January's River

Guess where I have been for the last week?

It's Rio de Janeiro!

Rio de Janeiro is an amazing place. It is simply over-flowing with energy. The people are friendly and always tend to be in high spirits. The whole city is sitting in the shadows of the favelas (the slums, or shanty-towns) but with the sun almost always high in the sky you don't often have to worry about being in a shadow.

This was my second day in town. At night I joined a group of people to go to Maracana... the famous Brazilian stadium. The stadium used to hold 200,000 people, but they were forced to put in seats and now it only has a capacity of 120,000. There are four teams in Rio. Flamenco is one of the most supported - and passionately supported. A friend told me, "Nintey-five percent of people living in the favelas support Flamengo. The other five percent don't like football."

Many years ago, black people were not allowed to play for Fluminense, and so Flamengo was founded - being the peoples' team. The games are meant to get very packed out by extremely passionate supporters.

I went to watch Fluminense play. Unfortunately it was raining, and therefore not very packed. The the die-hard fans still made it an awesome atmosphere. It was cool to be packed at the top of the stadium with them... trying to stay out of the rain.