Monday, August 11, 2014

Pois é...o final do meu inverno na Ilha

This past weekend and week to come has been and will be full of "see you laters." I had to say that to many friends, mentors, and my roommates. It has been an interesting mixture of states of mind: happiness, sadness, jubilance, reflectiveness, gratefulness, just to name a few. I have also had fun adventures, which include diving into the ocean to swim in a "natural pool," surfing, dancing some more samba, and going on some more hikes. The incredible views and fun outdoor activities will definitely be things to miss once I return to the U.S. I have also been working hard on analyzing my results and working on my final presentation. The summer/winter passed swiftly and I cannot believe I return this week. I do return, though, with a new found point of view and mixture of experiences that have changed me. Obrigada, Brazil!

My friends Charlotte and Heinrich on our 
fun day at the natural pools by Barra da Lagoa.

My surfing friends :)

The beautiful view of one of the hikes on the Island

As I reflect on the time I have spent in the south of Brazil, I can't help but to just be thankful on the experiences, things learned, and friends made. Firstly, professionally I have learned so much about biochemistry and molecular biology at LABCAI. Working alongside people that were willing to help me learn, run gels or other experiments, and understand the concepts at the most fundamental level are things that I would not trade. I also made friends in the lab that I know I will keep up with for the rest of my life and hope to see again in the future. Thank you for the help improving not just my everyday Portuguese, but also my scientific Portuguese! Secondly, I feel blessed to have met many fellow travelers from all over the world along the way. They taught me about their languages, cultures, views, and mostly opened my eyes to the diversity and similarities of the human spirit. We had many adventures around the island that I will look back to, with a smile on my face, and tell my family for generations to come. Thirdly, all of my experiences both in solitude and accompanied, (I believe) have made me a better person. I am eternally grateful for that. Lastly, I am thankful for my family and friends from home that I missed very much and supported me throughout my time abroad. Thank you Minority Health International Research Training Program and Christian Brothers University for this incredible and unforgettable experience!

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