Well this, unfortunately will be the last blog of the holiday! Can you believe that one month has gone and we are sitting here surrounded by suitcases, packed and ready to leave for the airport to fly home.
Our last two days have been pleasantly busy.
On Monday, after a slow morning, we spent the afternoon in Julia's school, where we were invited to "teach" four groups of children each. This basically meant some getting to know you games and a writing exercise, in which the children drew out their school time table. The idea being taking their work back to school with us in the UK so that the children can see the differences between each other's school day. The Brazilian children were welcoming, as were their teachers and full of curiosity about English schools. They were horrified to learn of strict school rules such as the uniform policy!
The afternoon was hard work, but Sam and I were very impressed by the level of English spoken by the 9-10 year olds. The school day ended at 4.20pm and we returned back to Gisela's house exhausted! A good prelude to starting work again in a couple of weeks time.
On the Tuesday, Sam and I spent the morning apart doing different activities. I had the chance to experience life at Camila's school and observed this time, thank goodness, a physics and maths lesson, all delivered in Portuguese. It was so interesting to see how 14/15 and 17 yr olds behaved in classes and how the teacher maintained control. Ultimately, as one boy said to me, if you don't get the work down, you'll fail tests and have to take catch up classes etc. albeit noisy, testosterone-y and full of teenagers trying to "express" themselves, they got the work done and it was nice to see the positive working relationships between teacher and student.
As is the Brazilian way, when you meet someone they are all for hugs and kisses, so it was funny to hug and kiss a load of teenagers as well as teachers (!) I never got used to doing that the whole time of being here!
But the morning was really good!
Over to Sam for his bit...
Hello! So rather than spend the morning with the aforementioned testosterone-fuelled teenagers, I had the opportunity to go to the recently-opened Brazilian Football Museum. This has been constructed underneath the stand of the classic Pacaembu stadium, and is a good fun mix of displays and interactive exhibits. Not everything written down had an English translation, but enough that I could get by. I enjoyed myself a lot, and even got to visit a shop with São Paulo shirts, one of which now belongs to me!
In the afternoon, after another scrumptious lunch, Gisela took us over to the school in which she works at voluntarily. Many of the children she works with are blind or partially sighted. Some of the children are also experiencing deterioration of sight.
Upon arrival, we were given the warmest of welcomes by a group of children (mostly blind) who were very excited to have visitors. The aim of the afternoon was to make and cook hamburgers. There were 3 groups of children in total. Each group discussed the different ingredients, using touch and smell to work out what they all were, including the special Worcester sauce! Which became labelled as the special sauce from England! All hands to the deck in order to make the hamburgers and then each child got the opportunity to shape their own burgers before they were cooked. Whilst the burgers were cooking, the children then sorted their buns with salad and sauces in prep before eating.
Of course Sam and I got in on the action and sampled a hamburger - just to be sure!
We had such a fantastic afternoon with these delightful children, two of which never left my arms and chatted away to me, even though I couldn't really respond properly. The school was completely different to Julia's and Camila's school but still a fantastic experience. It made me realise that perhaps I could work with children with specific needs whereas I had always thought it was a no go for me.
All in all, a fab second to last day.