After 2+ years of logistics, interviewing and chaotic planning, I am physically in Rio. The flight was smooth, direct from Atlanta, in economy comfort exit row so no complaints here. Freezing cold but 10 hours of dark got me at least 4 hours of sleep.  My seatmate gave me quite the preview to Rio – he is the announcer/MC for all the Olympics beach and indoor volleyball events and was returning for the Paralympics. Apparently the uniform is uncomfortable (pants too big, socks too thin); the food same –  so by day 7, you are looking for anything different, traffic nightmare. Well, should have been sitting next to a gloomier person 🙂 No, he was very helpful and gave me lots of tips on dos and donts and I learned a bit about volleyball myself. And may hear him do his show during my sitting volleyball.

At the airport, I was surprised to see a lot of volunteers already, directing people to the Paralympics village and Paralympic family facilities. The other picture took me by surprise though – not sure it had the intended effect of feeling safe though. Pictures of guys with machine guns usually have the opposite effect on me – no matter whose side they are on.

Uber is big here and so much cheaper than taxi so Lavinia picked me up in Uber. Apparently many of the drivers are the laid off Petrobras employees – our driver was a manager of Petrobras quality control but because of the massive corruption, the oil industry pretty much collapsed and unemployment is huge.

Step 1 – get here is complete. Off to explore Lavinia’s neighborhood! #rio2016

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Ipanema selfie