Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Time Irado Finale.

It was been two weeks since I returned back to the United States from my participation in the 2011 Ernst & Young Corporate Responsibility Fellowship (CR Fellows), I wanted to summarize my experiences and thoughts on the program. Similar to my posts during my fellowship, I am writing this post from a hotel room, except this time I am in Memphis, Tennessee working on a client rather than spending seven weeks in Sao Paulo, Brazil. When I first heard of the CR Fellows program, I was a staff person at Ernst & Young, and was immediately drawn to the concept of skill based volunteering in Latin America. Entrepreneurship is my true passion even though I am not creative enough to invent the next iPhone, iPod, or iEtc. So you can imagine the excitement that I experienced when I was selected for the very competitive 2011 CR Fellows program and learned I would be spending seven weeks in Sao Paulo. As the time to leave the United States grew closer, the more excited I became to jump in and help out a wonderful company such as Tecno Logys. But never in my wildest dreams would I have imaged that what I was about to experience would be so rewarding both from a professional and personal level.

"Celebrating Success"
(L-R Valerio Dornelles, Founder and CEO of Tecno Logys and E&Y CR Fellow Tyler Schleich)
The entire program, but most notably the first few weeks, were all about discovery and experimentation. Pushing both the boundaries of what I knew and what I could only know through living in a different culture and helping a business with a creative mastermind such as Valerio Dornelles, Founder and CEO of Tecno Logys. Working with the company on a wide range of projects that mattered so much to a medium sized company provided me with a great sense of accomplishment. After presentations to external consultants and business associates I could tell that what I was doing actually made a difference to this fast growing company. This sense of accomplishment can sometimes get lost when you are working on our billion dollar multinational corporate clients back in the United States. It was great to be able to initiate conversations and exchange ideas in an effort to position the company for continued long term success. The hardest part, other than the language barrier of English and Portuguese, was manging my time throughout the remainder of the project. I wanted to help the company with anything and everything I felt would help because I began to feel a sense of ownership and pride in not just my project but also the company.

I visited manufacturing facilities and several high rise building sites which gave me perspective of what the company was trying to accomplish and that was to provide an innovative construction solution to the Brazilian residential marketplace while "Respecting the Resources". My final deliverables (which were spectacular if I do say so myself!) comprised of charts, Excel spreadsheets, graphs, PowerPoint presentations, and a final bound hardcopy report consisting of over 150 pages are not what I will remember most about my experience. What I will remember most about my experience at Tecno Logys are the people that I shared each day with at the company. Day in and day out I learned something about Brazilian culture and indirectly about myself as a result of my interactions. Over lunches, dinners, and drinks, I became a part of Tecno Logys and a part of Brazil, or as the locals say "Becoming a Paulista". I do not have enough time to name them all and explain why each one is important (including the cleaning lady who I will give a shout out to, Ms. Dona Vera!) but want them all to know how important it was to me that they treated me not just as a colleague but also as a friend. I will also remember the Endeavor CEO Summit and the Annual Gala where I was able to network with many of the young and intelligent Endeavor staff members as well as prominent Entrepreneurs in the Sao Paulo area. And of course, I will also remember my famous office chair that made the news!

I also had many experiences within the culture that I will never forget that I shared with my fellow Ernst & Young Fellows and one tag along fiance (Hi Ryan!). We experienced the horrendous Sao Paulo traffic jams, revisited 80's American Music we had not heard in years, ate wonderful food, drank delicious cocktails including the Caipirinha, watched soccer matches, and had crazy taxi adventures. We all became detached from our Blackberry devices together and functioned as a support group for our withdrawal symptoms. We vacationed together in Rio de Janerio, Brazil and Buenos Aires, Argentina taking in yet more culture and perspective to draw upon. We shared Brazilian holidays and also McDonalds which somehow is even better 5,000 miles away from home. When I look back on our time in Brazil, "Time Irado" or "Team Awesome", which consisted of Katie Duggan from New York, Jamie Schafer from Detroit, and Ryan Kyle (Katie's Fiance), I realize that just we lived a story that is a once in a lifetime. It was also a story which I tried to tell to you with my blog posts which were read more than 6,000 times in just about two months. I could have never imagine it would have received that much attention, but then again, I could not have imaged how rewarding my participation in the 2011 Ernst & Young Corporate Responsibility Fellowship Program could have been either.

This is the 130th and final post of Time Irado (unless of course something else comes up and I want to blog about it) and I thank you all for following it so closely. If you have a chance to revisit some of my blogs I invite you to share with me which was your favorite and I encourage all of you to find your "Time Irado" opportunity. I end with a quote that I feel is fitting for a my blog and embodies the spirit of the 2011 Ernst & Young Corporate Responsibility Program.
"Don't go into business to get rich. Do it to enrich people. It will come back to you." - Leonard

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

I might be done with my Corporate Responsbility Fellowship but the publicity of the Program continues to grow with recent publications in the Sacramento Bee,, Hispanic Business, WSJ Marketwatch, Las Vegas Review, Stockrants, GreenConduct, and 3blmedia to name just a few. Below is the Press Release which will be hitting multiple newsstands near you!

New York, NY – December 5, 2011 – Ernst & Young LLP’s Corporate Responsibility (CR) Fellows have returned from seven-week assignments in Latin America, where they helped high-impact entrepreneurs from the Endeavor Network in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Chile strengthen their businesses, free of charge. The CR Fellows leveraged their workplace skills to improve a range of business processes, including business strategy, financial reporting, marketing and information technology, for their respective entrepreneurs.

For the seventh consecutive year, this skills-based volunteer program has enabled a group of the firm’s top performers to help high-impact entrepreneurs create jobs, foster innovation and generate broad economic value in regional emerging economies.

“Our Corporate Responsibility Fellows Program underscores the firm’s long-standing commitment to supporting entrepreneurs and valuing them as important players within the global market. In the present economic climate, nurturing entrepreneurs is more crucial than ever,” explains Deborah Holmes, Americas Director of Corporate Responsibility, Ernst & Young LLP. “Through this program, Ernst & Young contributes our most valuable resource -- our people -- to helping these promising entrepreneurs advance their businesses. This program also reflects Ernst & Young’s deep commitment to helping our people advance in their careers by providing them with global stretch assignments.”

Ernst & Young collaborates with Endeavor, a not-for-profit organization that identifies and supports high-impact entrepreneurs in emerging economies, to match the CR Fellows with their host company. On average, these entrepreneurs employ over 200 local workers, pay 10 times the minimum wage, and generate sustainable economic value with a 96% survival rate after 10 years. To date, 55 high-impact entrepreneurs in Central and South America have received support from Ernst & Young’s CR Fellows.

In 2011, Ernst & Young announced a three-year sponsorship with Endeavor that includes support for International Selection Panels, executive-level mentors and connections, Global events sponsorship and the launch of a new financial course designed expressly for Endeavor Entrepreneurs.

