Seven Days in Brazil - Day 4

So Day 4 was like the most chilled-out day for me, cos I chose to stay in doors all day, and work on the concert I was planning. I figured I could just watch the next two rounds of the slam live, although this decision didn't get me into the good books of many people, lol.

Chibundu Onuzo, the only other Nigerian amongst the hundreds and hundreds of people who came for the festival, and the author of Spider King's Daughter, decided that we should go and see Christos statue. Even though I had decided to stay in all day, I obliged, cos I felt it would only take one or two hours.

When we got to the place, we were advised not to take the tourists train up the mountain cos we won't see Mr Christos due to the bad weather that had caused the clouds to cover him.

Downcast, we took the bus back to the hotel, and went for lunch.

The streets of Brazil. This is the rich people's area. No fences

How I wish we could have parks like this in Nigeria,
where we can just chill, and area boys won't take over

This guy photo-bombed Chibundu's shot

Pretending to exercise
We then went for lunch, and met Flavia, the FLUPP producer stationed at the hotel. She was the one whose dunlop slippers I wore around Rio for a whole day, when my bag was lost. We had interesting discussion about her marriage, how she doesn't want to have kids, religion, etc. One really needs to travel often, and see the way people from other cultures view life. It's not always about Christianity and Islam in many of these countries, or marriage, or even the lack of it,

Chibundu and Flavia

Once I got to the hotel, I continued with my work. If only I could imagine what the next day had in stock for me. If you are reading this post today when it was posted, I am probably on my way to the fifth and final country I will be visiting this year. Happy new year in advance.

Seven Days in Brazil - Day 3

My Day 2 was something else. Let's just say it was the experience of a life time. It was the first day of the slam, the second day of the festival, and I was in the first round. When the time came for competition, all the poets suddenly stopped smiling with each other. Competition is not a good thing o, lol.

I woke up, and I determined to go to the airport with my boxing gloves, lol. Bag must show by fire by force. I got a call around 6.30am, asking me to come get my bag at the hotel reception. I was told it was dropped around 4.00 am. I was so excited. I could finally change my clothes after three days.

Since I was slamming the first day, my group had to get to the venue early for testing, and some of the poets decided to make videos.

Mic check, and translations have started . We had to perform, so the guy doing translations into different languages could feel us

And then, we had some crappy lunch.

Basically sitting in this program, waiting for the slam that was to start by 4.00pm.

The slam is about to begin

People trooping in for the slam

The anticipation is something else

So we got introduced to the crowd, all 16 of us. I just kept trying to run to the back, lol. 

My fellow contestants, lol.
The slam started, and then, this happened.

And this

 This also

 After more than an hour, and three rounds, we finally arrived at this

Winner baabbyyyy, lol.
I became an instant celeb. Pictures up and down. People chanting my name, shouts of LOOOLLLAAA, and the crowd going crazy. I did not even know how to take it all in.

Everyone want to take pictures with me, that I finally ran away, went to the hotel, and did not return for two days, which was my next round.

We went to a bar in one of the favelas to have dinner , when we had to climb over 200 steps to get there. Before I got to Brazil, I kept asking why someone would have a restaurant where we had to climb 200 steps, why wasn't there an elevator, etc. When I got there, I found out that it was really on top of those mountains, where they have a separate community, where the lower class live. There is a strong class system in Brazil. And the classes don't mix. It was really eye-opening. More details about this will be put up in another post.

Graffiti art is real in Brazil, especially in Rio, especially in the Favelas

The slums of Brazil. Little did I know I was in for more, two days later.

We started the climb of over 200 steps

The climb continues

Even in slums, there's electricity. Can't say this for Nigeria

Wow, we've come a long way up

... but not yet there

War of the grafittis

Finally there. Graffiti welcome

Another crappy food. They even eat garri mixed with rice, lol

Tried to capture the beautiful city of Rio from
the top of the hilly slum. My iPad didn't do it justice

Mehn, it's past midnight, People were still having fun at the bar, but all I wanted to do is go to bed. I wasn't used to all these night life of eating, smoking, and drinking at bars, common amongst literary artists. Someone should wake me up tomorrow,

Day 4 in Brazil, here I come.