Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner


  • Google+


  • Feeds

Contact Us

« VIDEO EPISODE 7: Where are we now, Simone? | Main | VIDEO EPISODE 8: Gestures »


Peter in Chicago

As of January 4th, I still haven't received the postcard.

On the question of whether or not I'm freezing, the temperatures on January 4th were 19°F High and 7°F low. (For those of you who prefer Celsius, -7°C and -14°C.)


Zezinho sounds like a wonderful person and clean cut guy. Ive been dying to get to Brasil for a long time and love to see him and let him show me around. He sounds better than the middle class in my opinon. Everybody outside the favela that lives in Rio, and Ive experienced this myself. Had a girl once said to me. "oh no we cant go there to many bad things could happen". I just ignore it now and dont pay no attention to them.

But this was a good espisode and it gave me a good understanding about what goes on. and his explanations on the the drug dealers sound very legit...if i was one of them im not going to be doing anything to try to bring police to my house...thats just common sense.

As I was listening to this episode...this Brasilian girl I have on my MSN seen I was listening to it and she sort of wanted to tell me all about the favelas without acutally had been to I tried to be as nice as I could and tell her...that I dont want to hear from her because she hasnt been to one. of course she got mad and told me I was a rude American but she will live.

But wow what a wonderful episode...good job guys.



Once I get the postcard in the mail (a slightly less trivial task than in the US), it should take about two weeks to reach you. (If it doesn't, let us know, and we'll send another.)


Thanks. I also really liked this episode. Brazilians tend to have a very non-reality-based view of the favelas. Of course, some are very dangerous, but many are quite pleasant, and Brazilians seem to see them as all being the same. Part of this probably has to do with what Zezinho touched on when he mentioned the master-slave mentality. People depend upon the very poor to work as maids and street-sweepers and such to keep things going. It's a lot easier to justify slave wages if you convince yourself that the poor are just irredeemable criminals and drug-users.


Something interesting about that is the girl that was talking to me about the favelas that has never been to one. She had a maid that lived in a favela. But I agree with you with alot of brasilians tending to see them as all the that I have heard this episode and heard from somebody that lives in the biggest one in Brasil and then look back on the conversations ive had with some Brasilians.

But, This has changed my mind and the way I look at a favela. That is for sure.

Is a new episode coming out soon. And what did you use to call him ?...Skype ? you have to pay when you call somebody ? or was you just using the microphone and webcam conversation type thing ? I have Skype but I didnt know if it costed you to call somebody, I just imagine you did have to pay.



Yes, most Brazilians have maids (because they're so cheap to hire), and most of the maids live in a favela. A lot of Brazilians also insist on hiring their maids unofficially so they don't have to pay them as much or respect their legal rights.

I used Skype to call Zezinho. It was a free call, since it was Skype-to-Skype. For Skype-to-phone you have to pay a little. We didn't use a webcam, since I was afraid that might eat into the bandwidth and hurt the audio quality.


Why do they want Maids...are some Brasilians to lazy to clean thier house lol and wash their clothes and stuff lol ?


Yes, and it's cheaper to hire maids to do manual labor than to buy things like washing machines and microwave ovens. Typical Brazilian meals are extremely labor-intensive. Without maids, families would never be able to eat as they think they should. When a maid is cooking lunch, it's typical to see all four burners on the stove being used at the same time with something else cooking in the oven. Also, people who can't afford a maid for their household see this as something to be ashamed of.


Very interesting. I may have to put Rio de Janeiro back on my list of cities to visit when I get back to Brazil, if only to hang out with Zezinho for a day or so. Sounds like a great guy.

If they are relatively safe, why do the favelas have such a bad image? I can certainly understand being wary of a place where people could be carrying firearms (I avoid Texas, too (-:,`), but it seems like most of the concern is about the drug dealers killing people. Were the favelas more dangerous in the past and just kept the bad reputation? Or is it more that the only attention they get from the media is when something bad happens there, so everyone assumes it's like that all the time?

I'm surprised only one person requested a postcard. I considered it, but I assumed other people would take them all.


I would assume that the media has ruined the image of the favelas...the only good thing I see on the news here in the USA is where they show a hometown hero on my local news.


Hello all,

It makes me very happy to see people support my work to help my comunity.

Thank you everybody. Life is dificult, but not impossible.

If you are interested to see and learn the truths about my comunity, you know how to reach me.

I want to thank Kinsey and Milton (of Brazilianisms) for having the oportunity to speak about my home Rocinha.




A lot of it is the media, but it's important to remember that some favelas really are dangerous. The problem is that people hear horror stories about one favela and then assume that they are all like that.