The 2011 Fellows supported 12 distinct entrepreneurs with the following projects:

  • Diagnostika, a provider of surgical and oncology diagnostic services to hospitals and clinics, received assistance from a Detroit-based Advisory senior manager to prepare for an upcoming ERP implementation
  • Tecno Logys, a provider of wall-building solutions for Brazil’s largest construction companies, worked with a Tax manager from Columbus who enhanced their accounting processes
  • Endeavor Brazil, the local entity of the global not-for-profit, created a budget and financial analysis system with the support of a New York-based Fraud Investigation and Dispute Services senior manager
  • GrupoMIA, a provider of quality housing options to underprivileged populations in Mexico, had a balanced scorecard created by a New York-based Advisory manager
  • Alibio, a microbiology researcher and developer for the agricultural aquaculture and wastewater treatment markets, received guidance from a New Jersey-based assistant director in marketing to develop strategic marketing initiatives
  • Chilim Balam, a small chain of candy stores, improved their IT capabilities with the assistance of an Advisory manager based in New York
  • Mexis, an IT managed service provider, worked with a Miami-based Transaction Advisory Services senior manager to produce an expansion plan 
  • Keepcon, a moderator of user-generated content, worked with a San Francisco-based Assurance manager to improve their budgeting and cash flow management processes
  • Socialmetrix, a provider of market intelligence solutions, re-engineered their key business processes with the help of a San-Francisco-based Advisory senior manager
  • Smowtion, an online display ad network, received assistance from a Transaction Advisory Services manager from Tel Aviv for the development of an improved reporting system
  • Plataforma Networks, an online community for architects, had assistance with an expansion plan from an Austin-based Advisory manager
  • Araucania Yarns, a producer of hand-dyed knitting yarn, enhanced their accounting and financial reporting processes with the assistance of a Boston-based Advisory manager 

“High-impact entrepreneurs hold the key to economic growth in emerging markets,” notes Linda Rottenberg, CEO and co-Founder of Endeavor. “With the strategic business support provided through Ernst & Young’s Fellows, we have the opportunity to create thriving companies that generate thousands of employment opportunities and millions in wages and revenues.”

Ernst & Young’s Corporate Responsibility Fellows Program is an extension of the organization’s global commitment to entrepreneurship, which includes the global Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® awards program, now commemorating its 25th year. This milestone marks the program’s tremendous growth in scale and influence and celebrates its establishment as the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs.

In addition to the Corporate Responsibility Fellows program, Ernst & Young LLP demonstrates support for the next generation of entrepreneurs with three additional programs:
  1. The Ernst & Young Entrepreneurial Winning Women program, launched in 2008, helps outstanding women entrepreneurs accelerate the growth of their businesses by identifying and connecting them with the advisors, resources, and insights they need to scale up and become market leaders.
  2. The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Alumni-Youth Entrepreneurship Fund, created in collaboration with the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), will provide scholarships for NFTE students while supporting NFTE in its mission of helping underserved youth pursue educational opportunities, start their own businesses, and succeed in life. In addition to the Fund, Ernst & Young professionals provide leadership on each of NFTE's 11 Regional Advisory Boards across the US and demonstrate extensive volunteerism in NFTE programs.
  3. Ernst & Young awarded an in-kind donation of $1 million dollars of professional services to, the world’s first person-to-person micro-lending website that has helped fund over 670,000 entrepreneurs in developing markets. Ernst & Young LLP professionals from the Advisory and Assurance service lines contribute their time to in support of projects designed to help Kiva evaluate financial data and improve its controls.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Lesson Learned: Communication

This post is one of reflection and forward looking thinking to life after Time Irado. There will never be a time when Time Irado and the lessons learned are not present in each of our lives. Our experiences have continued to mold our minds throughout the seven plus weeks of living in Sao Paulo. Working with each of our high impact Entrepreneurs has truly been a once in a lifetime experience. Our travels to other cities, beaches, and also historic sites within Sao Paulo have helped provide perspective along the way. But the greatest lesson to learn from all of this, is the lesson of Communication.

Communication is not just a required Freshman level course in college. It is the fundamental act of human kind. We are social beings, some of us more than others, and we all have very distinct styles of communication. If you look up the definition of communication on, it states

"the imparting or interchange of thoughts, opinions, or information by speech, writing, or signs."

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Corporate Responsibility Challenge Results

If you have been following from the beginning, you should remember that I posted a challenge during my Spotlight on Social Responsibility Posts (see "an Invitation"). I declared that I would donate $25 for every four people that donated $25 to the either Endeavor, an organization that helps High Impact Entrepreneurs, or Kiva, and organization that acts as a micro lender to Entrepreneurs in poverty stricken countries. I am proud to announce that I had 4 friends lend $25 each to Kiva, for a total of $100.

As a result of their generousity, I will match 100% of their contributions to Kiva, by lending $100 to Kiva Entrepreneurs. With my $100 I was able to help Alfred from Rwanda ($75) reach his total amount of loan needed for his Charcoal business, and Ayoko from Togo ($25) move toward her goal of raising enough money to purchase more materials for her wholesale salt business. I'd like to thank you to those that donated and encourage everyone to go to Kiva now and start making micro loans today. Remember they are loans and do get paid back over the course of the loan which means you can then re loan that money to someone else.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Life might not be fair, but the quality of it is determined by your "Attitude"

Life is all about your perspective and attitude you approach it with.

"This isn't a utopia we live in. I graduated from college the same time you graduated from college. You have a better grade point average than me, and are probably a lot smarter than me, but I've got a better job. Life isn't fair. You just have to continue to tackle the situations and continue to move forward" Luke Fickell, Head Football Coach, The Ohio State University

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Giving Thanks, on Thanksgiving.

In the United States, this past weekend we celebrated the Thanksgiving Holiday. The holiday is based on a celebration of the food harvests for early settlers of the United States. I took a few days of being back in the United States to spend time with my family, friends, and etc so I took a few days off from posting to enjoy some down time. I only have a handful of posts left, but one of the posts I wanted to make was about being thankful. I am extremely thankful for my opportunities that I had as a part of the Corporate Responsibility Fellowship Program and my time in Brazil. I met a lot of great people and had the chance to get to know one of the great Entrepreneurs, Valerio Dornelles, that is leading the growth in the Brazilian economy. Here at home, my thanks and appreciation are long reaching. I do not have enough time in my day to type out everything I am thankful for but it starts with family, friends, coworkers, and all of the gifts that have been provided to me by the man upstairs. But this post is centered around the thanks for my family, and Superman.

"It's a bird, It's a plane, It's Superman!"

Friday, November 25, 2011

Photo of the Week

I am back in the United States but showing my Brazilian pride in my new gear. Brazilians are often known for their colorful clothing and unique fashion sense, which may or may not be true. Now that I am back in Ohio I am trying to keep the style rolling.

