My name is Andrew Crozier and I have been an engineer in the ATTO project for the last 6 years. Now my time with the ATTO project is coming to a close. And though I am saddened to leave it, I will always be grateful for the life-changing experiences I have had while connected with it.
My arrival in Brazil happened quite by chance. It started with the good fortune of a broken instrument. That instrument, the SP2, required specialized service to repair it. I was, at the time, the most specialized technician in the repair of SP2 instruments around the world. They were usually sent to my little lab at DMT in Colorado for service. But this one, in particular, would have been subject to all sorts of delays if it were to be shipped out of Brazil….delays which would have meant the instrument couldn’t be used during an intensive campaign at the ATTO site. Therefore, the call came for me to go to Brazil, and indeed to South America, for the first time to help out.
In those few days that I spent in Manaus at the end of 2013 and at the ATTO site, two very important events occurred. The first was a chance introduction via a friend to a smart and beautiful woman. The second was seeing the pristine Amazon rainforest from the top of a tower. Both of these events together changed my life forever. That woman would become my wife, and that forest would become my office for the next six years.
Living and working in Brazil is not always easy, but in my case, it has been extremely rewarding. My daughter Pleione was born three years ago, and she is the new love of my life. In the forest, the connections I have made working in the unique environment of the ATTO project have been so valuable to me, and I hope to others as well. It all rolls together into six years of ups and downs and difficulties and triumphs. I wouldn’t change a minute of it.
Now, the next chapter for my family is about to begin in the United States. And so it’s my wife and daughter’s turn for new life adventures in another country. Of course, we are not leaving Brazil forever, there is just too much for us here to leave it behind. So instead of “goodbye”, we’ll just say “tchau”.