One thing people who aren’t in Rio may not know about the Olympics is that many of the countries have official houses sprinkled throughout the city for nationals and tourists to visit.
They market themselves as spaces to feature ~cultural exhibitions~ but are more often than not they are also an excellent excuse to party.
That was certainly the case at Jamaica House, which opened its doors for the first time on Wednesday night.
The festivities took place at Prado Grill restaurant, located in the swanky neighborhood of Gávea in Rio. Attendants mingled over jerk wings and Jamaica's iconic Red Stripe beer, and looked on as the US men’s basketball team faced Australia on a huge screen inside a cabana lined with colorful hammocks and big couches.
Josephine, her daughter Joella, and her son Michael, are from Jamaica and were the first to show up when the house opened its doors Wednesday.
“We’re here to watch athletics, of course,” Josephine, who declined to give her last name, said, “but we’re also here to watch tennis and gymnastics.”
She added that she and her family were sad that tennis superstar Serena Williams had been ousted from the medal round, but that Joella had been especially enamored with the US women’s gymnastics team.
Marilyn Theozen, a South African ex-pat who has lived in Brazil for about six years, called Jamaican House’s opening night a huge success.
“It was a great venue with good music, and people got what they expected: A good time,” she said.