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June 26, 2011

That’s what’s going on here at Bordeaux. Plenty of fiesta! It is all what this week is been about.

Bordeaux fête le fleuve

Every other year it is celebrated the Bordeaux River Fest, alternating with “Bordeaux fête le vin” (Bordeaux Wine Fest). A variety of theme related activities take place at La Garonne riverbank. There is music, fireworks, expo, etc. The main activities last the weekend, but some activities like expos may stay for a couple of weeks. Although I missed the weekend activities (didn’t find out about it until after it), I was able to attend the expo at La Garonne. The expo is a set of containers, each one with a different topic related to the life of the river: economics, sea life, etc. It’s a simple yet effective way to educate about both biological and economical impact of the river on Bordelaises’ life. Next year it’s the turn for the wine, so for those of you with such taste, save the date!

La Garonne River, the subject of the celebration 

La Garonne


 Pont de pierre, over La Garonne

Pont de pierre


 Miroir d'eau (Mirror of water) at Place de la Bourse

Miroir d'eau


Containers at the Expo "Le bonheur est dans le fleuve" (Happiness is on the river)


Container Expo

Container Expo

Bordeaux fête la musique

June 21st marks the beginning of the summer. This solstice is quite an event, because every year this day the Music Fest takes place around the world. It was initiated here in France a while ago, and many cities have joined the initiative. The event is like a sampler of every musical genre and style on existence. There are different music-related groups spread on the city center, on the streets. So you can literally walk from one genre to the other. This one I missed because something with a higher priority came in at last moment.

Les épicuriales

Every year, a display of the gastronomy of Bordeaux takes place on this sort of “food fair”. For around 2 weeks, one street lodges around 20 locations where chefs of the area offer the best of their cuisine. So in one street you go from seafood to Basque plates to ice cream and bakeries, all of them side by side. I can call this Paradise!

My office mate Hugo at Les Épicuriales

Les Épicuriales

But, Whyyyy?????!!!!!!!

As those of you who have read me before may have notice, I’m on a quest for healthy food. This pursue took me to a far away commercial center where the presence of a big supermarket carried the promise of variety and –maybe- the fulfillment of my request. As this wasn’t really accomplished, I left with 2 moderately heavy bags. When I got to the tram station, I noticed nobody was there. Ah! I remembered on my way there, a banner on the tram said something like the service would be stopped at 8:00 PM. It was 10:00 PM already. So, I walked to the station where I should get the other tram. I thought it was a matter of the connecting tram and no the whole line. As I arrived there, some people were gathered. But I saw the banner again at the stop. I asked somebody if that means the service for this tram is stopped and he said yes. But, why?! Aren’t they supposed to service until 1:00 AM? Yes, they are, but drivers are on strike! I faced two options. Option #1: walk home. I know the tram doesn’t take that long and it is slow, so maybe I can make it. Option #2: take a bike. Most tram stations allow you to take a bike for free if you return it within half an hour, or for 1€/hr. Yeay! I love biking, so this is it. It turns that my credit card wasn’t accepted by the system (you need a credit card to withdraw the bike, and it needs a special local code). So walking it is. It took me 53 minutes under a cold-wind 54° night… without a jacket. A lesson for you, my readers: when abroad, try to stay up to date of the news, it could spare you a bad time. I guess that being buried under papers the whole week didn’t inspire me to read anything else, and I don’t have TV here.

More fun at the job!

Please, PIRE people: don’t you go and think we don’t work here. It just happens there is a lot of fun at workplace these days. Every year, INRIA welcomes the summer with a “pique-nique”. They offer a lunch and the participants are asked to bring their specialties for dessert. The purpose is a social gathering for the institution members to interact in a relaxed way.

Harmonious Coexistance


Nice music

 Plenty of food


Also, every month there is an activity called “Unithé ou café?” (“A tea (united)” or a coffee?). These gatherings have the purpose that all the teams working at INRIA get to know each other and their respective lines of work in a festive yet educative way. This month it was the turn for MAGNOME, the team that I’m working with here. Below is a flyer of the event.

 UNIThé ou café

From left to right: Students Razanne (Syria), Laetitia (France), Nicolás (Chile); MAGNOME team’s Director Dr. David Sherman (USA), students Rodrigo (Chile), me, Natalia (behind me – Russia), MAGNOME team’s assistant Anne-Laure (France), Tiphaine (France).

