The last few days have been fantastic and I have been crawling my way up the other side of that darn "W" and it's been great! I think part of the reason why I've been on this "life high" is because I've been having visitors from UC...which brings all the joys of home.
The UC International team arrived last Wednesday night for an abroad exchange fair here in Sao Paulo and I've had the great pleasure of hosting them. We went out for a traditional Bahian meal last Wednesday with delicious seafood and followed that up with a trip to the Brazilian Soccer Museum on Friday and a traditional "churrascaria" meal on Friday night where we absolutely stuffed ourselves...but it was worth it in every way! I think they enjoyed their first few days of Sao Paulo even though they had to work on top of the fun we were having.
Saturday was more than a blast. I slept in and then hung out with some friends here. We went to the "Battle of the Bands" competition in Sao Paulo where all of the University bands compete at this big open party. Our school competed last which meant we got to enjoy the full party before we had to put on our game faces on to cheer. The structure was simple, the band plays for about 20 minutes and in between they play popular brazilian music and everyone dances. The bands here are all percussion and most of them break out into Samba style beats in their performances so you just see everyone in the crowd doing their Samba thing...me included (I took a Samba dance lesson last week). *Party note* For you college student readers, it is very very awkward and inappropriate to "grind" here in Brazil. haha. People actually dance correctly and it's a ton of fun. I only note this because I once had a hypothesis that Americans only grind because they actually can't dance...the more time I spend in Brazil, the more I think this hypothesis is true. Even after most of the coolers of 60 cent beer were gone, everyone was still dancing at a healthy distance apart...I was impressed. haha. We followed up the competition by heading back to a friends house, ordering a few pizzas, and watching the UFC fight (felt just like home).
Today was my true Bearcat spirit day. The study abroad fair that the UC International team was here for was only 2 blocks away and I had the great pleasure of serving my University as a translator for the day! Not only was it great practice for my Portuguese, it was neat to meet new Bearcats here in Sao Paulo and also have the opportunity to promote my institution while abroad. It was just as much fun as it was informative. I didn't really know what goes on in terms of international education but this is a gigantic industry and I'm convinced that UC needs to continue investing in this department to remain a key player on the world stage. Our class offerings are diverse (a competitive advantage for us) and our program offerings are even more diverse in terms of what we can offer an international student (another advantage), but we need to develop more strategic partnerships with foreign universities to have a steady and healthy flow of international students attending UC on a consistent basis. I was very impressed with our UC team. They knew their stuff and represented us well...I'm sure it will pay off. Even better, they brought me 3 cans of SKYLINE CHILI!!! I will be cooking this week and will report back with endless sentences of ultimate satisfaction...wish me well as I dive into my favorite food from home! And here's our booth....!
Big week ahead of me. End of the first module of the first semester so I have a few exams and presentations upcoming. Looking forward to sharing more!