So far only one person has requested a postcard. I think people fear giving out their home address to people they listen to on the internet. :)


Yes, but I think it's also people's attitudes toward the poor.


We were glad to have you on. It was definitely one of our better episodes.

nathan g in tucson az

Hearing about these favelas and how they are controlled by drug dealers makes you realize that all government is really similar. The "official" government just realized that its a lot easier to have power by controlling other industries. Illegal Drugs were what was left, and in marginalized society it is one of a few options left to make money.

Also I don't know how true it is, but drug dealing is a hard way to make a living, and not all that profitable. The majority of the dealers would be better off with a middle class job that paid average wages. The fact that these jobs are hard to come by for someone with a third grade education is the thing that keeps people poor.

I just hope that as a world we realize that keeping people poor by limiting access to education is a net loss. Like trying to cool your house by leaving the fridge door open. It might be cooler right in front of the fridge, but overall the house will get warmer.

Kinsey, thanks again for another great podcast.


Hi nathan,

My impression is that drug dealers in Brazil (and most other places) make a lot more money than they would in a regular middle class job. I don't remember the figure that Zezinho quoted for what a drug dealer makes in a month, but it was astonishing. Of course people tend to live a lot longer with middle class jobs.

I totally agree with you about how counter-productive it is to keep people poor. The best thing any country can do is provide as many opportunities to as many people as possible. Having a cheap labor force might have a few advantages, but it's nothing compared to having a highly educated workforce.

Dep. Spanky


Now *that* was an episode, good questions with insightful answers. I'm glad I couldn't make the show that day. What a hard act to follow. I don't have any bazooka anecdotes.

Zezinho, I don't know if you mentioned and I missed it but, why do you speak english *sooo* well? I think it is better than mine.

It is really refreshing to see some one with genuine vision.

Go back to the US if invited. Your work outside of Brazil is of paramount importance. A community center is big bucks. You are educated, articulate and your commitment is obvious. Most other Brazilians that want to help out do not possess these attributes. They can do a lot of good work on the ground but lack the skills to disseminate all of this. Think about it.

Dep. Spanky



I forgot, my secretary does speak english. The phone number that came up on the cel was something really weird and the the connection was bad. How did you call, skype?




Yes, I may have used Skype to place that call. I actually thought you were joking about a secretary and that it was just going to be a voicemail line, so when some Brazilian guy answered and appeared to be baffled by the name "Spanky", I thought I'd just dialed the wrong number. I'll do better next time. :)


Thanks but I have no more then high school education. I never had the oportunity to go in University because I did not have enough required education to take or even pass the vestibular (the test to get into University).

I am born of an american mother and brazilian father, this is why my english is good. I am a tour guide for mostly english speaking peple, so I need speak the language well. I also speak Spanish and French but self taught..

Because I live in a favela, there is not much oportunity for me to leave so I decided why not stay find a purpose. I found it...mine is to educate people about the place I live and show them the good that exists here.

I tried living in the US but my lifestyle was horrible. What kind of job would I get there without university. I have better quality of life in Rocinha. Best of all I am needed, wanted and loved by the comunity. What more could anybody want?

People spend so much time watching the news, which we all know show only bad things..favelas have so much culture that the outside world need to see and know.

Spanky: you say a comunity center is "big bucks", I have no idea what you mean becase I am struglling just to keep myself employed here. Let me know where the big bucks are so I can get this comunity center going???

In regards to favelas!


we need to stop the hate!


I think Spanky meant that it costs big bucks to set up a community center.


ok thank you for saying this. Sometimes it is dificult to understand everyhting..



Yes "I think Spanky meant that it costs big bucks to set up a community center." That is what I meant. I think you are doing wonderful work. Doing speaking outside gigs might help you reach your dream faster.

What I was trying to say is that you, as an english speaker, have a rare opportunity to spread the word further than most people trying to do the same thing. I agree it is really important to do hands-on work where you live but you should really reconsider if someone offers to have you speak outside of Brazil.

Education is important, but many times a true heart can speak more profoundly than a full head.

Keep up the good work. I will try and find you if I go to Rio.




This is my first comment here. I've been listening to your podcast for the last few months.

I am a brazilian living in the US (or Texas), and is very fun and interesting to hear you guys talking about stuff that I am always noticing (differences about the US or about Brazil).

It is funny now that I found your website and saw your pictures. In my head I actually pictured Kinsey as being bald with a beird and it turns out I was picturing Milton.

Keep up the good work.



Thanks. I've found that podcasters never look anything like you expect just from hearing them.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Brazilianisms Pics

    More photos tagged with "Brazilianisms Podcast"