Day 13

By Stefan and Silvie,

After a short sleep, we felt it was necessary to sleep as long as possible. Except for one group, who still had to do some measurements. However, that group was the lucky one, because the showers were still hot. When the rest woke up and wanted to take a shower, there was once again a power blackout. This cold shower, or not even a shower at all, caused quite a bit grumpy faces at breakfast. Luckily the weather was good and we decided to spend our last few hours in Sao Paulo, and Brazil, in the city.

One part of the group went to the Ibirapuera park. It is said to be one of the top ten places you need to visit when you’re visiting Sao Paulo and it was well worth it. The rest of the group had lunch at the mall and went shopping afterwards. At least, that was their plan. Most of the shops in the mall were still closed, so they took the metro to the center of Sao Paulo to continue shopping there. Too bad that all the shops were closed except for the McDonalds.

We set 15:00 as a gathering time at the hostel for one last Caipirinha before we would take the bus to the airport. At 16.00 we were all waiting on the sidewalk in front of the hostel to catch the bus, but there was no sign of a bus. After many phone calls with headquarters all the way in London, the bus finally arrived at 16:45. Luckily there was no traffic jam in the city and the bus driver really drove flat out. After some rushing at the airport, we were all in the plane on our way to Schiphol.

Shortly after the plane had taken off, we flew through a storm and lighting hit the plane. This caused fortunately no problems, as far as we know. During the flight, almost everyone has slept long and deep, but there are also a lot of movies watched.

After many hours being on the plane, we finally landed at Schiphol. We found out that our flight to Brussels was twenty minutes delayed. Not a problem, but the delay continued when we were on the plane, until we had more than one hour delay in the end. Some people were already saying it would have been more advantageous to simply take the train from Schiphol to Eindhoven, but unfortunately our suitcases were also going to Brussels. We type this now, we just got into the bus to Eindhoven and the weather is real Dutch weather. Rain, not too warm and cloudy. The not committee members of the trip surprised the whole committee with a little gift as their appreciation for organizing the trip.

We had a fantastic time in Brazil with all the 20 students and we even made some Brazilian friends who wants us to come back! Perhaps in the future…?

Day 12

By Riccardo and Joshua,

After many days of getting up early, we have a day that we finally could stay an hour longer in bed. A city tour was planned. First stop, Pinacoteca do estado / parque de luz. In the museum an exhibition was held with many different art styles. Well we are not experts, but we knew to tell good stories about each painting. Unfortunately, the raining season came looking around the corner and kept us to explore the park and possibly spot a parrot or two. After everyone had become fully awake with a cup of coffee and we robbed a street vendor of his umbrellas, we continued our tour to Mercado. In this hall with many stalls where they sold Brazilian delicacies, many studytrip member chose immediately to rush to the finish. While one individual chose for feijoada (Brazilian stew with beans, pork and beef) the remaining participants went for a Mortadela (richly sandwich with ham and cheese). After lunch we then still seized our chance to see the stalls.

Our afternoon program was begun. While part of the group took advantage of this time to do measurements, the rest went into the crowd called the center of Sao Paulo. First stop was the Edificio Martinelli (Martinelli Building), the first “skyscraper” of Brazil. Our city tour continued with our guides Michiel and Stefan to an old monastery in the center of Sao Paulo. Unfortunately, the monastery was closed. After several desperate attempts for a way inside, we continued our journey to the “SÉ Cathedral”. On the square in front of the cathedral we were, for the 2nd time during our trip, confronted with the political problems that currently are ongoing in Brazil. The square was filled by men in speaking in Portuguese to a group of men (ofcourse we couldn’t understand anything what they were saying) and homeless people who were only too happy to get close to a group of “gringos”.

Back at the hostel the search was initiated for a location for our last supper. With the help of some locals we met at the university, we ended up at a restaurant with buffet and unlimited meat on a skewer at the table. After all bellies were round again we continued finishing our adventure in Brazil with a lively night out. Unfortunately we had to deflect from our original plan to go to the Cultural Festival in downtown Sao Paulo because of the storm that was coming.

Day 11

By Gerton & Wies.
The alarm rang also this time early for making sure we could leave the hostel at 8 o’clock. As real Dutch the still sleepy group arrived at headquarters of Sustentech before the meeting time. We were directed to a small eight person meeting room. Some chairs were taken from the office to obtain more seats, still some had to sit in the window or on the small closet. We realized that Brazilians aren’t very punctual if it’s about appointments, because after waiting fifteen minutes our host came in. We had to say goodbye at twelve, after André’s interesting presentation about Sustaintechs activities, clients and projects, because of the next appointment. A two minute walk lead to a culinaire lunch at a company with a big yellow M. At Arcadis we were welcomed by Jair and Eloisa who presented the company’s activities in Brazil. Afterwards we discussed about different topics. Halfway the afternoon we were surprised with large plates of typical Brazilian cheeseballs and sweet cookies. The last presentation by Daan about world record beercrate bridge lead to impressed and surprised expressions on the host’s face. Dinner was held at a restaurant with nice burgers. Once back at the hostel everyone rested for another night exploring São Paulo. But only a few actually went outside the hostel into the rainy night. These people found out that dancing dressed up on a stage is entertaining the Brazilians. This was the end of an interesting and exhausting day.