My Wardrobe:
Tinted Aviator Sunglasses, White Armani Exchange Watch, Nike Brazilian Football Confederation  Jacket, Nike Brazilian Football Organic 5 Star Tee, Lucky Brand Jeans, and Nike Trainer 1.2 Mid in dark cinder/smoke/blue/pink

Video of the Week: Week 8

The 8th and final submission for Video of the week of "Mirror Lake Jump" comes to us from The Ohio State University. Tomorrow is the big rivalry game with Michigan so in honor of the game I have shared one of the most famous traditions. "Beat Michigan Week", a tradition started 21 years ago, and  continued this week as several thousand students jumped into a tiny lake on campus, during the end of November when water temperatures are near freezing (32F or 0C). "The Game" with Michigan which is perhaps the best rivalry in all of sports.

Some Fun Facts according to Wikipedia:
A study was conducted during one of the Mirror Lake Jumps where water samples were taken from the lake throughout the night. It was note worthy that the ammonia levels in the lake greatly increased throughout the night. This has been attributed to people urinating in the lake. There has also been concern that the lake may be a potential source for disease infection, salmonella is a concern. The Ohio State University usually spends approximately $20,000.00 cleaning up the landscape and property surrounding Mirror Lake after the jump event. Jumping into Mirror Lake is also a fourth-degree misdemeanor.A notable non-Michigan game jump occurred on the night of May 1, 2011, when students jumped into the lake in spontaneous showing of patriotism in the wake of the death of Osama bin Laden, announced on television at approximately 11:30 pm.

It should also be noted that there are much better videos of the Mirror Lake Jump if you search for them on YouTube, however they might not be suitable for young children and thus not suitable for my blog!

Go Bucks!

Week #8 Poll Results

The 8th and final poll in the Time Irado Blog Series has come to an end. The question was "Which job perk would you rather have?" and the answer choices included the following: An Extra Week of Vacation; A $5,000 bonus; Better Health Benefits; and Educational Assistance. According to the scientific poll results, the majority of those surveyed would prefer an additional week of vacation over the $5,000 bonus which was a close second. Better Health Benefits and Educational Benefits each received one vote. And now almost two months after the poll of the week began, it has come to an end. Thank you all for voting and playing along during my time in Brazil.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Take a Step Back

An often overlooked life lesson is that sometimes to take a step forward, you have to take a step back. This has never been more evident in my life than in the past year with life's pace ever increasing. For many years clarity was often found through analysis of others and applying it to my own life. One of my favorite pastimes is "People Watching", which is the is the act of observing people and their interactions, usually without their knowledge. I am not doing any formal scientific research or collecting data, but I do take mental note of individual and group behavior. I love to watch how people react to various situations and sometimes the best place to watch people is at the airport while waiting for a flight. I continued my analysis of things in Brazil during my two months there and reached many of the same conclusions that I reach here in the United States. Again I have not performed any statistical analysis of my studies, but Columbus author Jason Barger has. He studied and best observed people at the baggage claim and in airports throughout the United States. Welcome to the "Step Back from the Baggage Claim" movement. It has received rave reviews from national and international media sources and The New York Times says "It's evidently contagious".

The Business of the Airport

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


One thing is for sure, living in a country outside the United States (or those from other countries living in the U.S.) can be tricky when it comes to the cost of goods, measurements, telling the time, or even the outside temperature. Telling time is rather simple, because all you need to do is subtract 12 from any number greater than 12, but when it comes to converting money, measurements, and temperature, matters become a bit more diluted. Dating back to the British rule over the American Colonies, we have used our own system based on the standard unit of measurements which includes inches, feet, yards, pounds, Fahrenheit, and etc. But as time rolls on, I wonder why we are still using this system when our military and many other professionals use a system in line with the rest of the world. So some simple math is needed to get by outside the friendly borders of the United States.

The Big Give Results

The press release from the Columbus Foundation provided the overall totals stating that $8.7M was raised for local charities in just one 24 hour time period. That might not be a big number for some, but for a first year initiative that got a late start in promotions that is a great start. Lets hope this becomes an annual event and the numbers keep on growing.

 The Columbus Dispatch also reported on the event and I have provided that text below.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Wheels Down... Columbus Style

Today I touched down in Columbus after nearly two months away from home. When I stepped off the plane in New York to catch my connecting flight, I was immediately drawn back to the reality that it is nearing winter here in the northern United States. Despite the cold, it felt good to be back. After a stint through passport control and customs, it was an hour and a half flight to Port Columbus International Airport.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Broadway in Sao Paulo, UFC, and farewell to a friend

I spent my final night in Sao Paulo with Valerio and his family enjoying a great meal, good wine, and entertainment. We started the evening by eating at Brooklyn Restaurante located in the Brooklin suburb of Sao Paulo near Valerio's home and the Tecno Logys office. The restaurante was started in 1999 and features a casual dining atmosphere and a singing wait staff. Many of the waiters and waitresses have a theatre and Broadway background and about every 30 minutes or so, they break out in song and dance with some of "Broadways" most famous songs.

The Top 10 Things Airlines Don't Tell You

In honor of my recent travels and my upcoming travel back to Ohio from Sao Paulo, I thought I would share a recent article that includes the "Top 10 Things Airlines Don't Tell You".

Photo of the Week

This week's photo of the week is from our trip to Buenos Aires last weekend. When walking the European style city, we came across a street sign that hits home for Ryan and Katie as they live in New Jersey. The state and shoreline area has subsequently taken a bad rap as a result of the popular MTV show "Jersey Shore". Although Ryan and I don't spray tan, gel our hair, or have that accent, we tried our best at creating a "Situation" for our photo.

Audition for Jersey Shore. "Tslick" and "RyKy"
(It's important to mind that we do not condone the use of the word but are rather poking fun at the show.... and this street sign)

Week #7 Poll Results

The week 7 poll was "What is your favorite Holiday?" I thought Christmas and Thanksgiving would have a fierce battle however to my surprise Thanksgiving was a runaway winner. It must be the feast that is often robust the fourth Thursday of each November that set the holiday apart from Christmas, even though Christmas is often celebrated with large meals as well. Dinner tables are often filled with Turkey, Ham, stuffing, potatoes, salad, noodles (No one has better noodles than my grandma and I will pay $100 to the person that proves otherwise), dinner rolls, and more desserts that the eyes can handle but the stomach cant! Or maybe it is the overall message of the holiday which is to share thanks to those who are important to your life and the many blessings you enjoy each and every day. It is one day a year where thanks is set aside and made more visible in our culture, when it the concept of showing thanks should be an every day occurrence.

According to Wikipedia:
Thanksgiving in North America originated from a mix of European and Native traditions. Typically in Europe, festivals were held before and after the harvest cycles to give thanks for a good harvest, and to rejoice together after much hard work with the rest of the community. At the time, Native Americans had also celebrated the end of a harvest season. When Europeans first arrived to the Americas, they brought with them their own harvest festival traditions from Europe, celebrating their safe voyage, peace and good harvest.
While many are opposed to the celebration of Thanksgiving because of the treatment that the European settlers later inflicted on the Native people of North America, it should not get lost in the message of giving thanks for what we have.

