About me…

As if having a blog isn’t enough of an exercise in narcissism, you want to know more about me?  If I could sum it up in one neat paragraph, I wouldn’t waste pages and pages of electronic space…  Nevertheless, I aim to please.

So… You probably know me – if not, then here’s the crash course. I once wanted to kayak down the Amazon river… I believe life is meant to be savored. If I had a super-power it would probably be flying. I lived in a favela in Rio de Janeiro for almost five years.  I am now figuring out what it looks like to live life in the United States, one day at a time.  I ask questions.  I love stories.  I doubt.  I hope.  I have faith.  I press on.  I’m trying to tell the truth, even when it hurts.  I’m only human… and that’s good enough.

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3 responses to “About me…

  1. You lived in a favela? You must look like a regular Brazilian then. Are favelas very dangerous to be, especially for gringos? There isn’t a lot of info. on it out there it seems.

    • Ben

      no, i’m pretty much as white as white can be. light skin, light eyes, blonde hair… i got a decent amount of harassment from the police, as i obviously didn’t fit in (a little racial profiling), but never (hardly ever, anyway) from the gangs/drug traffickers… =) however, we did have introductions from people within the community before we moved in, and were known by the community pretty soon after we were there. and even i wouldn’t go wandering into a favela if i didn’t have a reason to be there (either living there, visiting a friend who lived there, going to see someone specifically, etc.) so yeah, there were elements of danger – but on the other hand, in all my years there, the only times i was ever robbed were in the tourist areas – and even when things were violent in the community, it was never aimed at me – so it was mostly a matter of getting out of the way (staying in your house if you were at home, or getting into some shelter if you were out on the street), and keeping your head down until things quieted down between the police and the gangs… i loved it though. wouldn’t trade it (or the mild PTSD from it) for anything. =)

      • How very interesting! It seems unless you were involved with the gangs or police, you had nothing to worry about. I do hear a lot of not flashing anything and doing your best to blend in so you don’t get robbed. That makes sense but to blend is favela you have to look dirt poor from what I imagine.

        Favelas seem to be one of the most dangerous places in the world due to MW2 map, Elite Squad film, and travelers just saying stay away from them. You make me reconsider it.

        So you think a non native would be okay there if he had introduction to the community?

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