Brazil sensational

Cristo REdentos

About Brazil

Brazil is the largest country in Latin America. It spreads across almost half (47.3%) of South America, and occupies a total area of 8,547,403.5 km2. It is the fifth largest country in the world after Canada, the Russian Federation, China and the United States. Except for a small number of islands, Brazil is a single and continuous landmass. The Equator crosses through the Northern region, near Macapá, and the Tropic of Capricorn cuts through the South of the country, near São Paulo.

Language

The official language is Portuguese; the accent and the intonation, however, are very different from what one hears in Portugal and other former Portuguese colonies. Some people say that Brazilians speak “Brazilian”, just like Americans can say they speak “American”, and not English. And there are also many Brazilians who are descendants of immigrants and who speak German and Italian, especially in towns in southern Brazil.

It’s people

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The mixture of races has made Brazil a culturally rich and at the same time unique country. This miscegenation began with the Indian, the African and the Portuguese, but soon after, immigrants from around the world began to arrive: Europeans, Asians, Jews and Arabs. The result is a happy people, open to everything new, a people one can only find in Brazil.

Because of this massive diversity, Brazil is one of the last places on Earth where no one is a foreigner, where one can change one’s destiny without losing one’s identity and where each and every Brazilian has a little of the entire world in his or her blood. This may be the reason why Brazilian’s welcome people from another land so openly. According to surveys carried out with foreign tourists who visited the country, 97.2% intend to return soon; 56.5% had their expectations completely satisfied; and, for 31.7%, it exceeded their expectations in every way. As you can see, those who come to Brazil become fans on their first visit.

Electricity Voltage

Electricity voltages vary from one state to another. Check the voltage before connecting any electrical appliance to an outlet.

Car Hire

All the well known car hire firms have counters at the country’s main airports and in the main urban centers. Tourists may also book cars through their travel agencies.

Taxis
The tourist may opt to take an ordinary taxi easily found in the streets or through radio taxi services. It is recommended that accredited taxi services at the airports and at points nearby the main hotels be given priority. It is not usual in Brazil to tip a taxi driver although it is common to round off the amount and let the driver keep the change as a gratuity.

Tips
Most bars and restaurants include a service charge of 10% in the Bill. It is usual to leave a little extra if the service has been satisfactory. When no service charge has been included then a tip of 10% to 15% is the general rule.

Currency

The currency used in Brazil is called the Real (R$) and the foreign exchange rate is published daily in the newspapers and other specialized sites. Foreign currency may be exchanged at banks, travel agencies and authorized hotels. Travellers’ cheques as well as currencies are easily exchanged at these locations. International credit cards are accepted at most hotels, restaurants, stores, travel agencies, car rental companies and other companies that render services to tourists. A floating exchange rate is used.

Communications
To make an international call, dial: 00 + operator code* + country code + area code (if there is one) + telephone number For reverse charge international calls dial 0800 7032111.

praia-flamengo

Climate
The climate is predominantly tropical with some variation according to the region. The average annual temperature in the north is 28º C and 22º C in the south.

Time Zones

Because of its continental dimensions Brazil has 4 time zones. The official time is Brasília time and it corresponds to 3 hours less than GMT. From September to February the clocks are put forward one hour in most Brazilian States.

Passport and Visa

The visa is a federal permission for a foreigner to enter Brazil. For most countries, it is only issued overseas; but for some, entry and permanence in Brazilian territory is authorized for a determined amount of time, defined according to the purpose of the trip.

However, all foreigners who wish to stay longer in Brazil or who were born in countries that do not have an agreement with Brazil‚ Ministry of Foreign Affairs should request a visa. It is advisable to consult necessary requirements beforehand, because the process may take a few days to be completed.

The visas are granted to foreigners who come to Brazil for reasons that include diplomatic missions, official trips, tourism, to visit friends and family, business, participation in sport and artistic events, as well as their presence in international seminars and conferences.

The foreign visitor shall fill in the Visa Request Form, available in Portuguese, Spanish, French and English, individually, that is, even if the tourist is taking a minor, said minor shall fill in his/her own form. And if the minor is coming to Brazil without his/her parents or guardian, he/she needs to present an authorization with the signature of both parents.

The request for an entry visa to Brazil can be made at any Brazilian consulate overseas. A fee must be paid, which varies according to the type of visa requested and the amount of time the tourist will remain in the country.

It is important to remember that the passport must be valid for at least six more months, from the date the visa is requested. A recent 3×4 or 5×7 colored photo with white background must also be presented.

