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November 7, 2004


Another beautiful day spent in Gramado.  Sunshine, warmth, and the sound of the breeze blowing through the hundreds of species of flowers and trees blossoming on the Santos’ property.  We drove up for the day to celebrate Mrs. Santos’ birthday, and what a great day it was for a drive.

I also had a fantastic week last week despite the outcome of the elections.  I spent it pretending I was a scholar on the International Law Commission along with 18 students from all across Brazil and one from Germany.  We were participating in the Model UN that UFRGS started sponsoring for the first time last year.  It was tons of fun and I’m left feeling very good about the future of Brazil if the students I befriended are a representative sample of Brazilian 20-somethings.  We spent over 40 hours locked in debate during the past four days coming up with a recommendation concerning economic sanctions reform.  We learned a lot from each other and got along great, and celebrated our newfound friendship last night at Barbazul, a chic bar not far from the Santos’ apartment in Petrópolis (the venue was chosen by the UFRGSMUN staff, which negotiated a discount for MUN participants–otherwise, I think it’s safe to say that most of the members of the ILC would have been perfectly happy with a much cheaper bar in Cidade Baixa). 

It was neat to get an insight into Brazilian conference culture, which really isn’t any different from ours.  Students from across the country came to Porto Alegre for a week, rented rooms in the sponsoring hotel, partied until late at night, woke up early in the morning, and (for the most part) put their best faces forward as they worked hard all day at something they care about.  The only difference, perhaps, was the tiny dixie cups available during the coffee break since Brazilians drink much smaller cafés than we do–although I did see a fair number of students drinking from the larger plastic cups.  They must be the ones who partied the hardest!

Well, it’s getting late and tonight I’d like to make up for some of the sleep I didn’t get last night, so I’m going to sign off here.  I need to stay healthy for Paul’s visit THIS WEEK!!!  Finally, loving arms from home to remind me that you guys really exist over there and aren’t just faceless responders to emails and weblogs.

Boa noite and beijos,



From → Brazil, Uncategorized

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