2 full moons & a new job

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June 9th 2012
Published: June 10th 2012
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Standing Still....

We seem to count the full moons that pass here in Itacare and I have now seen 4, including the full moon of May which was dubbed “Super-Moon”. I suppose it is actually 5 if I include the one I was here for in February when I first passed through for 5 days.

Within a week of posting my last blog and celebrating 6 months of unemployment, I somehow picked up work and started a new job less than a week later as an English Teacher (yes – I’m still in Brazil!). For those of you who didn’t know, last year I did an internationally recognised online certificate before I left Australia to Teach English as a Second Language (TESL). It is one of those things I have always wanted to do but never thought I would or could, but when I had the opportunity to study online I thought it would be a great thing to bring away with me as a “back-up option” to stay somewhere longer in my travels if I chose to do so. Well, back-up option is currently being used and I absolutely love it.

For years I have been using the academic and analytical side of my brain in the business/corporate sector of my employment. Now, for the first time since I was an early teen when I use to draw landscapes in a sketch book (I was actually quite good, even if I do say so myself!) I now have to think creatively & sometimes spontaneously, whilst have the pressure of keeping both children and adults entertained and interested in learning a language which comes naturally to me.

The online course taught me so much about English – I now know what a verb is! I never had the need to know what verbs/adjectives/pronouns were; let alone what present continuous or past perfect principals are. English for us comes naturally as we know what is right because it just “sounds right”, not because we were taught the grammatically correct points from the beginning.

When I tell people I’m teaching English, everyone assumes it is to children but the school is a private English School which has over 100 students varying from the age of 5 through to 65 years of age. Some are learning English to assist in their jobs in pousadas or local businesses whilst others are paying to help educate their children with a second ‘universal’ language. Then you have some, whether they admit to it initially or not, who are learning English to help their techniques in picking up the gringas who come through town on a weekly basis! Hey – whatever keeps you motivated, right? ;o)

Nevertheless, for me it is very rewarding and sometimes emotionally exhausting also, but it has been a great way to get to know more of the local people in the town and interact in the community in a way other than just another traveller. And from a selfish benefit of it all, god it feels good to be using my brain on something again! 😊 I will admit though, I like teaching adults more than children. Purely because I can relate to them easier and there is a common understanding of ‘how to behave’. I have always liked kids, simply because I can return them to their rightful owners once they started to play up! But when you have them for a class and they are playing up 15 minutes in? Well, needless to say this is when the creative, spontaneous part has to kick
Tiririca SunsetTiririca SunsetTiririca Sunset

Whilst waiting for the moon to rise
in and you somehow need to make them interested in what you are doing and not what the kid jumping out the window is doing... So yes, some days, I am still extremely happy to ‘hand them back’ at the end of the hour! But most days, it is great fun and a whole new learning experience & challenge for me also.

More friends have come and gone from the town and I’ve been to a few more farewell parties of people who initially were staying for a few days and left months later! A prominent figure for us in our little ‘nomad family’ who left the town a few weeks ago was another Australian traveller who initially came to Itacare for 5 days and ended up leaving 7 weeks later – much to the delight of the local surf-shop who he rented his surfboard from as he could have bought 2 boards with what he spent on rentals J. A quote I love in which the wise man said before he left us was, “There are 3 things in my life which I am certain of. One is paying taxes; the second is someday I will die; and the third is I will come back to Itacare”. So, we’ll see you soon Dan! 😊 Renan, who was dubbed the ‘Brazilian Gringo’ as he comes from Brazil but looks more like gringo than the rest of us, literally ran away and joined the circus after a month here also. Well ok – he actually works in the construction team for Cirque du Soleil (which is pretty impressive in itself) and had to go back to work after they had finished their time in Salvador, but the first part of the story sounds more intriguing at first glance J And then there is another farewell party tonight for an Israeli girl, Noa, who actually had to change her plane ticket home as she hasn’t left Itacare after 5 weeks now and is still yet to make it up to Cuba before her travels end! Note: This is also where she is meant to be flying out of! Just another traveller who’s intention to stay 3 days changed dramatically once she arrived and was struck by the Itacare “curse”. We actually wont believe she is leaving until we see her physically get on the bus, doors lock
One half of the familyOne half of the familyOne half of the family

Fernanda, Bella, me & Dan
and it drive out of town as the regular meeting phase when you hear when she walks down Pituba is, “Oh, you’re still here!?!?” 😊

So I think I can now officially call myself a surfer (well, for my standards as a starting point!) as I bought a surfboard when I finally moved out of the hostel but I am now already looking to buy a new, smaller board only 3 weeks later. Nicknamed the WMD (Weapon of Mass Destruction), it is a 7’4” fun-board which I swear is as thick as it is long and if I get caught out the back on an early breaking wave or get stuck in the white wash, I’m going all the way into shore on, or usually being dragged under by this thing! On countless occasions in recent weeks you can hear me yelling to the guys, “Holy shit!!! I’m going in!!” as I am frantically turning my board around to catch the wave which is currently breaking apart just meters infront of me – purely because I think it is either that or sudden death! I can also been seen swimming into shore from out the back lately whilst my board has been washed up on the beach 5 minutes before my arrival due to the size & shear force of the wave ripping the leash from my ankle and the WMD being detached from being both a weapon and/or a life buoy. Needless to say, it is time for a new board. So if anyone has a 6’6” to 6’8” or a fish and is heading this way – please let me know! I think I have to thank my triathlon background for the fact that last week I was surfing for 5 solid days in a row (a lot for me, though not for some!) but one of the days I was in the water for 5 hours without having a break for food or water and the next day I was straight back out there again! This new addiction seems somewhat familiar to triathlons also – though lucky for me surfboards aren’t as expensive as bikes and don’t require as much maintenance! Oh, my poor bike…

Also, a little out of chronological order but I finally moved out of the hostel at the start of May and into an apartment with a friend. It feels so
When it rains...When it rains...When it rains...

Some things will never change...
good to be out, as much as it was great for the time I was there, after 2 months of people asking me the same questions – known as “the backpacker questions” – I was ready to choke the next person to ask: “Where are you from?/How long have you been here?/ Why have you been here so long?/What are you doing here?/What is the weather going to be like tomorrow?/Why is it raining?/Can I have some more toilet paper?/What’s your name again??”. You get the idea! We’re all guilty of it and its all fine and good when you’re travelling and changing locations – but when you’ve been in the same place for 2 months and are answering the same questions about yourself every week….or every day? It was time to move out 😊

So I’m living in a cute little place down on the local beach which has a great view of where the river meets the ocean. Great view but you can’t really swim in this beach as, well, it’s the end of the river….think of everything which comes down stream and you get the idea! But I love it. There are the local
Bella & IBella & IBella & I

Yes, I got a little sun this day - I know.
beach volleyball & football games every week plus the added bonus of the Brazilian noise which I am still sleeping through like a pro, but it has such a different atmosphere than on or around the main street (Pituba).

So tomorrow morning, I’m waking up at 6am to go surfing again. Water temperature is still well above 23 degrees and I’m still in a bikini, even when it’s raining. Apologies to the Sydney crew as I know you’ve all been back in wetsuits for 4 months now! *love & respect*

The only down note is the mosquitoes are driving me insane as it doesn’t really get cold enough at the moment to kill them off, so between the alternate rainy and warm days it is fuelling their breeding and I seem to still be their first source of food and protein! But if that is my biggest issue in life right now, I’m not complaining. Life is good. And right now there is no where else in the world I would rather be…

Peace, love & all the mushy stuff that goes with...

Cas. xx


26th June 2012

Hey Cass Just finished reading all your blogs.... We had planned on having a nice chilled out final two weeks of our travels in Itacare but on second thoughts we may need to rethink, get there quicker and stay longer!!!! Can't wait!!!! I'm just finishing my TEFL course too.... Just the grammar section to go.... Not looking forward to that bit but the clocks ticking and I only have 34 days left, so procrastination really needs to cease..... It would be great to meet up when we get there if you're up for it, would love to pick your brains on how to get started teaching, shame it won't be in South America though.... Anyway, I loved reading your blogs... Michelle

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