Tuesday 17 November 2009

Adventures in Sao Paolo Part 1: Pattern Recognition

Well more like pattern discovery... I'm still trying to figure out how to run this blog!! Trying to work out what's the right balance between sharing travelogues, knowledge and impressions. I thought I'd try and keep it as a mix between travelogue and knowledge sharing, but both types of post require a lot more time and effort than I actually have. In some ways it's also limiting because I'm not finding it easy to share impressions on the fly. So here's a third type of post... the random diary!

I'm now in São Paulo, after a week in Rio de Janeiro. A friend of a friend said Rio was like the San Francisco of Brazil in terms of the attitude and mindstate of residents, while São Paulo would have more of a New York feel. To a certain degree he was right. Just one day in São Paulo and it already feels more like city than bay area, and not just because Rio has a beach :)

Ipanema beach, Rio de Janeiro

I'm in a hotel just of Av Paulista, which apparently is a major area, but I haven't gotten out much. Decided to keep my head down and spend the day writing things up. I'm so behind on all the things I need to write up. Every day is a barrage of new and interesting information about social projects and issues and solutions, not to mention new and exciting sights and sounds and tastes.

I still haven't finished writing up my observations on Mexico, and then I've got Rio to share with you. On the social enterprise front I need to write about Hybrid Value Chains and Microfinance and Fair Trade vs Direct Selling and Renewable Energy and Rural Community Development and Agro Ecology... that's before I even get to editing the video interviews I've done and the million photos I've already taken. I probably need a week just to get it all up!

Anyway before I sign off, I just thought I'd share that it's good to be eating food that involves salad - really never thought I'd say that, although after Mexico I'm really missing hot salsas with everything; it's been raining regularly in Brazil as we approach the summer; I've seen my first big cockroach since I was a kid in India (go São Paulo!); and returning to hostel life and big dorms really hasn't been as much of a trauma as I'd imagined. If anything, it's gotten easier because at 32 I sleep more heavily than I used to at 25, when I last travelled around the world!

And talking of hostels, tomorrow it's back to dorms in one near the Ashoka office, which the Ashoka team is kindly letting me use as a base. I'm looking forward to seeing how similar or different things are at this end. Assuming all goes smoothly I should be knuckling down to churning out more useful stuff this week. Til then adios amigos...
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