Saturday, June 29, 2013

Living the Brasileira Life

It's been two weeks since my last blog post and I don't know where to begin. Well for starters, I can't believe we are already starting week four! It feels as if we were just stepping off the plane yesterday! From our amazing view of Lagoa da Conceiçao to the rolling mountains, it's hard to believe that we're really living here!

Before leaving for Brasil, my major concern was the language barrier. I knew enough to begin a conversation, but not finish it. Listening to the Brasilians speak Portuguese was mind blowing for the first couple weeks but after practicing with my lab mates I'm slowly but surely learning. Everyone is so helpful and forgiving of me when I butcher the pronunciation of words like "trabalho." One day I'll get it.

Every morning it has become a tradition for Erica and I to order a frango empanado at the bus station before riding to the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC) where our labs are located. These little pieces of heaven make living in Florianopolis that much greater. I'm pretty sure I'm already addicted to them. It didn't take long for us to learn how to navigate the bus system and make our way around the island. I think the native Brasilians mistake me and Erica for Brasileira's because they now come up to us asking questions (in Portuguese!) about the buses! It's exciting yet frightening at the same time. They speak so fast!

In the lab, I had the opportunity to observe the master's and doctoral students' experiments.  My mentor, Dr. Linder, thought it would be a good idea for me to be able to see the work each student was conducting so I could get a broad-spectrum understanding of the research she is managing. It was interesting to see how each student had his or her own way of doing the same lab technique when dealing with live animals subjects. I begin conducting my own experiments next week and I am more than excited to get going. The weeks are now flying by and I have enjoyed every second of it. Eu amo Floripa!

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