The mission of the Program for Assistive Technologies for Underprivileged (PATU) is to allow students to practice engineering skills while they develop strong communication and teamwork skills, gain global perspective, and learn social responsibility through projects for persons with disabilities that otherwise could not afford assistance.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

We have arrived!

After 4 long days of travel (or attempting to travel), we have finally arrived at our destination--Ilheus, Bahia, Brasil! We were up and headed to the airport by 6:45 AM (4:45 CST). I snapped some cool pictures of the infamous Jesus Christo statue on the mountain in Rio from my phone as we were heading to the airport in (what seemed like) a flying taxicab. I have no way to get them off my phone until we are back in the States, though, so you'll just have to wait! The two flights were nice and short, though. A very bearable day!

When we arrived in Ilheus the whole crew was waiting for us--Patty, Hank, Scott, and all the Sweet Briar girls--thanks for the warm welcome! It was sure nice to see everyone FINALLY! It was a bit of a whirlwind though--we got to the hotel, unloaded our stuff, and then everyone left with their host families. I hope everyone has a great first evening with their hosts!

It was good to hear from Hank that everything had been going well for our collaborators from Sweet Briar while we were gone. They got a great city tour from Patty on Tuesday, and today spent the day touring Universidad Estadual de Santa Cruz (UESC) and talking to professors in the engineering department there. They are very excited about our projects and hope to work on them with us in the future!

Tomorrow will be a full and exciting day--we are touring a chocolate factory and Cargill, and probably have a little time for a fun market!

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