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10. Comments for Future ISPers

Well, here we are at the night before. Honestly, it’s not such a bad place to be. Certainly if I had been more diligent and spent less time haunting various blogs and grad school websites and the New York Times while I was supposed to be writing up my results, I might be sleeping right now, rather than writing my ISP comments. But hey, for some reason, everything feels great.

However, I digress. Gustavo specifically told us that this is supposed to be a place for helpful comments about doing the ISP. So here are my thoughts specific to what I did during November 2007.

The CPT is an awesome organization. Seriously, words like beautiful come to mind when I think of them. I am somewhat apaixonada. However, if you want to research about/with them, I would recommend knowing ahead of time exactly what you’re doing, and not expect a lot of academic-type advice. It’s not that they aren’t helpful, and they’ll definitely hook you up with all sorts of cool people in southern Pará and teach you interesting things, but you should plan to have a separate academic advisor as well. With that said, Guilhermina was the bomb diggity and I recommend her mightily. She knows her stuff when it comes to planning, carrying out, and talking about research. She’s also very good at explaining what she knows, and she doesn’t scare you and make you think you’ll never finish your ISP. I really cannot imagine having a better advisor. Regarding research in/around Marabá: the Hotel Norte Sul is a fantastic joint with a delicious free café da manhã, a gang of sweet old ladies who run the place, a great location, a decently romantic balcony area perfect for a nightly lonesome cig, and only an occasional roach in the bathroom. Their prices seemed a little steep to me but overall I thought it was worth it, and I don’t know that other places would have been cheaper. Here is how to eat in Marabá for R$10 a day: breakfast at HNS, guarana shake for lunch (R$2-3), dinner at the Espetinho on the side of the praça closest to the river near the Correios (R$5 for a plate of arroz, farrofa, salada PLUS a sticker of some of the best carne I ate in Brazil. The guy who cooks the meat is also wonderful. Tell him I said hi. By the way, this budget leaves you a couple reais for a beer). I was very bad at being social in Marabá, but I did make one friend outside of the CPT, and if you email me (noronic@gmail.com) and it is not too many years after this program I will hook you up. She’s awesome and will give you the not-for-tourists tour of Marabá. If you are like me and you end up being alone for some time in your ISP feeling bad and annoyed at yourself for not aproveitaring the situation and spending too much time watching movies dubbed in Portuguese alone in your hotel room, just remember that even your cool activist friends go home at night and watch Se7e Pecados. If you are not like me, good for you. I went to Marajó Island during the ISP period and the world did not end.

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