Unfortunately, the time has come to say our goodbyes. This morning several of us got up early to enjoy the sunrise from Copacabana beach in front of our hotel. What a blessing this trip has been for all of us to have had this great opportunity and experience!
We had the morning free to enjoy how we wanted. Some spent more time on the beach in the sun while some of us did some last-minute shopping. Once we finished packing the bus, we met as a group for a final reflection and SWOT analysis of the Brazilian market. This reflection and analysis of the trip proved to be thorough and enjoyable for all of us. Some of the strengths included: self-sufficiency, proactive on animal rights, communication, quality-based, adaptiveness, education emphasis, large-niche markets captured, government support, respect from general public, clean, and land and resource availability. The weaknesses Brazil sees include: infrastructure, manual labor, soil degradation, no agriculture lobbying voice, tariffs and trade barriers, lack of collaboration, and technology. Brazil also enjoys many opportunities including: land utilization and restoration, research, increased production availability, production regulations, increased consistency, continued and increased niche market sales, maximization of production efficiency, broad-scale growth options, open-mindedness, and in-country market growth. Unfortunately, Brazil also faces several threats, including: outside influence, lack of political influence causing vulnerability, young people leaving agriculture, slow-to-adopt technology everywhere, infrastructure, world perspective with other nations feeling the need to intervene, a lot of speculation, population knowledge, media, and lack of transparency.
This afternoon we traveled to the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation. This foundation is the biggest institute of public health in Brazil. Some of the main areas of study at the foundation are research and development, pharmacy assistance and production, education training, and information and communication. This foundation has a budget of more than $1 billion.
Oswaldos’ main find was the vaccine for yellow fever. Once he mastered this disease, he tried to release it to Rio de Janeiro, but they insisted that they did not want this vaccination. Over time, the Brazilian people stopped resisting and ended up using the vaccines. Cruz also developed vaccines for the bubonic plague and small pox.
We also lavishly thanked our supporters, including Anne, Marcia, and Alfredo, throughout the day. What a special and influential experience we were all able to have. The feeling is shared by all when I say we have been so incredibly blessed with this experience. There aren’t enough words of gratitude to explain how thankful we truly are.
–Tina Holst (University of Wisconsin – Platteville) and Clint Vance (Ohio State University)