Thursday, May 1, 2014

Tradition comes to the favela

In Canada Hockey is TRADITION!

I often receive visitors here to Rocinha who I share interests with. In February, Alexandre Harvey came to see the favela. He is from Montreal, Quebec, Canada. When I received his first email at the bottom was his signature and place of employment. He works for the Montreal Canadiens pro hockey team. I have always been a lover of hockey and back in the late 70's and early 80's. I used to follow the Canadiens. I loved players like Yvan Cournoyer, Guy Lafleur, Steve Shutt, Guy Lapointe, Larry Robinson, Serge Savard, Ken Dryden...I could go on. These guys played beautiful hockey with out all the fighting and heavy checking. The played the game the way it was supposed to be played.

So, when I saw this at the bottom of Alexandre's email, I thought, great, I can meet someone from one of the most historic teams in hockey. In Canada, hockey is like a religion and when I lived there, I fell in love with the hockey culture, from the kids teams, junior hockey and the pro's. I always enjoyed the Saturday tv show "Hockey Night in Canada" with Don Cherry.  I lived with families and Saturday night doubleheader games was a way for family to be together. I miss those memories.

Alexandre works as the director of digital media so we made the plan. I asked Alexandre to bring me a Canadiens t-shirt. I was surprised when he not only brought me a t-shirt but he also brought some kid sized shirts and a Canadiens flag. I thought, great, I will find some kids to give this to. I told Alexandre I would give these t-shirts out to some kids and I would take pictures of the kids wearing the t-shirt and including the Canadiens flag. Just another really cool way to bring different cultures and understanding to the favela. You can see how happy these kids are!