Ideally, the first two days would have gone just as planned. We would have arrived in paradise and the embrace of the sun’s rays, warm breeze, and cool waves would more than distract from the task at hand. Sure, ideally, we would all have tans by now, asked several times to participate in the upcoming World Cup and Olympics, and dined on the best steak Brasil has to offer while paying close to nothing.
We’ll leave ideally to Disney.
What we experienced, instead, was a 2 day lesson in agility. At my own assessment and that of Felipe (one of our trip guides), we passed with flying colors. The darkness we experienced from a power outage (caused by the largest rain Maresias has seen in years) allowed the best of each of us to shine bright. Congregating around candlelight, we found ways to teach each other more about ourselves, telling stories and diving deeper into each of our hopes, dreams, aspirations, vices, and pet peeves to learn what makes us tick, bringing us closer.
We finally left Maresias on Monday. Traversing through a moat that almost swallowed Aditi whole, we hopped on the bus by 5pm, worn and prepared to move on to the next city. Johnson & Johnson, and Natura, both company visits scheduled for the day, were cancelled due to the storm. We arrived in São Paulo 3 hours later, suddenly rejuvenated and fresh - at least spiritually. Several of us desperately needed a warm shower to shake off the cobwebs. Within an hour, though, we were on top of the world - well at least São Paulo. Sky Bar was the place of choice, and, as Ren put it, "Brilliant. 360 view of a skyline”. Check out some of the pix on FB. Tomorrow brings on the first wave of presentations we have worked so diligently to prepare.
Excitement, tension, anxiety, and an overall sense of wanting to excel were in the air. The energy was incredible. We began bright and early with a presentation the cheese bread entrepreneur with a funny personality that admitted he didn't even enjoy one of his line extensions, and concluded the morning with a presentation from KPMG (we dropped your name to him, Eugene). Santa Brasa and IBRAC presented today, and we all reconnected in the evening for dinner and a venture out to night scene. Sao Paulo reminded us that we were on a business trip as we gave our presentation and visited company after company. We spent the evenings touring the night life, but were up and prepared by 8am or earlier each morning to continue the business aspect of this trip. The clouds started parting and we hoped we they would stay away long enough to allow us some sun in Rio.