Week #8 Poll: Which perk would you rather have? An extra week vacation, $5,000 bonus, Better Health Benefits, or Educational Assistance.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The views from the Taxi

This post is not like the others on the taxi rides where I depict detailed stories and events that are quite comical. This post is more of general observations along my ride from Jardins to Brooklin each morning and Brooklin to Jardins each night. I get to see one of the world's largest cities come to life each morning as gardeners, restaurant employees, gas station attendants, and people waiting for the bus all begin their days. I do not normally take a taxi back home, in fact typically only on the weekends when I am headed to a sporting event or a night out on the town, so sitting in the back of these small taxi's each morning give me a change to observe everyone in this foreign land.

The Real World: Sao Paulo

Today feels a bit like the final episode of an MTV hit series "The Real World". The concept of the show is to take a group of young people from all walks of life, areas of the country, races, universities, and etc and put them together in a house full of video cameras to catch how the "Real World" is. As you can imagine the results are often wild, racy, and highly entertaining. During the final episode of each season, each of the six strangers that lived together for a few months, departs to a slow song and reflects on their time together. They fought, cried, drank too much, had trouble with the Police, and tried to maintain their jobs amongst the craziness. Each cast, for the most part, ended as friends by the time their television fame was over.

The Best View in Sao Paulo

Last night Time Irado headed to our last dinner together at Terraco Italia Restaurant (click the link to see a panoramic view of the city) on the top floor of the Italia Building located near the center of the city. This restaurant and bar was recommended by one of the production managers at Tecno Logys, Halysson, and as we did not have a place picked out, we decided to meet Halysson and his wife, Patricia, for dinner and drinks. We were also joined by the finance manager from Tecno Logys, Vanessa, her husband Reinaldo, Amisha and Maria Juliana from Endeavor Brasil, and Amisha's boyfriend Dan. The restaurant boasts the best view of the city and it did not disappoint. Previously, views from the Skyebar at Hotel Unique had us awestruck but the view from Terraco Italia was much better. It was like looking at the New York skyline from across the river versus from the top of the Empire State Building. Both beautiful views, but there is nothing like being atop the Empire State Building looking down at the other buildings.

360 degree view of Sao Paulo from Terraco Italia Restaurant

Until Next Time Tecno Logys

Yesterday was the last day for me working at Tecno Logys. For the past 50 days I have called the innovative and fast growing company home. During my time I focused on and analyzed the company as if I was an employee, working toward the common goal of continued growth and prosperity. There have been many stories of the famous chair, the crazy taxi rides to get to and from work, and of course all of the factory and building site visits. Even more important than the work experiences, was all of the great people I was able to meet and add to my global network of friends and professionals. The day was a celebration of what both myself and the employees at Tecno Logys have learned and gained from our experiences in the seven weeks in Sao Paulo.

Video of the Week: Week 7

In honor of my return back to Ohio this weekend, I wanted to post a short video which portrays my childhood dream. Not of becoming an NBA superstar, or a Superhero, but rather to become a Tax Accountant.

Sao Paulo and Manhattan aren't so different.

Below is an article from the NY Times that speaks to Sao Paulo's housing boom, most notably high rise condominiums.  There is also high demand for office space as the city and the Country's economy continues to grow at a high rate. I wanted to include this article to give some perspective. For those of you I have talked to back home, this is what I have been talking about in terms of the size and feel of the city. I live in the Jardins area between Paulista Ave and Oscar Freire, Sao Paulo's versions of Madison Avenue. Also, I work in Brooklin which is near Itaim Bibi, these two areas of the city along with the Jardins Paulista areas are very nice to live, work, and play (at least until nightfall!). Despite the existence of a run down building or two every couple of blocks, all they are missing is Times Square and an Ernst & Young Office in the background of their New Years Celebration.

(Article by Simon Romero, NY Times)

São Paulo is almost beyond the imagination — a drizzle-shrouded megacity of almost 20 million that sprawls like Los Angeles and boasts enough skyscrapers to vie with New York. The gritty financial engine of the new Brazil, São Paulo exerts influence over commerce, media and culture. The Brazilian writer Roberto Pompeu de Toledo calls it an “urban labyrinth that reaches toward the infinite.” It might not have the palm-fringed glamour of Rio de Janeiro, but in the view of urbane Paulistanos, Brazil has only one truly global city: theirs.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Reader Mailbag: "Based on" ,"Inspired by", and a Star Wars reference

In one of my posts of crazy stories (How It's Made: High Rise Residential Buildings) I made the following comment:
The above events are real events, they are a documentary of sorts and not a knock off "Based on a true story" or "Inspired by a true story".
I received an email last week asking me to explain what I meant and what the differences were between real events, based on a true story, and inspired by a true story. I apologize for the time it has taken me to address this request, however as you can see I have been a busy man making my presence felt in Brazil.

Reader Mailbag: How It's Made: Caipirinha

I have gotten a couple questions asking what exactly a caipirinha is. In case you missed one of my very first blogs describing the caipirinha, it is designated the National Cocktail of Brazil. Here is how its made:

A traditional lime Caipirinha

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hit Me Baby One More Time!

If you are 25-35 years old, from anywhere in the world that has a radio or MTV, you know the song title "Hit Me Baby One More Time". The song was iconic, if not for the lip syncing teen sensation that sang the lyrics, it was for the music video that featured a teenage something girl prancing around in her catholic school girl outfit. That young girl, was megastar (or former megastar depending on your definition) Britney Spears. Tonight, it came full circle, memories I had surpressed for years until this fateful night in a Sao Paulo Hotel.

Why is America the "No Vacation Nation."

I recently came across an article on CNN that I wanted to share regarding vacation time in the real world. The article entitled "Why is America the 'no vacation nation'?" really hits home for me. I have traveled to Europe on a couple of occasions and now lived in Brazil for two months, and outside the U.S one thing is evident, that the lifestyles are a lot more laid back. Its crazy to think that here they take time to eat lunch everyday, and not just at their desks. They traditionally use all of their vacation time and holidays as well. A few of the Ernst & Young executives that made me promise (jokingly of course) that I was not going to come back and change careers (after leading a somewhat less stressful life for a couple of months) might be laughing at this post. I will again declare that I have no intention of a career change or slowing down my fast paced lifestyle. I somehow get energy from being involved in everything under the sun and focusing on my career. Which could be both a gift and a curse! My friends, coworkers, and others that I interact with on a frequent basis knows that my Blackberry might as well be implanted into my hand, as I am never more than a text, call, or email away.

Reader Mailbag: How do you stay so calm in the crazy taxi rides?

I got an email that asked "How do you stay so calm in the crazy taxi rides?". And, that is a great question.

Those that know me well, know that I am not too easily excited and often have a large reserve of "patience". There are a few things that can really set me off but I try to keep those under control and have conditioned myself to laugh anytime I become frustrated and can feel my blood pressure rising. I learned this at a young age, mostly due to sports.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Bud. Bud. Bud-Weis. Bud-Weis. Er.

Tonight at dinner, I had one of my all time favorite meals of Lasanga. To compliment the pasta I had a great American Beer, Budweiser. Budweiser, along with Bud Light and other variations of the "King of Beers", is famous in the United States and the most popular brand in the U.S. beer market. However, it was in fact the first time I had actually seen it in Brazil in my almost two months of living here. Many conversations with businessmen here in Brazil have been shared over a drink or two at a restaurant or bar. However, you will rarely find Budweiser (or any other American beer for that matter) on tap or in the bottle at local Brazilian establishments.

