Hey Everybody!

I am running low on time here in Brazil. It’s been an amazing experience thus far and I’ve gotten a lot out of my training here. So far I have survived unscathed from major injury (let’s hope I can keep it that way) and have done everything I had set out to do. It’s weird thinking about what it was like when I first arrived. It’s only been a few months but it feels like so long ago. I guess that’s how it goes when you experience something new. Time seems elongated because so much happens in such a short period. I am really curious to see how I view home once I’m back. How will the gym be? How will my friendships and relationships be? I feel they will all be different but for the better.

Thanksgiving has come and gone. This isn’t the first one I’ve spent away from home but it was quite tough to be away this time. I had to find a way to celebrate and I did so by going to a nearby beach I’ve never been to. I had heard it was really pretty and private but the tides keep people from going all the time. It turned out to be the closest beach to the house and, well, it was absolutely gorgeous. Take a look:

The beach in BrazilI have no idea why it took so long for me to come here! I’m not a big beach dweller but this was a bit different. When you get there, all the sounds of the city are gone. You’re in the middle of Rio but feel secluded in a tropical paradise. I wouldn’t say it’s my standard thanksgiving, but hey I’ll take it!

I have started to slow down training just a little bit lately. I’m still getting a good bit of training, but Tuesday training sessions are now spent at a new gym. I have decided to help with a kids class on an island not too far from where I’m staying. It’s a Gordo affiliated social program which teaches kids and teens BJJ. A girl at the house goes and helps out there and invited me to come along. I decided it would be a good change of pace so I joined her.

The island is quite unique itself. The only way on is by ferry and there are no cars on the island. This also means no roads. So the entire community is based around alleyways and sidewalks. There are so many little pockets of odd and interesting areas in Rio!

The gym takes a bit of walking to get to even once on the island. After going through a maze of alleys, there is a door with a Gordo sticker that we entered and opens to a cluster of buildings. A little matted area is off to the side. It’s great to see gyms in such condition honestly. Jiu jitsu doesn’t need much. Just a mat and people. Anyways the kids were awesome and very curious. They were as interested in me as I was them. The littlest kids are funny to watch. A combination of techniques and no idea what’s going on hahaha. The teenage class was more serious. I rolled with some of the teens and their technique is quite impressive. If they keep it up they will be killers on the mat one day.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Kids

Lastly, this is probably the last blog I write while living in the Connection Rio house. After this, I will be going in vacation outside of Rio for a bit then going to stay with Thiago’s mother. I will miss this house. Or at least the people here. This place had been a goal of mine. A home away from home for people like myself. It hasn’t hit me yet that I’m leaving. I’m sure it will kick in within the next few days. I will forever cherish this time.

Anyways, that’s all I got for now. I will make sure to write a couple more blogs to end my final chapters here. OSSSS!