Wednesday, July 5, 2017

A Summer of Growth

Summer seems to always begin with that feeling of having endless opportunity for adventure, something like a temporary forever. But, before you've even realized how much time has passed, it's almost over! This summer has challenged me to truly become my best self. The people in my lab are some of the most joyous people I have ever met. Naturally, I absorb the emotions of others, so it's very uplifting to work in such a pleasant atmosphere, surrounded by smiling faces each and every day. In addition, having a mentor that genuinely believes in my potential is extra motivation to put forth my greatest effort on my research project and test my own limitations. Never would I have ever thought that I'd be playing a role in screening for cancer mutations in a foreign country, or presenting my developing work on the psychology of such genetic testing to individuals who are experts in their field. I am really grateful for the opportunities that my mentor has provided for me, and for the relationships that I've been able to build here in Curitiba.

I no longer feel like a tourist in an unfamiliar city; but rather, this place has begun to feel like home. It's pretty surreal to think that at one point in time this little life that I've created for myself here and conducting research abroad was just a hopeful dream. Thanks to the MHIRT program, that dream has become a reality. For that I will always be grateful. Whether walking to work through the streets of the city to go meet with families (and really cute babies!) at the research institute or catching a bus at the tube to get to the lab, I always appreciate the small moments that I have to reflect on my experiences here. From the day I arrived at my home in Brazil, I knew that I would be sad to leave. With only a few weeks left, I plan to do a bit more exploring with my time outside of the lab. Next stop, Foz do Iguaçu! :)

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