Saturday, April 27, 2013

Complexo Alemão!

I am taking a really cool class this semester from the Social Service department.  The class is about Community and we learn about local communities, which are synonymous for favelas, through going on 5-9 field trips that Brazilians in the class organize.  It is an amazing group of people, all so excited to show us where they live and the communities they are a part of.

Today we went to the Patrícias' (there are two of them) neighborhood.  Complexo Alemão is the name of a HUGE favela in the city that is, in actuality, made up of smaller communities with their own names. This one favela is about as big as my hometown. We got to ride a "bonde" up into the depths of the area and got a chance to meet and get to know local girls who are working in a relatively new government-funded project that teaches safe sex practices, offers english classes for kids, promotes non-violence, and the health of the communities in general.  They have young people from the community teach the classes because they reach more people if the information is coming from peers, which makes perfect sense.  That philosophy reminds me a lot of the peer-counseling I was a part of last year in Davis at The House.

I had an amazing time.  I wish I lived there.  I would love to get involved in similar projects sometime in the future.

 "Real men don't beat women"

 Ruan spoke really good English.

 The boys!
 The girls!

 Nails and broken glass as make-shift barbed wire

 Biblioteca no projeto

 I am so jealous of Geoffrey's vintage Nikon camera!

Patrícia, in pink, owns an Açaí shop so we all ended our long day with some of her yummy concoctions.

I got home at 6pm after arriving to meet everyone at 7am this morning.  I just woke up from a nap.  Hopefully I'll get to go back to sleep sometime soon!