So the time has come.
Our TALK project came to a dramatic climax with a 2-day Global Village event on wednesday and thursday last week, I decked myself out in as many Union Jacks as was humanly possible. T-shirts, sunglasses, earring, boxers and actual flags. I had yet more wars with Germany (AKA Matthias) over music, food and a variety of other topics. Who knew Worthers Originals were made in Germany, and worse still that baked beans were invented by a German born American.
My music persisted over his, mainly due to the fact people had heard of mine and knew the words! I dished out a shed load of Dairy Milk and chocolate eclairs, converting as many people as possible away from the abomination that is Hersheys.
Mission Accomplished – “The Best Chocolate in the World”
The tea didnt go so as well, due to my lack of milk and/or sugar. I tried explaining that people dont really drink black tea (and that I dont even drink it at all) but I still watched with mild disheartenment when some people poured it away. The Queen drinks this! It cant be that bad!
Hilariously, Matthias dished out his German sausage (pause for immature giggles) and Klara increased everyones chances of diabetes with piles of Czech sweets, mints, wafers and cola. Then Frankie, as ever, stole the show with her increbily loud voice and dramatic reconstructions of how to faint and catwalk like a Filipino. I managed to bag myself a bag of Filipino dried mango. A whole bag. Its that good.
After Wednesday event, Frankie cooked us all dinner with her flatmates and Gabe, the new intern in Maringa from HK/The States and we played Uno (a game ive never actually played before) where I lost multiple times.
We proceeded to what was the start of our goodbye, a process that is still ongoing 5 days later. Post global village, we headed to Afonso’s. A bar we’ve probably spent far too much time in. Only to find it was full to the brim. We quickly found another bar (across the road) with more space and did quickly GET ON THE BEERS SON. I began the process of clearing my luggage of British Memorabilia that I will never use.
Enjoy your Union Jack sunglasses Ludmille!
On Friday, Flavio took us shopping to Avenida Fashion (imaginative name) and I bought a pair of sunglasses, obviously to replace my Union Jack ones, that were more expensive than a pair of jeans thats Matthias then bought. I never change. To be fair though, they are cool. And I did get a free case and R$5 discount!
My intern family then went for a ‘final’ BBQ dinner at a really good place we only discovered in the final week and I still dont know the name of. Then hit Salero’s for yet more goodbyes. We thought it would be poetic as our very first night as a foursome of strangers was spent in Salero’s. Poetic was maybe a strong ideal and it didnt end so poetically. I was and had a lot a fun though!
We were well and truly spoilt with food on our final weekend attending family meals with 2 of our TALK students. On saturday we were invited to Santiago’s house for an amazing BBQ (so much steak) with his parents. I understand why they put sauce on everything except BBQ’s now because, when its done properly, the meat is so good it doesnt need anything! Ronald (Santiago’s dad) made an excellent chef! We talked films, food, home (Me : royals / Matthias : beer and sausage) and multiple other, actually quite intelligent topics like the environment and the economy.
Sunday, Mothers day In Brazil (and everywhere else in the world it seems other than the UK) we were invited to Magda’s house. Again, the food was really good, every family Ive met in Brazil have all been so lovely and welcoming and tell me (In Portuguese) that I should feel at home! So obviously, I just eat too much food and spend all evening feeling massively fat. Matthias discovered an electric guitar, belonging to Magda’s brother and an acoustic for Frankie so were we treated (yet again :P) to a playlist of songs, which I never actually get tired of hearing when they’re played live, a metre in front of me. Magda showed us her drawings from her art classes which we had spoken about during our sessions and im now inspired (by a number of people) to actually do something when Im back home other than just sit on my laptop. So stay tuned for my new talents coming soon.
Monday was Maringá’s birthday. 66 years old. Practically still a toddler in the UK! They hold a huge festival, which I can olny compare to a Rodeo style Kent County Show (for those of you that know it). It was a lot more like a trade expo with many companies showing their products, a vast array of fancy cars, farming equipment and funfair style bits and bobs that light up and flash.
As kids at heart, me and Frankie headed straight for the funfair, buying a ticket to ride The King. What we decieded was the potentially scariest ride available. I suddenly lost all excitement for it trying to find the end of the queue. As proven in our stereotype session, Brits love queueing. Apparently so do Brazilians as we waited over 2 hours. Worth the $R10, maybe not worth the wait. Although the view in the dark from upside-down at the top was quite special, no photos of it though. Ill just have to describe it to you.
Today, our final full day in Maringá before we break up the family and leave Frankie here as an orphan. I seem to have left everything to do on the last day. I had to handwash some pants so I dont run out of clean ones when I leave. Theres 20 days before my flight home and I only have 12 clean pairs. We are heading for our last ever cake, then one final intern dinner, our final goodbye party and my final sleep in Maringá.
It really feels like the end of an era, my time here has flown by so quickly yet I feel like ive done so much, grown as person and formed lasting friendships, that are verging on being actually related. Without being too soppy, Ive had the best time and will really really miss it.
Im dishing out the last of my British stuff tonight and AIESEC apparently have a surprise for the 4 of us before we leave. So tissues at the ready. Minimal photos when this occurs please Frankie.
Leaving for Rio will be emotional, all sorts of emotional.
But as ever, on to the next grat adventure. Thanks Maringá for such a brilliant time!
(I did finally get a photo of me with a Brasil Baby! Stay tuned for that)