On Sunday, August 9th, 2011, we went to the gay parade here in Rio de Janeiro. In the last few years, the mayor of Rio de Janeiro has made a concerted effort to attract gays and lesbians to Rio de Janeiro. He actually has gone on record as stating that the wants Rio de Janeiro to be the most gay friendly city in the whole world. They want to attracts gays and lesbians throughout Brazil and the rest of the world as well. In Ipanema, they actually have a beach that is primarily for people of alternate life styles.
This year was truly spectacular. The estimate that over 1.5 million people participated in this year’s parade. That is a lot of people. We were so lucky. We arrived about a half hour before the parade began, and there was a small platform that was built by the city. No one was on the platform, and we were the first on the platform. It is great because we had a great view and more importantly as the crowd filled up, we got pushed and shoved a lot less than the others. It was a cloudy day but even with my point and shoot camera, I was able to get some decent photos.
The city did an awesome job of preparation. There were tons of portopotties and there was rarely a long wait for the facilities despite the fact that there was a lot of people drinking heavily. By the end of the show, the place was a mess, but immediately hundreds of men and dozens of street cleaning machines trailed the parade. In a short time, the streets were pristine again. Continue reading “Gay and Lesbian Parade”→
The last time I was in the United States, I decided to buy Teddy a cheap camera at Best Buy. It was certainly a gamble because the odds were either that he would love the camera or it would be broken in the first 30 minutes of use. After 2.5 months, I am happy to say that the camera is function well. We bought Teddy the cheapest camera we could find which was a Fuji that cost about $100.
About a week ago, I dumped all of the photos from his camera to my computer. I made two discoveries. Camera technology is such that even a 4 year old can take pretty decent photos. Also, photos are a lot different and more interesting from the point of view of a 4 year old. It is also a pretty accurate slice of life of what our lives are like in Rio de Janeiro. Note: neither Solange nor I told him which photos to take. These were all from his little 4 year old point of view.
Here are some notes to help understand the photos:
* When we returned from the China and the US, Solange’s mother, Maria, and sister, Sandra were visiting us.
* My good friend, Mike Brotherton, came down to Rio for his bachelor party shortly after our return.
* Our maid, Cida, is very prominent in Teddy and Jesse’s lives and also in the photos.
* Teddy loves playing with his jig saw puzzles.
* Teddy’s favorite subject is his little brother, Jesse.
Solange and I have just finished a photography class, and I am amazed at how many of the basics elements of photography that I struggle with and Teddy seems to get right. Maybe it’s luck, or maybe kids have a better natural sense for photography.
One of the best things that we did for our kids here in Rio de Janeiro was to put them in a day care. We searched for the best and we finally found a place called Ativa-Idade, which means Active Age. Another huge benefit is that it is only about 1/2 a mile from our apartment so it is a quick and simple exercise to drop them off and pick them up.
Since going to the school, they get along better with each other and they talk a lot more. Although it is preschool, we get detailed reports on the kids progress. Or the best they can estimate given their age.
They have also made a deal with a professional photography firm that takes tons of photos of the kids events and they make them available on the web site for the parents and the kids. Here are bunch of photos from that web site. There are three events. Mother Day, a day in the park, and then something called Festa Julina. It happens every July and they try and dress the kids to look like little adults. Not sure why but that explains a lot of the photos. Check them out.
Since my wife had the new camera, I had to go to the shoot with my little point and shoot camera. Every one in the class had a nicer camera than me. But that was OK. I figured that once I learn more about photography, I will buy myself a nice camera too.
This was a fun experience because the park is called Parque de República, and I have never even known this park existed. It is located in the neighborhood of Catete and the park unlike many parks in Rio is very nicely done. It is about 2 city blocks big. It has a lot of very cool statues, and many of the statues have a common theme of little children strangling animals. Pretty wild! In addition to the statues, there are several large fountains, a water fall, a monkey feeding station, and a turtle station. we were also quite lucky because the weather was beautiful for a cool winter day in August. The place was alive with people of all walks of life. Lastly, there is a huge children’s playground which was packed the entire time.
So our entire class basically start clicking photos in the park. I had no idea what to expect, and I just started. I know how to use my Panasonic Lumix more or less but I never really bothered to learn the finer points of my camera. So I asked the teacher, and she proceeded to give me the best digital camera advice EVER. The impact on the quality of your photos can be amazing. It is so important than I thought I would share it here. Continue reading “Parque Republica Photo Shoot”→
My time on my first 1/2 marathon was 2:39 minutes which is basically a horrible time. The reason that my time was so bad was because I walked somewhere around 3 kilometers of the race. It was my goal to run the entire race, and I failed in that goal. I wanted to finish and not walk.
The reason is that I developed cramps and I started walking. Worse yet, after about 2 kilometers, both my legs cramped incredibly and I fell to the ground in pain. I was so mad at myself. People were yelling at me to get up and keep on stretching so I did. I started walking and finally I decided to finish the race running no matter what. I stopped again and started stretching like a mad man until I felt that I stretched out all the cramps. I finished the last 4 kilometers running and those are the photos taken by the photographers.
I had no idea, but I need to rehydrate. Cramps are a function of fatigue and hydration. I sweat a lot when I run. In fact, it is one of the reasons that I enjoy running but if I want to run for long distances, I have to hydrate during the run or I will cramp. My wife also ran and she did not hydrate much and she did not cramp. The difference is she barely perspires.
I decided to run a test and yesterday (4 days after the 1/2 marathon), I weighed myself before I ran my normal 7500 meter run. I weighed 69.1 kg which is 152 pounds. Aftewards, slightly less than an hour later, I weighed 67.4 kg or 148 pounds. So in less than an hour, I lost 4 pounds and to be honest, I was still sweating madly when I weighed myself.
The most important lesson that I have learned is that I have to learn to hydrate. I mean this literally because it is a skill to drink liquids while running.