Anybody who has been following our Facebook or Twitter Feed knows that our son, Evan, 13, is in Brazil on a school exchange for the next two weeks. Since our children do not normally get a huge amount of press on our social media sites, you may find it strange that I would post about his Brazil trip. However, many of our guests and friends have been avid supporters of Evan’s trip, and we want to keep you all updated!
Evan has always loved travel. A byproduct of growing up in a Bed & Breakfast, perhaps? Before we started the B&B, we hosted exchange students in our home from Mexico, Germany & Brazil. Our children have grown up, not just meeting people and learning about other cultures, but appreciating all of the benefits and excitement of global travel.
When Evan was starting Junior High, he circled all the clubs that he was interested in on the sheet they’d sent home. The first one he circled was Travel Club. Travel Club takes the students to Santos, Brazil, on a two-week exchange with the Jean Piaget School. We learned that the cost, depending on the number of students, was between $2000 – $2500. We told Evan that we would support him, but he would have to raise money to go..
He started raising money last year, and was proud to raise the money to go himself! He mowed lawns, looked after houses for people who were away, sold tickets for a lobster draw, sold “Jungle Jim’s” money, babysat, and collected recycling. He designed four Christmas cards, printed them, and sold them at the elementary school craft fair. He worked really hard and we are proud of him. Many of our guests were aware of his efforts over the past year, and supported him.
We hosted two sweet boys from Brazil during the last week of January/first week of February – Caio & Joao Victor (JV). They had a wonderful time together and became friends. A major highlight for them were the “snow” days that we had. During their stay, they went on a sleigh ride, watched (many) curling matches, went to Halifax, celebrated Family Literacy Day, had a Superbowl party, explored the maple sugar woods at Sugar Moon Farm, went to two hockey games, went downhill skiing at Ski Wentworth, had lunch with the mayor, went to museums, and had a Superbowl party. (Those are the things I remember off the top of my head!)
The Brazil & Nova Scotia kids together.
Our group in Brazil is much smaller – just four students and three chaperones. We took Evan to Halifax Stanfield International Airport on Thursday afternoon to meet the group. They flew first from Halifax to Toronto, and then from Toronto to Sao Paulo. We watched the plane’s progress through the wonders of Flight Tracker. Both flights were delayed because there were storms between Nova Scotia and Ontario.
We were able to Skype with Evan yesterday afternoon, twenty-four hours after we had left him at the airport. He reported that the five bouts of turbulence they encountered between Halifax & Toronto was “fun”. He had slept “a little” on the ten hour flight between Toronto and Sao Paulo. It was 33*C (91.4*F) when they landed in Brazil, quite a bit warmer than what he is used to! They had a three hour bus ride to the school in Santos, where they were fed before being taken to the homes of their host family.
I can only imagine that the reunion with JV was a happy one. While we were Skyping (oh the wonders of technology!), JV, his brother, his mom, and his dog came by to say hello. They brought Evan a piece of cake and a glass of delicious looking fruit juice that I can only imagine was REAL. Evan looked happy and insisted he wasn’t tired… adrenaline?
The plans for the evening were to go swimming and go to a teen club to meet friends and dance after JV’s soccer practice. There were thunderstorms last night which Evan thought were pretty cool. We don’t often get thunderstorms here in Truro. Today, their plan is to go to the beach.
I will continue to update for those family, friends & guests who are interested in Evan’s trip. Hopefully he’ll send us some photos too! It’s sure to be a great adventure!
A group shot before departure!
Showing off the backs of the shirts they designed!