In ten days time, I’ll be boarding a plane for Sao Paulo, for a month of not for profit work in the City of Campinas, through the Corporate Service Corps My work will be with IMA - an agency funded by the Municipality to create/provide software and technical solutions.


They’ve just launched a mobile app to serve the city. Our goal is to learn more about how it is used, the services offered through it, and possibly help with design and development plans for the future. There are potentially other Municipalities in the State of Sao Paulo that will benefit.

I’m very excited to work on the project - hoping to learn more about how the Municipality works, who the userbase is, and what expectations are. I’ve worked with a couple of Canadian Municipalities for a short while, and have consulted with a couple of government agencies from other countries. Smart cities, design for citizens, and maybe the prospect of Natural Language tools in those contexts are subjects that really interest me. Combining this in the context of a hugely populated State in Brazil especially interests me.

I was assigned to this project with two new CSC colleages Akiyo Takashima from Japan, and ‏Rabia Rafiq from Pakistan.


In preparation for living in Brazil for a month, I needed to be immunized against Yellow Fever. I’m hoping to spend a few days in the Amazon area too, which meant immunization against Typhoid, and I’ll need to take Malaria tablets while there.

In the past, I’ve never thought about immunization when traveling, so this was sort of eye opening for me. But then I haven’t traveled before to somewhere so close to the Equator.

I attended the travel clinic at the University of Ottawa for consultation. The pharmacist had really cool software - when she entered the location of a place I would be visiting, it lit that area up a color depending on the severity of a risk there. I would really like to explore with the software, to see what areas and risks there are. It fascinates me. Makes me wonder how the risks can be localized so much.

I guess mosquitos are a big carrier in sub tropical regions. It’s a bit of a concern for me, because even in Canada I seem to be a magnet for the darned things - maybe due to my fair Irish skin, or something. There are no mosquitos in Ireland, or at least weren’t when I grew up there.

Team and travel

Our wider CSC team of 12 has been divided across four projects. I’ll write about the other three projects in the weeks ahead.

We’ve been getting to know more about each other over Slack, and weekly calls. Sometimes collaborating on small projects or studies together.

We’ve been making some travel plans together too, for when the assignment has ended.

Only 10 days to go, and I realize that I need to pack for a month … which I guess I should get in tune with! At the moment it feels hard to believe that the time has rolled around so fast, and that I’ll be living in Brazil the week after next …