Half way…

Friday 20 September 2009, we are half way on our assignment. We have been here for two weeks now and it is nice to see how our team is evolving. Not only our own -small – team, but also the group dynamics in general. It is good that we have our chats after the working days and during breakfast. We are all encountering the same nice things and challenges working in Brazil. We are starting to recognize patterns and I think that we are all doing well.

A common thing is that is really hard to get things done for the project plan. There is always a lot of distraction. Noise, playing children, music lessons, people come and go and need introductions. And there will always be some sort of general idea of what the day will bring. But that is nothing more than a general guideline. An overarching idea. Brazilian people are so flexible. It is so opposite to our Western culture where being late for 5 minutes can be considered as being offensive. Here they’ll just laugh. 5 minutes??? We need to get used to it. Things change constantly over here. All the time.

Now, for our assignment. We have taken our first steps into being online. We are thinking about the setup and structure of the Politriz website. It forces us into really good discussions about the vision, audiences and strategy for it. But, there is real time pressure to deal with. So we make this plan and we try to stick to it. We set ourselves some deadlines and we go to work. But just as we begin, (and there we go again) the Internet goes down, even worse, the electricity goes down too. We decide to have lunch and we soon discover the reason why the internet is not working. The Institute has failed to pay the bills… It’ these kind of things that are holding us from making progress. But, after a short call and the promise to pay, the internet is up again and we work in “silence” (with Jivago, the dancing teacher in the background). Yet again, there is distraction. The local TV station is following us here again. They interview some kids and the NGO leader. And, first and foremost, they decide to donate this big stereo that the dancing teacher needs so desperately. Good news!

By the end of the day, the internet decides that the weekend is approaching. The performance is rapidly decreasing. This is not helping us getting the site online and doing our research for our plan. So we switch to offline modus and work the Powerpoint and Word documents that we are creating. In the end, we present the work done to ourselves and I think we made good progress. It is getting dark and we need to go. It’s seven o’clock and we head into the city. The weekend has begun. People are all over the streets and having drinks and BBQ’s on the street. It is really too bad that this part of the city is dangerous and we cannot get out of the car. I’d love to just walk around, but we are not supposed to. We spot one of the teachers living here. She insists that we meet her husband and we kindly present ourselves through the car window. It will be as close as we will get to the people living here. #ibmcsc brazil Unfortunately.

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