Published: March 13th 2012March 13th 2012
Well here it is, the first entry from Brazil, finally I hear some of you say as yes this has taken me a full week to get to. I could give you lots of reasons but they are not very interesting so onwards an upwards!
Firstly though, an update from Peru, the girl I told you about is now home and, fingers crossed, on the mend. So that is good news.
Right then, Brazil. So I arrived here last Tuesday evening and although it was almost 8pm at night, the heat smacked me in the face as soon as I stepped off of the aeroplane. I was picked up from the airport from a member of the staff from the hostel which I am calling home for these 12 weeks and we travelled just 15 minutes or so before we arrived at our destination.
The hostel that I am staying in is really lovely and the staff are exceptionally friendly and caring, looking out for me and checking that I am ok. My room serves its purpose well and as of last night has working air conditioning, the air con is working so much so in fact that
I reached out for a blanket for the first time since Peru! There are 8 beds in my room and sometimes they are all full and sometimes they are all empty, every day things change. Each bed has a mini whiteboard on it where the name of the occupant and the date that they are leaving is written, I will be here for so long that mine simply says my name! I sleep on the top bunk and I love it, sleeping in bunk beds makes me feel like a kid again - brilliant! Although I am now much more wary of jumping off than I think I ever was when I was younger. I am by far the longest staying guest at the hostel where most people stay between one and three nights, as a result of me being here for at least double that already, I am quickly becoming settled and part of the furniture.
The constant change in guests is also helping me to work on my social skills, some would say these were more than ready for some focussed attention! Every day new people arrive and friends that I have made leave, it is a
strange environment to live in however I am enjoying it and have forged some good friendships with the staff and locals which is helping me to feel at home and to work on my very weak portuguese. The other major plus side of being friends with locals is that you get shown where the biggest and most amazing ice cream parlour in the world is. Ok, so I am not sure that that is entirely factual but it is very hot and I really like ice cream!
The hostel has an outside kitchen which I am free to use, I am not sure what for other than storing my water bottles in the fridge but allegedly some people like to cook while they are here, very strange! Luckily for me, the hostel puts on dinners most nights and breakfasts every morning so I am well fed and some may say a little spoiled! I am also enjoying the pool however I am going through my factor 50 at a rate of knots so I may soon be forced to become a hermit!
Enough of the luxuries in life, I have now started one of my placement projects here. Last Thursday I began my shifts at an SEN school about 45 minutes walk from where I am staying. The school is quite big for its specialism and has, from what I have seen up to 9 students in a class at any time. Each day I am with a new class and a new teacher, this will continue until I have been around the whole school and then we will look at things again. It is a fascinating place to be and I am absorbing so much that is then giving me much to think about for the rest of day and onwards. There is no age limit on the pupils as it serves as a daycentre aswell, the oldest pupil that I have met so far is 74 years old, however due to their special educational needs they are suited to be in a class with much younger people and they happily work and play alongside teenagers and younger children.
I will tell you much more about the pupils I have met and will meet as time goes on as they are a very interesting and very complex group. At some point soon I will also begin my second placement, which will be teaching english in another school. That should also throw up many thinking points and will keep my days busy and nights pensive. For now though I will leave you, partly because it is so very very hot here and I must go cool down but also because this is a shared PC in the hostel and there are always people keen to get on to make plans or check in with home.
We have a lot of time left together in Brazil so as always I will try to keep you updated and will try to share as much as I can about this enormous country as possible.