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Sajjad Zaidi :: Blog

July 24, 2009

Hiking in Tijuca Forest

Last Sunday was extreamly eventful as Dr. Esteban planned two trips for us. Sunday morning he picked all my PIRE fellows for a Hiking trip to Tijuca forest. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tijuca_Forest

The forest is approximately 30 minute away from Niteroi by car. After our arrival we all gathered and gave our names at the security desk in case someone doesnt make it back. After the formalaties we finally started Hiking. The forest was beautiful and our goal was the climb the highest mountain in the forest. After 2 hours of huffing and puffing (me only) we all made it to the top. As per Dr. Esteban the peak was almost a 1000 meter. The weather was cloudy with a little bit of drizzle. Due the the weather we couldnt see the view of the city which i heard is breath taking. I am also attaching a picture which shows the avtual view of the city under normal conditions.









After climbing down from the mountain and having our lunch. We all decided to watch a soccer match at the most famous Soccer statium in the world, MARACANA. The actual game started at 1830 hrs but we all got there at 1500 hrs and paid 30 reals for the tickets. After an hour of waiting the statium was finally opend and we all walked in. The stadium can hold upto 90,000 spectators. The match was between two of the best clubs of Rio, Batafogo vs Flamengo. After asking around one of the stadium staff told us to sit in the green section if you really want to enjoy the game. As per instructions we headed to the green section which was luckliy the Flamengo Section. Since we got there early some all we could see was red flags and drums on the top section. After 2 hours of waiting the game started but at this point our section was full and i can say 35-40% of the stadium was full. When the game finally started the flamengo fans took out the Gigantic flags and the party started. The fans first cheered their them and then came Singing, Rythamic clapping, Cursing, Dancing and what not. The game ended in a 2-2 draw but Brazilian style soccer i can say is the most advanced form of soccer. This is exactly why they are have won 5 soccer championships. But the game is no fun without the fans.






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July 20, 2009

The week was hectic as i had to write a technical paper which was due on friday. Pretty much the same activities but the weekend was eventful. Dr. Esteban planned this weekend for as. He first invited us to the animation festivel which was in RIO. A lot of artists around the globe presented their art. I attended 2 hours of the show. The short animated movies were awesome and i had a great time. http://www.animamundi.com.br/








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July 14, 2009

Police Registration

The Brazilian government stipulates that in order to remain in the country, any visitor planning on staying for more than 30 days must register with the Brazilian government. This week meant that this task needed to be addressed, as we were about to cross the 30-day mark. My team members and I arrived at the Niteroi Federal Police Department, where we need to wait for about 2 hours until our numbers were called. The clerk then handed over a list of documents required for registration. Since all the instructions were in Portuguese there was difficulty in deciphering the requisites. After few minutes of being perplexed, we decided to go back to our university and ask Dr. Esteban for assistance. He translated the form for us and told us what documents to take. 

The Brazilian Government required:        

1. 2x3 Photos (not passport pictures)

2. Notarized copies of passport pages (all pages used)

3. Registration form

4. Bank fee (to be paid at any local bank)

5. Finger Printing

6. Name Verification

After paying the bank fee, the teller told us that there was a notary at the corner and to look for the Cartonio (Portuguese for Notary). This became another obstacle since no one could understand what we were looking for. After 25 minutes of walking we finally found the Cartonio and got everything taken care of. The next day business day we went back to the Niteroi Federal Police department, and waiting in a large line for almost two hours. After submitting my paper work the clerk told me that I forgot to include two of my passport pages that had been used. After receiving this exasperating news, I rushed with one of my PIRE colleague, who coincidentally had the same problem, to the Notary to get the situation resolved. Upon returning, the clerk informed us that the officer who does finger printing is out to lunch and will be back in two hours. After two hours of waiting, the finger print officer finally showed and proceeded to give me a hard time for not relaxing my finger. I thought perhaps after all this, the process would be complete, but I was wrong. The document-receiving clerk went out to lunch and showed up 30 minutes later, and I was able to get my passport stamped, finally allowing for some peace of mind.

Weekend trip to Buzios

Our PIRE buddies finally manage to get out the city to visit Buzios. This small town is approximately 150 km from Rio. We took a boat ride and visited two beaches in Cabo Frio. 




