First week in Rio de Janeiro

Submitted by Addison Garrett on the 2024 Winter PLSC/LARC program in Brazil…

Watercolor lessons at Casa Caminhoa with Alice

So far our time in Rio has been full of memorable experiences. One of my favorite activities has been our watercolor lessons. We have a teacher named Alice who is always so warm and welcoming. In the first class, she had us paint guava. In the second class, we painted different leaves. Finally, in the third class, we painted flowers. It was nice having some time to myself to get creative. Her classes emphasized capturing the beauty of nature in Brazil. We got to see this beauty firsthand at Jardim Botanico, a botanic garden in Rio. This garden had countless collections of plants including succulent greenhouses and a collection of stingless bee hives. The uniqueness in appearance and characteristics of each plant was fascinating. The garden was very effective at showing each plant’s beauty and role in the ecosystem.

The fashion in Rio is also fascinating. It is often very colorful and loose-fitting. I assume this allows airflow in warm weather. It’s interesting to think about not switching your wardrobe for the seasons. They are so close to the equator that the temperatures between seasons don’t fluctuate as much.

You can also see that the constant temperatures have an impact on architecture. Natural light is utilized extensively through big windows, skylights, or glass ceilings. There are also many more outdoor spaces. There’s even a free outdoor gym next to the beach that I’ve been super grateful for.

We’ve had plenty of unique views of Rio. One at the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain and one at the top of Corcovado, where Christ the Redeemer stands. Once you see Rio from high up you realize how massive it is and how little you’ve explored. It’s much bigger than any city I’ve seen in the US. (Submitted on January 20, 2024)

View of a part of Rio from the top of Corcovado