Soon after Mathias left to go off to College for his first semester at Vanderbilt (super proud of him), Morgan also hopped on a plane and traveled to Brazil for his new project in Sorocaba with GM building the front corner modules for a light duty truck (GMI700). It is a long flight to Brazil from Germany but well worth it for the extremely friendly people, good food (lots of all-you-can-eat) and delicious Caipirinhas (Cachaça, Limes, and lots of sugar).
After arriving from our almost 12 hour flight, the first thing that we were presented was the insane traffic in Sao Paulo. The local motorcycle riders take their lives into their hands to avoid the traffic by whizzing between the cars. Just on the ride to the plant from the Airport (which takes you directly through Sao Paulo) we saw 3 accidents. Our driver mentioned that on average 2-3 motorcycle riders die every day in Sao Paulo. Most of the rich residents of the area avoid the traffic completely by using helicopters. Sao Paulo has one of the highest densities of heli-pads in the world.
Being right after the loss of Brazil to Germany we tried to not mention the World Cup. Some of my German colleagues could not help it though and the Brazilians took it with grace. Since we were south of the Equator it was rather cold and rainy (which just added more traffic).
One of the best parts of the trip was the churrascaria which is the Brazilian barbecue. It is rodizio style so you eat until you can’t fit any more – except for maybe some papaya creme.
Overall we didn’t get to see much of Sorocaba and Sao Paulo due to long work days and lots of meetings. Hopefully there will be time on future trips to explore the area.
It was the first of many trips to come over the next year.