With just more than one week left, we are closing in on the end of our experience here in Brazil. All of us hope to come back one day, but none of us are sure how it will happen or what it will look like. All of our friends hope we’ll get to see Réveillon and Carnival at the very least someday.
Last week the experiment in Rocinha well. We took a bus into Rocinha which carried us up, around, through, and back down some of the most unbelievable mountainside architecture you could imagine. It also did so at a much higher speed than you would think that a bus could. We have yet to analyze the results of this experiment, and we have one last experiment to run tomorrow at FIOCRUZ. I had been in touch with one of the developers of the UN Stop Disasters Now game that we have been having the children play. We are interested in specializing this game to Rio de Janeiro, but the UN (who provided funding for the game) have been hesitant to search for more money for this project. I got an email earlier in the week, however, that the UN has been receiving a lot of interest in updating the game and positive feedback lately. The developer I am in contact with said that if we sent some of our findings showing the utility and potential for the game, it could help push the UN to agree to look for funding for further development of the game that could be specific to our project! We’re not sure what will come of it, but it’s exciting nonetheless.
The rest of the week passed like it normally does, which is to say never in quite the same way, but I ate and slept and studied and ran and bought lots and lots of presents for everyone back home! I felt more like a tourist, shopping around the fair for souvenirs and such, than I had felt in a really long time. Keia and I were talking about whether we’ll feel a shock coming back to the United States. I didn’t think so originally, but I live here now. All of the things that we do and see every day have become the norm, but I know they are not so back home.
Since we have final exams and projects coming up and due in this next week, I didn’t really go out at all over the weekend. Sunday, however, Joe was finishing up his “Startup Weekend” and Keia and I went to see all of the final presentations. I was a little bummed that I hadn’t planned far enough ahead to take part in it. It seemed like it would have been a really cool experience, and probably a unique one in the scheme of my own life, but who knows. Afterward, Luciana’s band was playing in public for the second time outdoors at the praça in Largo do Machado. Since the presentations ran a little long and Lu got cut off a little short, we only had time to catch the last two songs of her set. They were the best ones though! Alguem robaram minha garrafa de whiskey and her rendition of Livin’ on a Prayer are my favorites. We all grabbed a chopp after the show to celebrate, which felt good since I hadn’t seen our friends in quite some time. We have a secret santa exchange planned for the day before we leave. It’ll be a chance for everyone to get together and say goodbyes too. We came home and worked on our projects until pretty late into the night, and we’re back at Fundão with a full day of work and class and difficult conversations ahead of us.
Until the next (and maybe the last one).