It is Police Week Again

As with last year, the Consulate hosted all the Law Enforcement agencies in Sao Paulo to a BBQ with music.  Understand, that a Brazilian BBQ is not like we have in Texas.

And as with last year, there were many booths set up by the different branches of the Brazilian Police.  So, I have a mess of pictures to show but understand, even though these booths were set up for picture taking, I always asked permission from these good people just as a courtesy.

Last year, they had the K-9 force, but this year they didn’t; but they did have the beautiful horses again.  I have had very little contact with these amazing animals in my life, so I was amazed at the sheer beauty they have.  It is as if they are made up only of muscle, sinew, bone and a skin of leather.   And as expected, people were given the opportunity to ride them. Below are an assortment of pictures that I took of the various booths. One display was a walk-in cab with an assortment of drugs and paraphernalia that was confiscated.  It was a bit eerie as I actually found it to be looking at some of the instruments of Satan.Below is a very small part of the water fire fighting force.  I am sure they had a better title, but that is the best I can come up with at this time.  The word Bombeiros means firefighter.To me, the most interesting group is the CHOQUE Team.  They are equivalent to our SWAT Teams.  Choque is pronounced “Shock”.And on the other end of the spectrum, were …. clowns.They didn’t seem to fit the program, but the kids loved them, and they did a very good act.  If I understood Portuguese, I guess I would have loved them more.

And there was a butt-load of food and beer, and people chowing down. And these last pictures I found quite interesting.  First is a picture of a lady taking a picture:Then a picture of one of my many bosses with his very pretty little one…Then a picture of an individual who I would not want to meet in a dark alley if I was a felon:Brazil is a country unlike any other I have been in.  I love it and its people.  I will sincerely miss everything about it.

Kick butt, but behave yourself if you come to Brazil.       D.

 

Cristo Redentor – (Christ the Redeemer)

There is a huge statue in Rio, that pretty much defines the city.  It sits high on a nearby mountain and I doubt there is any sane person who has not seen the image somewhere sometime.  It is called Christ the Redeemer.

During the Easter weekend, I worked in Rio performing some work that had to be done with no one in the building, and on that Sunday, Easter Sunday, my co-worker and I took a taxi up to see this famous statue.

This image was from Wikipedia By Gustavo Facci from Argentina:I was expecting the taxi driver would just drive up to a parking lot and we would get out and ooh and aah, and then get back in the vehicle and return to the hotel.  Not so.  The taxi driver is one that is used by my co-worker and he took us to the top and helped us cut in the long 45 minute line to get our tickets.  Then it was a shuttle ride further up, then a climb of 220 steps to get to the base of the statue.

This old fat boy was sucking air as he climbed 220 steps.  For more info on it, go to the Wikipedia link below.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christ_the_Redeemer_(statue)

Not only is the statue awe-inspiring, the view from it is also,  I will post a mess of pictures below.  All of these are my photos. And in the base of the statue is a very small chapel.

The more of the world you discover, the more you realize is out there.

D.

Rio de Janeiro (River of January)

The famous Rio …

Last week and through the Easter weekend, I helped others work on the tear-gas system at the consulate in Rio de Janeiro, which has to be done on the weekend when no one else is around.  And during the off hours, we headed to the beach across the road from the hotel.

The beach is the famous Coco Cubano Beach that you have heard over the years.  I took several pictures, mostly from the terrace of the hotel 24 floors up.  Enjoy the beauty. The beach is quite crowded during the day with vendors everywhere trying to sell you all sorts of items.  Hats, umbrellas, scarves, fancy drinks, chicken, sunglasses, ice cream, beer, swim suits, fried cheese and many other things.  Additionally, it was pleasant to watch the playful local fauna.This is a sand creation that an artist makes every day.  I took the picture and suddenly the artist told me I had to pay.  I reached in my pocket and pulled out a 2 real note.  About 60 cents.  I should have given more because of the mastery of the creation.

And as the day wound down and people drifted away, crews were busy collecting trash and cleaning the place up.  A few hours later when the darkness returned, the beach was pristine again. I was there during the full moon, which in itself seems to be magical.And as with any beach you go to, there is a tranquility that takes place as the sun begins to set.  Same here.  People would find a place just to sit and watch this daily, yet captivating part of the day.Captivating part of the day, doesn’t serve it justice.  What would you call it Dear Reader?

Scooters

Around the neighborhood, I have been seeing yellow bicycles sitting at various places, and it was pointed out to me these bikes could be borrowed anytime you saw one.  You would download an App online and then scan the barcode on it with your phone.  The bike would then unlock the back wheel, and you were free to use the bike for a certain length of time, for a fee of course.

And now I see the bikes have been replaced with scooters.  Yellow at first and now I see groups of green ones.  They have a barcode to scan, then you can take off with it.  They are also electric and move very quickly along the street.  I would guess at least 20 mph.I looked online to see what it costs, and found it is Br$2 (about 60) to unlock the scooter and an additional Br$2 for every 5 minutes, with the first 2 minutes free.  Plus they have lights at night and colorful lights underneath them.  I assume there is a vehicle that runs in the area at night to collect them since they all have GPS, charge them back up and place them back in groups at strategic locations.

