Monday, 9th of September, today we meet the mayor of Uberlandia, mister Gilmar Machado. We are told to dress-to- impress and to be in the lobby at 09:50 sharp! No Brazilian going-by-the-flow kind of time management, but to be there in time as the mayor is having a busy schedule. So there we are, dressed really fancy heading for the Administrative Center of Uberlandia to be welcomed by the local authorities. It will also be our first real-life encounter with the NGO that we’ll be working for. And, of course, with the studens of the Uberlandia University who will play a key role in the assignments that will take place.
A bit nervous, though not stressed, we enter the building which is guarded by women wearing serious artillery. Makes me wonder whether that has anything to do with the turmoil that took place here some weeks ago. But ok. She’s smiling and I can see her shiny eyes behind the Rayban sunglasses she’s wearing. We enter the building and walk up the stairs to be seated in the huge meeting room of the department of Public Communications. During this meeting, all the NGO’s will present their cases to the whole team that is present (a quick count reveals some 100 persons present in the room, including press). The administration will have it’s say as well as IBM being partner in this assignment is also part of the ceremony. The mayor – who is told to have a really busy schedule – takes his time listen to all the presented cases and has a handshake and personal thank you handshake for all members.
Stressing the fact that we should bring our experiences to the NGO’s and also bring back to our countries the best of Brazil, he leaves leaving us now with the opportunity to meet our NGO in person and now come to a real contact. It is good that we took the hugging classes yesterday! This is the moment we have been waiting for. We rush to Doris and the two students that have been assigned to our project. They are all so kind and warm. And we hug! Within minutes we have invitations to come to a private party on Saturday, a trip to Rio and to every imaginable place in Uberlandia. Doris seems to know Everybody in Uberlandia. Our translator, Marcus, is going to have a real hard time translating the Brazilian waterfall named Doris. But we leave the building, already being close as a team. #ibmcsc brazil This is going to be a really good team assignment!!! #ibmcsc brazil