Stopped in the states for about 2 weeks to get my visa for Brazil, have my root canal redone correctly, take care of the various things that come up when you leave the country for an extended amount of time, and see family and friends before moving on to South America.
My first morning back I was walking through Manhattan and the city seemed completely different to me. The beauty of places I've walked by a hundred times hit me as if I was seeing them for the first time. Incredible old churches I had never noticed, parks where I've sat and read but somehow missed how beautiful they were. You'll often hear people who live anywhere in or around NYC say that they sometimes take it for granted. I've said those words, but never realized the depth of that truth. After 3 months of exploring new cities, I unknowingly walked into NYC with the same approach and was rewarded with a completely different view. For those of you who have never been - go. For those of you who live it every day - make sure you take time to truly experience it, enjoy it, and appreciate it. It is still my favorite city in the world.
With my paperwork squared away and my tooth finally feeling back to normal, I arrived in Rio de Janeiro yesterday and got settled into the guesthouse where I will be staying for the next month. It is in Santa Teresa, a charming neighborhood at the top of a hill with amazing views of the city. Beautiful old architecture, a working tram, cobblestone streets, and quaint restaurants/bars all add to the charm. I have orientation in a few minutes, and then head to my project tomorrow to meet the staff and get started.
Oh, and it's 80 degrees and sunny....