooth ride. I must say that the airline provided great service and the food was actually pretty good. The movies were a little out dated but I enjoyed the fact that they were in Portuguese given my upcoming translation duties. I was able to get a good three hours of sleep and the flight wasn’t nearly as bad as I had presumed.
Once we arrived at Rio de Janeiro GIG International Airport we made a stop at the currency exchange. It just so happened that they had a better exchange rate than in NY. We booked a cab at the airport and took a short twenty minute ride to the hotel Copacabana Rio Hotel on Ave Nossa Senhora. We passed the amazing statue of the Christ on the mountain top. This city is so majestic and I fully understood why Boal would have to return after his long period of exile in Argentina and France. I am sorry I am not going to be able to meet him but it is such an incredible moment for me to be working with his jokers and to be seeing TO in action.
The hotel is literally a block from the beach. Unfortunately we did not have the opportunity to enjoy the beach just yet. We spent the morning coordinating orientation with the staff from the hotel who spoke mainly Portuguese. This endeavor was headed by a lady named Flavia who was extremely keen to make the orientation as comfortable as possible for us. A gentleman named Paulo (this name reminded me of Freire, how appropriate) gave us some advice on where we could go and get our cell phones connected. This took up most of our morning. Good piece of information to know is that when buying a prepaid phone in Brazil you are required to bring you passport. Well for safety purposes we locked ours up in a safe in the hotel, and this meant another trip back to the mall. That is another venture for tomorrow. On another note Dr. Taylor was notified that Julian may join us for the orientation. I think that will be an exciting experience for me and the students. Brazil has a beautiful presence about it. You can feel the emotion and energy as you drive through the streets. I was finally able to take a stroll on the beach in the afternoon. I might add that the locals seem very comfortable in their skin. There were multitudes of people everywhere swimming, surfing, and sun bathing. That is definitely on my agenda for tomorrow. Well that’s it for now I’ll continue to keep you posted on our adventures in Brazil.

No comments:

Post a Comment