Wednesday, April 29, 2009

she had dumps like a truck truck truck

around one thirty a.m. last night on the way home, following the vibrations of treble and bass for a couple blocks, we ended up walking past the first few dancing souls, the beginning of a late night baile funk party on the main street, via apia. i slowed my steps, in a trance, past a wall of speakers, nearly twenty two feet high, and equally as wide, blasting the thong song in portuguese. i felt my organs and my soul rattle in my chest. i looked up in awe and back as we passed, relieved my body was still in tact and my ears still loved me, despite what they had to endure.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Do you ever wonder how you ever arrived at the place you’re at? Maybe it’s the city, apartment, time of day, art studio, school, relationship, bar, bed, or backyard? Do you ever wonder whose feet you fit in, and what the larger path looks like in three dimensions? And who is in charge of that? Who is driving that bus with you as the sole passenger and is there a way to get off that bus, because it’s lonely? When do you get out of this crisis decade, and is there an early exit out of your twenties, or do you have to wait until thirty?
In a sense you could consider this a coming to grips traveler entry, an amateur and American look at new surroundings and environments, but really is it isn’t even that large in scale. It is just a ponder and a larger question that I doubt anyone I know can answer but undoubtedly ask themselves the same. Rio has been hard, harsh, and louder, in more ways than one, than I expected, but I have learned to never expect in Rio de Janeiro. Maybe that rule applies to many cities and countries.
Travel and the earthly delights that we devour with our eyes and ears when we live in outside our comfort, are nothing but a tease to a 27 year old who feels 45 and 14 and nothing in between. It is teasing the senses and asking larger questions of me than I thought it would, and I come up with no answers. I don’t know what to say when the ocean asks me what direction I want it to carry me. The mountains are steep with obstacles and the concrete is unforgiving. Blood seeps from my cuts when I trip daily, and then I know I am human. This trip was supposed to help me, it was supposed to bring thoughts and hopes that had not found life inside me in years, it was supposed to…
But maybe that’s the problem, it’s supposed to do whatever the hell is wants to, despite what I want or wanted. Yes, so far this trip has left me with more confusion, but maybe that’s what it wants to do right now.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

first point and shoot i've ever owned

going and flowing in reverse, this trip has been such a whirlwind so far that time has slipped away. these are a handful of pictures that are a drunken snap shot of one of our last nights in Nashville. better late than never. it seems so long ago, but the good people i have met, all cursed and blessed with a little bit of southern in them, are never far from my thoughts. i wish i had more quality pictures, but alcohol seemed more important at the time.

running on earthquake waters

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Night Time

It's growing on me, slowly, like the beat of a song that your feet refuse to ignore. Last night was Lapa, a niche just west of downtown, and I couldn't get a single picture that wasn't blurry, but the scene was like nothing you've seen before. Kids wait, in two block long lines, for a chance to dance drug induced steps to Bali funk music in a tent. Men walk the sidewalks and streets with trays of tequila, boasting their commodities, like we all haven't had enough to drink already. Piss-water beers overflowing everywhere, how could you not? Hip-hop shouts through every window we pass, piles of young men in those same windows, beckon to the girls below. Cigarettes, tamales, skewers of meat, street kids, dogs, bored police, and finally we make it to the club we're looking for. It's a loud relief from the youthful streets behind us. A twelve piece band on stage, horns, mandolins, soft and steady voices, and a beautiful wooden dance floor that steadily calls the light feet of random couples. Strangers take the hands of strangers, gently rest their heads together, and hand in hand they feel the pull of the samba, if only for ten minutes, they dance as one. It's a restored school, and we are piled into a gymnasium. It's what I imagine West Side Story to be, without the Hollywood. It's 2am, and the night has just begun for all those who walk and dance with light hearts. My friend Jeremy says to me, "I love this place because it makes everyone look beautiful, even if they're not"

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Morning Time

We left our hostel a week ago and are now staying in a shared apartment. These are pictures of our last morning before we moved. Listening, for the last early morning, to cries of parakeets, babies, dogs, cats, brooms on cement, and Justin Timberlake, the sounds of Rio.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Two Brothers Foundation


As you may know, We are volunteering at the Two Brothers Foundation and will be
teaching photography classes to young children in the largest favela
in South America called Rochina. This is a community run by drug
traffickers and there is an alarming sense of lawlessness in the area.
For many of these children, these classes are a way to keep out of
the gangs, find inspiration, and discover the possibility of seeing
life outside of Rocinha, through the lens of a camera.

During our time here, we hope to introduce basic camera functionality,
compositional techniques, and the importance of storytelling through
the still image. We will be supplying the students with cameras we so
gracefully lugged here and film to photograph different themes through
Rochina every week. If you have any old cameras, film, or equipment,
books, etc. that you would like to donate we would greatly appreciate
this. In addition, if any of you could spare any monetary donations
to help cover the costs of supplies and developing, we have set up a
paypal account that you may transfer your much appreciated donations.
We can't stress enough how much even small amounts will help. Thank
you for your thoughts, donations, and time.

Paypal Account:

With love,
Matthew and Terry

Thursday, April 2, 2009


A continuation...
I could delete the prior post, as it was typed out of frustration, but then you wouldn't know what I really thought. So here comes the love...

I love, maybe mingled with the cousin 'like', a number of things or feelings in Rio. And it would probably do me good to give these things life by putting them on "paper". Most of all I appreciate the colors. There is color in the mood of the faces of Brazilians, oh, and by the way, the women, nor men here are as 'hot' or attractive as all of us Americans like to believe... Their faces, deep in skin tones with small, round features, so talkative, like birds chirping, parakeets to be exact. There is color in the samba, in the way two bodies dance intimately as if they've known each other their whole lives and then detach, turn around, and dance just as close and intensely with another stranger waiting in the shadowed wings. There is color in the sidewalks and of course in the shit that lies willy-nilly upon them. There is color in the skies, color that rolls and dances like no skies my eyes have had the privledge of gazing on before. This, i appreciate, adventure to love.

Now confusion, neither love nor like.
Rio, Brazil, debatably, a third world country, one that has the amenities you might find at home, but has the violence you only see on t.v. Debatable, because of the limbo that you can feel, smell, and nearly choke on here, and it exist as something that we need to find a label for, because, as U.S. citizens, that is what we do best, find labels and answers for things, for people, whether they need one or not. Maybe a second-world country? Is there such a thing? Or do they just get in lost in the bureaucracy of labels? Good enough to not need immediate attention anymore, but precarious, and collapsible with a strong governmental wind.

So here I come to help, but help what?
What do you do when you're not sure what to do?
Thanks for listening to my rambling, because that's exactly what this is.

With love,


I hate it here, the hot flesh and walls of bodies ten wide, the stench, the people, the insecurities, the large guns, the stupid muscles, the sewage, the rain, the clouds, the incessant land mines of dog poop.