Feliz Páscoa! (Happy Easter!)
What a weekend! I feel like a real local now, apart from the fact I am still white as Caspar the friendly ghost. I have a Brasilian sim card and a local number. It’s actually an alright deal, as far as I understand it I have unlimited local texts for 50centavos or half a reais each day which is about 17p in the UK. Calls are 25centavos and you can talk as much as you like, but I’m not sure I’ll be making many phone calls. Whacked out the old Samsung brick and away we go! No international usage though, and it still costs me 50p a message on my iPhone so don’t expect a reply if you text me.
So this weekend is Easter weekend obviously, Brasil is quite a catholic country and the Catedral de Maringa was very crowded on both days so I haven’t really seen inside it properly yet. On Saturday Renan’s older sister Mayara came to Maringa to visit her brother and boyfriend, from Curitiba where she’s studying medicine! She speaks more English which made the whole conversation thing much easier, for me anyway. She also bought me an Easter egg and a chocolate bunny which was lovely and very similar to what you’d get in England. I’ll let you know if it compares to Lindt. We went out for dinner to a restaurant called ‘Martignoni’ which was interesting as I’ll be better able to explain in the accompanying vlog.
It was Wilson’s 21st birthday on Saturday as well, a boy who’s in AIESEC Maringa who gave us the tour of the city the other day so Frankie, Matthias and I went along to celebrate with him. We ended up at a house party with only 3 Brasilians! The rest of the ‘festa’ was a Brit (me obviously), a German, a Filipino, 2 Mexicans, a Columbian and a girl from Uruguay (a Uruguayan?). More to come on that in the video because I’ll have to explain some background! I didn’t get home until 4.30am and managed to find my own way back adding to the illusion that I’m becoming a local! Apparently it is very easy to get lost in Maringa which doesn’t bode particularly well.
Today (Easter Sunday) in Brasil is very family orientated and I was invited to Renan and Mayara’s auntie and Uncles house about a 30 minute drive away in Ourizona, a really small town where it seems a lot of their family live apart from their parents. I was slightly apprehensive after being told none of their family spoke any English at all but they were so welcoming and lovely and now I have my own Brasilian family! As with many family gatherings in the UK there was piles of food. They eat a lot more meat in brasil than I was expecting, so it’s a good job I threw in the vegetarianism a long time ago! We watched War Horse or ‘Cavalo de Guerra’ with English subtitles for half, then in English with Portuguese subtitles for the 2nd half! As many parents do, old photo albums came out, and I saw family photos of Renan’s cousin Gessica at her graduation. In Brasil they have a prom style party after graduation as well as after school, and I showed them all photos of my graduation and summer ball whichh I guessed was the equivalent? So Mum, Dad, Francesca, Rory, Lauren and Sam… photos of you have all been passed round a Brasilian family!
It was really good experience that has already made the whole trip worth it! Especially as I was called beautiful and brave in the space of 3 hours and invited back for more food because they think I’m thin!
When we arrived back in Maringa Renan introduced me to a girl who lives across the hall who is an English teacher, I’m not sure why it took 4 days for this to happen as she speaks fluent English but anyway! She works as a teacher in a private school in Maringa teaching young kids English and I have been invited along there as well when Im free to meet all her students! Im sure she will come in very useful for tips when I start actual work tomorrow teacher the students at Maringa University (Universidade Estadual de Maringa or UEM for short).
Until next time, when Ill have completed my first day as an English teacher!