Day 10

By Hanneke and Babette

Due to privacy, the names in this article are censored. This article is based on a true story and actual events.

Thursday the 19th of May started with a game of Mariokart inside the hostel at 00:00am, whilst drinking a homemade caipirinha. Heineken was not allowed to join this game due to the fact that she had gained experience in taxidriving in Rio de Janeiro. This LimeTime personnel closes the bar at 00:00am so 8 pioneers decided to fulfill the heavy duty of discovering the nightlife of Sao Paulo.

2 taxis escorted them to Beco, where they maintained an ‘Open Bar’ for the tremendous amount of 12,50 euros. If you were below 18, a passport must be shown at the security guard who was wearing a beautiful panterprint scarf, of which several Fishes became really jealous. The wodka-cokes, sex on the beaches and mojito’ s cleared our thirst, but for the ones that were not satisfied yet, there was enough opportunity to taste some Brazilian culture as well. Luckily we also had some Dutch glory to share with  Brazil, although the full moon was the night before. When everybody was satisfied we to a taxi home to enjoy a well deserved good night sleep.

2 hours later the alarms went of and we had to find our beautiful study trip polo in the dark because the power went out. We went to the Universidade de Sao Paulo where we started at the faculty of Civil engineering. First Professor Jay kicked off the presentations and explained us that sand in Brazil is rare and therefore very expensive, which resulted in his research on concrete and how to replace the binder with another filler.

This presentation was followed by a presentation of Doctor Mia, who gave us a presentation about CFD & Energy Plus, and her research about indoor air quality. Finally, PhD candidate Rafaela ended the session of presentations with her presentation about the CICS Living Lab. After that it was our turn to give presentations that were given by Lara, Tom and Daan.

The lunch took place at a kilorestaurant on campus, after which we went to the faculty of Architecture where a very interesting presentation was held. The students of Architecture (under which Jacob, Julianna, Icaru, Victor and not to forget Eduardo) gave us a lot of tips for the rest of our stay in the city of Sao Paulo.

We ended the night with a delicious Brazilian barbecue in the hostel.

We would like to address our final words to the parents of Daniel Glas, to congratulate them with their 28th wedding anniversary!

Day 9

By Stijn and Wouter K

During sunset all participants are resting peacefully on one ear. So the hostel was peaceful and quiet. At 8:05 hell breaks loose. Alarms are ringing the bedrooms. Bags are stuffed with dirty laundry, toiletries and other necessary attributes needed to survive in the jungle. Today we will arrive at Sao Paulo, the financial heart of the Brazilian economy. Before the trip is going to start, bags and suitcases are loaded on a jeep. Our stay in this village taught us that the streets made of cobblestones make it almost impossible to transport the luggage to the bus station by foot.

Half an hour later the bus station is in sight over the cobblestones, that are still wet of yesterday’s flooding. Now the bus trip can finally start. Almost all participants participate with full enthusiasm in the game called Jungle Bingo! Unfortunately, no parrot was spotted in the misty mountains of the jungle, because every participant used this time to sleep and rest.

After listening to music, sleeping and the deep throat performance of Tom, every awakes slowly from a long fuddle of the eight hour drive. Our visit to the Sala concert hall is unfortunately cancelled, due to traffic jams in the enormous metropole. Thanks to the extensive metro network of Sao Paulo, our travel to the hostel was possible with public transport. The Hostel, again a Limetime hostel, looks small between the enormous high rise buildings and has a cozy, international and for now also a known “Brabants” atmosphere. In order to eat, the group is relocating to the nearby shopping mall. Despite of the hunger, the women needed blinkers, to prevent them from getting distracted by al the jewelry and clothing stores. On the highest floor everybody could decide for themselves what to eat and where. This resulted in a very unhealthy but tasty meal. Later this evening we celebrated our arrival in Sao Paulo in a traditional Brazilian manner.

Day 8

By Kay and Giel

The day started with a nice breakfast, including the Brazilian fruit Papaya, at the hostel. After the breakfast everybody walked to jeeps for a long tour. The first stop of the jeep tour was at the fort of Paraty, a pity for Giel and Lennert as they already went there in the early morning. The location of the fort was ideal to see ships coming from the ocean. This means it has a nice view over paraty itself and the bay.

