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September 24, 2004

24/9/4 Sexta


I’m feeling refreshed today.  It’s sunny and warm and I have a weekend in the lush mountains of Gramado–the “Switzerland of Brazil”–to look forward to. 


I went for a long walk this morning through the neighborhoods of Petrópolis and Santa Cecília for a homework assignment.  My Planejamento e Gestão Urbanos (City Planning and Management) class is doing a semester-long study of an area that spans the two neighborhoods.  Our first assignment is to research and document its existing state:  land use, occupancy, road conditions, infrastructure, etc.  To tell the truth, I really don’t know precisely what we’re supposed to be doing because I wasn’t here last week, so I decided for myself that I would study the drainage system along the roads in the two neighborhoods.  Given my experience crossing the river on Avenida Palmeira on Wednesday, I have my suspicions about the adequacy of the drainage system in all parts of the city, so as I walked I took notes on where gutters were located as well as on the size and condition of the gutters.  For the most part, they were few and far between, with tiny openings for the amount of water that must come pouring down some of those hilly streets on a rainy day.  There were more than several places where I certainly would not want to live on a day like Tuesday.


After two and a half hours of walking and documenting, I finally arrived at the bottom of the hill on Avenida Protasio Alves near the academy where I’ll go in an hour for my capoeira class, and caught a bus back here (to the aparment) for lunch with Sr. and Sra. Santos. 


And now I must start to put my Powerpoint presentation of the inadequate drainage system in Petrópolis/Santa Cecília together.  (A student offered to bring her laptop to class on Monday for our presentations–the classrooms are not equipped.).  Até logo


(P.S.)  When I was on my way out this morning, a man handing out advertisements for the business located on the corner of Palmeira and Alves asked me if I was americana as I approached his direction.  He said he had noticed the John Kerry pin on my backpack the other day and struck up a conversation with me about how dangerous it will be for the world and for Americans if Bush wins reelection.  I agreed and told him that I was awaiting my absentee ballot so that I could send my vote in for Kerry.  Nobody here likes Bush, and if I only hazarded a guess before that Bush’s actions are putting Americans more at risk than they are helping us, now I know for sure:  the venemous feelings directed towards Bush here must be only a minor taste of the hatred directed towards him (and us) in the Middle East.  For your security and mine, PLEASE VOTE KERRY/EDWARDS IN THE NOVEMBER ELECTIONS!!!

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