The King of Beers is not King in Brazil... yet.

Proclamation Day in Brazil

Today, November 15th, is another national holiday here in Brazil. Proclamation Day, (which is similar to our Independence Day/Fourth of July but not exactly), is celebrated in honor of November 15th, 1889, when Brazil became an official republic.

Monday, November 14, 2011

My 100th Post!

This is happens to be my 100th post on the Time Irado blogsite. My 100th post finds me in the same position as my first, heading to Sao Paulo, Brazil. After a weekend in Buenos Aires exploring the "Paris of the South" we are headed back for a late night flight 3 hrs north to our home in Sao Paulo´s Jardins Paulista District. Today we toured around the areas of Palermo and Recoleta exploring shops and restaurants and taking in more of this wonderful city. Now its back to Brazil to finish our last week in country performing skill based volunteering services to our high impact Entrepreneurs. Wheels Up, destination Sao Paulo.

Ernst & Young Corporate Responsibility Fellows Unite!

Last night, "Time Irado", Ernst & Young Corporate Responsibility Fellows from Sao Paulo, Brazil (minus Jamie who did not travel with us), met up with the Ernst & Young Corporate Responsibility Fellows from Buenos Aires, Argentina (minus Kieran who had his weekend travel back to Buenos Aires delayed). Rom Ginzburg, Transactions Manager from Tel-Aviv and Trisha Chang, Assurance Manager from San Francisco, hosted us at a local Parrilla (steakhouse), El Desnivel,  located in San Telmo. We were also joined by Florian Holm (BCG - working with an entrepreneur with Endeavor) and Elizabeth Washburn ( who is doing a Princeton Alumni Fellowship with Endeavor)
E&Y Corporate Responsibility Fellows
(L to R) Rom Ginzburg, Tyler Schleich, Katie Duggan, and Trisha Chang

Video of the Week: Week 6

This week's video of the week is rather fitting for the visit to Argentina. The Official Music Video for Madonna's rendition of "Don't Cry For Me Argentina" from the movie "Evita".

I've also included a video showing some of the highlights of the country's beauty below as well, as the country is more than Eva Perone and "Evita".

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Pink House and a Street Fair

Today Time Irado headed over to the Plaza de Mayo and San Telmo to see some of the most famous city sites. The first site we visited was located at the Plaza de Mayo, and is the official office of the President of Argentina. The President of the United States has the White house, the President of Argentina has the Pink House. The Pink House, or Casa Rosada, is an old Fort from the original founding of Santa Maria of Buenos Aires back in 1580. Unlike the White House in the United States, the President of Argentina does not live here, but she does fly in each morning to work in the Official Helicopter. On Friday, we saw the President arriving at work, as she arrived at 11:11am on 11/11/11. The color of the building also has nothing to do with the fact that the President is a woman, but rather because when they went to paint the building, they used a mixture that included bovine (cow) blood, which gave it its pink hue. After many uses over the years, starting in 1942 it was declared a National Historical Monument and became the focal point again of Argentinian politics.
Casa Rosada: Argentina's Presidential Office Building

Photo of the Week

This week's photo of the week is actually a series of 3 photos from last week's trip to Rio de Janeiro. 
Me taking a picture of Ryan taking a picture of Katie taking a picture.
Ryan taking a picture of Katie taking a picture.
The picture of Copacabana from Pao de Acucar.
Art in its simplest form, but none the less, art.

Week #6 Poll Results

Week #6 had a poll for the ages. It was a battle for the right to be called 1980's best sitcom.

The options included the perennial powerhouse "The Cosby Show", "Roseanne", "Who's the Boss", "Cheers", "Family Ties", and the underground hit "ALF". I did receive a couple of emails asking why "Seinfeld" was not one of the options I included. My response was, that although Seinfeld could be the greatest comedy show of all time (at least for those that understand all of the jokes) the majority of the series was shown in the 1990's, therefore I did not include it. Yes I know that Seinfeld began in July of 1989 but it also ended in 1998. Same goes for "Saved by the Bell" which aired 1989-1993 and "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" which aired 1990-1996.

Back to the results. I would have   guessed that if this were a playoff the seeding would go something like this: #1 Cosby, #2 Cheers, #3 Roseanne, #4 Growing Pains, #5 Who's the Boss, #6 Family Ties, and #7 Alf. To my surprise, the voting ended in a tie between the #1 see Cosby and #7 seed Alf. You could call it November Madness if you wish, but this is a true Cinderella story. But just like the Butler Bulldogs came up short in back to back National Championship games, Alf hits the end of the line with my veto power because I would have voted for The Cosby Show. I actually only included Alf because it was so outrageous of a show that I enjoyed (an alien with cravings for cats lands on earth and lives with a family) I did not want to leave it out but kudos to another Cosby victory.

Week 7 poll: What is your favorite Holiday?

Argentinian Ribeye and Mendoza Malbec

Last night Time Irado headed to see what Argentines do best, Beef and Red Wine. We took a taxi to the Las Lilas, a very nice steakhouse in Puerto Madera. Puerta Madera is the old shipping port that was outgrown that was not converted into a trendy, high priced neighborhood lined with restaurants, bars, and high rise residential buildings. Las Lilas is a large establishment featuring a medium sized inside area but the outside area was large and stretched along the water way. We had a reservation but the place was packed so we had to grab a drink at the bar for a bit, so we went with the House Special, the Sangria. The Sangria was exceptional and it was time to be seated. We walked by the kitchen where the homegrown steaks were displayed at they waited their turn to hit the grill. Las Lilas is a vertically integrated steakhouse, breeding, raising, and slaughtering its own Argentinian Beef.

Steaks at Las Lilas awaiting the grill.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Don't cry for me Argentina

Time Irado headed to Recoleta, one of the residential neighborhoods in Buenos Aires. Recoleta is considered a cultural hub of the city and is home to many of the cities most affluent citizens. We walked through the park which is surrounded by many shops, restaurants, pubs, and cafes. It was also home to a large craft fair with local artists selling homemade items for relatively cheap prices. The area is also home to a few museums and other works of art in and around Recoleta Park and United Nations Plaza. One of those works of art is the an 18 meter tall metal flower that opens in the mornings and closes at night, mimicking. The name of the work is Floris Genérica and it is something quite remarkable.  
Floris Generica located in Buenos Aires

World Cup Qualifying Match: Argentina vs Bolivia

Last Night, Time Irado continued to soak in some of the best tradition of Latin America and attended another soccer game. Previously back in our "hometown" of Sao Paulo Brazil, I attended amateur futebol matches to see the great "Bernardo" score multiple goals for Sao Paulo Athletic Club, a professional club match with The Corinthians tying Avai, and today it was the tri-fecta by watching a nation team play a World Cup Qualifying Match. Albeit was Argentina and not Brazil (which would disappoint many of my new Brazilian friends) but we did purchase tickets to see Argentina vs Bolivia while we were in Buenos Aires.

