The next few days were a blur. Rio passing by me in waves of sound and color. I stare blankly up at a sun kissed mountain with the Cristo Redentor holding watch over this sprawling city. The large, white Jesus winks at me and says, bem-vindo. Coconut in hand, straw in mouth, I do not reply.

I walk up and down the streets, capturing anything that catches my eye. Your eye gets caught and stays caught in Rio. Thick jungle transitions to bustling city which transitions to breaking sea. Green to gray to blue. Why am I here, again? Something about a magazine. Something about inspiration. Something about a song.

I dance. I sing. I eat and drink and fall in love. With strangers. I make new friends. I invent sign language. I paddle and party and glide through the sky. I push a button. I sketch a scene. I hum along to something I’ve never heard before.

—Noa Emberson

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