When the visa is not required it is possible to enter and remain in the country for a specific period of time without a visa so long as the visitor passport is valid. This permission is derived from diplomatic agreements signed between Brazil and some countries, and it is classified according to the purpose of each trip.

Vaccination

Vaccination against Yellow Fever The vaccination against Yellow Fever is recommended to all national and foreign tourists travelling to the following Brazilian areas: all states and municipalities in the Northern region (Acre, Amazonas, Rondônia, Roraima, Amapá, Pará, Tocantins) and Centre-West (Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Goiás and the Federal District); all municipalities of Maranhão and Minas Gerais; the municipalities on the south part of Piauí, west and south part of Bahia; north of Espírito Santo; northwest of Sao Paulo; and west part of the states of Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul. It is worth noticing that almost the entire Brazilian coast is considered free of contamination risk. That area stretches from Rio Grande do Sul to Piauí, except for the north of Espírito Santo and south of Bahia. International travellers: Brazil does not require the International Vaccination or Prophylaxis Certificate to enter the country.

 

Don’t forget: it is necessary to be vaccinated at least 10 days prior to travelling.

Doubts and other vaccines For further clarifications and information on vaccination in Brazil, please refer to the Brazilian Consulate or Brazilian Embassy nearest to you.

Taken from: http://www.braziltour.com

Greetings

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Man greeting Man – Men shake hands when greeting one another, while maintaining steady eye contact.  At a first meeting a handshake will suffice but it usually lasts slightly longer than the typical North American handshake.  Hugging and backslapping are common greetings among Brazilian friends.

Man greeting Woman – If a woman wishes to shake hands with a man, she should extend her hand first.  It is common for men and woman to exchange kisses on the cheek when first meeting in social situations.  This is often accompanied with a touch on the arm and shoulder. Some Brazilians kiss one cheek, but most kiss two or three times (alternating cheeks).


Woman greeting Woman 
– Women generally kiss each other, starting with the left cheek and then switching to the right cheek. Some kiss one cheek, but most kiss two or three times (alternating cheeks).

Personal Space & Touching

  • Light touching and close proximity are construed
    as signs of general friendship (as opposed to romantic intimacy). There is      also a fair amount of touching between man and women and women and women      while conversing.  This      includes hand on shoulders, hand on arms, and hand on hands.
  • Brazilians tend to stand much closer to each      other than their North American counterparts.  Usually one to two feet      apart is normal.

Eye Contact

  • Brazilians favor direct eye contact over      indirect.  However, service people such as maids, delivery people,      repair people, etc., will often avoid eye contact when dealing with people      they are serving or working for.
  • During conversations sustained eye contact is      commonplace rather than intermittent.  They associate a steady      gaze with sincerity.
  • Brazilians tend to look at each other often      in public places/situations (on a bus, in the elevator, etc.)

Views Of Time

 

  • Brazilians view time as something flexible.  They put more emphasis on people,      relationships, and completion of transactions rather than set schedules.
  • While the bus, train, and plane schedules are      generally adhered to, showing up late to a party or social function is      quite common.
  • While some North Americans view the Brazilian      perception of time and acceptance of tardiness as a lack of caring, many      Brazilians wonder why North Americans are more attentive to schedules than      to human needs.

 Taboos

  • The inverted American “OK” sign is an obscene      gesture.
  • Making a fist with one hand and slapping the top      of it with the other once or twice means screw you and “I got      screwed” or “I screwed up”.
  • It’s best to not start into business discussion      before the host does; meetings usually begin with casual cha.
  • It’s good to wait to bring up the topics      related  to politics, poverty, religion, or the Rain Forest until      trust has been established.

Taken from: http://www.culturecrossing.net/

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Come and see for yourself!!!

How to get from Heathrow to Central London

There are many ways to get into and around London. Choose your method of transport from out helpful information below:

Coaches to London

National Express

National Express operate services from London Heathrow Airport to London Victoria, and many destinations around the UK. The buses run from Heathrow Airport Central Bus Station. The bus station is located between terminals 1,2 and 3, and is well signposted within the terminals. From terminals 4 and 5 catch Heathrow Connect to the central bus station.

Buses Around London

Most buses around London are low floor, meaning that they lower to pavement level, making it easier to board the bus. You are now able to use Oyster cards on bus routes.

For more information on what buses to get and timetables for the buses, visit Transport for London.

Trains

Heathrow Connect operates between Heathrow airport terminals 1,2 and 3 and Paddington, via five stations in west London. This service takes 25 minutes, and operates every 30 minutes. Passengers travelling at terminal 5 should use the free inter-terminal service. Oyster pay as you go cards are not accepted on this service.

