I'm in Rio this week and getting married tomorrow (!). Wedding pics will doubtlessly feature in future posts. What follows are a few from the past week in the lead up to Sunday.
With my folks here a quick whip around key sites was in order.
First stop; the iconic image and symbol of the city.
I've posted pictures of Christ the Redeemer many times on this blog, but it would have felt wrong not to have documented this visit with parents and sister in tow.
Sugar loaf was also on the agenda.
Its on the tourist trail for good reason.
The views are amazing.
Vast deep water oil deposits have been discovered off the coast and platforms are begining to feature in the landscape. Many people are of two minds regarding this windfall. Given the recent spill in the Gulf and the devestating impact on the tourist industry, there's concern here for the fate of thecity's famous beaches. There are also worries concerning the impact on everyday live as a result of the flow of petro dollars. One need only look at Nigeria to see that such a windfall can have a transformative negative impact and turn society on its head.
Money fosters corruption.
Corruption is already a problem.
The Favellas are an ongoing issue in Rio. They're slums but not in the way such places exist in India or Africa. The communities are made up of substantial structures- mortar and brick with pirated electricity and water and sit cheek by jowel beside million dollar neighborhoods. This is where maids, labourers and service workers live.
Its also home to violent drug dealers who hold the population hostage.
The people of the favellas arent the consumers of drugs- they have no money.
Its the rich who live by the beach who are the primarey market and generate the money that keeps the whole sorry cycle going.
Over the past year or so the Government has embarked on a "pacification" scheme. In former "no-go" areas, police have installed heavily fortified stations ands pushed the drug dealers out. This hasn't happened without incident.
Helicopters have been shot down.
Firefights involving military grade ordinace have raged.
People have been killled
The campaign is by no means over, but progress is being made.
I'm getting married in 5 hours.....wish me luck!
Love to all