May 21, 2012So I decided to wait a day to blog again due to the fact that I only got one and a half hours of sleep on the red eye flight to Sao Paulo. Let me start by saying that the city is not picturesque by any postcard means; however, it has its charms and the people are wonderful so far. Today, we started the day with the best continental breakfast (American hotels take note) at our hotel. I included some pictures below, but some of the different food included a corn bread with fennel, which was awesome and the freshest watermelon juice I've ever had. Also, American coffee is like water after having Brazilian cafe.
(Brazilian breakfast: (clockwise from top left) Watermelon Juice, Coffee, Banana, Corn Bread with Fennel, Torrada with Abacaxi Jam, Kiwi, Mango Papaya, Eggs and Sausage)
After breakfast we were rushed off to our orientation at CREN for a couple of hours. The visit was used just to familiarize ourselves with the center and to talk about what we would be doing for the week. Milu, the head of the center, introduced herself with a hug and a kiss on one cheek. She remarked that in Sao Paulo they kiss on one cheek, in Rio they kiss on both. She gave us a tour of the facility, which included meeting the children, nurses, psychologists and dietitians. We also sat for a Q & A where she talked about what CREN was and how it services the communities in Sao Paulo. We were given the opportunity to ask questions, and I asked her about CREN's methods for evaluating their success and failures. She gave an informative answer about how they themselves were a little upset with their own recent self-evaluation and brought the team together to discuss ways to improve children's heights at the center. Malu seemed extremely genuine in her concern for the children and its seems they are very good about evaluating their program and coming up with solutions in order to improve upon it.
|Children's plates with leftovers to be weighed and photographed for research and data collection. The meal was typical rice, beans, chicken and purple cabbage.|
Upon leaving the center we visited the Japanese-influeunced section of Liberdade. Sao Paulo has the second highest concentration of Japanese next to Japan.