A young fan wears his blue and white proudly

Friday, November 11, 2011

Bike Tour through Buenos Aires

Gen. San Martin
Day One in Buenos Aires, was thus far a success. After a small debate on what to do in Buenos Aires which we knew very little about, we decided that the best way to see the city might be to jump on a bus and see the city. But then we decided that perhaps a $45 bike tour might be a good idea and something fun. So, today Time Irado took a bike tour through the historic areas of Buenos Aires. The tour departed from the Plaza San Martin at the monument of the General San Martin. The monument and the plaza are named after a a formal Spanish Army General (Argentina born) who helped free South American from Spanish control. He is regarded as a hero of Argentina and his name is used in the highest decoration or honor that one can earn in Argentina. The plaza is very well kept and the monument is very cool to see in person. The bike company that we used had two versions of the bike tour, one that went through the northern part of the city through parks and rich area and one that went throught he southern portion of the city where much of the city's historical and character are maintained. We chose to go with the history route and we headed to the historica sites of Puerto Madero, Ecologic Reserve, 'Costanera Sur', La Boca, San Telmo and Plaza de Mayo Square. 


Eleven, Eleven, Eleven, or 11/11/11 is Today. If you use a 12 hour clock, there will be two points in time during the day it will be 11/11/11 at 11:11:11 (hours, minutes, seconds), however for most of the world that uses the 24 hour clock, only 11:11 in the morning will be celebrated. Those of you in the United States are likely aware that the number 11:11 has taken on a form of wishing star and considered to have magic power. Those in other countries around the world, including my new found Brazilian friends, may have heard of this or after hearing me describe it, think Americans are completely crazy.

Wheels Down... Buenos Aires Style

Travelling today was quite fun. We arrived at the airport around 4pm for our 630 International Flight. The Qatar Air counter was not open and the line was growing long and restless. Finally around 430 the counter opened and we reached the front of the line about 530. We were told that the flight was currently delayed because of Volcanic Ash from a volcano in Chile that was spewing ash into the sky. I'm all too familiar with these ash clouds after last years volcanic ash in Europe made my flight to Italy a few hours longer and provided rain every day at Lake Como. We were suppose to check back at 630 so we decided to get some of the traditional Brazilian airport food. Our options were McDonalds or Pizza Hut. So we went with the Grande Pepperoni which was not bad. At 630 we were told the flight was on and we headed through the line to check out bags, the line to get through security, and then the line to get on the plane. Many lines filled our nights.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

This week on "Lifestyles of the CR Fellows: Buenos Aires!"

Keeping with the theme of the "Lifestyles of the CR Fellows", we leave Sao Paulo for another destination location in the second weekend of the two weekend special. Last weekend it was Rio de Janeiro, the city of endless beaches, this week TimeIrado heads south of Brazil to neighboring Argentina to visit the European style city of Buenos Aires. Buenos Aires is the second largest city in South America, trailing only our hometown of Sao Paulo, Brazil. The city is often referred to as "Paris of the South" and is a favorite destination for both South Americans as well as North Americans who chose not to head to Europe. I have personally never been to Paris, France but I have been to Spain (Barcelona, Madrid, Canary Islands) and Italy (Pretty much the entire country) so I am looking forward to see this city up close and personal for myself to make some comparisons.
'Paris of the South' Buenos Aires, Argentina
Blog posts may not be as detailed and pictures will likely have to wait until after I get back to Sao Paulo. However, I will try to keep you up to speed on my journeys as possible. I will also share a couple of articles that I think are worth sharing as well to help fill the gaps in real life events.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Social Responsibility Spotlight: The Big Give

Mark your calendars, set your iPhone and Blackberry alarms, and get ready for an epic event!

This Thursday, November 10th at 11am, starts a 24 hour fundraising initiative called the "The Big Give" in Columbus, Ohio. I have lived in and around the Columbus area for my 29.71 years on this planet but have yet to be more intrigued by an opportunity like this. The Columbus Foundation, a local philanthropic group, has pledged $1Million in matching funds to local charities. So from November 10th at 11am through November 11th at 11am, all donations will be pro-rata matched. For example, if $2 million is contributed during the 24-hours of giving, it would be divided by the $1 million available in the matching pool. The results would be that every dollar donated would be matched with 50 cents. Therefore, if you donated $100 to a local organization, The Columbus Foundation will match $50 to that same organization. Pretty simple right?

My Taxi cab version of "Chuck"

Today after work, I stood at the corner of the street trying to wave down a taxi when across the street, my friend cooking random skewers of meat wearing the 25 gold chains, mesh shorts, and house shoes waved me over. I walked across the street and he again gave me greetings and commands in Portuguese (after 6 weeks he still does not realize I have no idea what he is talking about). I figured out that the guy that just bought some food and a drink is a taxi driver and motions for him to get his car. The small white Fiat races around the corner and I had my ride home. The best part, the taxi driver looked just like the main character in the television show "Chuck". Tall, lanky, guy with wavy black hair wearing blank dress pants, a white short sleeve button up, and black sunglasses. It was like I was in the backseat of a Nerd Herd car ready to go on the next mission. And I had my inspiration for my entertaining taxi ride. (If you don't know what I am referring to see picture below and keep reading!).

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Taxi Cab Confessions Part 2

The Taxi Drivers in Sao Paulo are for the most part locals that grew up here, which is somewhat uncommon in the U.S. I find that the large majority of U.S. taxi drivers are immigrants from outside the country. Back home I enjoy talking to them about their countries and customs to pass the time of the drive. This is possible because for the most part they do speak English, and I so say for the most part because not all of them do. Here in Brazil, the taxi drivers do not speak English, nor would I expect them to since I am in their country. With these rides each day, it is more about entertainment and shock value to see what happens along the way as I sit in silence. Recently, I have not had much to write about in terms of taxi rides as the drivers have followed my broken Portuguese to take certain routes that will not leave us sitting in traffic for hours. Its been smooth sailing for the most part but do have a couple of small stories to share from the past week or so.

Favelas, Guns, and Drugs. It's not what Brazil is about, but it is here.

This past weekend, while TimeIrado was walking the beaches of Rio, there were other events occurring in Rio just West of the beach city in a local Favela. Favela is basically a low-low-low-income area, a ghetto, in Rio de Janeiro. They have over 200,000 people living in these favelas in Rio. And these favelas are sometimes located next to sky-scrapers and mansions, which makes the whole contrast of the situation very noticeable. The most notorious and famous one, Rocinha,  (shown in a photo below) has some of the better developed infrastructure including banks, pharmacies, bus lines, cable television. It has appeared in many movies including "City of God" and was recently portrayed in "Fast Five" (The Fast and the Furious 5, which was actually filmed in Puerto Rico but "based" in Rio).
Rocinha's Favela, located in Rio de Janeiro

Monday, November 7, 2011

Memorial da America Latina

Last week before heading to Rio, Time Irado stopped by to see the The Memorial da America Latina. It is a government run institute aimed at promoting cultural, political, economic and social activities in Brazil and other Latin American countries. Designed by one of Brazil's most famous architects, Oscar Niemeyer, the center was inaugurated in 1989 and contains a number of libraries, auditoriums, art galleries and concert halls. In the main square (Praça Cívica), there is a large concrete sculpture,also designed by Oscar Niemeyer, representing an open hand in vertical position, with the map of Latin America painted in red. It’s a symbol of Latin America’s past of oppression and its battles for freedom and democracy, with the red map as a reminder of the blood from the sacrifices that were made.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Lifestyles of a CR Fellow: Rio de Janeiro in Review

This past weekend, Time Irado saw the great city of Rio de Janeiro. Although we were there only a couple of days it felt like home. The beautiful white beaches, great food, and tasty drinks, we experienced the city that has inspired celebrities to write songs about it.