Posted by NSF Partnerships for International Research and Education - Marie Lluberes | 0 comment(s)

June 23, 2011


Well, it seems that I've been posting to my personal blog while I should be posting here!Embarassed To see my previous posts, please go to this link. Also, you can view them from the "View all posts" link above. From now on, I'll post here.Smile


Posted by NSF Partnerships for International Research and Education - Marie Lluberes | 0 comment(s)

June 17, 2011

The weather has improved much this week, with sunny skies and comfortable walking temperatures. So on Sunday,  I took advantage of the beautiful weather and went north to Mantavo (formally Mantua).

Mantua’s historic power and influence under the Gonzaga family made it one of the main artistic, cultural and notably musical hubs of Northern Italy and the whole country itself. Mantua is noted for its significant role in the history of opera, and the city is known for its several architectural treasures and artifacts, elegant palaces or palazzi, and its medieval and Renaissance cityscape.

On my arrival, I was lucky to stumble upon a lively road march in the streets. I later found out that the celebration was associated with their independence. Lots of musical bands played while the locals cheered them on through the streets.


The Road March:             

I visited the Palazzo del Te, Palazzo Ducale and the San Sebastian museum (which was also once a palace). The palaces were well persevered, most rooms had their own theme, with breathtaking ceilings. The workmanship was impeccable, lots of gold included and the murals were out of this world. Should I even mention the paintings, incredible!


Unfortunately, pictures are not permitted inside the palaces and museums but I managed to snap a few pictures outside. 

Palazzo del Te:

Palazzo Ducale Square:



Museum San Sebastian:


That’s it for this week, Ciao!

Posted by NSF Partnerships for International Research and Education - Ingrid Buckley | 0 comment(s)

July 06, 2010

This week is sadly my last week in Paris and working with the Agence. I have very much enjoyed my time here and everyone at the Agence has been extremely kind and taught me a great deal, particularly Dr. Couchoud.

 I just completed the draft of the APHA abstract that I am submitting to the 'late breaker' session for the November conference in Denver, and my committee and Dr. Couchoud are editing it currently and I will submit it to the epidemiology chair of APHA directly by email later this week.

 I am also looking into journals to which I can submit a 'brief report' of the descriptive statistics and co-morbid clinical diseases of HIV-positive renal replacement therapy and renal transplant patients, which is the data that I have been analyzing. Currently, the journal 'Transplant Infectious Disease' seems to be a good fit and I found a similar study on USRDS HIV+ renal transplant patient data in this journal recently.

 This past weekend I was in Turin, Italy visiting my best friend from the US and her boyfriend, who is Italian at their place. I was having a great time until i went to the market w/her on Saturday and my wallet was stolen out of my purse! I had no idea it was gone until i went to buy something and noticed it missing. It contained all my credit/debit cards, passport, and drivers license, needless to say this was a total cauchemar(nightmare) lol.

I had to file a police report and was able to fly back to France w/a copy of my passport I had made and had my family wire me money and my bank allows me to wire money as well since all debit/credit cards were stolen. Italy is pretty bad apparently, and there is a large gypsy community that specializes only in stealing. My friend Jessica and her bf had their apt broken into during Christmas and all their presents stolen even they later told me!

So, word of advice, when traveling in Italy, watch your purse/wallet!

 Overall however, the weekend ended ok and Turin was very pretty. See attached pics of Turin and Paris:)


Keywords: site-eeing, weekly report

Posted by NSF Partnerships for International Research and Education - Ghazal Soleimani | 0 comment(s)

July 01, 2010

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Last night I went to a 40th birthday party at the house of a French lady whom I met during Paris's 'designer days'. the party was a surprise birthday party for her friend, Laurent, who is a journalist here in Paris that writes on articles and topics related to healthcare and the pharmaceutical industry (since he himself is a pharmacist as well). The party was very fun and had great food and it was interesting talking to all of the guests and good practice for my French! :) Laurent also knew the L'agence de la Biomedicine, where i work, because he has covered them much in his work he said b/c they are the entity responsible for allocating all transplant organs and tissues in France.


Today I am resuming with SAS analyses for my APHA abstract and creating a table for the results to summarize for the abstract. Dr. Couchoud has taught me several new analysis techniques this week.


I also received great news from the USRDS US renal registry, that my proposal was accepted, so I can move forward with the data request this week and hopefully have it upon my return to Miami after July 10th.


I can't believe my trip is already coming to an end, time flies! But I have learned much and made some great friends during my time here and hope to visit again in the future. Attached are some pics from last night's bday party:)

Posted by NSF Partnerships for International Research and Education - Ghazal Soleimani | 0 comment(s)

June 29, 2010

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This week at the Agence I am working on the interpretation of the results of my statistical analyses of the prevalent HIV patients in the REIN registry and also composition of an abstract for the APHA conference in November. The student liason from APHA said I can send the abstract directly to the chair of the epidemiology section and that they are looking forward to my submission.

