Festas and Foodstuffs

Festas and Foodstuffs

Day 153

This week passed by like a whirlwind.  Despite the rain, I really didn’t accomplish much so I have my work cut out for me over the next couple of weeks.  I think I function better this way anyway, but I guess we’ll find out!

Keia and I decided not to participate in Startup Weekend, but we bought tickets to watch the final presentations on Sunday night.  It should be a really interesting experience, and I’m excited to go.  I think Luciana’s band is playing in public for the second time that night too, so it looks like we’ll have to get all of the studying for our MLG exam on Monday done over this week and the weekend… along with our POII project due next Tuesday.

This past weekend, there was a choppada at UFRJ on Friday.  A choppada is essentially a big, sponsored, outdoor party on college grounds (in this case, at Fundão) with live performances and free beer from late afternoon on through until midnight.  We considered this a part of our “study of Brazilian college culture” and although it took two hours to arrive (by bus during rush hour… you would have thought we’d learned by now), it was worth it to go.

On Saturday, Keia and I went to get haircuts.  I can’t actually remember the last time I had gotten one, but since I know I’d never had one in Brazil, it had to be at least 5 months.  I was at the point where I could tie my own hair in a knot and it would stay, if that gives you any idea of how long it must have been haha.  Saturday night it was the birthday of one of our friends from ENCE.  Jessica had been one of the first students to really reach out to us, and she invited us to a place called Mixtura Carioca in Lapa that had live samba music all night long with DJ breaks in between.  Our old roommate Silvana came with the three of us, and I feel like I really got the hang of samba!  We’re trying to start to collect the names of songs and artists that we like here so that we can bring them back to the States.

Sunday came and finally so did our churrasco at Leo’s house in Campo Grande!  Keia and I are becoming quite the pair of chefs lately.  We haven’t been cooking so much at home, but I feel like we’ve successfully put together a few amazing meals for a lot of our friends.  Of course this time having Nayra to tell us what to do and Leo’s Mom to make us delicious farofa… plus the guys down the street who sell ready-made garlic bread, it wasn’t that hard to turn out a delicious product.  Campo Grande is neat because although it’s about 40 minutes by car outside of Central Rio, it’s yet still part of the city proper, but feels much more like a neighborhood.  There are many more family homes there and the suburban feel that comes with getting away from the high rises of the big city.  After eating to the point of explosion and still having enough leftovers for an army, we headed back to Copacabana and I passed out fairly early last night.

Tomorrow we’ll be running our second experiment at a library in Rocinha (the largest favela in Brazil, and one of the largest in the world).  Don’t worry though, Rocinha has been pacified for some time now.  We’ve changed our experimental design a little to include an interview with the children after they have played the Stop Disasters Now game that is supposed to teach them about flooding.  It should be really interesting, and we have another experiment marked for the following Tuesday as well.  I feel like this gives us a more solid basis for our Capstone than we have had yet.  I have also started to conduct interviews and make a questionnaire for Brazilian and American engineering students and professors as a part of what I will write about for the individual part of my thesis.

Time to get crackin’!


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