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Brazil through gringo-eyes: The mother of all traffic jams

30 Jul

kristof

by Kristof

Yes, the traffic situation in Florianópolis could use some improvement, to say the least. Most of the important transit roads between the various areas of the city are narrow, often with only one lane in each direction. On top of that, there are little or no alternative roads you can use when traffic on the main road is getting exceptionally bad. The city’s population has been booming in the last decade, especially with those gringos moving in from all over the world and ruining the place for us manezinhos. The transit system is not built to deal with this kind of population growth, which results in a lot of traffic-related frustration.

It may be a small consolation, but things can always be worse. Traffic in my own home country isn’t too great either: roads are often in a poor state, various long-lasting road works and deviations can turn your morning commute or a simple trip for an afternoon of shopping into an ordeal that will leave you stressed and frustrated. The ring road around Antwerp, Belgium’s second largest city has been a problem area for decades. With several highways coming together, it’s a major traffic hub for Belgium and neighboring countries and the road just doesn’t have the capacity to handle the flood of cars and trucks during peak hours. Add this to the fact that the ring isn’t actually complete (it’s open on 1 side!) and it makes the whole thing a bit shameful.

antwerp

A few weeks ago, however, things really got out of hand. It was a long weekend with some sunny weather predictions, so it was an ideal weekend for a trip with the family. The already existing problems combined with the increased traffic and road works – that were inexplicably done during the day, instead of at night – that closed off 3 of the 4 lanes, created the perfect storm of traffic chaos. Many tourists from the Netherlands and Germany as well as Belgium had to pass by Antwerp on their way to the coast or other holiday destinations and ended up stranded in traffic for up to 3(!) hours. As the day progressed, people started to become dehydrated. Some started to feel unwell or even faint. Emergency services were called and ambulances were sent to help the people in need. The Red Cross also tried to distribute water. Tried, because even that went wrong: As more and more cars joined the traffic jam, people found nothing better, but to use the emergency lanes, effectively blocking them for the emergency vehicles they are meant for. It was reported that it took an ambulance almost 45 minutes to reach a person in need.

So, you can see a bit of slow traffic on Beira-Mar Norte isn’t the worst thing that could happen. Next time you’re in stuck traffic in Florianópolis, try not to get wound up too much, but instead remember this heartwarming story and sigh with relief that you’re not stranded for half a day on your way to some relaxing destination, with your whole family crammed into hot and small car, while your children are complaining that they’re hungry and thirsty and your grandmother starting to feel faint and you have to wait 45 minutes for anyone to come give her some water, because the car next to you decided it was ok for him to use the emergency lane. And if that’s not enough to relax you, you can turn your head 90 degrees and take the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful sunset behind the mountains on the continent.

sun

 

When Surfing, Be Careful

20 Jun

mateus

by Mateus

Last weekend I was surfing at a beach where I’ve never surfed before in Florianópolis, called “Morro das pedras”. It is a beautiful place where a corner of the hill enters into the sea making good rights on the left side of the hill and good lefts on the right side of the hill. It can be a little dangerous if you do not pay enough attention.

rocks2

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Wings for Life World Run

13 May

Douglas Almeida - Avatar

by Douglas

On Sunday, May 4, Florianópolis was the Brazilian host for the first edition of Wings for Life World Run. The main and noble purpose of this sporting event is to support the research of spinal cord injuries.  All of the proceeds from the run are put towards research.

This was not your typical charity run. The race was scheduled to start simultaneously at 10am UTC in 34 locations around the world.  It was truly a “global race”.

Each route was 100km, but the race had very different rules.  Basically, the challenge consisted of a dynamic race format where after 30 minutes an official “catcher car” progressed through the circuit following the runners.  If you were passed by the “catcher car” than your race was over. Consequently, the last runner overtaken by the “catcher car” was considered the world winner.

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Bars in Floripa – François Boulangerie

21 Oct

gabi

by Gabi

francois

To start my contribution with this blog, I’ll talk about the official meeting place of the happy people of Bravi. François Boulangerie!

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Brazilian office video

18 Jan

 

Boa viagem, Steve!

11 Oct

After a successful week in the Brazilian office, it was finally time to say goodbye to Steve Kierney, Tribal Development and Support Lead. Steve’s visit was an opportunity for him to get to know the developers and spend some time in the new Florianopolis branch.

Before leaving he thanked the team for their kind hospitality and wished them well for the future, which he believes will be bright. “I’ve had a lovely time on this wee island. The weather has been fantastic and I`ve enjoyed the Brazilian scenery. The people are friendly. My only regret is eating a chicken heart. It was awful.”

An i-pad was raffled (and won by Douglas) with the proceeds going to the Tribal Foundation.

One for the road

Farmer wins i-pad

Welcome to Brazil, Steve!

8 Oct

Gustavo and Steve

Saturday saw the Bravi team and their families get together for a barbecue, some cold beer and ballgames in a relaxing lakeside atmosphere. They were joined by Steve Kierney, recently arrived from UK, who had come to visit the Brazilian teams and see the new office.

Roberta’s dad, Samir, started cooking the ribs at 6am and they were ready by 3pm. “Anything less than nine hours cooking over a log fire is amateurish,” he commented.

Colleagues ate and drank together and the atmosphere was typically Brazilian and friendly (until the girls cheated in the final game of charades) with plenty of volleyball, and even a few monkeys swang through the forest to see what was going on.

“I’m so thrilled to finally have seen a monkey… A real monkey… Not a picturebook monkey, but a proper monkey.” said James Ward, 28 and from Carlisle, “I even gave one of them a piece of cheese-on-toast. He didn’t say much, but when our eyes met, I felt this incredible sensation of togetherness. He was well hairy too.”

Other hilights of the afternoon included Arley splitting his trousers during the volleyball tie-break, Bruna and Priscilla dominating the miming games, Mateus on the guitar and, of course, the fantastic meat. Nice one, folks!