 I also heard from the director of the USRDS US renal registry, Dr. Eggers, and he said he is reviewing my proposal this week and should hopefully approve it if all looks ok and I can move forward w/data request so that I can have it upon my return to Miami in 2 wks to begin analyses of US data w/Dr. Page, my other advisor.

 Dr. Couchoud was out of town until today due to a nephrology conference she had in Germany but will be continuing to teach me analyses in SAS this week.

I think I still have much to learn in this next 2 wks in terms  of SAS analysis but overall have made good progress.

 This past weekend I just relaxed and explored some of paris and went to the Place d'Italie district,which is the Italian and Chinatown of paris and got some interesting fruits and vegetables.

I have also attached some pics of the area where I live, the Invalides, and my work:)


Posted by NSF Partnerships for International Research and Education - Ghazal Soleimani | 0 comment(s)

June 23, 2010

Last weekend, we went to Odaiba which is a large artificial island in Tokyo Bay, across the Rainbow Bridge from central Tokyo. It was constructed in the end of the Edo Period (1603-1868) for the city's protection against attacks from the sea.   It expanded during the 20th century as seaport district and has developed since 1990s as a major commercial and leisure area. 
Our trip started taking the Yurikamome elevated train at Shimbashi station. It uses the Rainbow Bridge to get to Odaiba, and we had nice views of the Tokyo waterfront area. When we arrived at Odaiba, we took a cruise that went around the island.
Main Attractions:
Fuji TV Building -- this is the headquarters of Fuji Television

A replica of the Statue of Liberty
One of the two beaches in urban Tokyo (swimming is not recommended)
Rainbow Bridge -- gateway that connects Odaiba to the heart of Tokyo
Ferris Wheel -- it is a 115 meter ferris wheel which is one of the world's largest one
At the end of the day, we ate Okonomiyaki which is a japanese-style pancake or pizza. It usually includes chopped cabbage, onions, shrimp, squid, fish, corn and more. I love it!!

Posted by NSF Partnerships for International Research and Education - Amelia Hashizume | 0 comment(s)

June 01, 2010

This week has been off to a good start and Dr. Couchoud and I had the chance to sit down together and formulate the methods section and analyses of my aims. I am almost done with entering these edits and will be starting analysis using SAS with her on Friday (She is out of the city 2 days this week due to work travel). She is quite a busy person, I am honestly impressed at how she can do so many things at once!

 This past weekend I had a chance to relax and go to the Centre Pompidou  with my roommate Fanny and 2 of her friends and see the modern art exhibits and the newer feminist exhibit they have up. Some very interesting newer art by some more modern artists as well as many old works from Picasso. Took lots of pictures and finally found my camera upload cord so will post shortly:)

 This weekend my boyfriend is actually visiting from the US and we are going Friday eveining-Sunday to Piza Italy and then to La Spetzia Italy to meet up with one of my best friends and her Italian boyfriend who live there, so should be fun:)

Posted by NSF Partnerships for International Research and Education - Ghazal Soleimani | 0 comment(s)

August 08, 2009

How I miss Brasil, this was probably the most incredible experience of my life.  I have never had so much fun working on projects, learning, and laughing so much in my entire life.  The times I shared with my fellow FIU PIRE students and the CS people at UFF will always be in my heart. (wow that is sappy) now for some great pictures.



Oh I forgot to mention my first love in Brasil.  THE FOOD!

Seriously the food.


Also the drinks.


Posted by NSF Partnerships for International Research and Education - Peter Greko | 0 comment(s)

July 24, 2009

....After our lunch, Zaidi, Seijiro and I went to the "Maracana" one of Rio de Janeiro's famous landmarks. I have been dying to go to this place for years, and to finally be given the opportunity to experience a soccer game at "Maracana" was amazing. We arrived earlier than what we should have, one of the PIRE students thought the game started at 4:30pm which in reality started at 6:30, so we had to wait for almost 3 hours for the game to start. In the mean time we took some pictures out the stadium


At 4:30, they started letting people inside the stadium, we still had 2 hours left for the game to start, so we walked around and started taking pictures of inside the stadium 


Now the game finally started and let me tell you, it was one hell of an experience. I've been to many soccer games in Miami, and nothing an compare to the atmosphere of the Maracana. We decided to sit on the Flamengo side, the fans their were rowdy, jumping up and down, banging the drums and singing through out the entire game. The game was a nail bitter, the final score of the game was Flamengo 2, Botafogo 2, it ended in a draw.


Posted by NSF Partnerships for International Research and Education - Jonathan Sanchez | 0 comment(s)

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