Sunday, April 11, 2010

SADNESS, HOPE AND PRIDE

Very recently, our dreamland turned into a nightmare. We had such a big storm that all over Rio flooded and the people who live in our hills had their houses destroyed by land slides...The city was a real chaos, we lost many lives from the elder to the younger...tears everywhere...The city lost control and the water invaded everything.

Weird sceneries shown to us...the huge Lagoon flooded spreading fish in the street; the waves of Copacabana reached the asfalt, avanlanches of mud and trash fell down the hills and the State tragedy was established. Not only Rio, but Niteroi was pure devastation, other cities in the State were affected as well.

The State of Rio de Janeiro in total desolation...Sad to see my people in dispair, our folks so much used with joy and party, our people so used to the sun and ocean...now with sad faces all around, scared faces everywhere so confused without nowhere to go, the city stopped by water...

Rain is normal here, we have rain all year round, that is why Rio is so green and so full of beauties, but this rain which started in the afternoon of 6th of April was simply the worst storm ever in this history of Rio, simular flood we had just in 1966, but this time we lost more lives, the whole city stopped and the Mayor (which I don't like) went to our TV and begged our people not to leave our homes because the whole city was in danger.The next day, the sad result...several hill slides destroyed many houses and killed 223 people and there are more missed people, and for sure the number of deaths will increase.

HELPING OUR OWN PEOPLE!!!


When the earthquake striked in Haiti we sent a lot of supplies and food, we sent human personel like doctors, soldiers and we built temprary hospital there to bring comfort for all victims, we were always present in Haiti to keep peace and a decent life in this country even before the Tragedy; when Chile had the last awful earthquake once again we sent our people there and we tried to help in a way our chilean brothers!Now we saw our land being destroyed by water and mud...and even before the morning came we were in the streets helping others, schools, clubs, buildings opened their space for us to take clothes, food and everything necessary to help people who lost everything!!!

My mother and I were there...We went to Niteroi, city that I spent wonderful 20 years of my life. We always like doing anything to help people who really need. We go to senior centers and orphanages quite often, we like spending the whole day in these institutions bringing comfort for people who do not have anything and any one; we spend the whole day playing, talking, helping, trying to give them a great time.

This time not only me and my mother, but the whole city of Niteroi were present bringing everything to the people at the hills, specially from a location called MORRO DO BUMBA. Lots of volunteers, loads of them. In moments like that we clearly notice that HOPE is the key for everything!!! We have strengh to carry on!Our people is very brave, we see the bad moments and great incentive to improve our lives in the future!

I was very happy that the main distribuition center was at the gymnasium where I played volleyball for 3 years during my golden age, high school times, now a little bit older (just a bit!) I am there meeting old friends and seeing a new generation in the mood to solve the problems quickly and to relief a little bit so much dispair.

All the hospital material, food, clothes are being accepted at Canto do Rio club, a very traditional sport center in Niteroi. Up hill at night people suffer with cold, so it is very important to donate coats, jackets and blankeds; the babies need wipers, they even need underwears...this people lost everything, even the basic stuff; they also need a lot of water to drink, and all kind of food, specially salt, rice, beans and fruits. All the stuff we need in the bathroom that is what they need.


Genuine heroes from everywhere...simple people, firemen, policen, soldiers we are all helping and work hard to collect all the bodies and also in naive attempt to find survivors, we know that after so many hours after, no trace of life will be found, but there are a lot of people there ready to give a rod of courage and love, our people are working there twenty for seven, non stop!


It was hard to believe that not so far away from my front door the city was eaxctly like this: ABSOLUTELY CHAOS, many people lost their cars. Thanks God, RAFAMOBILE is safe and sound, my car was parked in a high hill in a supermarket parking lot. And I could get home, I was at my Mother's House, before the haviest storm; Marcone also could reach us with safety but he crossed the whole neighborhood with water in his knees.



That's how people returned to their homes...with a broken and sad heart but always reassuring they have strengh to strive, we are all with a hopeful spirit and ready to help each other. This week Marcone and I will do some volunteering work in Niteroi and if by chance I will have guests, I will also ask them to be with us and help. it is time to show the World that we have conditions ot overtake bad situations.

My title also says PRIDE...Yes, we are proud that we are always supporting people, not only in the great moments of our World's Famous Parties like Carnaval, New Year's Eve, street bands and RIO WITH RAFA, hahaha :) We are present also during tough times...In a such a tragic situation we all get together and try to find a solution.
Of course that all kind of help is accepted and you also can be part of this WONDERFUL PARTY, a party to bring joy and comfort to poor people.
I am proud to be Brazilian and honored to be CARIOCA when we see so many people engaged!!!
Proud to believe that this people will have a chance!!!
Rafael Torres Lopes
Tour Guide - Tour Planner - FANATIC BRAZILIAN







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