Actually, a pretty clever idea if you ask me.  I even thought about getting one to go to and from work, which would be about one US buck a trip, but I can also see myself running over an old woman or someone walking their dog, and then I would go tumbling down the street at 20 mph.

So, I decided against it.

I Know a Woman …

who just turned 100 years old.

I am convinced that one’s success in Life is determined not by wealth or how far up the ladder they can climb, but by the number of people who have an intense love for them.

Case in point:  I personally know an old woman who just turned 100.  She does not have a fancy house with fine carpets or classical paintings on the wall, nor does she drive an expensive car.

What she does have, is generations of good people who have descended from her.  Of her nine kids, all are successful and of sound mind (for the most part) and have passed her amazing gift of Life to their children.  And those incredible Grandchildren will pass it on to their children.  It will go on and on, and I think what a wonderful contribution to the world this good woman has given!  I am at awe ….

Please allow me to take a moment of your time to tell you about her.

She was one of 11 children, second to the youngest.  This dear woman’s nine kids have given her 21 grandchildren and at last count, 28 great-grandchildren.  The number of her descendants will eventually number in the hundreds, and in generations they will be over a thousand.  She came to Pampa in 1939 and got a job at KPDN, then met a young soldier at the Pampa Army Airfield, and in 1944 began a happy 63 year marriage together.

She helped write the Gray County Heritage Book, and wrote six additional books of her own, ending with one to extol the truth that age doesn’t keep you from doing what you want.  Her proof is her graduation from Texas Tech University at the age of 89.

I recently sat at lunch with a friend telling him about this wonderful lady, and he asked me something that I had not thought of, “What is it that made her live to be 100 years old?”

I thought about that a moment and realized it is her sense of humor, her outlook on Life and her descendants.

A wise person will always observe others and learn from them.  During a life of 100 years, we realize the more we learn, the less we actually know.  We begin to enjoy Life at a deeper level, and we enjoy laughing at ourselves.  We see all people as precious souls, so we connect with them more.

Watching her throughout my life, I see she is content with her life and her past.  Her regrets are put aside because there is nothing to do with them, except learn from them.

This incredible Lady is Elleta Nolte and she just turned 100 on March 18th.  Needless to say, I am very proud that she is my mother.

Thoughts on Brazil

Here are a few insights on the wonderful Brazilians:

1 ~ Brazilians love their Futball (soccer).  On my 9th floor apartment, I can see a soccer field and a goalie training court.  Brazil tends to get some amazing storms at times, which doesn’t seem to phase them.  Below is a picture of the soccer field during a hellacious downpour.`didn’t slow the game down.

2 ~ The other day as I walked to work, I saw an electric unicycle go down the street at a pretty good clip.  There was no seat, so the rider was standing up and wisely wearing a helmet.  Didn’t have time to to take a picture, because it went by so fast.  I did notice it had a red light in the back to show which is the front and which is the back.

3 ~ One of the brew-houses my buddy Ricardo and I visit, has a pretty lady named Alice (accent on the second syllable) that I have gotten to know well.  She has tattoos on her arm and is planning to get both sleeves covered with them.  I ask her what she thought the percentage of people in Brazil who has tattoos, and she thought about half.  That is what I figured.  I am amazed at all the people with tattoos, and you know many have them placed discretely where they are not seen.  I find it quite fascinating tattoos in Brazil are so prevalent.  Below is Alice.  I am the ugly one.This type of brew-house is common throughout Sao Paulo.  Here is the selection of beers that they brew:4 ~ Sometimes, I have to stop and laugh at my idiocy. The apartment building I live in, has bio-metric screens (finger-print readers) that we use to access the building.  I do not fully understand Portuguese, so when they were taking my finger-prints for the access, they asked me to put my fingers on the magic little screen to record my prints, I obeyed.  What I didn’t realize, is they were wanting prints for both “open the door” and “help! I am panicking!”

The idea is, if somebody has a gun on me and wanting to follow me up to my apartment to rob me of all my furniture and possibly molest me, I am suppose to use a particular finger to get inside which will also alert the building security I am panicking.  Again, since I lack the ability to speak Portuguese other than, “another beer please” and “where is the toilet?”, I didn’t know there was a difference between fingers.  So, in the year they had this system in place, several times a day as I came home I was setting off the panic alarm.  Every day.  I remembered  one time someone called me to see if I was panicking, and since I didn’t know what they were saying, I just hung up on them.  What a silly thing to ask, if I am panicking!

Well, they sent me a message the other day and after running it through Google Translate, I saw the humorous errors of my ways.  So, now it has been corrected.

5 ~ Here is a picture of morning the other day.  Always nice to step out on my balcony with my morning coffee and sit with this in view.Life is good if you are open to it.  Until next time, smile always and grab the next adventure with a firm grip.  D.