The second stop which was visited contained an old hydroplant, which was put out of order a long time ago. Next to this old hydroplant a waterfall was located where many of us took a swim.
After again a short tour by jeep, a visitation to the cachaca distilerry was done. Here we got a guided tour through the cachaca process and at the end of the tour we were able to taste different kind a cachacas.
At one o’clock we took a lunch in big natural garden next to the river. Some of us needed this lunch hardly because of the stop before. After a quick lunch most of us took the chance to explore the natural garden to get some papayas or to climb the rocks in the river.
The jeep tour continued again and we ended up at a river where rocks created a natural waterslide. In the beginning most of us wanted to make use of this waterslide, but some of us underestimated the height of the waterslide when they were on top of the rock. In the end we had different experiences of this waterslide as not everyone went of the slide very smoothly, right Silke? And some of us have some small memorable marks on the body from the slide. Also a second distillery was visited where again some different kind of cachaças could be tasted.
The evening program consisted of drinking our home made caipirinha and caipirinha papaya, which we found in the afternoon. While drinking these very tasty drinks the water level of the bay was increasing due to the moon and flood. This resulted that the street in front of our hostel was filled up with the seawater. We were lucky to see this monthly happening in Paraty and it was a good end of a beautiful day of nature.

Day 7

By: Daan & Lara

While the Caipirinha taste was still in our mouths from the evening before, the group had an early (6 am) breakfast to get the bus to Paraty. The ride to the busstation was done by taxi. In order to fit the people and their luggage into 7 taxis it was necessary to play some kind of a TETRIS game. We had to wait for another hour at the bus station for the bus and travelled about 5 hours to Paraty. It is a small historic town. Once we arrived, we headed to the hostel. That turned out to be harder than expected. The streets of Paraty are covered with cobblestones which makes it very hard to walk with suitcases (even without suitcases it is very hard to walk on those streets).

The streets are built like that due to the high water level when the tide is high (see a picture with the streets on it). At the moment of high water, once every moon cycle, the streets of Paraty are filled with sea water. This the reason why the streets look and feel like river beddings.

After the rough hike to our hostel, we were warmly welcomed by the hostel manager. The hostel beds looked a lot more stable compared to our previous hostel. The only challenge we had was dividing the group over the rooms. So eventually, two guys ended up in the girls room.

The next activity was enjoying the beach of Paraty. But before this could happen, the girls faced another problem: a number locker of a suitcase could not be opened. After trying all the 1000 different possible combinations, the problem was solved by force. In the meantime the boys had time to play soccer in the patio of the hostel. When everyone had a place to sleep, an opened suitcase, a packed beach backpack and a suncream covered body we could start the walk to the beach.

Walking through Paraty felt much safer than walking in a big city like Rio. The people seemed very nice. The beach itself looked a bit different from Rio’s beaches. The sand was more coarse and the waves weren’t that high which makes it easier to actually swim in the see. Unfortunately, we only had 30 minutes of direct sun left but nobody cared about that. There were also a lot of dogs playing and fighting close to our group, that was a bit scary but we were able to compensate it with caipirinha. Some people went back to the hostel to freshen up before dinner. The other part of the group stayed at the beach and played cards.

The dinner was very nice, there was a bbq with plenty of meat and a free caipirinha for everyone. It was a nice first day in Paraty.

Day 6

By Tom and Lennert

It’s nine o’clock in the morning, everyone is enjoying breakfast. But it’s not the bread and eggs that get the attention, it’s this one heroic young man on his way to immortality. Despite his recent acquirement of a driving license, the expectations are high… Then the lights turn green and the race has begun! Half a minute in, our hearts skip a beat. Those two silberpfeilen run each other off the track. Our hero is just one spot away from making history! Led by his new teammate and chased by the red cars the race continues. Overtaking is difficult so it seems like pit stop strategy will decide the outcome. His two main competitors dive into the pit and Max is leading the race, but for how long?

Lap times are good, strategy seems dead on, he makes one stop less than his competition and stays ahead, but will the tires last till the end of the race? A tortured time follows full of hope and tension. One mistake or just plain bad luck could wreck this dream we’re living. How to cope with the pressure as an 18 year old while the world is watching? As if he’s been doing it for years he drives a totally perfect race, putting the lap times in like Sven Kramer on his skates. The whole of The Netherlands believes in him, we’re witnessing the rise of a champion. A handful of laps left and Kimi seems to give in, no one’s taking this away from us. Everybody knew he was going to be great, but no one expected it would be this soon. Teary-eyed we hear the commentator’s voice break and we jump up from excitement! A champion, or maybe a messiah, is born this Pentecost day! If anyone received the holy spirit this day it must be Max Verstappen! What a hero, we will remember this day forever.

