Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Summary Week #1, of Last Week (20th-29th May)

(I want to post every day, but at the same time I don't want to put pressure on myself to stick to a rigid schedule- so here's a little update of what I've been up to instead...)

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  • Monday: Day off
  • Tuesday: Work induction (& then Fernanda took me to a pasteleria)
  • Wednesday: Errm I can't remember... is that bad, lol?
  • Thursday: Fernanda taught me how to use my UK bank, & later the handyman came over to reveal a disaster... 
  • Friday: Barbara took me to the Esplanada shopping mall (& I ended up walking home because I had to navigate the buses myself), & there was karaoke at the Pizzeria later in the evening.
  • Saturday: Fran finished her volunteer work, so we had farewell activities for the kids, followed by another pasteleria!
  • Sunday: I didn't do a lot- I wanted to prepare for my first work week (so I meekly knocked & asked to use my neighbour's wifi)
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  • Monday: I went into the work office, but just to plan my lessons, pick up my ID card & run Skype tests etc (for online classes)
  • Tuesday: My first 'proper' day at work- my boss took me to the company, & I was nervous, but more details about how it went later!
  • Wednesday: (Today- I'm gonna go get something to eat since our oven/ hob still doesn't work, & then I'll go teach my second lesson!)
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So that's the update so far, but I'll make sure I post something about this week (& how my first lesson went) soon!




Take care,

-CELTAfied

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***
(PS- If you don't understand any of the teaching acronyms/ terms that I've used anywhere on this blog, please check my glossary page for a definition.)
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Sunday, 26 May 2013

'Nosso banheiro estas com problemas...' (Part 4)


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This is the fourth (& final) post about my bathroom 'adventure' in Brazil, so read the other parts first if none of this makes any sense to you (links for the other parts are at the bottom of this post).
~~~~~~~~~


Sooo my temporary solution was pretty good, but then I tried to use the apartment toilet again- this time the water was going down even slower. Soooo Barbara just suggested we don't use it at all- inconvenient, but I guess it had to be done...

...so I made sure to go to the bathroom when I was out & about (that was the day I went to my company's office for the induction session- to see what I would have to do to get money my job duties were).

The only problem is, when I got home, both the toilet and sink were now blocked up. Oh, & we also might have just forgot to tell Fran that we were having problems with the toilet in the first place...

...hence why she spent ages in there doing her 'business', and then proceeded to scream when it wasn't flushing. AT ALL.

Barbara went out to buy a plunger, & we proceeded to try & use it...fun times, is all I can say lol. It wasn't very effective though, since it looks like all the pipes are connected in some weird way- when we plunged the dirty sink, clean water comes out of the drain. When we plunged the clean drain though, dirty water came out of the shower...

We finally managed to unplug the toilets (yay, no more awkward bathroom trips in front of any footie fans which pretty much counts as the whole of Brazil) but I have no idea what's happening to our shower situation. Barbara & Fran said there's another EP (AIESEC intern like me) who lives across the road, so I had the feeling we'd be knocking on their door all smelly and dirty pretty soon...

****UPDATE:

The maintenance guy said he would be coming to unplug the bathroom. He also said that a week ago... (like I said, Brazilians don't really have a strong concept of time lol). He then said he'd come on Thursday afternoon- which sucks, because I needed to go to the bank. I guess it was kind of a good thing though, since I was already worried that nobody in the bank would speak English (or that the ATM would be in Portuguese).

Anyway, I was in the apartment all day- Fran arrived back around noon, & said she had to go at 5pm. 1pm went by, 2pm went by, 3pm, 4pm... I think you can see where this is going, lol. Bureaucracy here is pretty much like the UK- they give you a long length of time (like basically ALL DAY) of when they might arrive, & then they don't show up...

...so he said the afternoon, but arrived at around 7pm... (at least he showed up, right)? Fetching him from security was a hassle though, since they decided to ring the apartment- & I have no idea what to say to them... So I had to ring up Fran, & she had to get me to repeat what she was saying, so that I could basically tell security 'sorry I don't speak Portuguese, wait till Fran gets back'. Haha xD

Aaaanyway, when he did arrive (with another guy), they spent quite a while unplugging everything. A bunch of hairs came out, alongside other things (which they disposed of neatly basically left all over the bloody bathroom!)- but guess what the real problem was?

I obviously didn't know this at the time, because it isn't exactly part of my Portuguese vocabulary right now (I didn't think it ever would be, lol), but Fran told me later...

...the whole reason we had problems with our bathroom, was because something was stuck in there.

That something was
a condom.

Aaaand I think that's my cue to stop writing about this whole debacle....


Take care,
-CELTAfied


(My brilliant Brazilian bathroom adventure...
Part 1: http://celtafied.blogspot.com.br/2013/05/nosso-banheiro-estas-com-problemas-part.html
Part 2: http://celtafied.blogspot.com.br/2013/05/nosso-banheiro-estas-com-problemas-part_25.html
Part 3: http://celtafied.blogspot.com.br/2013/05/nosso-banheiro-estas-com-problemas-part_5793.html
Part 4: http://celtafied.blogspot.com.br/2013/05/nosso-banheiro-estas-com-problemas-part_26.html)


