Wednesday, January 2, 2013

This message will self-destruct

This message was intercepted and decoded by the intelligence experts here at Shapiro Adventures:

Greetings fellow Americans. This is Jeremy, leader of the Shapiro Adventurer extraction team. I've been sent to Brazil at the request of the families of Sarah and Matt, and with the approval of the United States government, to bring them safely back home to America. Justine, my deputy leader, and I are happy to report that our mission is almost complete. In less than 36 hours, the famed adventurers will be on board an airplane headed home. This blog post is meant to serve as a mission update for the concerned parties at home. 

We arrived on the evening of the 27th after 3 flights covering over 24 hours of travel time. The adventurers were sitting outside the apartment waiting for us. It was good to see that they were alive and well.  Right away we began immersing ourselves in a taste of the lifestyle they had become accustomed to over the last 14 months. The first night we quickly learned that sheets and blankets are unnecessary in 90 degree weather with 80% humidity. The first day we met up with our local contact, Alessandra, who brought us to a local mall in order to purchase swim attire for Sarah and Justine. Matt and I both agreed that based on the cost of such little material involved in their bikinis, there is no way we could afford to buy one with enough material to cover ourselves, so we used the ones we brought from home. After acquiring the necessary equipment, we proceeded to the beach for some sun, sand, and water. For simplicity sake, I'll only describe Copacabana beach once: awesome. White sand, blue ocean, light breeze, hot sun. There are vendors that walk by every few minutes selling food and drinks. Our favorites were a mix of ice tea and lemonade, and pastries filled with meat. One vendor of such pastries, who happened to sell us food on two separate days, even offered to let Sarah stay at his house if she ever returned to Rio. (The extraction team assessed this vendor to be an agent of an opposing force, attempting to prevent Sarah from returning to the US, so we neutralized the threat.) Later that evening we visited Sugar Loaf mountain. I almost lost my sandal over the edge of the mountain, but was able to recover it and continue the mission. The views were great. The next day we practiced our alternate means of esacpe from Rio, AKA, hang gliding. Thanks again to our local contact for setting this up. After that, more beach going.

After two days of what Sarah and Matt described as "really busy days," (recall, day 1: shopping, beach, sugar loaf, and day 2: hang gliding, beach), we apparently had to take a day to relax, by--you guessed it-- sitting at the beach.

On the 31st, the police began blocking off access to and from the beach via the roads in preparation for the New Years celebration. We were prepared for this contingency, so we activated our emergency plan, which consisted of sitting on the beach and getting tan. The New Year celebration was excellent. Over 2 million people were estimated to be on the beach that night. Cruise ships anchored off the coast and barges laden with fireworks positioned themselved in between the coast and the cruise ships. At midnight, no less than 5 barges lit off simulatenous shows of fireworks for over 15 minutes. It was beautiful.

Yesterday, I attempted to track down a local operative who could help me keep up my skydiving currency, only to learn the hard way that Brazilian work ethic is not necessarily up to US standards. The rest of the day was spent napping and going to the beach.

Today the four of us went to the Christ the Redeemer statue that overlooks the city. Matt and Sarah weren't that impressed, as they'd seen a bigger statue in Bolivia. Justine and I, however, took cheesy tourist pictures in front of the statue, along with the throngs of other people there. On the cab ride down the mountain, we got an impromptu Favela (slum) tour, as our driver barrelled down steep and windy roads in a car with questionable brakes, yelling "Favela! Favela!"

And that is the progress of our mission thus far. The four of us are in great health, having maintained a steady diet of Acai (a frozen blended fruit dessert that we have all eaten no less than twice a day) and Brazilian meat. Thank you for entrusting the lives and safe return of the Shapiro Adventurers to us. We look forward to the homecoming parties. Extraction team--out.

This message will self-destruct

No comments:

Post a Comment