Friday, June 19, 2015
I couldn’t think of any good ways to inform Rio de Janeiro that I would be leaving the comforts of my beachside favela. After several hours of debating it, I decided I was left with only one logical solution. Facebook.
Saturday, June 6, 2015
There is nothing like being in a 3rd world country with 25 dollars... No I'm sorry, worse, 25 Reais. Except maybe being trapped in your small favela "studio apartment" as rain pours down infiltrating the pourous cemenet that is your ceiling.
It was Sunday and I was furiously looking for my plane ticket confirmation in my email... Or at least the receipt to prove that I had dished out the money in the first place. Naturally I had waited til the lasy minute to realize I had NO CLUE where my ticket was for my 7 A.M. flight that was leaving the next morning.
I was pissed off and tired. I was beyond broke and extremely stressed. I had spent the better part of the weekend running around the favela selling a few odds and ends at the boxing gym and to the corner boys to accumulate some spending money. I had, in fact, been quite successful thanks to the fact that my boxing coach includes hustling and whoring in with my bag work and normal boxing training.
Note: by whoring I mean I have to look like a girl... Get my hair done, paint my nails, smell like Victorias Secret, and stop wearing clothes that make me look like a dude.
Well, he would also like if I would find a boyfriend and destress myself but... See last blog post for more on THAT issue!
So, I hustled up a little over R100 but had to immediately front it to pay competition fees for the the kids at Terere KidsCuritiba. The actual sponsorship wouldn't arrive until Monday, leaving me to fly to Curitiba with R25.
After an hour or so I was finally able to secure my electronic ticket and I surrendered myself to my sad excuse of a bed, curling up into a ball to avoid the water that was drip dropping down by my feet.
Cut to a week later
(Details of my black out week to come)
There I was crying in a corner in of the airport with $2.50 in my pocket and my last $150 in the bank. It was money for food and for the kids snack program... Money that would hold me over til i got paid next week.
It was however not nearly enough money to pay for the $200 rebooking fee and it was almost exactly what I would need to buy a 18 hour bus ticket back to Rio... Leaving me with no money for food.
Amazingly, my phone went off. My internet never works it takes all of 5 minutes out of wifi for me to reach my daily limit and my phone to be blocked. Whether im using it or not. Another perfect example of how Brazilian governement allows companies to rob and rape thw Brazilian people... And then you wonder why everyone is getting stabbed up! Im american and I can barely make ends meet. Poor brazilians are left with virtually no options so shanking and robbing comes naturally since the alternative is starvation...
Yeah, so, my phone went off and it was one of my former students from DC, currently unemployed and unloved by his less than affectionate mother. It was like the damned advising the damned and I had to admit that the irony of the situation turned my tears into laughter... And to any onlookers probably completed a portrait of a crazy gringa having a breakdown in the airport.
Then came that dreadful text...
"You have reached 80% of your daily internet and your about to be blocked"
So I grabbed my bags, said my goodbyes, and withdrew the last of my money
Before begrudgingly paying the R20 to return to the gym that I had been sleeping at for the week.
Everything happens for a reason!
That was the mantra that I kept repeating to myself as I fought back tears of frustration. There had to be a reason I was still hear, wasting money I didnt have. I told myself not to stress, after all Nicki Minaj says the faster you spend it the faster you get it back... And seriously, how can you doubt the infallible wisdom of one of hiphops biggest female MCs.
So what have I learned from this?
Nothing. Not a damn thing! Im sorry if you were looking for some bad ass wisdom on growth and personal enlightenment but nah... Im still waiting on that one.
What resulted from this?
Im moving out of Rio! The only (affordable) way for me to get back to Rio is to purchase a round trip ticket). I was planning on moving anyway, but I could have moved in with teammates in Rio and put it off for a couple of months, using my hatred for cold whether as an excuse to enjoy running around half naked on the picturesque beaches of Copacobana. (Curitiba is the coldest city in Brazil!).
What do I want now?
To move. Even though it will be hard to leave Rio, the favela, the beaches, and my kids (ill be working with them from afar).
To start fighting. Ive been at Nova Uniao for a year and half with no results.
To get my money up. Its time to get paid and get some major sponsors for the project. I dont want the work that Terere has started in the Cantagalo Favela to end when we are both gone! I want to go home this year, with some kids from the social project, to visit my family and compete.
Grinding is agonzing but gratifiying.
If you want to live the dream you have to expect a few nightmares now and then.