~~~~~~~~~
***
(PS- If you don't understand any of the teaching acronyms/ terms that I've used anywhere on this blog, please check my glossary page for a definition.)
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'Nosso banheiro estas com problemas...' (Part 3)

~~~~~~~~~
This is the third post about my bathroom 'adventure' in Brazil, so read the other parts first if none of this makes any sense to you (links for the other parts are at the bottom of this post).
~~~~~~~~~

Guess what the uniformed lady took me? She went back towards my apartment, but turned to go up some steps outside- it led to what can only be described as a giant square on four pillars (so that the 'square' was suspended above the car park). She was nice, & I tried to make small talk with her (like asking what her name is, & how she was).* And when we got there, in the square area, there was... another bathroom!

It was a lot cleaner & bigger, which was great!

The only problem was that it was outside the apartment (meaning I'd have to go outside, then up a bunch of steps & ramps). With that also came the fact that the suspended 'square' was also home to 2 other things- the 'salao de festa'** & a football pitch (kinda like how my uni campus had an astro turf built on top of a car park). So that meant I had to trek all the way up to the bathroom, only to have both party-goers and footie fans stare at me as I go up there- having them talk to me is like having to talk to the security lady, but 5 times worse (since I have no prompt card).

Aaaanyway it was a solution, which I found by myself- so something to be proud of!

I'll fill you in on the rest tomorrow...

Take care,
-CELTAfied


*(As well as trying to learn a new word everyday, I'm also trying to at least speak to someone in Portuguese each day too- I would ideally like to speak to someone new each time, but since I have no life I haven't really met many new people yet, I'll just focus on speaking to whoever can understand me)
**A 'salao de festa' is basically a big room for parties- it's free for the apartment residents to hire out, which is quite a nice touch actually.


(My brilliant Brazilian bathroom adventure...
Part 1: http://celtafied.blogspot.com.br/2013/05/nosso-banheiro-estas-com-problemas-part.html
Part 2: http://celtafied.blogspot.com.br/2013/05/nosso-banheiro-estas-com-problemas-part_25.html
Part 3: http://celtafied.blogspot.com.br/2013/05/nosso-banheiro-estas-com-problemas-part_5793.html
Part 4: http://celtafied.blogspot.com.br/2013/05/nosso-banheiro-estas-com-problemas-part_26.html)


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***
(PS- If you don't understand any of the teaching acronyms/ terms that I've used anywhere on this blog, please check my glossary page for a definition.)
~~~~~~~~~

Saturday, 25 May 2013

'Nosso banheiro estas com problemas...' (Part 2)


