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!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Bom dia from Rio de Janeiro! Adriana and I took a bus from São Paulo last night and made it to our hostel by midnight. We were greeted warmly and just about everyone here is in our age group. They invited us to a "samba performance" and it was far from what I expected. As we entered the theater, I saw about a thousand people dancing with a drum line on stage. We were taught how to samba and had a marvelous time.

Our hostel is very quirky and we are already making great friends. Adriana and I are staying in a co-ed room with 9 beds. The beds are bunked and stacked 3 high. It is very spacious and so the climb up to the 3rd bunk is a long one. It is very clean here and the area that we are staying in is lively because we are downtown. Today, we plan on visiting Christ the Redeemer and Copacabana beach. The weather forecast showed rain all weekend but we got lucky because it's warm with sunny skies. In two weeks, we will go to Foz do Iguacu!

I was talking to my lab group yesterday about what foods Brazilians eat most. They said that it depends on economic status. Lower class citizens eat mostly rice, beans, some meat, and lettuce because it is very inexpensive. Only the wealthier people can afford to eat at restaurants like McDonalds.  I found this very interesting because it is seems somewhat opposite in the United States. Anyways, I'm off to the beach!


Friday, July 18, 2014

Pictures will soon follow, but for now just some thoughts about my time in Floripa:

I'm feeling a little disappointed that I only have a few weeks left here. Although I still plan on visiting Rio, it really feels like I need more time.. more time to explore other states, to meet more people, and to see Brasil as it goes through its seasons. The beaches are beautiful now, but I can only imagine them in the summer! Two of my close friends have already left the Island and while their goodbyes were hard, I know it will be even more painful when I say my own. For now though, I'll try to focus on the awesome parts :)

This past weekend, I went to Santo Amaro da Imperatriz. This is beautiful city in the continent--the kind of place I could spend a large chunk of life in. Maybe it's because I've never lived close to the ocean, but there is something about mountains and water together that captures me; the rain/mist of the day just added to the allure. There were banana, tangerine, and kumquat trees...all beside waterfalls and forests. My friends from the Island and I went rafting first and all I can do is thank God for allowing someone to invent wetsuits! Our rafting adventure is one I hope to never forget: we got stuck (quite a few times), lost a paddle (and got it back at the end), climbed into a waterfall "cave," and swam around like happy ducklings. Charlotte and Amaka really impressed everyone with their ability to go out of their comfort zones! When we finished up and were a little chilled to the bone, we went walking to the hot springs. Unfortunately, these turned out to be baths filled with water from the hot springs, and not a swimming hole--still nice, but definitely not what I expected. Anyway, the "healing waters" were a welcomed temperature change and public baths a new experience.

In my lab, I'm becoming quite acquainted with the challenges of research! The data isn't always what I plan for, or what I'd like to see, but I'm improving my techniques and the rats never cease to amuse me (the chubby ones are my favorite...and oh how they love to plan an escape). Even better than my little pets are the people I work with-- they show me so much patience and guidance! I would have a lot more trouble on my hands without their help...

And now a part a little harder to put into words (read carefully or my mind-jabber might not make sense).
  One of my favorite things about Lagoa (a borough of sorts for Floripa) is that just walking around or sitting on a bench, I run into almost everyone I've met here- like a little incentive to go and enjoy the day outside. The other people, the ones I don't know, are so diverse in this international city of mine that they could all be someone I'd see walking around in the US. Here is my challenge: the part of me constantly searching for familiarity while abroad sees these strangers as a comfort-- not in a way that makes me long for home, but in a way that makes it easier to be away (Don't hate me Auntie). What I hate is knowing that the same thing will happen when I return to the US. I will see faces that remind me of Brazil; our American diversity will mirror that of the Brazilians, but this time not in a way that keeps me content with my surroundings. Instead, I'll be reminded then of what I'm learning now: I've been a Brasileira at heart all along. I guess I'll just have to come back :)
Now time for bed before hikes and sandboarding! Boa noite- Elizabete

Thursday, July 17, 2014

World Cup Final: Com bateria do carnaval e argentinos

I go back to what was my home not too long ago. The environment of the World Cup final weekend seem liked carnaval to me. Except it was full of Argentinians. The Copacabana beach was overrun by many people from all nationalities but the Argentinian cumbia, flags and Messi shirts dominated the streets. They camped in their cars, in the roads, in front of hotels. The Brazilians trying to evade a possible historical loss with their biggest rival. I had the chance of attending a historical event in football . However, the thing I loved the most of coming back to Rio de Janeiro was reliving the moments of the  Carnaval. The bateria, or the drums, that so typically fill the streets during carnaval, and the samba. Samba is one of my favorite musical genres of Brazil. I was able to dance the weekend away in the Copacabana shore at the beat of the baterias... It was definitely an emotional trip, and remind me, personally, why I keep coming back to this piece of paradise in South America.

Monday, July 14, 2014

A Cidade de Pinhão

This past week I was invited by my lab mate Gabi to take some samples to the Federal University of Parana. We ran the tests and analyzed them. It was great to learn a new lab technique and get to see another university and lab. Furthermore, it was so wonderful to meet Gabi's grandma, aunts, and cousin. They were so hospitable and warm. I really felt at home staying at their place. I am very thankful to Gabi and her family. Since we were in Curitiba for one of Brazil's World Cup games we went to the FIFA Fan Fest. It was very fun and a good time. Back in Florianopolis Dr. Fitzgerald visited the city and the labs. It was great to see her.

Gabi and me at the FIFA Fan Fest.

I found the Mexican crew at the FIFA Fan Fest.

My trip to Curitiba was great. This was taken at the Municipal Market.

All of the Florianopolis mentors, students, and Dr. Fitzgerald after our dinner.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Dancas daqui

We are nearing the end of this journey and I am still seeing and experiencing new things! One thing that I have learned that I will apply next time is to bring better shoes. I have two pairs of shoes that I have abused since I've been here. Well, you live, you learn, right?

In other news, I have enjoyed learning about the regional dances from here. One of my favorites that I talked about previously is Samba. I also like carimbo, quadrilhas, and forro.

For the last day of festa junina, I went with a friend to watch the quadrilhas and see some other performances. Additionally, there were rides set up and I rode a few. There was so much food and so many people. It was a great time!
This video gives you an idea of the festa junina and the quadrilhas dancing. 

The outfits for quadrilhas are so festive!

One of the foods I tried during festa junina and really enjoyed was the bolo de tapioca (tapioca cake). This cake had a very light consistency and flavor. It wasn't as sweet as pudim de leite (milk pudding, pictured below) but it was very good. 
Tapioca cake
Pudim de leite

Additionally, I have been trying juices from here. They are so delicious. My favorite is acerola (cherry). Goiaba (guava) is also a favorite. My favorite soda is guarana.

As far as other foods, today I tried some really delicious feijoada at a restaurant here called Cia Paulista.
A picture of feijoada

Feijoada is a stew with beans and different kinds of meat and seasonings. I had it at another restaurant and it had cilantro in it which was also very delicious. 

Well, that is all for now. 

Ate logo,