So here we are, invited to a Welcome BBQ Dinner at Jose Cesar Martins’s house. A new anecdote… we had to travel in four taxis to accommodate all of us. However, there seems to be no correlation between the order the taxis leave, and the order they arrive. I guess we will continue to investigate.
We were received by Mr. Martins, Jose Fortunati (Porto Alegre’s Mayor), Mr. Cezar Busatto (Municipal Secretariat of Local Governance), and other personalities of the city of Porto Alegre. Mr. Fortunati greeted us prior to dinner and then we sat at this homely table by the fire. What was to follow was the best BBQ ever… accompanied by a few fresh salads, a potato salad “de rigueur” and great wine, they kept passing and passing and passing with different cuts of meats… and everything was so delicious we simply could not say no.
Not to mention the dessert:
which was followed by welcome speeches by Mr. Busatto, Mr. Martins, Mr. Jairo Avritchir (LATAM Information Risk and Compliance Executive Director at JP Morgan), etc. Then Mark opened a series of thank you speeches by the ESC-Smarter Cities Challenge team, followed by Derek, Lisa and Julie…
The passion and vision they all shared about the city of Porto Alegre was nothing short than contagious… and we left with the strong feeling that we need to manage expectations (did I say that before?).
If the energy level of the team was high before we arrived to Porto Alegre, there is no doubt that this Welcome Dinner brought it to an even higher level!
Off to sleep… Tomorrow is Community Service time…