~~~~~~~~~
This is the second part about my bathroom 'adventure' in Brazil, so read the first post if none of this makes any sense to you (links for the other parts are also at the bottom of this post).
~~~~~~~~~

So armed with the phrase (in this post title) scrawled on a post-it note, I went to the security block cross legged & desperate. The lady there took the note off me, which proves my Brazilian Portuguese accent sucks lol that she was trying hard to accommodate my request. It worked though, since I got to do 'my business'.

Then I had to go again.

This was kinda awkward, considering:
a) I had just been to the security block, so the lady there would probably thought I was taking the mick*
b) she had taken the piece of paper off me, so now there was even less chance of her understanding me lol

I went once more regardless, & she was nice enough to let me in. It wasn't the nicest place (who leaves half eaten apples directly touching the toilet cistern!?), but it's not like I had any other options.

Anyway, when I was in there, I heard someone talking with the security lady outside- I heard the word ingles which made me think oh no, they're going to throw me out of the toilet mid-act 'yay, they've found someone who can speak English (& consequently can pass on the message that our bathroom needs fixing)!' Unfortunately enough, neither of those things were true- the lady ushers me into the arms of some randomer in uniform. I had absolutely no idea what she was saying, but....



Take care,
-CELTAfied

*'taking the mick/ p*ss'- a British phrase for teasing or making fun of someone (in this context, it also means leading someone on, or not being serious)

(My brilliant Brazilian bathroom adventure...
Part 1: http://celtafied.blogspot.com.br/2013/05/nosso-banheiro-estas-com-problemas-part.html
Part 2: http://celtafied.blogspot.com.br/2013/05/nosso-banheiro-estas-com-problemas-part_25.html
Part 3: http://celtafied.blogspot.com.br/2013/05/nosso-banheiro-estas-com-problemas-part_5793.html)


~~~~~~~~~
***
(PS- If you don't understand any of the teaching acronyms/ terms that I've used anywhere on this blog, please check my glossary page for a definition.)
~~~~~~~~~



'Nosso banheiro estas com problemas...' (Part 1)

Ok sooo, I promised a post about the bathroom lol...

Ermm what can I say- it's been eventful, lol =\

When I first moved in, Barbara* told me that there were a few problems with the apartment- the cooker doesn't work, & the shower water doesn't stay in the shower. I thought the cooker was ok, because it just needed a special type of adaptor to attach it to the apartment's pipework. Little did I know that it would actually require the handyman to come & change the entire innards of the thing =\ It's alright though, because while we wait for the fogão's** surgery, it's given me an excuse to explore Sorocaba's cafes & restaurants =]

As for the shower, weeeell... for some reason, they haven't built the step-up part of it high enough, so water tends to flood out of it. The solution was just to take really quick showers. So that's what I did the first time, & it was all good (we also keep a rubber wiper & floor towel handy, so any water that seeps out can be quickly mopped up).

The second time however, was a totally different story. I did the same thing as last time (a quick shower), but this time the water wasn't going down- it was spilling out of the drain! So I finished my shower early & got out so that I could wipe everything away. Well, that was the plan- until I heard Fran* scream, at least! Apparently all the water had flooded out of the bathroom too! It was a lot worse than I thought though, because I looked & the water had gone straight through the main corridor & to the stairs outside! This was the strange part though, because all the water had totally bypassed the bedroom & kitchen (which are on the way to the entrance/ exit). Here's a terribly drawn ASCII map of the apartment, to show you what I mean:

_________________________________________________
|                  BATHROOM                          
|                               |                               
|  BEDROOM #1   V                                   
|                               |                                      
|                               |                                            
|                               ----->--->----->                                          <GO HOME
|                                                        |                                        
|   BEDROOM #2                                                                   <WATER,
|                                                       |                                        
|                                                       |                                            <YOU'RE
|                                                       |                                        
|                                                      V                                            <DRUNK!
|              KITCHEN                        |                                        
|                                                       |                                        

|                                               EXIT ('SAIDA')**                  
|
|________________________________________________



So yeah, it looks like I've also learnt that Sorocaba water is too hipster to not have a mind of its own & blindy go along with the mainstream (ahaha 'mainSTREAM', see what I did there? Yeah don't worry, I wouldn't be friends with me either if I had the choice...)

Anyway, so cleaning up that mess was a lot of fun- especially since we had to tell security about it (they sit at the front of the apartment blocks 24/7), & I speak no Portuguese whatsoever.

So since the water was going down reaaaaaally slowly (not just in the shower, but in the toilet & sink too), I was told to to use the security block's bathroom in the meanwhile. Due to my irrational fear of having to talk in Portuguese the inconvenience of having to trek all the way out there, I held my urge to go to the bathroom for quite a while.

I think Barbara finally took pity on me though, since she wrote down the phrase I needed to say to use the security people's bathroom. It was 'Nosso banheiro estas com problemas, posso usar aqui por favor?' (Yes, it's the phrase in the title- here's a treat for your efforts, Fido well done!) This roughly translates to 'Our bathroom & our hipster water has problems, can I use yours (the bathroom here) please?'

Read the second part to see if I got sucked into the Brazilian sewer system (links are at the bottom of this post)...


Take care,
-CELTAfied

*The two girls I live with are Bárbara & Francesca- Bárbara is a native Brazilian (she's our host), & Fran is Italian (she's here for an internship, like me).
**A fogão is a cooker- hob & oven (On a slightly related note, I've set myself the target of learning at least one new word a day. I might come across more, but I want to learn the meaning & pronunciation of words so that I can use them in conversation- eeek just the thought of conversing in Portuguese makes me break out in a cold sweat, lol!)

(My brilliant Brazilian bathroom adventure...
Part 1: http://celtafied.blogspot.com.br/2013/05/nosso-banheiro-estas-com-problemas-part.html
Part 2: http://celtafied.blogspot.com.br/2013/05/nosso-banheiro-estas-com-problemas-part_25.html
Part 3: http://celtafied.blogspot.com.br/2013/05/nosso-banheiro-estas-com-problemas-part_5793.html)


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***
(PS- If you don't understand any of the acronyms/ terms that I've used anywhere on this blog, please check my glossary page for a definition.)
~~~~~~~~~

