Thursday, June 7, 2012
Brasil 2012...we MADE it!
Oi! Tudo bem?!
It's currently our 5th full day here and sometimes when I wake up in the morning I still have to tell myself we're in BRASIL (the correct way for brasileiros/as)! So far we've had lunch at a little cafe in Lagoa with Dr. Riso and her son and I had some traditional Brazilian dessert: quindim; did a quick stop at a viewer (or "mirante" in Portuguese) that overlooked all of Lagoa; took a walk around the neighborhood and stopped a couple of times at the grocery store to buy food to cook at home.
The day before yesterday was my first time visiting the lab where I'll be working for the next 9 weeks and a half, known as the Laboratório de Biomarcadores de Contaminação Aquática e Imunoquímica. EVERYONE was SO welcoming and nice; I liked how they just kept smiling and staring at me and wondering amongst themselves who I could be. When Dr. Riso introduced me (in Portuguese of course) she mentioned how I spoke Spanish...they didn't even let her finish! They would just constantly interrupt her and say: "Que bom! Que bom!" ("How great! How great!"). Yesterday was my first official day at the lab, but I was just shown where everything was and all the different rooms; and Ana, a Brazilian girl that is working there, took her time and explained some things to me: DNA Extraction Protocols, how the electrophoresis room and equipment worked and how to prepare solutions in the lab. She is SO nice and sweet and happy that she can speak in Portuguese and that I can understand; and so am I!
I also had lunch with my lab mates for the first time and they showed me how Brazilian buffets work here; so you basically put as much food as you want on your plate and you weigh it and according to how much it weighs, is how much you end up paying for food. My food was worth about 8 Reais! One of the oldest guys working at the lab bought a big bottle of beer to share with everyone and he poured some for me so I could try it; they really made me feel part of their group and they made a toast in my honor! I can't wait to spend my days working with them :)
I look forward to my next 9 weeks and a half here and I am SO SURE that I will be learning a lot!