Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Adventures in Rio - The Power of a Smile

So, my Brasilian adventure has come and gone - and i now find myself wiggling my toes in the sand on the pacific coast of Nicaragua, practicing yoga on the beach, listening to tropical rainstorms remind me that the wet season is here and enjoying cold cerveza's on the beach, and walking hand in hand as another perfect sunset drifts into the night.

As my brasilian departure loomed I had trouble distinguishing what i would miss most, the kind creative people, their musical language or the deeply complex landscape they call home. In the end, I suppose, it doesn't really matter. And, of course - it goes without saying that a piece of me is forever lost in the jungle of Amazonia.

The last few days roaming the massive city of Rio on my own I thought lots about basic communication, universal understanding, the strength and trust that comes with eye contact and a genuine smile. Being true. I remember reading once about a study that determined only a small percentage of communication is actually a product of the words we say or hear. Mostly it is our body language, our volume and our tone of voice that lets others know what we are trying to say.

Exploring and learning new languages gives me a deeper appreciation for direct communication and the power of a smile. On my first bus ride across the massive city of Rio I met a wonderful women who was patient and excited to share her city with me. So, as the bus navigated raging Rio traffic she spoke slowly, laughed with me and told detailed stories that I could have never found in a book. She took me to her favourite cafe and helped me on my portuguese path - i am so thankful to have met her...

And, later that same day, on the beach I made sand castles with brasilian children who laughed and smiled as I fumbled with words.

My brother - who has spent many days lost and found in the abyss of Rio - advised me to 'speak to strangers, it is the best way to learn.' His advice was on my mind as i opened my heart to the concrete jungle of Rio. To trust this world and smile - even when it is scary and I don't understand a word anyone is saying.

And now, the journey of languages and culture continues here in Nicoragua, although i am admittedly still dreaming of the Amazon. We are off to a quieter beach north of here where we have found a tree house that we can stay in - to listen to the rain and the ocean and the jungle, all at once.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
p.s. I have so many pictures but this computer is way to slow...the few i posted are of Ipanema beach as i sat meditating and watching the sunrise on my last morning(the place is crazy busy during the day)and the other is a view from one of the city's countless high points. i'll post lots more soon.

1 comment:

Isaac Tait said...

Wow! What a fun adventure, did you climb any of those rocks in the background?