J-1 Experiences: Priscila Rodrigues
Priscila Rodrigues, CAEP trainee from Brazil, went to school in Animal Science and worked with pigs and chickens back home. After graduating, she decided to experience a CAEP program in either pigs or chickens to see the differences in how the animals are raised in the USA. She decided to train on a hog farm to gain a better grasp of the technology that is used in the United States to raise and feed the animals.
In 2010, Priscila was an Au Pair in New Jersey for a year. “I wanted to work on my English and the kids were great to work with. Once my English was better, I had the opportunity to train at a hog farm and I just love little pigs.”
“There are some big differences between hog farms in Brazil and in America,” said Priscila. “In Brazil, the pigs are in open buildings but here, they are in closed buildings because of the cold winters. I enjoy learning and asking questions about the hog farm operations here.”
The climate in Minnesota is very different from Brazil, which allowed Priscila to experience new cultural components such as ice fishing. “Winter is hard in Minnesota. The jacket I brought wasn’t enough so I had to get a new one. It’s very different from Brazil. Our host took us ice fishing last winter. I didn’t have the patience to wait for a fish but it was nice to sit with everyone and have a good day.”
Priscila and the other trainees at her host site also attended the first CAEP Fest in Ashby, Minnesota. “It was a great opportunity to meet everyone that I had met online but hadn’t met in person. I connected with some CAEP people on Facebook and it was a fun weekend to meet everyone.”
“Everybody needs to have an experience like this,” said Priscila. “You grow personally and professionally.”