Survived the first day! On to the second!
Overall, today was an interesting day. We had the opportunity to learn about sugar cane production in Brazil. For me, I found this very interesting as I had never really thought about the amount of work required to produce the sugar that I enjoy. In our lecture, we learned that Brazil has 21 million acres of land in sugar cane production for 2014, which will produce 33 million tons of sugar and 25 billion liters of ethanol. Most of the sugar cane production is focused in the state of São Paulo, however, the Amazon Rainforest has some of the best land for production.
One of the most interesting things I learned is that the ‘root’ is planted horizontally. This ‘root’ is an old stem from a previous sugar cane plant. Professor Edison explained that a sugar cane plant has a life of 6 years and is checked periodically for its readiness.
In addition to our lecture, we also visited USACUCAR, a sugar and ethanol plant outside of Maringá. This was like nothing I had ever seen before. Honestly, walking around the plant terrified me. I believe this is when my allergies started to get bad.
Dinner was left to the students tonight. It was a nice opportunity to just be in the city. We decided to embark on a journey around the city center where our hotel was located. Naama, our translator and program director had given us directions to a restaurant he suggested we try. After a few blocks, we realized we had no idea where we were going. Yes, we were walking. As we came upon a Mexican restaurant, we decided this would work, I know I was starving! Many students were concerned that we wouldn’t be able to order was we didn’t speak Portuguese. But between pointing, a little Spanish and Google Translator App. We were golden! Until you experience life in a country where you don’t speak the language, you never truly understand the depth of language use. I am very thankful to be an English speaker.