So I'm not sure how much I'll keep up with this blog but I wanted a place to share my thoughts with everyone back home. Computer access here is both limited and sporadic, and that's ignoring the fact that they're ridiculously slow, but hey, it's all good.
So Olimpia and I are here in São Paulo, living almost directly in the center of this 20 million person city. Crazy. We live in a house for refugees and forgien (I have no idea how to spell that word, and Portuguese spellcheck isn't working out for me, hehe, sorry) women who got stuck and got out of Brasilian prisons. I was a bit nervous about it but WOW it's this old beeeeaautiful house, the food people take turns making and has been delicious, our room is upstairs and a bit secluded and we have our own bathroom, and it's all very nice. The neighborhood isn't the best, but it's not awful either. It used to be a convent and so I think that's part of why it's so nice. Seriously it's the nicest house I've really ever been in in Brasil.
I always love the transformation of my language skills as soon as I step foot on Brazilian soil. My Portuguese, claro, isn't perfect, but it gets so much better as soon as I'm surrounded by it. I understand 98% of what people say, and am still a bit shy about talking because I stumble a bit, but really I'm going to be fine. By the end of the summer I should be fluent.
São Paulo, especially the city, is very different from the Brazilian experiences I've had in the past in Rio, but I'm really enjoying being back in my country. =]
The person that is taking charge of us here is Heidi, she's a Maryknoll lay missioner and is fabulous. She works with lots of projects, the biggest being an organization that works with these forgien women in the Brazilian prison systems. Olimpia and I will be going on prison visits each week, and will do stuff liek scanning in letters the women write to their homes and emailing them across the world. We'll also be teaching the staff at the house we're staying some English, and will also be visiting a organic farming project headed by another Maryknoll missioner, Chad, and his wife Angel and their 2 daughters. We'll be doing lots of other things here and there as well, little one-day, two-day vistitations of different projects and so on. It'll make the 8 weeks go fast but also it kinda sucks because because by the nature of this set-up, we will kind of be more of a hassle for people than anything else. It'll be more of a trip for us than for anyone else, more of an experience for us than us helping other people. That's a bit disappointing but still, I'm really excited for this summer. =]
We had a very typical Brazilian experience trying to get a cell phone for me yesterday and today. We went to the TIM (a cell company here) store and bought a SIM card for me and a prepaid plan, because the lady promised if we took my phone, or this old phone that Heidi had, to this little shop across the street, they'd be able to "unlock" it for me and I could use the phone. Well, after 2 hours or so of talking, leaving and shopping and returning etc, we realized that wasn't going to happen, with either of the phones (no to mention it'd be significantly more expensive than the lady had told us it'd be). Everything closed for the night and so this morning we went back because they promised they'd find me a cheap phone I could buy. Well so we got there and they were trying to "fix" the phone and after waiting for quite a while we just left and went to the official store and bought I bought a phone that supposedly should work in France too. I dont mind because it ended up being less than $70 and I needed a new one anyway. But the whole thing involved so many people promising so many things that of course never happened, and we spent a whole evening and half a morning just trying to get a damn phone, it made me laugh.
Ok well this was a long post because I got some time on a computer, but now I'm off. Beijos pora todo mundo.