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Alfonso Munive :: Blog

June 15, 2009

Greetings from Rio de Janeiro! We arrived in Rio on Tuesday June 9th, and just got situated at our PIRE International Partner’s Institution, Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF).  The campus is located within walking distance of our apartment, and takes about five minutes to walk to.  We arrived around 11:30am local time in Brazil, and from the time we left Miami, to the time we arrived in Rio, it took a good 12 hours.  Dr.Esteban Clua, and Erick Passos, a PhD student, greeted us at the Airport.  We went straight to our apartments, and the name of the flat is Boa Viagem Flat Service.  Both apartments have a spectacular view of Rio, and the apartments themselves are very accommodating having a full kitchen, living room, and a bedroom for two people.

Apt 1

 Our Flat

view from balcony

Balcony view, Rio de Janeiro


 Our Flat

Once we settled in we went to go have lunch at the Niterói Contemporary Art Museum, which is one of the city’s main landmarks. There we met up with Andre Brandao, Marcelo Zamith, Joai Gabriel, Pedro Thiago and Alex Salgado, all PhD students.  The museum is very beautiful, and its unique design it’s a monument like no other.  At night we went to go eat at restaurant called Paludo’s located on Sao Francisco Street, which is comparable to Ocean Drive on South Beach.  It is full of restaurants and bars, and in my opinion I had the best pizza I have ever eaten.

 Niterói Contemporary Art Museum

From left to right: Jonathan Sanchez, Myself, Peter Grecko, Sejijiro Ikeada, and Sajjad Zaidi

The following day on Wednesday Dr. Clua formally introduced us at UFF.  We met with the directors of the computer science department, and introduced to the lab we were going to be working from.  We spent the whole day here meeting and greeting with more students, and some of the faculty as well.  Everyone was very welcome, and it really is amazing how friendly and helpful everyone is here.


From left to right: Peter Grecko, Erick Passor, Jonathan Sanchez, and Dr. Esteban Clua

In our lab

On Thursday and Friday, the University was closed because of a national holiday, so we took advantage of the long weekend to tour the city.  We went to Copacabana, and also went to a mountaintop where hand gliders take off from, and you have a spectacular view of the city.  We ate a local seafood restaurant named BerbiGao, and it was right next to a fishing village, and once again the food was amazing.  The food here in Rio is relatively cheap, and we are always amazed how good the food is compared to its price.   Everywhere we have gone, we have not been disappointed by the food, and we are always eager to try new places.  

Copacabana Fort


Me and Eric Passor

Lastly, fast forwarding to today, Monday June 15, we are finally situated in our lab, and it’s our first official day here at UFF, since the university was closed for four days a day after we arrived.  In addition it’s our first time we have full access to the Internet, as the ISP hasn’t yet configured service in our flats.

 First full day at UFF


Working in lab

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