Thursday, July 26, 2012

Oh My How the Time Flies!

It still blows my mind that for the past month, I have awakened to roosters crowing outside of my window, the sun shining on my face, and the sounds of New York, just with Portuguese speakers. Majority of the participants have journeyed outside of the United States; however, for me, this program gave me a chance to go abroad for the first time in my life!  It is almost as if words cannot describe, but something that must be truly experienced. Prior to our arrival, we were informed that we would be here doing the winter season. I am aware that I am in a tropical country, but I did not expect to be wearing layer upon layer of clothing!  I could see my breath in the buildings! As far as my Portuguese goes, I was able to give directions a few times and answer the phone in the lab. I continue to meet genuine beings that break their necks trying to make sure I am comfortable and the best part is that they feed me!  
 In regards to research, I have a ton of work to do.  The first month was spent training and learning techniques.  Now, I am immersed in rabbit retinas!  Everyday in lab is not 100%, but I keep smiling and learning!  By the way, I ventured to my first Brazilian country club!  Not bad for a guy who does not bother with country music back in the US. My salsa and samba skills have improved so now everywhere I go, I am always trying to practice.  Ellen and I went to our first soccer showing at a pub! It was madly insane! Fireworks left and right and people crying tears of joy!  This one guy picked me up and twirled me around, then that's when I bit my tongue because I was caught off guard.  Stephen and I got a chance to go to Sorocaba to see the country-side of Brasil. There, we met our lab memeber´s family, ate like we were crazy, as well as enjoyed some of the best sleep!  We got a chance to tour the city and just enjoy each others company.  I am now a professional walker!  I must admit that I do miss home and it will feel good to go back, especially to see my brother who I have not seen in 2 years!  It will definitely be a bitter-sweet moment as I say my goodbyes to those who have been my family away from home.  There is a bakery that I will miss.  It serves one of the best sandwiches I have ever had. It is known as a `Beirute´ packed with works!  I have learned even more about myself and I will always continue to grow, with this chapter serving as another starting point!

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