I am almost all recuperated from my latest trip to South America (actually just Brazil). I got to spend some weekend time in the capital Brasilia and a city called Maringá in the state of Parana. I think that I have now been in 5 different Brazilian states (out of the current 27). Work went so well and blended so well with adventure it was what I would consider a peak experience. I was definitely living life large and having an experience I will never forget.

Brazil reminds me of the US about 30 or 40 years ago. The growing middle class population is about optimism and friendliness.

Practical joke

On one of my domestic flights in Brazil I was stopped at security after the x-ray machine for your carry-ons (the way security used to be in the US). No one at the security point spoke English. They indicated that there was something in my computer bag that was not allowed. They were making gestures like they were eating. Weird. The line started backing up and I emptied out my entire computer bag. There is a lot of junk in there between power supplies, flash drives and stuff I might need. OK. I admit it. My computer bag contents are just like the purse of an old neurotic woman. We ran the computer through the x-ray for a third or forth time. After that, I just handed the empty bag to the security guard. Everyone was a bit amused that this had somehow become such a huge production with all of my stuff in trays and bins with things that belong to the gringo that can't understand Portuguese. Well, he tore through my bag and he finally found a regular old fork. How it got in there was certainly a practical joke from one of my colleagues. (Paybacks can be tough). A security guard came up and pointed at the fork and asked "chama?". I said "fork". "Ahh fork!" came back from the security team almost in a chorus. The initial security guard that barks at folks on what to do and what to put on the conveyor started to bark "Naõ forks!" Everyone started laughing. It was great.

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