Monday May 12:
Brazilian coffee. It’s amazing. I am also now deterred from any Starbucks because this coffee completes me.
When I travel I personally like to experience the normal everyday life of the people who live where I am visiting. I think this is the only true way to get a sense of their culture and life. Simply walking down to the market to buy some fresh fruit, um pastel, and o suco de laranja for lunch epitomized that. Without having a huge group of 21 people around with me I could simply talk to the fruit stand vendor, get a snack, and walk back to the hotel. It’s fun to converse with the people there because, like I said, we are such an attraction there. Talking about where we are from, what we are doing there, and then teaching them simple English like “You’re Welcome” and “Thank you” is just a simple pleasure you get from intermingling with other cultures. The people here are so confused as to why we chose to go to Rio Preto because it is such a small city compared to Sao Paolo or Rio Janeiro. I love the fact that we got to experience such a down to earth place because it allows us to see what life is really like outside of the crazy urban areas.
We visited a Sugar/ Ethanol mill today. It is great to see a company working so hard to find alternative fuels to power their cars and growing urban life in Rio Preto. I know that in America we have corn ethanol as an alternative fuel but was unaware at the progress and determination of the BioNobleEnergia Company to produce and distribute an alternative fuel.
I was also surprised at all of the social work they do in the community. Over 9 different social projects are carried out that help give back to the community, involve the children of the employees, etc. It also amazed me that they power their entire plant with the energy and fuel that they make, AND that nothing goes to waste. The husks of the sugar cane, once juiced, are ground and burned to produce energy and then the remnants (ash/ organic fertilizer) is redistributed in their sugar cane fields as fertilizer. I was impressed with the gusto of the engineers that spoke with us and amazed at their overall goal and achievements.