My friend Claudia invited me to her colleague’s birthday party in Copacabana Wednesday night. The party was at a typical restaurant/bar here. They are usually outdoor restaurants along the sidewalk with a counter to order your food and tables set up under an awning. Everyone is very friendly. People who are originally from the city of…

On my day off, after my first volleyball lesson, I met up with my new friend Curry from China. Together we went to visit one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, the Christ the Redeemer statue.   Curry got to Rio a few days before I did, and is not scheduled to work…

Originally I was scheduled for the 6 am – 3 pm shift all month at the check-in area for the work force. At the end of the day Tuesday, I was given the good news that I could transfer to another department.  One of my new managers, Marina, took me across the street to the Lobby…

My early shift in the work force area began at 6 am. I was prepared to take a lunch break at 9 am to run over to the volleyball class across the street. Even though we were not busy at all, my suggestion at an early lunch for beach volleyball was not embraced. At this…

Claudia picked me up and we drove about 20 minutes to Ipanema Beach. This is the famous beach from the song “Girl from Ipanema”. Her son and a bunch of her volleyball friends go to that beach, so we wanted to join them. Her volleyball friends weren’t exactly like our Thursday Night crew. One was…

After my first day of work I walked down to the Kite Surfing part of the beach because my new friends Roger and Domitila said they would be surfing. Although I don’t think I stand out here, I definitely do. (And that was before I put on my bright green shirt). Roger had just finished…

Today was my first day at work and I was trained by Luciana. She was the first to get a pirate dog pin and she loved it! My job was checking in employees and volunteers at the Paralympic family hotel to distribute meal tickets, water and to help keep the staff motivated. When I heard…

Today I made my first steps onto the beach that is across the street. As soon as I met the water, I found the biggest sand dollar I have ever seen. Then I walked up to a volleyball net with green balloons with players in green tank tops. Turns out it was beach volleyball lessons….

As I was searching for a place to stay on Airbnb.com, I almost rented a room from a woman (Claudia) who had two sons.  But just before I confirmed the room, I found the apartment on the beach and chose that instead. In the process, Claudia and I became Facebook friends, and she seemed to…

The second day I traveled to downtown Rio to get my credentials and uniform. I took the scenic route by bus and connected with a new train called the VLT. Very few people spoke English. Thank goodness for my phone and Google Translate. The line was super long, but they pulled out the volunteers and moved…

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