My Fulbright Experience – Maria do Pilar Lima
Thanks to the Fulbright grant I had the opportunity to discover a well diverse and vast country, with mixed cultures and realities different than mine. Was a unique chance to travel and establish important contacts, allowing me to improve my technical skills and to get experience on my research field “Contemporary earthen Construction”. Thus, this chance not only made me grow up as a professional but above all as a person!
I spent a remarkable time, studying, making interviews with technicians of my study field, visiting work sites and tribes, being part of an international workshop (TICKET) in Mexico and other projects as a visiting scholar affiliated with the University of Arizona.
My first month has started in collaboration with a non-profit association in the middle of the Chihuahuan desert, in Texas, next to the Rio Grande and Mexican border, without piped water and almost no communication to the exterior. The important support, during my stay, of the IIE and Fulbright staff, as well as my attendance at several events such as the Enriching Seminar in Austin, with the other Fulbrighters, helped me to overcome moments of loneliness and homesickness.
I went to U.S.A. with a specific goal and methodology but enough flexible to not compromise my project and allowing me to make sometimes a detour.
On my return I brought a full sense of accomplishment and happiness for having met such amazing landscapes, so many interesting people (some became great friends) and pride for being part of this great Fulbright family.