Postcard from Rio: Macon doctor, daughter travel to Brazil for World Cup

June 16, 2014 

Macon physician Billy Hutchings, left, and his daughter Kayla traveled to Brazil to watch the World Cup.

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Macon physician Billy Hutchings and his daughter Kayla traveled to Brazil last week to take in the World Cup and all its trappings. The Telegraph sent questions to Hutchings, asking about their experiences during the first few days. Here’s his report:

The crowds here were very excited and all dancing along the coastal road before and after the opening day Brazil game.

The State Department did send out a warning for American citizens to stay out of the way of any protests, even if they claim they will be peaceful.

I never saw vultures circling over an airport until we flew into our connecting airport at Sao Paulo. I don’t know for sure, but I think that is not a good omen.

It looks like it will be all fun, though. (The trip is) a college graduation present for my daughter, Kayla, graduating from UGA this year. She was a four-year starter in soccer at Central (High School) in Macon, and with the event so close, we would be foolish not to try and come.

We were at a big screen projection of the (Brazil vs. Croatia) game in an oceanside enclosure on the beach with about 10,000 other people, all seeing the game for free courtesy of FIFA in (the city of) Fortaleza. ... It was holiday celebration punctuated by pandemonium in the place whenever Brazil scored. Fun and national pride all rolled together.

We haven’t seen any other Americans here, but the American national team games are in other cities.

We were with citizens of Uruguay, Costa Rica, England and Brazil, all excited and ribbing each other about upcoming games, rooting for Mexico and Chile ... in their games.

Fortaleza is not as well-lighted as American cities and the streets are a lot narrower, so even in the hotel area the desk clerks check your dress, especially at night, to make sure you are dressed down and no bulges in clothing like you are carrying the U.S. Mint under your clothing. But walking with the crowds, all feels safe.

We went to see Costa Rica play Uruguay on Saturday. The USA games were sold out. We found the best game we could get.

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