After checkout Wednesday morning, RBLP and the TTUISD students gathered together for the last time in the hotel conference room. First, Dean Nail imparted to all of us a brief message of thanks for making the first leg of our trip and our time with the Brazil students so valuable. Then, it was time for us as RBL to share our thanks – first, with Dean Nail and Dr. Dass for their time and dedication in making our trip so successful; and then, with Rakel and Gabriela, for taking us under their wings as guides and creating a wonderful experience of the city and its business for us throughout the week.
After all of the opening messages concluded, it was time to hear from our last speaker in Rio de Janeiro – Otavio Vieira, a partner at Fides Asset Management. Mr. Vieira took an unexpected approach to his presentation by periodically choosing students at random to ask him the questions. This effectively kept us on our toes as he educated us on the Brazilian economy, with an emphasis on how government policy and inflation affect business and investment in the market in Brazil.
All too soon, it was time to bid farewell to our new TTUISD friends. We enjoyed chatting and exchanging contact information and Facebook friend requests in that last hour at the hotel, promising to keep in contact and call if we ever came back to Brazil.
Then, on what should seemingly have been an uneventful drive to the airport, we were all jolted out of conversation and light napping as the bus came to a halt in the middle of the highway. Quickly, we realized why – a highway robbery! It sounds too crazy to believe, but two motorcycle riders really did corral a moving vehicle just ahead of us, rob the people inside, and ride away before anyone knew what was happening, stopping traffic to the point that people were exiting their vehicles to see what had happened. What a shocking way to end our time in Rio; thank goodness we avoided an incident like that ourselves!
The rest of our afternoon consisted of airport procedures, airport food, airport waiting time, and a flight to Buenos Aires. For most, these were opportunities to catch up on some much-needed sleep after one nonstop week, before a second to come.
The view from the plane was incredible, but we landed in a dark, rainy, and foggy Buenos Aires. We soon met our new Austral guide, Berenice, who introduced us to our new city on the drive to our hotel. It’s easy to see, already, that this is a whole new world from Rio de Janeiro.
We’re excited to embark on the second half of our journey this week, as we delve into the world of business in Argentina and enjoy its capital city. This trip has already been such an eye-opening experience, and there is, no doubt, an entirely new wealth of knowledge waiting for us here in Buenos Aires, Argentina.