Not that Village Mall

The conference official opening was held on Monday morning, followed by the morning plenary sessions. These sessions, as well as some of the others we attended later in the day, focused on the effects of accreditation programs on patient safety. There were also some interesting discussions on the use of health information technology.

When our conference day ended, we decided it was time to visit Cristo Redenter. While waiting for our turn to ascend the mountain, we visited a beautiful church that was just across the street.

You reach Cristo Redenter by way of a steep cog-train ride. This journey takes you through Rio’s tropical rainforest.

Cristo Redenter, the 710 m open-armed saviour, has stood at the top of Corvocado Mountain since 1931. The statue is a remarkable work of artistry, dominating its position high above Rio.

The other amazing aspect at the top of Corvocado is the panoramic view of tropical rainforest, beaches, ocean, islands and mountain peaks, as well as the metropolis of Rio.

After admiring the statue and views, and taking many,many photographs, we took enjoyed the view with light refreshments.

Returning to the hotel, we had a quick break and joined our ISQua colleagues on buses headed for the Networking Reception at the Village Mall. Contrasting our visit to Cristo Redenter, this evening was quite under-whelming – at times on the verge of an epic fail.

The bus ride was to take 20-30 minutes; in reality, the trip took 1.75 hours. We think perhaps the trial run had been done on a leisurely Sunday afternoon, rather than in Rio rush hour traffic. Arriving at the venue, already cranky, we were expecting something special – it was advertised at a “traditional Brazilian evening” and the tickets had been fairly pricey. In actuality, the venue was a large reception room in a mall (albeit a very upscale mall). The food consisted of small canap├ęs, passed by waiters; the caipirinhas and wine were good, and well needed by this point.

The band played typical reception-type music, breaking into what might be called typical Brazilian only for a couple of numbers where Samba dancers were briefly featured.

In the end, we felt that the whole event, as it was, could have easily taken place at the hotel – or an actual “traditional Brazilian evening” could have been better searched out and presented. Hopefully, the ISQua conference organizers will learn some lessons from this.

By the way, the bus ride back to the hotel took 12 minutes!

We ended the evening with a nightcap in the bar, and determined the day was quite enjoyable, despite the misadventures of the evening.


B&H, L&G