As if this day didn’t bring us enough joy yet, the sky turned blue. Somewhat behind schedule we took a cab to the Ipanema Hippie Fair, a relatively large square area hosting stands with all kinds of souvenirs, merchandise, food, local handcraft work, paintings and lots of soccer shirts and flip-flops. The visit gave us a first impression of Ipanema, but the most important thing had yet to come: the famous beach! After putting on loads of sunscreen, everyone chose their own strategy: get some rest, play beach soccer, walk along the shore or negotiate with the numerous amount of street(/beach) vendors.

At some point, the declining position of the sun made us aware that it was time for our next stop: Sugarloaf Mountain! Two rides in a cable car brought us to the top of the gigantic rock, situated between Botafogo and Copacabana. The view of the city is enchanting and very welcome after failing to see anything of Rio back at Christ’s feet. There’s obviously some melancholy in those with a loved one at home. We will share this moment with pictures for now.

Back at the foot of the mountain it’s time for a walk to the restaurant for this evening. A genuine ‘boteca’ with Brazilian grill specialties has never been a bad choice, and we can recommend the filet mignon to everyone. While we enjoy the meal the moment to leave Rio comes closer and we look back at some great days. Back at the hotel we packed our bags and drank some last caipirinhas during the ‘Drinking Game of Thrones’. Salient detail is what we found out about our hostel in São Paulo during this game: it’s being renovated at the moment so we have to move to another hostel. If we hadn’t found out, it would’ve been a very unpleasant surprise. Now we’ll close our eyes for the last time in our beloved Rio.

Day 5

By Silke and Michiel,

After a short night we started the favela with one man down. The tour was trough the favela “Rocinha” with 75,000 inhabitants located at the west side of Rio de Janeiro. The favela is famous for its criminality, in which drug dealers and militias are no exception. We were only allowed to make pictures on “safe” places when the tour guide said so, to prevent that we would end the tour with even less persons. Although we spotted some individuals with a (machine)gun, varying of age starting from 12 years, we got the feeling it was a staged set-up. This, however, was beneficial to the tension and sensation. In addition, the environmental status of the favela wasn’t ideal. For example the open sewers with lots of pests. Riccardo and Stijn thought it was necessary to make the tour even more realistic by wearing flip-flops, which they regretted in hindsight. In their opinion this fell under the category “poor life decisions”.

After the favela tour was finished, there was measurement and free time. For example the group of acoustics who measured the sound pressure levels and mapped this for different locations in the city. By using in-ear microphones (binaural) and an action camera (GoPro) the sound experience of  the city is recorded. Another group has measured the air quality in the hostel, with the outdoor air as reference, for a whole set of parameters such as particulates, temperature, air speed etc. In addition to that an analysis is made of the HVAC system. The groups who didn’t perform measurements went to the Copa Cabana to enjoy the last sunrays.

After the study related activities had taken place it was time for a cozy evening. We went to a tapas restaurant named “Meza Bar” at which we ate outside on the curb on tiny stools and consumed diner. After that we continued calmly: most wanted to get a good night sleep after the amazing evening of yesterday. Riccardo & Joshua (winners) and Tom & Giel (runners-up) have uphold the Dutch honor on an international beerpong contest, which was a suiting closing of the evening of an exciting day.

Day 4

By Wouter & Robert

Today on the program “surprise activity” although, because of the rainy  weather forecast the day before everyone could chose to join. The surprise activity of today is a boat trip to the island Ilha de Paquetta. On this island there are little to no cars allowed to drive around,instead of cars they use carriage with horses and bikes. The relative calmness of the island was a welcome change to the busy schedules of Rio’s busy centre. At arrival the sun was shining bright and this led to a fast visit to the first shop where swimming shorts were available. After a short walk we reached the beach at the other side of the island, a shocking 300 meters ahead.

After a short resting period we discovered the island , first instance this led to a visit to the restaurant. After the mauling of a delicious fish plateau with a cup of coffee and soda we went to go searching for touristic highlights. At one of the pointes of the island stands a beautiful ruin. We had a beautiful view over the bay of Rio.

Time to go back to the main coast, on the way back to the ferry the ladies gave a show of their driving skills, drifting wheelie on a boulevard bicycle buggy on high speed. Surprisingly parking the car appeared to be a bigger problem, but with some help this was also a problem that was easily resolved.  Once on the boat, more than two third of the group has been captured on the sensitive plate.

After the metro trip back to the hostel we prepared us for an epic all you can eat pizza party with of course caparinha’s. when we were stuffed we prepared us for a night out in Lapa, the place to be in Rio de Janeiro. On Friday night the streets will be closed for all traffic what was nicely in line with our car(e)free visit to the Island.