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.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Who likes chocolate?

Today was a busy, yet not stressful day. We started the day off going to a cute little chocolate factory. We watched through observation windows as women hand made chocolates and wrapped them. We spent most of our time there looking through, tasting, and buying all of their wonderful chocolates and chocolate liquers. We also got a fun picture of Dr. Pierce and Dr. Yochum!

After the chocolate factory we went to the Ilheus Cargill Cacao plant. They explained to us there about the global company of Cargill and all of it's business, and just how a plant goes from Cacao fruit to the chocolate we eat or a number of other products. While Cacao is a very large business for Brasilians, because of the terrible fungus of Witches Broom that kills off so many of the trees, the major producers of Cacao are actually countries in western Africa. We learned a lot, even though we didn't get to see the factory, and they provided us a great lunch!

We spent the afternoon visiting downtown Ilheus and the artisan market. I bought a few gifts for my daughter, Anna, and I think the students found a few things they liked, too! We hung out for a bit on a patio at a restaurant and then headed out.

As we drove through various parts of the city on our way back to the hotel, I snapped some pictures out of the bus window. It is truly amazing how intertwined truly beautiful homes and buildings are with those that would be condemned and torn down in the US, but here are used for everything from homes to shops to hospitals. The last picture is the house where Dr. Pierce and Dr. Yochum are staying--they think it's very nice!

We are looking forward to a day of work AND fun tomorrow (the students are going to go kayaking on the bay), and then the arrival of CHRISTINE on Saturday!!!!

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