In Kenya, they have the slum. In South Africa, they have townships. In Detroit, they have the projects. In Los Angeles, they have skid row. In Brazil… they have the favelas. Each of these neighborhoods has a story worth telling. They are home to so many people in the world and paint a masterpiece that says so much within the intricate strokes of the life living within it.
The favelas are alive with music, vibrancy, and food. Every home and business is painted a different bright color and there is a different restaurant on every corner. Food is so much of the culture that there are more places to eat in the favela than there are Starbucks’ in New York City! It is a necessity to Latin customs and a treat to any visitor.
Along with the eatery are the sounds that goes with it. Where there is food, there is music. On every light post there is a loudspeaker blaring melodies that quickly make its way through all the streets. From hip hop to church music to funky and oldies, the eclectic variety welcomes all ages and backgrounds. This is a place where quiet hours do not exist. Where kids play futbol barefoot in the streets until the wee hours of the morning, men and women sit out on their front porches watching cars and motorcycles zoom by, and açai is being eaten by everyone…the kind of acai that comes straight from the Amazon!
This community welcomed me and made me feel at home. This is especially true for myself, through my overzealous vibes and desire to turn every situation into a musical! But even more than that, the intimate stories we have heard from so many in this place have affected me to the core. I never thought doing hair would grant me the privilege of meeting so many amazing people.