So, we have finished our third week here in Brazil. We completed our Portuguese classes on Friday, and we all feel a bit more confident in our Portuguese knowledge. Rachel knows the most of all of us, but we are getting there. We are going to miss our classes, and our instructor, but we are glad we had the chance to learn.
This weekend we adventured on our own a bit, and tried to see a bit more of Belem. Our lunch yesterday was intense, and we tried all sorts of Brazilian meat, beans, farafa, and something that seemed a lot like cheesy grits. We ate so much we didn't need dinner, and we still had leftovers that we brought home. We also checked out the local park again, where a lot of different stalls sell all sorts of things, from jewelry to electronics, food, decorations, clothes, and a bunch of other knick-knacks and such.
Tomorrow we fly to Marabá to spend the following week there, touring the area and the university, and meeting people. We hope to find out as much as we can about the university and community there, and maybe find some potential for future work and projects. This should be quite a bit different from Belem, and we are all looking forward to what the future holds in Marabá.
That's about where we are at for now, and we are excited for the next several days. Ayways, signing off for now. Tchau!
Yesterday was an adventure for our team. We headed to Boa Vista do Acará to see a little bit of the what life is like on the islands around the Belém area. We met with four students from UFPA that were our guides for the day. We started the trip off by taking two small boats from the university to the village. When looking at a map, it is possible to get their by car, but it would have taking an hour and a half to drive rather than our 15 minute boat ride. Along the river, many houses were on stilts because of how much the tide goes in and out on a daily basis. Boats seemed to be everyone's main form of transportation if they lived along the coast. There was even a school boat that docked at the village since that is where the school is.
We got to the village and went right to the school where we were able learn a little bit about how they get internet and phone service. There is a group at UFPA called CELCOM that is able to get connectivety from UFPA to a room in the school. From that room, they are able to have towers that make internet and phone services available throughout the village and surrounding areas.
Behind the school, there is an elderly man that is somewhat famous for what he does. He is known for showing people how to open a Brazilian Nut and how to climb the açaí trees as well as showing them all of the different vegetation of the village. As we hiked around the forest, we walked past trees that towered over us. We smelled a lot of the vegetation they use for medicine, spices, and perfumes. All of this giving us an insight as to what life was like living on the island.
From there, we took a few mototaxis to the Association of Organic Producers of Boa Vista do Acará. There, we were able to see some of the different plants they grow and how they grow them. Carson tried one of the peppers they grow and was completely caught off guard by how hot it was. From that, we learned that sugar can stop the burning sensation from the pepper.
It started raining as we took the mototaxis back to the main docks, and we looked for another boat to be able to take us to the island of Combú so that we could have lunch and go for a swim. It was refreshing to be able to eat and jump into the cold water in the river. We were able to talk with the students that brought us to the island and share personal stories as well as to share our cultures with each other.
In the end, it was a fantastic (and tiring day)! Though we wish we would have had time to talk to the director of the school to see if there were projects we could work on, we plan to contact her to see if there are possible potential projects. As a team, we have discussed that it would be cool if students in the future could stay on the island for some time and work with the school and the association.
That's it for now. This is Magann signing off. Look for an update this coming weekend about our visit to a lab, final days in Portuguese class, and exploration of more of what this beautiful city has to offer. Tchau!
Boa tarde from Brazil!
Just finished our second week here in Brazil, first for Rachel and I. We are having a great time meeting people, learning about currently ongoing projects, and eating mysterious foods.
Isabela and Magann picked Rachel and I up from the airport late Tuesday night. The next day we headed to the university for lunch and so Magann and Carson could introduce us to Professor João and his students. Professor João teaches electrical engineering. On Thursday, we met Professor Juliano, architecture, and his students. We gave them a presentation about what we are in Brazil for and some of the students and Juliano presented to us what they are working on. Then, on Friday, we met with Professor Manoel to talk about projects that we can participate in. Professor Manoel works in
For lunch, we spent R$ 1 for the full meal, that’s US$ 0.30! Some days we get charged R$ 3 because we are not students, but that’s still only US$ ~1. Lunch changes every day but rice and beans are always a significant portion of it accompanied by some sort of fruit, veggies, and meat. So far, it’s been pretty good. On Wednesday and Friday the line was relatively short, but Thursday the line was excessively long and we almost ran out of time to eat before our next appointment.
We started Portuguese classes on Thursday with a professor who doesn’t know English, so that’s fun. It has actually been working pretty well though, especially with Rachel’s and Carson’s Spanish experience. We have class from 2 to 6 PM for five days instead of the original eight because of Rachel and my late arrival. So far, 2 sessions in, it seems to be working pretty well. The hope is to be able to speak basic Portuguese by the time we head to Rio and Iguaca falls.
Tchau from Sam, Magann, Carson and Rachel
We have some exciting news on our hands, Sam and I are finally on our way! Sam and I met up in Chicago at Union Station at noon, grabbed a slice of deep dish Chicago pizza and headed out to O’Hare for our overnight flight to Sao Paolo. We are now sitting in the airport there on our 12 hour layover before our flight to Belem, using our free hour of wifi to post this update. We’ve finally made it! After the small struggle to get our visas, we are now even more grateful to finally be in country. Sam and I have determined that once we arrive at the hostel, we will have traveled between 36-40 hours (Sam more than me because he started in Minnesota), using planes, trains and automobiles! We can’t wait to meet up with Magann and Carson and get rolling on everything! More updates to come soon on our progress. Tchau for now!
Hey, Carson here. We are done with our first week in Brazil, and its been an interesting one. We met a LOT of people at the Federal University of Para (UFPA), and toured a bunch of different labs and work spaces on campus. Next week we are going to meet even more people, and try to finalize some project ideas. Also, Sam and Rachel finally got their visas so they will be here next week. Woo! Hopefully once we are all here we can get started on some Portuguese lessons as well. That's about where we are project wise, at least so far. We are really hopeful for what the future holds. This weekend we went to an awesome bird sanctuary and museum called Mangal das Garças. There were a ton of different birds there, and I was slightly attacked by what looked like a Brazilian chicken. Probably my fault for antagonizing it, but oh well. After that we tried some ice cream from a store called Cairu, which we were told was the best in Brazil - it was very good ice cream. We are making a lot of friends at the hostel as well, and everyone is really nice and friendly. Anyway, that's about the update for the week. Tchau!
The day is finally here. We are headed to Brazil! Three years of Pavlis classes have brought us to this moment.
This past week has been crazy to say the least. After issues with Visas, only Carson and Magann are headed out today with Rachel and Sam coming as soon as they can. It will be difficult to have only half the team in country to start off, but we are all making sure that we stay in communication.
As we sit here in the airport, we are excited to finally get to our country to start working with the people we have been emailing back and forth with. Our flight to Brazil leaves O'Hare tonight, and we will arrive in our final destination tomorrow evening. We will have more updates in the next couple of days as we get settled in Belem.
For now, this is Carson and Magann signing off. Tchau!