So how did I get to Rio and who are the people in this picture with me? Funny story, really. All of the people in this picture were new to me except for the guy in the black t-shirt, Chris, a fellow meteorology classmate of mine from Penn State. We were never all that close at Penn State, but still kept in touch and met up once in Raleigh ~3 years ago when he visited there for a conference (he's now working in Pittsburgh). He saw on Facebook that I was living in Brazil and told me that he would also be in Brazil for 2 weeks at the end of this year visiting a friend that he met through a completely unrelated organization.
His friend, Isabel, invited me to come stay with her and Chris in Rio and she showed us a fabulous time. It never ceases to amaze me how Brazilians will take in a complete stranger and treat you as if you were family. During the few days I was there we went to an incredible Samba/Carnival type music show, Copacabana Beach for New Years Eve, and did a ton of site-seeing around the city especially in the downtown areas that I hadn't seen yet. Amazing!