Monday, July 28, 2014

Josh and I eat feijoada every Wednesday and Saturday. Our favorite place to go is downtown near the old FanFest stadium.

Josh's favorite place to eat is Amazonas, a small restaurant close to our hostel. We eat there almost every day.

In Rio de Janeiro, Adriana and I went to a samba party in Lapa with some of the people we met at our hostel.

We also took the tram up to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain. It was gorgeous.

Josh bought a soccer ball in Rio de Janeiro and carried it everywhere.

Here I am on the beach with Sugarloaf Mountain in the background.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Eu visitei Museu Paraense Emilío Goeldi!

Welcome to Museu Paraense Emilío Goeldi! What a wonderful experience for me! Here are some of my favorite photos!

Saturday, July 26, 2014


It's hard to believe we have been in Sao Paulo for 8 weeks now.  Things have calmed down recently since the World Cup is over. I've been able to get into a daily routine that stays pretty constant which is nice for me. The university is still on strike and from what I understand it will continue to be for a while. The strike does cause some bumps in the road that are sometimes difficult to traverse but most of the time we can work around it. 

I have found my Portuguese vocabulary is growing tremendously.  I recently joined a CrossFit gym and have been forced to learn to speak Portuguese as only a handful of the members can speak English.  I have met some awesome people here and they have all been very welcoming and make it lots of fun.  Its nice to have a group of native Brazilians to hang around and also get some competition.  

Today after I left the gym I jumped on a bus to go to the lab. I overheard a person speaking English to the transit employees so I decided to strike up a conversation with him.  His name was Stephen and was from Memphis.  It turns out he was a MHIRT student in 2012 and was visiting Sao Paulo.  How crazy for us to be on the same bus in a city of 20 million people? I couldn't believe it.  

Last weekend I visited Rio de Janeiro.  Like Adriana said the views from the mountain tops and from Sugarloaf were amazing but the people weren't as friendly as they are here in Sao Paulo.  After I had visited all the touristy destinations I found myself ready to get back to Sao Paulo where I am more comfortable and the food isn't so expensive (50 reais on average for a meal, no thanks!)

No Frango to talk about this time

What do you mean we only have 2 weeks left in São Paulo? I'm just starting to get used to living here though!

Well, even though I cannot believe it, we have been in this giant city for 8 weeks now, but I can finally report that I have gotten out to explore other cities a bit. About 2 weekends ago, I decided I needed to go somewhere else, so I decided to take a nice 6 hour bus ride to visit Curitiba. It was a good experience, and I'm glad I did it. As soon as I arrived there, I met a guy at the hostel where I was staying that spoke Spanish, and he volunteered to go exploring with me and to help me document my journey. We had such a great time and covered so many sites! 

The next weekend Victoria and I decided to finally take a trip to Rio de Janeiro to see what all the hype was about. What we learned from our trip is that within the actual city, the people were generally more rude and the atmosphere was not as nice as within São Paulo; however, when we went to visit Cristo Redentor and Pão de Açúcar, we discovered that the views from outside the city were incredible and made the trip extremely worth it. We did encounter one creepy thing while we were in Rio, but it would be difficult to explain the situation on here. All you have to know is that when you realize that there is a whole beach to sit on and a person picks a spot very obviously near you, you may be wrong to excuse the actions of this person as innocent, and you may find yourself running across a large avenue to board a random bus with an unknown destination. But we are finer than fine now! 

I've not only been traveling around these past weeks that you haven't heard from me. During these weeks, I've also been hard at work in the lab still to try and make good progress on my project before I return home. I, however, had to learn a hard lesson about science. This lesson is: if little mistakes are made during your experiment, you may find yourself having wasted 7 weeks and having to start everything over. I am sad to say that it is not likely that I return with any actual experimental results after this trip, but I will be working hard to get as much done as possible before I depart. I also don't think the 7 weeks have really been wasted. It's been an amazing opportunity working with brilliant people who have helped me improve my lab skills a great deal! I would never ever take back any of the time I have spent here. I'm hoping the next two weeks will be just as amazing as the first eight!

Ate logo!

Friday, July 25, 2014

E Quase Tempo para Embora

I can`t believe that it is almost time to leave this country. It has been a great time and I have met so many people that I will be sad to leave. I am fortunate that I will be able to communicate with them from Whatsapp and Facebook. We have also come to the end of our research and it appears that we are going to have good results from this as well. I have made so many memories here that will last a lifetime! And I will miss Belem dearly.

Recently, I tried a cake of amendoim (peanut)! It was very good!

They have many desserts here. What I found very interesting is that they have a bolo de milho that is very similar to southern cornbread.

On Wednesday, I went to the Estacao das docas to listen to music. They played music for the children which was suprisingly very good. Then, there was a hip hop band called Chronistas da rua. I thought their music was very catchy. The last type of music that they had was Carimbo. Carimbo is the music that I heard for the first time at the arraial de pavulagem. The party at the estacao was very fun! There were so many people and everyone was dancing! There was an added bonus because it was my friend's birthday. We surprised her with a cake!

Well, I believe I have come to the end of this post as we are about to embark on a journey to Algodoal. Algodoal is an island which is a part of the state of Para. It is about 2 hours from Belem by car. I expect it to be a great time!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Imagens da Viagem

The trip has been truly monumental, to say the least. I am truly living. Here are a few snapshots of the journey.  Beautiful shops lining the backstreets of Florianopolis.

 Enjoying a coco gelado at Jurere International Beach.

 Remnant architecture in Floripa´s Centro District.

 Incredible views from a cliff´s edge in Chapada dos Guimaraes. I´m definitely facing fears head-on here, and loving it! This adventure took place during my trip to Mato Grosso state to attend the World Cup. 

 Living it up! With another avid torcidor preparing to enter Arena Pantanal to cheer on the Nigerian football team in their World Cup Match against Bosnia-Herzegovina. We won 1-0. The parade that followed was amazing and good enough cause to miss my flight.

Like many things that do not quite go to plan while traveling, it was a welcome plot twist. More to come!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Students and Soccer Galore!

Part of our work is to go into the field and visit groups that are affiliated with the Ishaka Health Plan we are working with/conducting research on. Today we went to Busy Bee Junior School and talked to the Director and Health Coordinator of the school. We also got to visit the classrooms and see what the course material they were learning.
As we were leaving the school. the Director of the school wanted a picture of us with the students. From one classroom, they all ran out and surrounded us and immediately piled up in front of us smiling at the camera. It was great to see the students before we left!
We went to Kampala, the biggest city in Uganda, for a weekend and were able to go to a Uganda Cranes soccer game! The game was held in Nelson Mandela stadium and was against Mauritania. We sat at the very top in order to see the whole field. The fans were crazy with excitement and pump up music was blasted from the speakers all around the stadium.
We went to the game with a friend of Daryl's, who was from the states, and the group her friend was working with in another part of Uganda. Some of the people in the group were Ugandans and were able to buy the tickets for the rest of us. We danced with the other fans before the game started and took lots of pictures with crazy, excited fans and the rest of the group.
The final score for the soccer game was 2 - 0 and both goals were scored during the second half! It was truly an awesome experience seeing all the fans riled up for their team against Mauritania and of course seeing the Ugandan national team win!