Ryan, Katie, and I at the Christ the Redeemer overlooking Rio de Janeiro

Co-Video of the Week: Week 5 "Copacabana"

The second video to tie for Video of the Week is Barry Manilow's classic, Copacabana. The song's title refers to the famous New York night club, the Copacabana, and tells the story of Lola, a showgirl, and her lover Tony, a bartender at the club who is murdered by Rico, a Mafia lord who took an interest in Lola. Despite the song's reference to a New York nightclub, TimeIrado is staying in the real Copcabana located in Rio, which the hotel was named after. Katie has been singing this song randomly throughout our trip so it had to make the blog and besides, if we had more Barry Manilow in our lives, there would be no war. Enjoy!

Fall back with a Flashback

You may remember my post from Sunday, October 16th, "Spring Forward with a Flashback" where I detailed the Brazilian time change to begin their version of Day-Light Savings Time. Today, Most of the United States ended Day-Light Savings Time pushing their clocks back one hour. When I arrived in Sao Paulo about five and a half weeks ago, there was a one hour time difference. Now, after two time changes in opposite directions, there is a three hour difference. I know I am looking forward to getting those additional three hours when I fly back two weeks from today.

In honor of Falling Back, I have decided to Fall back with a Flashback. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, is perhaps the greatest television show to hit the airwaves. Airing from 1990-1996, it featured a host of laughs and lessons about life that young impressionable minds like mine learned from. Although we don't all have Will Smith's money, we will always have our childhood watching he and Jazzy Jeff ruin uncle Phil's day. I have included the show's opening theme song below.

Now that I am three hours ahead of Ohio, please plan calls, skype, and emails accordingly!

Week #5 Poll Results

Week 5 of 7 is over and time is flying by. It's now time to review the previous week's poll results and kick off the Week 6 poll for the readers. The week 5 poll asked "What is your favorite fruit?" and it was a tie across several varieties. Apples, Banannas and Mangos tied for the win at 2 votes each. I would have voted for Mangos, therefore, Mangos will be declared the unanimous winner. This blog may have the characteristics of a democracy but at its core its an authoritative state, run by yours truly! :)

Week 6 Poll is "What is your favorite 80's sitcom"

Saturday, November 5, 2011

It's a small world afterall.

It's a small world and I have proof. It's not the Walt Disney production "It's a small world" but it might as well be, with the beaches and experiences in Rio de Janeiro. Today as posted earlier, TimeIrado saw Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf Mountain and then it was off to the third most famous (maybe the most famous) attraction in Rio, the beaches. I may have shared my travelling strategy with many of you already, but I will break it into detail for those that have not. Traditionally, I always fly or travel with one of my Ohio State tee shirts on. This serves multiple purposes including showing my Buckeye Pride (they won again today!) and also signaling to those traveling that I am a Buckeye. It gets a reaction everytime, both good or bad. Buckeye fans typically come over and say hi and non Buckeye fans typically make some sort of comment that we can all laugh at due to their insecurity with their favorite university team. One of the things I enjoy is being able to network and meet new people. In an aiport or hotel bar, or just passing by on the street, I have found this is one of my best methods to strike up a coversation.

Exploring Rio: Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf Mountain

Today, TimeIrado got up early, ate breakfast watching the sun come up over the copacabana and headed out for some sightseeing. We started by visiting Christ the Redeemer and then went to another popular tourist location, Sugarloaf Mountain, which may have the best views in Rio de Janeiro.

Christ the Redeemer, or Cristo Redenator to the locals, depicts Christ with his arms spread wide in a welcoming gesture, representing his role as redeemer of the world. It stands 120 feet high including the pedestal and is 98 feet wide. Made of concrete and soapstone and sculpted in a modern style, it weighs a total of 635 tons. Standing on a peak over 2,000 feet high, Christ the Redeemer is famed for its magnificent views over the city of Rio de Janeiro. The statue is often best viewed from another famous high point in Rio de Janeiro, Poa de Acucar, or Sugarloaf Mountain.

Co-Video of the Week: Week 5 "The Girl From Ipanema"

Week 5 Video of the week is a tie between two classic songs. The first, The Girl from Ipanema and the second to be unveiled tomorrow. Ipanema Beach located here in Rio de Janeiro is where Time Irado will head later for some sunshine after sightseeing.

The Girl From Ipanema is a song from the 1960's that was won numerous musical awards including the Grammy for Record of the Year in 1965. Little known fact is that there was actually a girl that inspired the songwriters to write the ballad. That girl, was then 15 year old Helo Pinherio (real name is Heloisa Eneida Menezes Paes Pinto, talk about a tongue twister!). Ipanema is a beach located in the Southern part of Rio De Janeiro, where Helo would stroll past a cafe (sometimes even stopping in to buy cigarettes for her mother) and would get the attention of every man, woman, and child located inside. She was a beautiful girl, later becoming a Brazilian Playmate of the Year and model, who went on to have successful businesses as well as most recently, a Reality Televisions Star.

Enjoy the original version in English below performed by Astrud Gilberto, along with Joao Gilberto and Stan Getz. This song became so popular, that its even archived in the Library of Congress in Washington D.C.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Wheels Down... Rio Style

Time Irado made it safely to Rio de Janeiro today and have settled into the luxurious JW Marriott hotel located on the Copacabana beach. I must say the hotel is quite spectacular (even with the three of us in the same room, I have a nice cot next to the window!) with beaches as far as the eye can see. The view from the airplane flying in over Rio is absolutely breathtaking. I remember the last time I saw a sight from an airplane that took my breathe away. It was the first time flying over New York City and seeing the island of skyscrapers tightly packed on a small peninsula, with the Statue of Liberty flanking the mega city.

We flew from the Sao Paulo International Airport of Sao Paulo Guarulhos and flew into the secondary airport in Rio called Santos Dumont. Santos Dumont is likely the smallest airport I have ever flown into as it was created with land that was "reclaimed" from the sea back in the 1930's. Now I know that is not all that comforting to me in terms of "reclaiming" land from the ocean and landing planes on to it. However, it was a smooth landing even if the seats on WebJet planes, a local Brazilian airline, are extremely small. I thought my seat arrangements on the flight from New York to Sao Paulo a month ago were bad, but these seats would barely fit a large child, let alone a large man like myself. Back to the airport and its safety.

