Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sugar sugar.

Last week my class toured a sugarcane processor on the eastern side of the state.  I was unaware that the cooperative was over three and a half hours away, and just grabbed a book and twenty reais on a whim before jetting out the door at 6am.
After 45 minutes on the bus, I asked Felipe, "So how much further is this place?"
He laughed at me.

The ethanol plant itself is a little dated, but it's the only one here in Rio Grande do Sul, and it gives a good visual idea of how the whole process runs.  We toured the field operations and got to see the planting, harvesting, and burning of cane plots in various stages of development.  Afterward, we were guided through the processing plant that extracts the liquid and ferments it in huge vats.  Then, to the quality assurance lab.

 Yeah.  That would pass inspections at home...

Snack time.



This is Professor Marchesan.  He teaches the sections over rice and cane production, which have been my favorites this year.  He is such a great professor, and as Leonardo says, "He takes care of you like you are his kid."


The ride home was so fun.  I am living in a great part of this country, where the people are just plain nice. For some reason, I am always surprised by how inclusive my classmates are of me.  It would be so much easier to just ignore the foreign chick that talks like a four year old, and misses more jokes than she catches.  But they never do. I always have friends to eat with, walk with, talk with, sit with, laugh with, and hug me.  I absolutely love it.  

On the way home, the someone busted out the honey liquor, and the isle of the bus turned into a cocktail party on wheels.  Literally.  And what cocktail party is complete without a crew of  sweet boys shouting South American cowboy songs like a band of drunken pirates late into the night?