All Systems Goooooool!

There is less than a week before the World Cup Opener in Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo Brazil. And you know what? I probably won’t be watching it. But, it’s because I’m going to be in the heart of the Amazon rainforest in some tiny hut, fishing for pirhana’s or something!  Yep, our trip is that close. JB is on his way to Sao Paulo, my brother Brett leaves Monday morning, and my husband Josh and I head out at 5:50 AM on Tuesday.

For those of you going, and the great majority of “wish we were going”, I thought I’d give you the final look at preparations!

Packing for the World Cup 2014

You better believe we’re not going to be ugly Americans with a giant bag, but we found out a couple things that influenced us even more.
Packing for the World Cup

Packing for the World Cup

One, the Amazon tour we’re going on only allows backpacks, two, the theivery talk convinced us to get “slash-proof” backpacks, three, the inter-country flights have a weight limit of 5 kilos for carry-ons. So, in the end we’re each carrying a tiny security backpack and a rollaboard carry on.

This necessitates a lot of pruning. Here’s my final packing list:

  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 1 pair of REI pants for the Amazon
  • 3 pairs of shorts
  • 3 t-shirts
  • 2 mosquito and SPF-proof long sleeve shirts and loads of DEET
  • USA garb (more to come on this)
  • 2 bathing suits
  • Unmentionables and toiletries

Mosquito-proofing for the Rainforest

I’m not too paranoid about most stuff, but there was a lot on the message boards about Dengue fever, a mosquito-borne illness with no vaccination and no cure. It’s been described as getting hit by a truck. Ain’t nobody got time for that! Of course, it’s also best to take precautions against more serious but less common diseases like yellow fever and malaria, which we’ve done too.

We have 3 oz of 100% DEET for spraying ourselves, and we purchased some purpose-built mosquito repellent clothes for the Amazon. But the most amazing thing is Permethrin, some stuff you can spray on all your clothes to make them insect repellent. We’ve down right soaked our clothes in the stuff, including socks, hats, and bandanas. You got the part about we’re going to be sleeping on a hammock in the Amazon rainforest right?

Security concerns in Brazil

Much has been made about the security concerns surrounding the big cities in Brazil. I’m not overly paranoid, and I’ve been in lots of places where there is rampant pickpocketing, including watching unsuspecting tourists get ripped off in the Florence train station. But that said, there’s no sense in being stupid. So we got the aforementioned slash-proof backpacks, which have a number of security features including RFID protectors, wired straps, and hidden locks. But we also planned for what we’re likely to lose anyway. I’m taking three cameras. Yep you read that right. Three cameras and 10 cards. I figure no matter what, I’m coming home with pictures of this trip.

In 2010 in South Africa for the World Cup, my purse was stolen when I had a sleepy moment on a plane and I lost my camera and my passport among other things. Huge bummer. So it won’t happen this time!

We’re taking no jewelry or valuables. No computer, no iPad, no good phone. I’m taking my old broken Droid Razr Maxx. It will work just fine on wi-fi and SIM card I think. The smashed-up screen I hope will be a deterrent!

Anyway, we just plan to be hard targets, aware of our surroundings, and staying in the good areas. We’ve been told to avoid most public transit, and we’ve got a few bucks stashed for the “your money or your life” situation that may arise.

Cheering for United States Men’s National Soccer Team

I found them on Etsy

I found it on Etsy!

By far the most important concern we had when preparing was WHAT TO WEAR TO THE GAME!  There were long message threads on this topic by members of Sam’s Army and the American Outlaws, but we went our own way.  You may know the USMNT’s kit is sometimes affectionately known as “the Bomb Pops.”  So, take a look at what I found on Etsy:) Sylvia (from Etsy) couldn’t write USA on it, so she sent me these bad boys as well. Can’t wait to rock them with my Jersey.

I’m still trying to convince the boys on the face paint, but I gotta tell you, I’m all in. Take a look at these spectators from last time. I can’t be a withering violet now!

Match Day 2010

Revelers at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa

World Cup South Africa 2010

South Korea spectators channeling Elvis 2010

I’ll update this Web site with the latest from my World Cup 2014 adventures. If you’re heading to Brazil, leave a reply below! Let’s connect and share stories and maybe a caipirinha in the mecca of futbol!

3 comments for “All Systems Goooooool!

  1. June 8, 2014 at 10:52 am

    Have fun Kelsey; bring me something from Brazil :)

  2. Rossana Fernandez
    June 11, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    Have fun!!! Can’t wait to hear all about it.

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