Sunday, August 30, 2015

Favela Creativa

The group of volunteers responsible for making this awesome project happen.

In the last few years the favelas have become areas where the city government is starting to help organize and promote events to highlight the artists of various communities. So this year the Secretary of State Culture of Rio de Janeiro started with a project called "Favela Creativa" or Creative Favela. About 160 hours will be dedicated to the first marathon showcasing favela culture from 7 different communities. The event will take place Saturdays and Sundays consecutive weeks in the following favelas, Vila Kennedy, Rocinha, Manguinhos, Cidade de Deus, Regiao Portuaria, Alemao/Penha and Grande Tijuca with over 2500 participants. This week Favela Creativa is in the Regiao Portuaria, September 5th-6th will be in Complexo de Alemao/Penha and will finish the circuit in Grande Tijuca on September 12th-13th.

The idea of this program is the promotion of cultural exchange between the participating communities giving visibility and empowering these cultural groups. The program offers open activities that are free for all of the residents in these favelas. The projects showcased will consist of art, fashion, music, literature, visual art, food, games, dance, theatre and popular culture.

We had our festival on August 8th and 9th. I am writing about it now because a few weeks back I was going through some painful dental experiences. In Rocinha there were many activities that I saw. Some of the participants were, Bando Cultural Favelados, Acorda Capoeira, Grupo de Valsa Noite Encantos, Nega Rosa, Batalha De Deus, Casinhas e Poesias, Wark Grafite, Raquel Oliveira (poetry). I enjoyed the different styles of music anything from Bossa Nova style to hip hop. Groups like Conexao Rio, El Tosh, Guilherme Rimas, Pearls Negras, IZO (Instituto Zona Ouest), Senhorita Brown and guitarist/singer Evandro Vedovelli. I am including some fotos from the event.

One of the activities I enjoyed was a "Passinho" battle which is like what the hip hop dancers use to do back in the 80's with dance competitions between crews. This was different in that it was one on one. Below is the dance off between three boys. The boy who won received a nice pair of tennis shoes for his effort!

fotos: Flavio Carvalho,, ANF (Agencia de Noticias das Favelas) and other media present at the event.

The foto above: A NGO called Open Space of Rocinha brought 100 children to present different styles of dance from Hip hop, Stiletto, Ballet and folklore dance. All of these style of dance are offered in this project free of charge for the children of Rocinha.

Grupo de Valsa Noite Encantos

Grupo de Valsa Noite Encantos

One of the most popular groups brought over 50 member of the Group ACORDA Capoeira which also showed off some samba dancing. The group is organized by Master Manoel. The group has presented their art in countries in Europe such as Germany and Norway and have students spread out all over the world

The group: Coletivo Pes Descalcos (Barefoot collective)

I would like to see more of these kind of events that promote all the awesome projects and people in the favelas!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Dentist Part III

My path to better health!

The first tooth that I had taken out took about 3 complete weeks to heal. Up until 2 weeks I had problems opening my mouth completely. So, I had to delay the other wisdom tooth from being taken out. The current dentist I was going to only worked on Wednesdays so it was difficult to schedule in according to this other tooth that was removed and its healing.

As I mentioned briefly in the previous post, I was curious one day and went to the bottom of the favela and crossed the street to see this other dentist office. I was curious so I went in and spoke with the receptionist. I explained a little about the work I had done and what I needed to continue on my improving health plans. She advised to do a consultation and she referred my to Dr. Leandro Fefie Lobo. The good thing about Dr Lobo is he works Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8am until 6pm. And Saturdays he works 8-12 pm. So his schedule fits better with mine and his clinic is closer, 3 minutes by moto and I am at the clinic.

When I met him I felt very comfortable. Some dentists are not very friendly but he was. I expressed my concerns about the pain I had been having and That I want to continue on getting my teeth in better condition. First thing he advised was for me to get X-Rays. So around the corner there was a place that I went right after Dr Lobo's consultation, that cost 30 reais. Much cheaper than the other place I went to. I returned to him after about 30 minutes. He took a look at my teeth x-ray and advised me of the work I needed done. Next up second wisdom tooth, reform another tooth and teeth cleaning. He also gave me anti- inflammatories for the pain from the first wisdom tooth that was removed 10 days earlier.

I returned on August 12th to get the second wisdom tooth removed. All I can say is wow, what a difference. After getting the tooth removed, no pain and I returned after 10 days to get the stitches out and 2 days later to get my other tooth reformed. On Monday, I will go for a teeth cleaning. Dr. Lobo was such a nice guy and welcoming and I look forwards to going to him in the future. His prices were also cheaper than the other doctor in Gavea.

In the same office Dr. Bruno is the one who does implants. I will see him after my cleaning with Dr. Lobo. Dr. Lobo does not do Implants. Sometimes you just need to look around to find the right one.

I would highly recommend this dental clinic as everyone was very friendly and welcoming. And the prices are very fair. He charged me 150 reais to remove the wisdom tooth. For the reforming of the other tooth he charged me 160 reais. For the cleaning he is charging me 100 reais. Fair prices.

