Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Value of a New Experience

Fique tranquilo (translation: “Don’t worry about it”)!  If there is one thing I admire about the people of Brasil, it’s their optimism and positivity.  Throughout the past month, I’ve learned how to truly relax and enjoy the moment. In America, many people live to work but in Brasil, most people work to live (and when they do work, they love what they do). The people of Brasil have given me a new outlook on almost everything, and I’m eternally grateful.

My project is finally starting to gain momentum after spending some time learning new lab techniques. I've logged in nearly 50 hours in the lab for the past few weeks, but the first half of my project is complete and I’m getting really promising results. Two weeks ago, I never thought it’d be possible for me to perform a surgery on a rat to extract the nucleus of the solitary tract from the rest of the medulla oblongata, but my technique and precision has improved incredibly. 

This is an historic time to be in Brazil – manifestations have taken place and there are protests all across the city. The people of Brazil usually do not protest; the last widespread demonstration that has happened in Brazil occurred decades ago. While going on a tour around downtown Sao Paulo, we happened to encounter the beginning of a huge peaceful protest! While we didn’t stay too long, seeing the passion for better education, better public services, and fair wages was incredibly inspirational.

Since I’ve been in Brazil, my love of biology and my love of traveling have been reaffirmed. I’ve been learning, growing, exploring, and soaking in everything around me. The other MHIRT students have made this experience even greater – our dynamic is great and I’m glad I get the opportunity of sharing memories with them. Not only are we learning from renowned researchers at the University of Sao Paulo, but we are also learning from each other. 

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