Dr. Clua with his Wife





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July 02, 2009

Sunday June 28, 2009, the day started with the visit to Cristo Redentor (one of the seven wonders of the world). Dr. Esteban and Mark (Phd Student) picked us up at 9 am and we started our journey. After arriving at the location we took a Van up to the location where we had to go up the stairs upto the monument. The location and view was breath taking, the weather was partialy cloudy and blocked some of the view of the city but the monument and the atmosphere was amazing and words cannot describe it. Many visitors were taking pictures and it felt a little crowded but i found some beautiful locations to get some awesome pictures. Next week Dr. Esteban have scheduled a  visit to  Petrobras(oil company). We will visit  thier research and IT lab where some of the UFF students are conducting research. I am really lookng forward to this and i hope it goes will.






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June 26, 2009

This week went by very quickly since there Wednesday was a Holiday in Niteroi. Since last week i have worked on my Project which mainly deals with Autonomic capabilities of SAAS to MSPs. This week I investigated the SAAS providers (IT control Suite, ManageEngine and Zenith InfoTech) for my presentation which is due on June 30, 2009. The main focus of my research dealt with were Strength/Weakness and Autonomic capabilities. Last week, after 10 years i went to the Itacoatiara beach where i almost drowned. The beach is basically for surfers and the waves are very high which were a problem for me to deal with.





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June 19, 2009

Our adventure in Brazil began on June 15, 2009.  From the get go work was at the forefront and there was quiet a backlog that needed to be addressed. My goal for this week is to catch up on all pending items since Internet access is on Monday, 5 days after arrival.

    * Blogs
    * Weekly Report
    * PIRE research project 

I have come to take ever-ready Internet access for granted because life without it is very difficult. We finally connected to the Internet in out Flat on Thursday afternoon, 18th June. Other than work, I now must learn a new language from scratch. The mission is to speak Portuguese, made even more difficult since I don’t even speak Spanish.  Even without understanding the language, it is clear the people here are very nice and friendly, but the communication barrier is making play catch-up during conversations. The food, weather and people are amazing and are making it very easy for me to adjust. I am trying to sample as much local food as possible, and I am finding the items are similar to that stateside, but prepared with a lot more flavor and flare.


I especially like the pineapple in a Hamburger which is an essential part to its great taste.


Everyone meets and greets with a smile and I’m sure that’s a cultural thing because they seem to embrace their customs. However, there is even here an American influence, most notably in their choice of music. From the clothes they were to their choice in ringtones for their phones, the people of Brazil seem to like American pop music. Every store I’ve visited in the local shopping malls have had American music playing, so I assume this is a testament to the level of influence America has had.


Most items we are used to using on a regular basis are available, as well as ATM’s which are found in several spots in the local malls.


The flat we are staying in has a laundry service near the management office and is conveniently located. They accept drop offs so clean clothes are not an issue.


Even though I have cable, its still not high-speed broadband, so we have to take every kilobyte per second that we can come by.

Site Seeing

Rio is full of beauty and there is a lot to see. Please feel free to check out my pictures of a local city park overlooking Rio beach. Hand gliders also use this peak in order to take off.

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June 15, 2009

After 12 hours of flying and watching boring movies, we landed in one of the most beautiful city, in my opinion, Rio De Janeiro. Our collaborating Professor, Prof. Esteban Walter Gonzalez Clua, along with Erick Passos (Phd. Student of Universidade Federal Fluminese), greeted us and gave us a ride to our stunning apartment overlooking the Beach of Niteroi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niterói). The views are breathtaking there seems to be unless amounts of activities one can partake in on the beach. Our apartment overlooks Niteroi beach, Rio de Janeiro Airport, downtown Rio, Oilrig, O Cristo Redentor (Super Jesus), and Pão de Açúcar(Sugarloaf Mountain), and that should be an indication of how panoramic the views are! After arriving at the apartment we all had lunch at the restaurant in The Museum of Contemporary Art, which our flat happened to be walking distance from. After unpacking and getting adjusted to our new environment, Erick took us to the super market for supplies and some grocery shopping. Everything is walking distance, but is set atop a small hill so the walk can be quite steep. Our first night in Brazil ended with some Pizza at a local restaurant called Paludo.


Keywords: • International Experience• Site Seeing

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