Oi!! Wow. So this is it. Here I am in South America. Its still so unreal. So many new customs to get used to. Like saying oi, for example, which in portuguese for hello, but i cant help but feel rude saying oi to someone. Another thing i cant get used to - here they put toilet paper in the bin, not the toilet! - i Think I blocked a few loos at first! So our first week here in Rio Has been amazing. We've done the classics such as sugar loaf mountain and christ the redeemer, who did after much hangin around, finally poked his head out of the clouds!! We've spent a long time in total, waiting for god! Been on a few white knuckle bus journeys! - Here there is no lanes, just a free for all!. Its chaos. By far the best day here was yesturday, where we spent the day visiting a favela( shanty town/slum) - sorry mum! Most guide books will tell you not to go to a favela under any circumstances, due to their reputation of drugs, crime and violence. Our guide assured us they are given a hard time and that we would be safe and very welcome. At the bottom of the favela we hopped out of the car and were told that the only way up was on the back of a motorbike - no-one told us that before!! The driver actually had to prize my nails out of his sides at one point!. We walked through the narrow streets of the favela. Thousands of houses literally stacked on top of each other. It didnt take long before we saw the head guys, armed with various guns. It was hard to believe that it was real. And even harder for me to explain to you that we were safe. It was really shocking, however it was very relaxed, this was just their normal way of life. And they dont just shoot people at random. Some of the money we paid for our tour was going towards a daycare centre. We visited the cente and met some of the children there. They all loved having their photos taken and struck various, practiced photos for the camera. It was a fascinating, eye opening day. Everyone was friendly and welcoming. Just ordinary people trying to lead normal lives. It was an experience i wont forget.