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Day 4: Pastel

Ok so to summarise yesterday, I woke up & first did laundry (funny how I felt more motivated to do that once my suitcase had arrived, & therefore didn't actually need those same clothes anymore)

Then I ate (all I have is cheese sandwiches, lol) & one of the people from AIESEC took me to my work place- I had to go there just for a little induction meeting (I'll be teaching Business English to adults). The office place is nice, but a little hard to describe- it's basically a bunch of offices that are named after cities from around the world, like 'Nova (New) York' and 'Madri(d)'- the latter is where I went. The courtyard areas have lovely palm trees & water features- wish I could have taken a photo :( Maybe I should just buy a cheap camera?

I found out a few good things from the meeting, like how the bus route is the same as the one I took on Saturday (to the bus terminal & then the shopping centre). Although my boss doesn't live far from my apartment, & says she can come pick me up in the mornings (guess the lines between work & personal life are a little more blurred out in Brazil, lol). I also found out that my schedule won't be too bad- although I will have to travel to some companies for classes, they are only usually at early morning/ lunch/ after 5pm, meaning I will have time in between to prepare lessons etc (one of the bad things about teaching is usually how much work you have to bring back home with you!) I'll also be conducting online classes via Skype, which should be interesting... we couldn't set it up during the induction meeting, but she said I'm welcome to come back & work on it during the week (which is just as well, since I won't start properly teaching till next week).

All in all, I'm glad that my boss is nice, & that the AIESEC representative taking me around was also lovely- even though she kept telling me her English wasn't very good, I could understand her well & we had a good time.

She drove me to the induction, & sat through all the boring stuff as I asked all my questions about the teaching etc, & then even took me to a pastelaria- I hadn't had the traditional Sorocaba pastel yet, & she was determined to change that =P A pastel is a little hard to explain- it's fried pastry, kinda like a filled puri. You commonly get it filled with meat, but since I wasn't able to take that option, I ordered cheese & fish instead. Don't even get me started on the whole 'meat' issue here- on the first night here, I was offered kosheenya. Now, I said that I don't eat meat, & imagine what the AIESEC guy told me? 'It's not meat, it's chicken'. I don't even... what, lol?! Apparently chicken doesn't count as meat over here, lol? After being understandably confused over this, I later found out that Brazilians mainly refer to meat as red meat. It's not too much of a problem right now since I can also order seafood, but the Brazilians do have a tendency to just bung other meat into everything anyway =P

Anyway, I got home & did some more unpacking. Then we still had problems with our bathroom...
(to be continued, since I think the bathroom situation requires a whole other post full of explanations lol)



Take care,
-CELTAfied

*I think it's spelt either pastelaria or pasteleria- either way, it's the place where you buy pastels from.
**Pourri is a tradtional South Asian dish, which is like chapatti but fried & really bad for you tastes great!
***Again, no idea if kosheenya is the right spelling- but it's like a pastry commonly filled with chicken


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*(PS- If you don't understand any of the acronyms/ terms that I've used anywhere on this blog, please check my glossary page for a definition.)
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Guess what?

Look what I found!

My suitcaaaase... my precioussss...


It finally came through yesterday evening guess when the transport company it would come on Sunday, they were working  according to Brazilian time lol, & I couldn't be happier! Do you know what it's like to be living in the same 2 pairs of underwear for 4 nights, whilst in a foreign country? Not fun, I can tell you! 

Anyway, now that the suitcase is here, I can properly organise myself. It sounds silly, but something as little as being able to organise my things, has helped me feel more in control of what's going on around me. Although there isn't a whole lot of space... see the photo above, with the suitcase? That orange thing to the right of it is my bed (yes, it's a mattress on the floor lol), & the black bag to the left is my carry-on. The carry-on is wedged up against a shelf- yes, that's the extent of my storage space in this apartment! So I have a feeling I'll still use the suitcase as storage- so much for 'unpacking' lol...

On the plus side though, my list of things is getting smaller now- I got my SIM (or 'chip', as they call it), & it finally has credit on it. Now all that's left to do is deal with the RNE- it's like a social security number for foreigners, & I need it to set up a bank account & register with the police (so that they can trace me if I decide to smuggle back a monkey) it's part of my visa criteria). 

So yes, relieved that I've been reuinted once more!

Take care,
-CELTAfied

~~~~~~~~~
*(PS- If you don't understand any of the acronyms/ terms that I've used anywhere on this blog, please check my glossary page for a definition.)
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Monday, 20 May 2013

'Adapting' to Life in Brazil


(The mall doesn't have any UK-Brazil adaptors, so I've had to go UK-USA-BR
-those pesky Americans get in the way of everything, haha)

Sorry I have not really updated properly, but it's been an interesting few days (to say the least). 

I feel like so many things have been going wrong, that maybe it's a sign I shouldn't be here? At the same time, it means I've learnt a lot? Guess it depends how you look at it.

I mean for example, it's not like I can give a pictoral recap of everything I've seen out here, since I have no phone now (smartphone anyway). So the most I've managed to do is use my laptop's webcam to take pictures of stuff inside lol. 

The actual phone I do have (an old Nokia brick phone) is refusing to co-operate with me- it picks up the signal for TIM & Claro (2 Brazilian networks around here), but won't let me send/ receive calls anymore. Basically it's useless for everything apart from waking me up as a 4 hour late alarm, & for Snake =P 

Things are starting to look up a little though. After finding out we need a CPF to buy a sim out here, someone else did that for me & I should have it soon. And my luggage should apparently arrive soon.

The mishaps I've been through in the last few days have taught me some things about Brazilian people. Firstly, they are very good at passing you along to other people- but once you've been passed along, nobody is responsible if anything goes wrong from there on out xD There's a lot of hopeless bureaucracy, & you can't expect to get things done quickly- so although I knew Brazilians are late to almost everything, I now know that they also don't actually come when they say they will. (There's a difference between being late when someone else sets a time, & you being late when you say you will come at a certain time lol).  

The other thing I've learnt though is Brazilians are generally open & accommodating. So even though things aren't going smoothly, it's the little things that count- so the woman who tried to tell me all the names of the things in the coffee shop (even though I told her 'eu no falo Portugues'* as many times as I could), was very sweet. Even if my Portuguese sucks (the words are written so differently that I don't even understand them lol), I can at least use my pictoral dictionary to point things out to people (it's been surprisingly helpful actually!) 

So yes, to recap, there's been a silver lining for every cloud hanging over my head:

  • I lost my (other) phone, but there was no sim in it anyway (& it's locked to the Orange network from back home),
  • My suitcase still hasn't arrived, but at least my valuable things (like my laptop) were with me in my carry on, so I can make do with that for the moment
  • I've learnt the hard way that taking a shower for 5+ mins floods the entire apartment, but at least when I step out from the shower it's no colder than inside it (the heat keeps everything nice & warm).
  • The cooker in the apartment doesn't work, but my flatmate was nice enough to buy me lunch today anyway.
  • I've been wearing the same damn clothes for 4 days now (only bought a change of underwear in my carry-on), but thankfully my flatmate has lent me some more (though I'm much fatter than she is, so I'll probably end up stretching them all out after only wearing them a few hours lol)
  • I'm incredibly scared about how little Portuguese I know, but when I was watching TV I made notes & the Portuguese made more sense to me than I thought it would. Also, I'm very lucky that my flatmates both speak really good English (even though they don't think they do)
  • My worries are relatively small (like how to get to work), considering the fact that I am still alive & well

So now I'm trying to keep myself occupied with other things, like taking out the trash & making small talk, whilst washing my 2 pieces of clothes in the sink. 

I asked my mother about going back to the UK, but that was because I wanted to be somewhere safe- I realise now that the things that have happened to me (like lost luggage/ phone) could happen absolutely anywhere, not just in Brazil (well, apart from maybe the late bureaucracy thing, lol)


So just remember... things won't seem so bad if you choose to look at them from another angle...


Doesn't look as extreme from here, right lol?




Take care,
-CELTAfied

*I think 'eu no falo Portugues' means 'I don't speak Portuguese'- so maybe they thought I still understood Portuguese (even if I don't speak it), lol...

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*(PS- If you don't understand any of the acronyms/ terms that I've used anywhere on this blog, please check my glossary page for a definition.)
~~~~~~~~~

Sunday, 19 May 2013

"The dotted lines show us 

where we're supposed to go,


We stay inside them

afraid that we'll lose control..."

~Asleep at the Wheel, Goot

HELLO AMMI

HELLO AMMI HOW ARE YOU? :)


GUESS WHO I AM?

YOU CAN'T READ THIS? 

THIS IS MY BLOG- I WILL TRY TO UPDATE IT REGULARLY, LIKE A DIARY, SO YOU CAN SEE WHAT I AM DOING.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Preparation

It's getting so close now! It's Wednesday evening right now, which only leaves me one full day before my flight (6am on Friday does not count as an extra day).

My visa came through today, which was a relief. The consulate sent it yesterday, & it was sent as Next Day Delivery post. Which is all very well & good, but I remember hearing it would arrive by 12pm- hence my panic when it hadn't come by 12.15pm (when you have a mother who calls you bang on 12pm to ask if the parcel was there yet, then of course you're going to stress out haha =P). Once the delivery guy came though, he pointed out it was supposed to be 1pm delivery anyway- my mistake! 

Anyway, I've also got my tickets sorted too (word of warning to anyone booking through Travelocity- when they send you a bunch of confirmation emails (& ask you to sign into a separate website), know that none of those things is your actual E-ticket. You have to take the first confirmation email to the check-in desk at the airport, and there you will receive your E-ticket. It's just held on the airline's system until then). So now all I have to do is confirm my check-in details online (plus meals etc). 

Insurance wasn't too much of a hassle to sort out- most of the places I spoke to have medical cover all included in their travel insurance rates too. Only thing is a lot of places don't do longer than 90 days (3 months) insurance though (even on their annual policies), & don't insure for working internships, so it's worth bearing that in mind if you're also from the UK. Luckily I did eventually find somewhere that do up to 120 days (6 months), & I also got a discount because I took my driving lessons from them too (see if you can guess which company it is =P). Not only that, but it was actually cheaper to go for the worldwide cover (including the USA/ Canada/ Carribean), rather than cover for Brazil specifically- who knew, eh?

Right so with those things out the way, the main thing is packing! I was thinking of bringing two suitcases with me so I won't have to do laundry forever, but maybe it's more sensible for a small weakling like me to only bring one =P I haven't packed the kitchen sink for the whole 6 months, so I'm hoping I'll be able to buy extra essentials when I'm out there (the city of SP is nearly as expensive as London, so I'm glad I'll be going to another city within the state!)

The majority of what I've packed has been documents & clothes; I packed thin material for the tropical climate, but also some cardigans/ scarves/ lightweight jackets just in case it gets nippy (it is 'winter' over there, after all- though 'lows of 12 degrees' is hardly cold!) I also packed some formal things, but not too many (Brazilians tend to have a very laidback culture; I'm taking open-toe sandals (with lots of padding, since teaching means I'll be on my feet a lot), but also button-up shirts, just in case). Colourful basics (& jewellery) is my mantra!

So yeah, I'm pretty much done now- just need to double triple check I have all the right documents before leaving, & then also make sure I don't fall asleep at all tomorrow night get a very early night on Thursday (6pm bedtime, anyone?) 

Exciting stuff! Maybe I'll take some ELT books & Portuguese phrases to read over on the plane...


Take care,
-CELTAfied


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*(PS- If you don't understand any of the acronyms/ terms that I've used anywhere on this blog, please check my glossary page for a definition.)
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Tuesday, 14 May 2013

I think I might be insane...

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Last year, I completed the CELTA* qualification.

It was what I wanted to do, because I wanted a way to break into the ELT* industry- I could have just done that with some online weekend TEFL* course, but that would not have been as internationally recognised. Not only that, but I was (& still am) a total newbie to the profession- so I thought a face-to-face course would boost my teaching confidence. Oh boy, did it ever- you should have seen how nervous (& naseous) I was just before teaching my first lesson!

Those nerves steeled themselves a little over time (with a lot of practice), but I am still a bit of an introvert at heart. Which is precisely why I have no idea why I am doing this to myself- pushing myself into an industry where I have to stand at the front of a classroom, in front of complete strangers (at first), and explain the English Language to them. The only reason I can think of as to why I'm doing something against my personality type, is that I might be insane.

Ok I lie, I know exactly why I am doing it- as geeky as it sounds, I really do love teaching! ELT especially! Sure I could teach something like Biology, but there's nothing like seeing your students actively using what you've taught them outside of the classroom. (I have nothing against biology- it is still very useful, so please don't kill me with some supervirus if you are a biologist). Aaanyway, I like to help people- & to do that, you need to be good at interacting with them. So taking myself out of my comfort zone (hello, sweating nervously in front of a class of students who are all older than you) is crucial for me & my chosen career path. So I like to help people, & at the same time, learn something from them too. TEFL is the perfect way to do that- I can learn about other people's cultures & languages, whilst sharing my own with them too.

Speaking of languages, the best way to learn them is by going to relevant country- right? So maybe that's why I've been crazy enough to sign myself up for a contract in Brazil. Yup that's right, I'll be going to Brazil to teach Business English to adults- sounds pretty fun, right? I know hardly any Portuguese though- still sounds fun? How about the fact that my flight is this Friday, & I still haven't finished my packing? Yeah, starting to sound a little stressful now haha... so maybe I should go do that now...

...but before I go, I just wanted to add something: this blog will be where I (plan to) document all my adventures out in SP São Paulo. So whilst there will be some ELT*-related stuff on here, I'm hoping to also keep it as a travel diary of sorts. I will do my best to add labels & categories though, so that you can pick & choose what to follow & read.

Right that's it, I better get back to packing. I'll try to update regularly (let's conveniently forget about the fact that I also said that the other 3 times I attempted to start a blog), but feel free to leave a comment in the meanwhile because I crave attention, so I know who's following!

Take care,
-CELTAfied


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*(PS- If you don't understand any of the acronyms/ terms that I've used anywhere on this blog, please check my glossary page for a definition.)


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