Heathrow Express runs four trains an hour, non stop between the airport and Paddington station. This journey takes 15 – 20 minutes and oyster cards and travelcards are not valid on this service.

Tube

The Piccadilly Line connects all Heathrow terminals with frequent services to London. There are three stations at Heathrow on Piccadilly Line, one for Terminals 1, 2 & 3 located between the terminals, one for Terminal 4 and the newly opened Terminal 5, both situated in the basements of the terminal buildings. The journey to central London takes about 50 minutes and services run between 05:00 and 23:40.

You are able to use your oyster card for the underground or you can buy an all day travelcard for unlimited travel on the tube all day. Buying a travelcard is suitable for commuters who are planning on using the tube and the train as the tickets can be bought together. Visit mytrainticket.co.uk to find out more about how travelcards work and how much they cost.

Taxi

The journey time to central London is approximately 45-60 minutes and should cost between £45 and £70.

Getting a taxi can take the hassle out of your journey. Choose a taxi to suit you and your passengers. From executive travel to minibus, and coach taxis. You can just sit back and relax, knowing you will be at the airport soon.

However, you could get a better price by booking your transfer in advance. Find a taxi company on our Heathrow Airport Taxis and Transfers page. Alternatively, follow the signs from each terminal for taxi ranks.

Oyster Cards

Getting an oyster card is generally the cheapest way to get around using public transport in London. You can get a pay as you go oyster car, meaning you don’t have to worry about having the right change in your pocket.

You can use an oyster card on tubes, buses, DLR, trams, London overground and some National rail trains. For more information on where you can use your oyster card, visit TFL.

Just make sure you touch in with your card before boarding tubes and buses and Oyster will work out they cost of your journey at the end of the day. By doing this it means they can charge you less than the price of a day travelcard.

Olympic Flame goes out

At least the Olympic flame burned brightly and strongly for the first two days. But on day three of the relay the flame went out as it was being carried through the Devon town of Great Torrington.

The torch was attached to the side of para-badminton star David Follett’s wheelchair when the flame went out shortly before 10am.

It was not a complete disaster: the torch was re-lit using a backup flame that is transported around with the torchbearers. A spokesperson for the London 2012 organising committee blamed a malfunction within the burner and said it was not uncommon for flames to be extinguished.

The spokesman said: “The flame went out due to a malfunctioning burner. It is not uncommon for a flame to go out and this can happen for a number of reasons, for example, in extreme winds. We keep the mother flame alight in specially designed miners’ lanterns so if the flame does go out for some reason we re-light it from the source of the flame.”

The committee was also facing questions after it emerged that a woman taking part in the relay may have made up to £150,000 by selling her torch on eBay.

Sarah Milner Simonds, from Somerset, says she will pass the money on to charity but has received abusive emails and could be in for a frosty reception when her turn to carry the flame comes on Monday afternoon.

She is one of a number of runners who are selling their torches, which they can buy for £199 on the internet auction site. By Monday morning one torch bearer from Cornwall, where the relay began on Saturday, had received a bid of almost £40,000 for a torch.

Cycling around London…

How about getting a bike, riding it around the city 

 

and then returning it anywhere else…

 

…so the next person can use it…

 

You may be saying, this would not work in my country. Maybe one day!!

 

Everyone in London is getting the idea. Available 24 hours a day, year round.


Everyone is using them, from tourists with their backpacks to business men
 in their suits and ties.

 It’s self-service and there’s no need for booking. Just turn up, get the code (pay off course) and go.

Sponsored by Barclays Bank the expectation is that during the Olympic gamesmany people will avoid using the tube and buses and get on the bikes.

Watch the video below:

 

Olympic Spirit

The Olympic Spirit is expressed by TRIUMPH and EXCELLENCE .

Triumph
Going beyond your limits, overcoming challenges with joy, drive, motivation and energy. The Rio 2016 brand is a living example of transformation through sports. Its energy is contagious, mobilizing people and expanding opportunities and horizons. It promotes and fosters Olympic values – respect, friendship and excellence – in our daily lives.

Excellence
Rio 2016 is a brand that balances leisure and commitment with quality, lightness and attention to detail. It knows that all that is truly unique requires a combination of inspiration and refinement. A creative, yet careful approach, capable of writing an unprecedented and exciting story.

London 2012

So this is it… 2012.

A lot has been said about this year. It has even inspired a screen writer to create a movie about it.

