Until May I have never heard about Rotary...well, yes I heard something but I have no idea about what they are and what they do...Then thanks to Ana Lavigne, my good friend and perfect tour guide in Salvador, I had my FIRST Rotary family...Bruce came and I tried to coordanate their trip to Iguazu Falls and I was soooo pleased to welcome Bruce and the folks here in Rio, and from Bruce, I could open the gates of my heart to Sue, Colleen, George and Dana. They met more than a guide in me, they came across with Rafa, a brazilian ambassador of so many nationalities which job is making Brazil so great that anyone could fall in love with.
With them, I learnt that Rotary is a big resource to bring peace, cooperation and respect among people, Rotary is concerned to make this World a better place to live, and I am a GLOBE LOVER, and I do not miss any chance to do something, to be someone that at least have done something to improve people's life.
And it seems that Roterians love to help Roterians, so Bruce started talking about his experience in Rio and sent me Wayne, Lisa, Liz and Jamie...more fun in Rio, more laughs in Rio and new places to discover and thanks to them I learnt so many things about life that we had a real culture exchange in such few time. Not only I had all this recomendation that Bruce (the Organizer) gave me Michael and Noel and their wives to Marcone Lima, my immediate (and best) tour guide to Rio, and Marcone had the great chance to learn more about Rotary that has the power to change people's mind and I confess I am starting to think differently about many topics in life! Thank you again folks!!!
With Bruce and my dear friends Sue, George, Colleen and Dana I could take them to Niteroi, a city that has a lot of myself, I grew up there and could show to the World that visiting Niteroi is a must see place in any trip to Rio and of course it was a NO BRAKE IN THE TONGUE tour, we talked about EVERYTHING with no censorship or any filters, so the two days touring in Rio was like 2 hours in Rio! :)
With Wayne and all the crew we had a One Fat Hen, a Couple of Ducks, Three Brown Bears, Four Running Hares, Five Fat Females, Six Sexy Siamese Sailors Solemnly Sailing the Seven Seas, Seven Serbian Serbs Simply Serving Serbian Syrup, Eight Egotistical Egotists Egotistically Echoing Egotistical Ecstasies, Nine Nubian Nudes Nimbly Nibbling Gnats Knuckles and Nicotine, Ten Tiny Tinsmiths Tearfully Tinkering Tin Teapots Till Dawn, Eleven Lovely Lesbians Lovingly Lapping Lukewarm Love, I Slit the Sheet, the Sheet I Slit, Upon the Slitted Sheet I Sit. Theophilus Thistledown, the Successful Thistle Sifter, in Sifting a Sieve Full of Unsifted Thistles, Thrust Three Thousand Thistles through the Thick of his Thumb. If then Theophilus, the Successful Thistle Sifter, Thrust Three Thousand Thistles through the Thick of his Thumb, See that Thou, in Sifting a Sieve Full of Unsifted Thistles, Thrust Three Thousand Thistles Not through the Thick of Thy Tongue TOUR.
Lisa, I am still VERY impressed!!! :) hahahahahahahah
We did NOT have a tour, we had a family meeting, strong friendship started in these two days, thank you folks, I hope I could give you the best of my Rio de Janeiro and I hope you and all the folks you know could always come to Rio, same happiness and new places will be waiting for you always!!!
Again, thanks to my big friend Ana Lavigne, from Bahia, recommend me Bill and we were discussing the best places to see in Rio, while we were conversing, he told me that his friend who worked with him in São Paulo's Rotary Conference also wanted a tour, and of course I said, please send this person to me; and this person was...OHHHHHHH...the mighty Toni Pabon...what a darling creature...it took TWO SECONDS and we became friends for life!!! Thank you Toni, you brought Wisconsin to my heart and I am sure your land will send me more people from this amazing State, and indeed keep on sending me, I had BILL afterwards! :) So proud to have met you, Toni and you know, Rio will always be a home to you.
Another gift from Wisconsin...BILL FINALLY CAME and what we had super, ultra, hyper two funny days. I decided to make Rio even more special, because Bill first came to Rio in 2012...but I wasn't there!!! This time it was RIO WITH RAFA, so my misison was giving him a new profile of Rio and maybe a new look to Brazil, I found out a marvelous person, full of wisdom, a real philosopher and someone that in such a very few time taught me more about life. Thank you Bill for being so special and for giving light to so many people around you. We focused in Santa Tereza, Selaron Stairs and Niteroi.
In Santa Tereza we walked through my favorite places and could experience a lot of laid back style of life. I could talk about my past talks with Selaron, a great man that designed a very unknown stairs between Santa Tereza and Lapa, and thanks to that, his stairs got the "face of Rio" and Niteroi, my sacred soil which I really adore!
A tour where we value much more our principles and we get stronger to follow any dream. I was honored to welcome each one of the rotarian friends I had and proud to have written many chapters in your TRAVELING BOOKS!
Rafael Torres Lopes
Tour Guide and Travel Planner