Saturday, June 3, 2017

Arriving in Curitiba

This first week in Curitiba, Brazil has been amazing. I couldn't think of a better way to be spending the summer after my first year of medical school--I am finally at peace. Every single person that I've met so far has been kind and welcoming towards me. Curitiba is a pretty calm city, and I am fortunate to be living with a Brazilian medical student who's been helping me become acclimated to life in the city. Similar to in the US, there are a variety of food options. My roommate and I both decided on take out Chinese on the first night here, ha! But, when I'm not grabbing Bob's Burgers at the food court, I've had the chance to try traditional Brazilian food. My mentor invited to his home earlier this week to have lunch, the biggest meal of the day in Brazil. Afterwards, we dropped his daughter off at school and headed to the university where I had the opportunity to deliver a short speech on the US healthcare system to a class of 4th year medical students. That day was the highlight of my week and served as a reminder that, with a little courage and an open mind, anything is possible. Currently, I am awaiting my mentor's arrival to take me to Festa Junina, for his daughter's performance in the annual June Festival celebration. I'm excited to finally see what I've heard so much about.
The research component has been going equally as well. The team has been very patient and kind, which has helped ease the language barrier. My advice to future MHIRT participants is to read the research papers that your mentor provides to you beforehand, or search a bit about what he or she does in the lab. It certainly helped me (and everyone else in the lab) to have walked in on day 1 already understanding the larger scale of the project, though they would have kindly explained the entire project from the inside out, if needed.
I've already got trips planned to visit other parts of Brazil during my stay here this summer. I'm loving Curitiba, so I can't wait to see what the rest of this beautiful country has in store! Tchau :)

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