So we’re halfway through our programme and for all of us I think it’s fair to say ‘sh*t just got real’! Dealing with clients in their real life situations has made meetings difficult for some and impossible for others. The reality is that all of our clients are typical of small business owners – they’re doing everything on their own and this makes for organised (and not so organised!) chaos. And that’s where we’ve all realised that we as Social Impact Consultants can really make a difference. By introducing our clients to some new tools and techniques, we help them plan and organise better so their businesses run more smoothly & their lives are made at least a bit easier.  Hopefully they’ll continue to use these tools long after we’ve gone and our Rio tans have faded and the Caipirinha hangovers are a distant memory.

For me personally, this has also been a week of challenges. The biggest being the hike up Dois Irmãos. The fact that the views from top of Rio are spectacular should have given me a clue as to what was in store, but I just followed my colleagues and programme leaders like a lamb to the slaughter. My irrational and ridiculous fear of heights kicked in less than halfway up. Panic set in and I decided not to go up, but I then reminded myself I was in Rio (I may never be here again), that I was here to challenge myself and that you should do something every day that scares you (I don’t think attempting to speak Portuguese counts!). So somehow I continued my slow, panic-ridden climb/crawl and made it! I couldn’t look at the view, but at least I had the satisfaction of knowing I’d done it. I even got a photo to prove it!

I wasn’t the only one who was vertically challenged by Dois Irmaos, so the group obviously had to celebrate our accomplishments starting with a Samba party on Thursday evening, followed by a rap concert with the amazing Criolo at the very cool Circo Voador, and finishing with New Orleans jazz on Saturday night. An eclectic, crazy, but super fun mix – words which could also be used to describe my new _SocialStarters colleagues/flat mates/ bffs, but I think I’ll leave expanding on that for another blog post!


Want to join people like Denise? #JoinUs in either Brazil, India, or Sri Lanka in 2016! APPLY HERE. Immersion Programmes are running throughout the year as well as a new programme format for people who can’t take 6 weeks out of their lives – our 2-3 week Inspiration Programme in Rio in August/September, and our flexible volunteer programme _TheAssignment. See our website for more details