The media talks about it all the time. Is the world really coming to an end?

I am sure it is, but nobody knows really when it will happen.

While it doesn’t end let’s celebrate life and live it every day as if it was our last.

I am sure this year will be the best to many people so far with a lot to achieve.

For example athletes from all over the world will be coming to the “London 2012” Olympic Games. After years of training and countless hours making sure everything is impeccable. From July 27th the show will start and all the nations will be following this amazing show.

Be inspired by the video bellow, and have a wonderful 2012…

Hosts wanted for 2012 Games

With hotel prices likely to reach astronomical levels next summer, a search has begun for volunteers  who will provide free accommodation for the family members of 2012 Games competitors.

It’s an initiative of More Than Gold, the agency set up to help Churches engage with the Games. Without help of this kind, it is feared many family members will be unable to see their loved ones in action.

All prospective hosts for the Athlete Family Homestay Programme will be interviewed and accommodation inspected. When approved, volunteers will provide bed and breakfast for at least eight days for up to two guests. They will also be asked to provide a warm welcome, and give the practical help and advice needed, for guests to make the most of their stay. As well as family members, those giving essential support to competitors, including their coach and close friends, are included in the scheme.

The majority of hosts are required in London, as close as possible to event venues.  However, hosts will also be needed near Benfleet, Birmingham, Broxbourne, Cardiff, Dorney Lake, Glasgow, Manchester, Newcastle, Weymouth and Portland Harbour.

The Revd Ashley Evans, United Reformed Church minister at Christ Church, Newham, East London, close to the main Games stadium, is the URC liaison member for the Homestay programme.  He said: “This is a really valuable service Christian people can perform. For some competitors, it will decide whether their family can be present on one of the greatest days of their life. It will also be a wonderful opportunity for hosts to get to know people from a very different culture.  It is a real opportunity to show Christ to the world.”

Prospective volunteer hosts can find more details at http://www.morethangold.org.uk/hospitality/host-an-athlete-s-family.html

Photo caption: Stephanie Cook MBE, Olympic athlete and board member of More Than Gold, at the launch of the Athlete Family Homestay Programme with some of the first volunteer hosts.

Forever 2012

 

The games will be over and the medals put away… What will remain in the UK must be more than just memories and the Olympic village.

With an opportunity to reach out to the peoples and communities of the United Kingdom and also to touch the hearts and souls of the million-plus visitors from the nations coming to the UK for the Olympics, a project has been carried out for the last three years.

Forever is a team focused on taking advantage of these opportunities and on conveying the gospel of Jesus at the forthcoming Games. We are preparing to mobilise thousands of outreach teams from across the world to impact people in a fresh and exciting way. Our vision statement is “Using the 2012 Olympic Games as a catalyst to release teams across the UK demonstrating Christ through continuing outreach”.

We want to impact the United Kingdom in a fresh and powerful way.

As we partner with churches and other organisations to reach out to love the people of our nation, we want to see more people empowered into outreach.

We want to establish teams, before, during and after the 2012 Games, with a vision to continue to impact the communities Forever.  

In the midst of the Games we will be hosting and coordinating a massive outreach, involving thousands of YWAMers partnering with local churches to reach communities across the UK.

Making it happen

To see this vision fulfilled we want to see new teams released in London, and at least one new team in each of the other Olympic cities. The focus for these teams will be on evangelism and urban ministries, using new ways and fresh ideas to minister to the local community. 

We will continue to build on existing networks to draw churches and different organisations under the umbrella of More Than Gold, the organisation helping churches to engage with the 2012 Games.

We will aim to serve, train and equip the Church and connect our short-term teams with the long-term visions of local churches.

Through the YWAM international network, we are inviting tens of thousands of people from across the world to come to the UK during the Olympic season.

Our work will come to nothing without your support, though. Click here to find out how you can get involved.

 

More than gold

 

I am back in England….

The challenge to return to London brings a joy and the privileged to be able to live during such an important time in the history of this country.

It is always hard to leave Brazil, being away from family, friends, the wonderful food, my own culture. But it is worth the effort.

The Olympic Games in 2012 is an event that will be watched all over the world. The opportunities are many and the expectation and excitement flows around this country. We are getting ready to receive teams from many nations, some of them have already signed up.

We want to share with everyone something there is “more than gold”. And that is why I came back to the UK.

The athletes have been training for many years. They exercise for hours and hours giving up so much in their lives all for the sake of the gold.

But there is something that is more valuable than Gold…

To find out more about it go to this website: