Day 7 & 8 in Brazil
School on Monday and I have a new instructor (I will be switching every week) Elizete. I felt very at ease with her as I had already spent some time with her on my first day of arrival, she was in the trio that picked me up. Her style of teaching was very different from Professor Flavio, Elizete was much more fast paced. I think the biggest thing I struggle with is I never get to review the material. I read something once, or repeat it to the instructor until they’re satisfied and then it’s on to the next section and I can’t process it that quickly. I’m fine in the classroom, but nothing is sticking in my head, I feel like an idiot, nodding and smiling and saying thank you about a hundred times a day; it’s frustrating. Doing homework at night is an interesting challenge as well; needless to say my Portuguese hasn’t much improved since my arrival. I know different words, and if I hear something I can usually remember, but trying to pull them out of some remote recess in my mind in an actual conversation is a feat I’ve yet to accomplish. However, Elizete is a marvelous instructor, and is relaxed and friendly in the classroom. For our break Elizete, compassionate soul that she is, suggested we get coffee with Chris and Caio so together we got our caffeine fix.
After school I went on a bike ride with Jess. It felt great to get outside and roam around. Riding bikes is such a wonderful way to see the city, but the traffic is a little crazy and It can get dangerous for bikers at times (more on that later!) and we stopped in at the park and fooled around for a bit. Fun fact: they have gym equipment in the park! It’s as normal to have ellipticals as monekybars and swings!
Later Jess and I helped Fatima prepare dinner for Elizete and Chris who would be coming to dinner. Dinner was very good, Fatima out did herself. There was TONS of food, but everything was wonderful. After dinner (which consisted of way too much food for me to even list off) Jess and I hung out and listened to some music while I edited some photos.
It was a holiday so no class! We spent the morning visiting relatives, everyone was very kind and it was an honor to meet more of my host family’s loved ones. After our visit we stopped at a vegetable stand, as Fatima has made sure that the table is always stocked high with veggies for me to eat! Also, when you’re a foreigner people are automatically more curious about you, so as soon as people realized that Jess was by my side translating the stares increased tenfold. It can get uncomfortable, but no one is unkind. Mostly, they’re just curious and I can’t fault them for that. I ran into this at the vegetable stand, where a woman and the few guys that were running the stand were watching me and talking to Antonio about me. You can’t do anything except smile and look apologetic about not being able to answer their questions.
And apparently, I had an admirer at the vegetable stand….and now Jess has decided that this will be my new husband and I will have little vegetable children! It’s now a running joke: me and the vegetable man. Jess even put a picture up on my Facebook with a painting of a man made out of vegetables! She’s a lot of fun and we get a long really well. I wish I could do more for her, I always feel like they’re taking care of me and I can do so little in return.
After that we went to the Zoo with Ciao’s family and Chris. It was very crowded with the holiday, and I, having already been there, was a little less aggressive with my camera than the previous trip. However, it was a beautiful day, and the zoo is a lovely place, it’s certainly a place you can visit more than once so it was nice.
Later, Jess and I went on a walk and I met another one of her friends. He was very nice and spoke English really well. He’s a very interesting person and it was fun walking around the city. At home we had more girl time: music, nails, and bed!