Road Trippin’ to Rio

Here’s a new blog post and photos from my trip to Rio!  Keepin’ it short and sweet this time.
General overview:  Trip to Resende biomass gasification research facility, then caught bus to Rio that night.  Spent the holidays with my awesome hostess Mayara (we met in Munich during my freshman year!), and then began a series of visits to research universities, institutes, and companies located around Rio.

Awesome moment: Seeing my friend for the first time in almost three years.  This joy was compounded by the fact that I had just finished up a seven hour bus trip (SP->Resende->Rio), and had waited in a taxi line for about an hour confused and terrified, but made friends with the two Brazilians standing in line with me.

Mayara- An awesome hostess, and getting the true carioca experience!

Favorite Visit: Trip to Enersud wind company in Niteroi (a city outside of Rio).  At first I was pretty grumpy about having to navigate my way through the city, but with the help of my friend and an absurd amount of phone credit down the drain, I ended up taking a bus that went all the way through the Rio across a bridge for thirty minutes, and into an entirely new city!  I’m gradually embracing these research visits as a mixture of The Amazing Race and business.  Enersud produces wind energy turbines as well as a variety of other related products, and it was neat getting a glimpse into an rapidly growing industry.

Imagine my terror when I realized I was going further and further away from Rio on my research visit, and losing phone credit rapidly…

Proudest language feat: When Mayara’s roommate said my accent was that of a Paulista (person from São Paulo).  I never managed to accomplish any sort of German accent street cred, so it was awesome to not be harassed about my terrible American accent.  I was humbled moments later when I mixed up the words for “pots and pans” and “window” (panelas/janela).  The carioca (person from Rio) accent has a variety of differences that make pronunciation a little more difficult in my opinion.  The r’s are a bit harsher, and sounds associated with s and x also have a couple nuances as well.  I’m really no expert though, but for Portuguese learners the accent is noticeable (and for me more difficult to understand).

Photo time!

Brasil <3.
View from Corcovado
Bus ride to Rio–it’s really neat to see how much the geographic regions vary in Brazil
Sunset at Pão de Açúcar