The Santos Dumont runways "Reclaimed from the Sea"

This week on "Lifestyles of the CR Fellows: Rio De Janeiro!"

This weekend Time Irado takes the show on the road for part 1 of a two weekend get away. Playing off of the U.S. Television Show "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" which aired in the late 1980's to 1990's, these posts will be themed as "Lifestyles of the Corporate Responsibility Fellows".

This week takes us to Rio de Janerio, where we will be staying at the JW Marriott located on the Copacabana Beach.

Christ the Redeemer watches over the city of Rio
You may notice a lag in detailed posts due to not having my computer with me, but I will get you all updated as soon as possible and don't worry, I will be taking lots of pictures!

International Film Festival: The Ides of March

Last night, Time Irado attended a session of the 35th annual Sao Paulo International Film Festival in a theatre, Cinema Artplex,  near the famous Paulista Avenue. The 35th SÃO PAULO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL takes place from October 21st to November 3rd 2011 (Tonight was the last showing). The festival is a non profit cultural event, hold by ABMIC - Associação Brasileira Mostra Internacional de Cinema. The State and Municipality of São Paulo establish October as the Official month of the Festival.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Welcome to McDonald's

When you think of America, you probably think of Rock n Roll and Apple Pie. But what's more American than that (at least to Generation X), a McDonald's Big Mac. This week I ate at one of the two McDonald's restaurant locations that are within a few blocks on my hotel to give it a test. Even though I do not eat it much anymore, ever since I was a kid, I have loved McDonald's, especially the Big Mac. Therefore, whenever I travel, I make it a point to try out the house that Ronald build. I have previously eaten at McDonald's in Canada, Spain, Italy, and of course the United States. My favorite experience thus far was drinking about a half dozen 8 ounce beers at the McDonald's in Barcelona, as it was the only place open on a Sunday night for food and drinks. Given my past experiences, I thought I might as well add Brazil to that list.

What I hope my last meal is: Big Mac Value Meal

Spotlight on Social Responsibility: "An Invitation" for me, and for you

Tonight's post bring an end to the theme "Spotlight on Social Responsibility" post that I have been posting on and off again for a week. I have touched on the 3 E's from Ernst & Young's Corporate Responsibility focus: Education, Entrepreneurship, and Environmental Sustainability. Keep in mind that even though this will be my last direct post, that the purpose and cause of each organization continues and always needs your help. Below is an Invitation, both to you, and to me.

An Invitation:
The theme of this blog is "An Invitation". Unfortunately, it is not an invitation for my birthday party, even though I will be turning 30 in February (please contact me for the address to mail gifts). However, below there are two invitations for me (to leverage my blog to make money, and to use one of my pictures for their own) and one invitation for you (a charitable donation contest).

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

National Holiday? See the City.

You may remember TimeIrado's trip to the Sao Paulo Zoo three weeks ago on the first National Holiday we were in Brazil to experience. Today, as previously posted is the celebration of the National Holiday of Day of the Dead. While many Brazilians were in church or spending time at home, we headed out to take in the sights of the city.

After breakfast we headed for our first trip on the Subway here in Sao Paulo. Typically, it is crowded, and not the safest place to be traveling back and forth to work on (when carrying a computer), but we were surprised at how new the Yellow Line was that we were taking from the Paulista Station north to Republica. After a $2.90 BRL ($1.50USD) ride, we arrived at the Praca de Repulica, or Republic Park. Republic Park is also home to a great market on Sundays where you can purchase handcrafted items from local Brazilian artists.

Dia de Finados aka "Day of the Dead"

In the U.S., Halloween was celebrated over the weekend and on Monday of this week (the actual holiday). Children and adults alike donned costumes to celebrate with either trick or treating for candy or headed to a party to drink some alcohol. (Hopefully the children were getting the candy and the adults were getting the alcohol). Today is "Finados" here in Brazil, a National Holiday, which is celebrated on November 2nd of each year. It is Brazil's version of "Day of the Dead" which is celebrated by many Latin American countries (and by my High School Spanish Class!). Unlike in Mexico, Dia de Finados for Brazil, is not celebrated as a party. Finados is a day to pray for the dead. Some people, especially Catholics, go to the cemetery and offer flowers to their dead relatives and friends. Some people go to churches, due to the religious connection. Others use the day to hold a cookout and invite friends and family over for gathering.

The most notable difference between Halloween and Finados, likely the fact that Halloween is when the weather is turning colder in the U.S. due to the fall season, whereas in Brazil its often 80-90 degrees (F) in November as they move into the summer months! Think how the costumes might change if the U.S. experienced the warmer weather, it might be a scene from the Brazil Carnaval!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Photo of The Week:

Just over a week ago, I had the opportunity to meet up with my friend Daniel Carlini and his wife for Sao Paulo style pizza and a beer. At dinner we discussed how unlike in the U.S., here in Sao Paulo, you could drink a beer walking down the street. Daniel worked in Cleveland for a couple of years and said that sometimes it still feels odd if he drinks a beer outside of a restaurant or bar now that he is back in Sao Paulo. So, one of my favorite sayings "When in Rome" suddenly transformed to "When in Sao Paulo".

We grabbed a couple of beers to go and headed down the street to my hotel. As we walked through a mall drinking our beers, Daniel mentioned I should get a picture of me drinking in the street. To add to the picture, we noticed a Police car just outside of the mall. So as any great explorer would do, I took a picture with Police car in the background, while I drank my beer in the street, in front of the Police. Cheers Sao Paulo.

Its legal to drink in the street, even in front of the Police, in Sao Paulo

Spotlight on Social Responsibility: Education Programs

You may recall in my first post about Corporate Responsibility, I mentioned that Ernst & Young has a strategic focus the 3 E's: Education; Entrepreneurship; and Environmental Sustainability.  I have featured a few programs that base around Entrepreneurship (KIVA and the Corporate Responsibility Fellowship Program with Endeavor), Environmental Sustainability (Earthwatch), but I have yet to touch on Educational Programs. Until Now.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Today, the United States celebrates Halloween. Although adults do not get the day off of work and children do not get the day off from school, it is perhaps the second most important holiday in the U.S. for children, topped only by Christmas. On CCN International last night, they spotlighted retail sales of Candy in the United States, noting that candy sales topped the $2B mark for the holiday, accounting for approximately 1/3 of all candy sales during the year.

Since I am in a different country where Halloween is not celebrated, I have tried to explain exactly what the "holiday" represents. I start off by saying it is a variation from Latin festivals "Day of the Dead" and most likely has an original in the Roman "All Souls Day" from ancient times. However, I have no idea how to explain the large amounts of candy, the elaborate parties at bars and other adult establishments, and of course, those crazy costumes. I guess I would say that it should be chalked up to American commercialization of, well, just about everything. See a couple of photos from this past weekend of my friends in action. (Kudos to their wives for putting them on Facebook where I could steal them for my blog!)

Stolly and Ellis as Alan and Stu from "The Hangover"
Travis Rockey as "Teen Wolf"