Christopher Porcaro, January 24th, 2018
Brazil was an experience that I will forever remember until the day I die. There are so many amazing sights to see in Brazil that just explaining them to you will never do it any justice. The country as a whole is beautiful and the people were kind enough to let us be apart of their culture for 2 weeks.
One of the more interesting corporate visits we encountered at our time in Brazil was a bus company by the name Marcopolo. Marcopolo is one of the best producers of luxury bus design in Brazil. The company’s main focus is to receive the frame of the bus from a 3rd party producer and then Marcopolo designs the body to the specifications of the customer. It was incredible to see a company be able to design so many different specific options for so many customers. As difficult as it sounds, Marcopolo seemed to be handling it with ease.
Marcopolo isn’t just a domestic company. They have other many manufacturing facilities all over the world. Some were in India, Russia, and even the middle east. Their reach is absolutely incredible. The employee for Marcopolo that showed us around was apart of the supply chain process of the manufacturer and had actually lived in many parts of the world while working for Marcopolo.
Marcopolo also had a very interesting supply chain process actually. For those of you who have taken supply chain 364, the process of Marcopolo follows the lean manufacturing technique and also is very similar to the Toyota TPS method. Essentially the manufacturing process is all about keeping your work space clean and not having any clutter or anything not needed around. I found it very interesting to finally see this played out in real life in front of my eyes.
Finally, Marcopolo started to describe its competitors to us and it seemed as though they didn’t have much competition at all really. We realized this once they started to tell us about all the many other charter bus companies they had recently taken over or bought out. I found this intriguing because in the U.S. you wouldn’t see this due to the very strict anti trust laws.
There were three times I was in complete awe of how beautiful Brazil is on this trip. The first time was in a state that Dr. A was originally from. He took us to visit the locals around his town and play soccer and futsal with them. Later that day once we were all done playing soccer and talking to the locals, he had the locals take us in these vehicles that resembled an older form of tractor. On this tractor ride, the locals took us down this hill as we passed these beautiful rows of a vineyard. They seemed to go on forever on these sloping hills. In Texas if you see any sort of farming it’s on flat ground but this was on roaming hills that went on forever.
The second time I was in shocked by Brazil was the trip to Christ the Redeemer. To get up to the statue you have to wait on the ground for a sort of trolly to take you up the hill. The trolly then ascends up this steep mountain and while you go up you have an amazing view of the city and everything surrounding it. As the ride goes along you take pictures and you’re amazed by it all, but then you realize you’re not even at the best part yet. Once you reach the top with the trolly they cram as many people in an elevator as they can to speed up the line to get you to Christ the Redeemer. Once you’re out of the elevator you see many different steps leading to the top to where any could essentially stand next to the statue and even touch it. At the top of the stairs as you’re standing next to the statue you look out over the edge and you can see the entire city of Rio. You go to one end and you see large, green mountains. You go to the other side and you can see the Copacabana beach. Go to the other side and you see a vast ocean. The sight was incredible and I’ll never forget it.
The last and possibly the best sight I’ve ever and maybe will ever see is the view from Sugar Loaf mountain. To get to the mountain range you take a monorail system from the ground up to each peak of each mountain in the range. Once on the top of each range you smell different foods from various shops on each peak. The best part though of the entire experience was going to the second peak around night time. The best thing to do during this time is to sit down in these chairs, grab a coffee or pizza and just look out into the city at night. Also when you’re sitting down on this level you can look to the left and see Christ the Redeemer light up. This sight was the most calming scene I’ve ever been apart of. You can just feel the breeze slowly coming in and it’s very quiet at night on the mountains because many people leave. This is honestly the one thing I’ll never forget. The best way to end the trip after doing so many things in two weeks.
One thing I would want to share with everyone is obviously I would recommend going on this trip to anyone and everyone. It’s an incredible two weeks of learning so many things about a culture. You learn things you never would be able to about a country if you just were to read about it. That being said I wouldn’t do this trip alone or just with friends. I highly recommend going with Dr. A. Dr. A was amazing and did some many things for us that we wouldn’t even know how to do. He constantly looked after us, kept us safe from strangers, and planned everything amazingly. I highly recommend going on this trip with Dr. A. He’s the best around and knows the safest and best places to have fun and trust me you’ll have fun.
The other thing I wanted to share about my trip to everyone is the Brazilian culture. As Americans we are very fast paced in the things we do in our everyday lives. Trust me even if you take your time you still move at a much faster pace than most Brazilians. When we arrived we started to realize this very laid back nature of the Brazilians. If you do go to Brazil, please embrace their culture of laid back attitude. It makes everything so much better and it will take a lot of stress of you if you do. I found myself reluctant to embrace the culture at first, but after awhile I gave into it and it really makes the trip more relaxing.
This trip in my biased opinion is the best trip Mays have given to its students. Everything about the trip I loved so much. It truly is a once in a lifetime experience that I will remember forever and will always look back on as the best way to spend part of my Christmas break. So please if you’re considering doing this trip, sign up. Dr. A is so much fun to be around and Brazil is an amazing place.