Now on to getting info about implants.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Health (Dental) Improvements Part II

I know the foto has nothing to do with what I am about to write, but I like the foto.

I wrote one of my last posts about how frustrating it has been to find a good dentist here. Last time I wrote was a couple of weeks ago after I had a wisdom tooth removed. The day after I had no pain but two days after I felt like my mouth was on fire. I had set an appointment for Gavea Dental Clinic the following week to get the other wisdom tooth pulled.

The problem is the dentist in Gavea, I found only works at this specific clinic on Wednesdays. July 22nd is when the first tooth was removed and I was set to return on Wednesday July 29th but I didn't make it. I ended up returning to the Gavea dental office on Monday July 27th as I was in such pain, I could not handle it anymore. I spoke to the receptionist and she had me see a different dentist in the clinic. I explained to her that my dentist did not get me any medication but I never asked for any either. I thought I could handle the pain or soreness from the tooth being removed. At least thats what I thought but no, I couldn't. She ended up giving me an anti biotic to prevent any possible infection and a anti inflammatory drug. I took both for a week and still pain. I could not open my mouth completely and was thinking maybe something was wrong.

On Monday August 3rd I decided to go to another clinic in Sao Conrado (just outside the favela) for another opinion. Why was it taking so long to heal and why so much pain? Another problem was that I couldn't completely open my mouth. It felt like the hinge on my jaw was locked. It made eating very difficult and still painful. So to this new clinic I went.

I got to see the dentist Dr. Lobo and he gave me advice on what was going on. He asked me how long a process was it for the dentist to remove the tooth. I told him it took the other dentist after numbing the area about a good 15-20 minutes to remove the tooth. Dr. Lobo told me that this is why the healing is taking so long. I do remember the heavy manipulation of my jaw and head by the dentist so I guess the new dentist has a point. He told me that with bottom teeth at the back of the mouth are deep rooted and more difficult to remove. I told him that I want to be able to open my mouth more and without pain. He prescribed a muscle relaxer and anti inflammatory as well.  What a F'n process just for one tooth.

Yesterday I returned to Gavea Clinic and told them that I prefer that I don't have any pain before removing the second tooth. And it was still difficult to open mouth wide enough for work to be done.

Today, I woke up (Thursday August 6th) and much less pain and I can open my mouth a little further without severe pain. I am hoping pain will be gone within a week and I can open my mouth completely before getting the second tooth removed.

After that I have three more things to do, restore one tooth, get a few implants and a bridge so I can have a new set of choppers! Then I can begin to attack other health issues like joining the gym and dropping about 25 kilos!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Ronda Rousey Visits Sports Complex Rocinha

Ronda won her fight against Bethe Correia on Saturday with a 34 second knockout in the first round. Ronda continues to break many barriers regarding women especially in combat sports. She had made a promise a week before her fight that she would leave the belt in Brazil.

As a judoka of 9 years, I knew of her contact and previous visits to our Sports Complex here in Rocinha. In March she was here training and showing off her moves to some of the students. She also donated a check of 30,000US to Instituto Reacao the project organized by Flavio Canto a famous Judoka who won a bronze medal in 2004 Athens Greece Olympics.

In the year 2000 Flavio starting giving Judo classes in Rocinha as a volunteer of a project called "Educacao Crianca Futuro" (Education Child Future). This project was originally created by Pedro Gama Filho one of Flavio's mentors. The project was financed by the city government but after a certain time, the support was gone. Flavio has always known that the favelas have so much potential and wanted to continue on with his Judo project.

Instituto Reacao was created by Flavio in 2003 as a NGO to promote social inclusion through sport education, specifcally Judo. About 800 people from Rocinha currently benefit from this project. The idea is to use sport as an educational instrument of social transformation to create black belts both on and off the tatame (mats).

"Man is the size of his dream"- Fernando Pessoas

IR has been in operation for 12 years with the mission of integrating sport, education and breaking down social class barriers that often favela residents suffer from. Current there are three schools, Rocinha, City of God, and Deodoro who benefit from IR activities.

IR has produced Champions such as Rafaela and sister Raquel Silva, Cristiano Oliveira, Jessica Pereira, Rodrigo Borges, Wallace Alves, Danielle Ferreira, Julia Santana and Roberta Texeira. There is a large talent pool so there are many junior champions coming up as well. Its a grrat project and as you can see the facility is huge with a matted space to easily fit over 30 Judoka training at the same time. To the right of the foto below is a gym where athletes have access to state of the art equipment and training.

Media setting up 30 minutes before Ronda's arrival.

Ronda Arrives beside Flavio Canto

 foto: Instituto Reacao
 foto: Instituto Reacao
foto: Instituto Reacao
foto: Instituto Reacao

 foto: Instituto Reacao
 foto: Instituto Reacao
 foto: Instituto Reacao
 foto: Instituto Reacao
foto: Instituto Reacao

It was awesome to see such a great turn out for this. I know Instituto Reacao and all of the Judo practitioners appreciate all the visits from Rhonda. Thank you Ronda for your thoughtful gift. Hopefully youth can be inspired onto sucess both on and off the mat through this project!