I just got back from MORE Project in Rio de Janeiro a couple days ago. I like going down there for many reasons but here are 5 pretty good ones:
1. The Kids – They have so much love to give. Go and see.
2. Givin’ Back – It feels pretty good to do something for somebody you’ve never met in your life. Ask anybody who’s been to the MORE Project and they’ll tell you all about it – like one of the expeditioners on the 2012 spring trip. The home above was falling apart and the expedition group decided it needed remodeled. The photo only shows the new roof but so many more things were done on the inside – new toilet (it was so disgusting), tile, shower head, cleaned and painted the walls, appliances, bed and bedding, new wiring, stairs instead of a dirt ramp, and more. It was truly inspiring to me the work they did. And the amazing thing is you actually end up taking as much as you give. If this doesn’t make sense to you now it will when you get there. It’s a beautiful thing.
3. Flavio – This kid’s had his ups and downs since I first met him in the Project over 4 years ago. He hasn’t been the perfect student but I can’t imagine what his life is like on a daily basis. The fact that he keeps coming back is a reflection of the good MORE Project is doing. If not for the Project, he may very well be slingin’ dope for a slum lord in the favela. The reality is his life would be dramatically different without MORE.
4. Destroy Your Comfort Zone – We can get so caught up in everyday life doing the same thing. We drink our coffee in the morning, take the same route to work, take the same route back, and maybe we mix it up one day by stopping for a soda on the way home, then catch some tv. Well, do something different for once in your life. See what life is like outside your bubble. Expand a little. Explore a little. You’ll like it.
5. Rio de Janeiro – Check out one of the coolest cities in the world for a few days. It has so much to offer with its culture, amazing beaches, and a chilled out vibe. Brazilians are a beautiful people with a very laid-back attitude toward life. We call it the River – you just sit back and let it flow… that must be why I like it so much.
Road tripping always seems better and shorter – regardless of the 11 hours in one day (round trip) I spent driving – in a foreign country. There’s something about new roads and cultures that makes me pay more attention to my surroundings. We ended up in an area called Paraty, got on a boat, and sailed to some islands near Ilha Grande… this is a work trip:
I love my job.
The beach at Icarai is the perfect place to sit and enjoy the view of Rio de Janeiro while the sun sinks out of sight – you can see the Cristos, Sugar Loaf, and Rio’s skyline perfectly.
I met some dudes skim boarding while I was taking it all in – Thiago and Mateus. Mateus, a local Icarai kid with some decent English skills, struck up a conversation with me about my camera. His buddy, Thiago, was doing most of the skim boarding. Thiago would be there listening with his eyes focused on the waves. Suddenly, he would bolt toward the beach, throw down his board, jump on like a magic carpet, and hit his wave he timed so perfectly. He was good. It showed.
The eyebrows on this guy are serious works of art. He was trying to tell me something in Portuguese and Mateus tried to interpret- no such luck. It will remain a mystery forever.
Thiago hitting another wave.
Mateus takes a shot at the title.
Surfing under the watchful eye of the Cristos. Earlier in the day I spotted this guy surfing with Rio in the background. I thought it was kinda cool so it made the post.
CHECK OUT THE SKIM BOARDING BRASIL SITE : SKIMBRASIL.COM
No trip to Brazil is complete without visiting MORE Project.
Meet Leondro. I photographed him about 5 years ago when he was just a little guy and just starting out at the project. He still is little I guess but it’s amazing to see how much he’s grown and progressed during that time. It’s proof the MORE Project is making a difference there in the favelas. Who knows where he’d be right now if not for the project.
Jo, the art teacher, and a few of the kids at MORE Project in Niteroi, Brasil. Jo is an amazing artist with a huge love for the kids.
just wandering around the museum one morning –
It’s interesting how on a work assignment I don’t seem to absorb the culture of a city as much as possible. Maybe it’s the mind set of ‘working’ that keeps me from fully taking it all in. I’m really not exactly sure but I know when I’m on my own and wandering about I feel a different energy. São Paulo is a city I didn’t love before but it’s growing on me. It has a very New York City feel. Rio (only a 1 hr flight away) has a very west coast feel. And the cityscapes in São Paulo are really quite incredible.
The view from Pao de Açucar.
The view from the big rock at Itocoa. I suggest you don’t hike this barefoot. Blisters heal.
The MORE Project book is getting some publicity.
Check out The Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch where it’s an award finalist in the digital category at Consolidated Graphics Encore Awards presented by Adobe Systems. We’ll find out how she did April 18th in New Orleans.
Also, there was a nice post at magspreads.net. Thanks guys.
A beautiful day in Itocoaciara.
They block off the streets of downtown Rio at night and pull tables out from the restaurants. It gives this huge city a very friendly feel.
My second favorite beach in Niteroi (near Rio de Janeiro)
I just liked the randomness and architecture of this overpass/bridge. I don’t think you walk on it and there’s no reason for it but that’s why it’s so great.
Just outside of Cuiaba, Brazil is a place they call the little Grand Canyon… it’s true.. it’s much smaller.
These images tell a story of change since I first traveled to the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2008. The MORE Project changes lives. I’ve been lucky enough to document this first hand.
I’ve been extremely fortunate to travel the world creating images of some of the most amazing places on earth. I’ve swam with sharks in Bora Bora, walked the ghats in Inda, and navigated the medinas in Morocco. However, I love returning to Vila Iparanga and seeing the progress and growth The MORE Project’s making. The change is inspirational.
Some places I’ll never get back to but the trip to Rio is worth it every time
The view from City Park in Niteroi, Brasil is one of the best around. I’ve been there several times and it never disappoints. The view always has its own subtle vibe and a way of making you think about life…both the good and the bad…either way, life needs to be thought about.
the slow drift-002
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