Dance, Dance, Wherever You May Be . . .

Quarta-feira, Março 19

Today is Saint Joseph’s Day – Dia de São José.  St. Joseph is the patron saint of workers and in some Brazilian communities it is a holiday. It was explained to me that if it rains on St. Joseph’s day then it will be a good year.  Well let me tell you it rained pretty hard here today.  A good year lies ahead.

Dancing is a great way to celebrate the prediction of a good year and today we were fortunate enough to learn the basic steps to a Brazilian style of dance.  The students were keen to try and the steps were sometimes hard to follow.  But, by the end of it, our guys had the basics down.

On our way to Dance class.

On our way to Dance class.

One, two, three, four ...

One, two, three, four …

Our instructor.

Our instructor.

five, six, seven, eight, ...

five, six, seven, eight, …

Heavy rain. It's going to be a good year.

Heavy rain. It’s going to be a good year.

How it should look.

How it should look.

After.

After.

After with more expression.

After with more expression.

Maybe when we return, Alex will teach you a few moves.

Just another School Day…

Terça-feira, Março 18

Today was a fairly quiet day as there were no scheduled activities other than attending classes.  Alex and Mullen dropped into Fabiana’s classroom to read stories and sing songs.

Mullen reading a story.

Mullen reading a story.

Listening to the story.

Listening to the story.

Alex reading a story.

Alex reading a story.

Ij your happy and you know it . .

If you’re happy and you know it . . .

Other classroom shots.

Mullen and Hanna in class.

In class.

Baileigh and Emma in class.

Class

Alex in class.

Alex in class.

Tomorrow we will have dance lessons.

Presenting Canada to the Brazilian students

Segunda-feira, Março 17

Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

Presenting to your own class can be intimidating.  Presenting to the student body of a school other than your own can be even more intimidating.  Today, we presented to the student body from the afternoon, or second shift, classes at Escola Crescimento.

Crescimento

Crescimento

Here is Emma’s summary of today’s presentations:

Today we had school in the morning, but most people did not go.  At 9:30 we all met in the library to go over and add to the presentation we were presenting to the afternoon students. The presentation was about Canada.  It talked about population of Canada and Brazil, and population of São Luis and Nova Scotia.  We also talked about Canadian food, music, people, sports and places.
We presented it twice in the afternoon 2 o’clock.  Once to the older high school students and another time to the middle school students.  The high school students loved Jimmy.  After the presentation they went up to him and took pictures with him like he was a celebrity. It was hilarious. 
Over all I think that the presentations went well and the Brazilian students enjoyed it.  Hopefully they learned at least one thing that they did not know about Canada today. 

Emma

As Emma noted, our students had to make two presentations, as there was not enough space in the auditorium for the whole student body. 

Our first presentation was to the 2nd and 3rd year high school students and the auditorium was full. These students are bigger and older than our kids which added to the intimidation factor.

High School students settling in for our Canada presentation.

High School students settling in for our Canada presentation.

Our audience.

Our audience.

Getting ready.

Getting ready.

Selina, from via Mundo.

Our second presentation was to grade 7 – 9 students.  This presentation was a little less intimidating as the students were smaller in number and also closer in age.

Our middle school audience.

Our middle school audience.

The Crescimento students were attentive to the presentation and cheered alot. At the end there was time for a few questions.

Georgia.

Fielding questions

After the presentations were completed, afternoon shift students returned to their schedule.

Tomorrow, the only scheduled activity is attending classes. Time for a much needed break.

Lençóis Maranhenses National Park – WOW!

Domingo, Março 15 – Written by Lorieann

Today we were up very very early. Most were up 4am-ish. Just a few of the students slept in a little later then that but we were off on our adventure by 5:30am. While they were tired, the Canadian students were excited for today. This trip was something the Brazilian students have been talking about since they came to Canada.

The trip began with approximately a 4 hour drive on a bus. Few of the students slept on the way there. They were just too excited to get to Barreirinhas, the town where our trip would begin.

When the bus let us off it was a short walk down to the river where we boarded a couple boats and began our journey up the river to Lençóis Maranhenses National Park. The park is located in the same state as São Luis but on the mainland. It encompasses roughly 1500 square kilometres, and despite abundant rain, supports almost no vegetation.

Group shot after getting off bus.

Group shot after getting off bus.

Boarding the boats.

Boarding the boats.

Ready to go.

Ready to go.

Catching up to the Middleton Regional High boat.

Catching up to the Middleton Regional High boat.

MRHS Boat.  Selina Sell waving to us.

MRHS Boat. Selina Sell waving to us.

Fishermen hauling in their net.

Fishermen hauling in their net.

Approaching our first stop.

Approaching our first stop.

Getting ready to beach the boat.

Getting ready to beach the boat.

Our first stop held a very pleasant surprise for the students before they even got to the dunes… Monkeys (macaco). Many of the students fed the monkeys pieces of banana.

Hello.

Hello.

Feeding the monkeys. The expressions are great.

Feeding the monkeys. The expressions are great.

Monkey eating.

Monkey eating.

Alex feeding a monkey.

Alex feeding a monkey.

Then we were off to the dunes. The plan was to stop and take a picture but some students had other ideas and went off exploring the dunes further. Everyone is very happy they did. The lagoon they found was great! After swimming for 30-45 minutes we did head back and finally had our picture taken.

Sleeping quarters.

Sleeping quarters.

On to the Dunes.

On to the Dunes.

Walking on the dunes.

Walking on the dunes.

Lots of sand.

Lots of sand.

On our way to the lagoon.

On our way to the lagoon.

Another view.

Another view.

A lagoon near by.

A lagoon near by.

Canada - Brazil Student Exchange Groups.

Canada – Brazil Student Exchange Groups.

We boarded the boat and were off for our next stop. At this spot we were going to have lunch but it wasn’t quite ready so we had about 30 minutes to explore this stop. On one side of the dune was the river we traveled on and the other was the ocean. The students had a great time playing in the ocean again today (even if there wasn’t any surfboards around).

Traveling along the river.

Traveling along the river.

At the beach.

At the beach.

Cabins at the beach.

Cabins at the beach.

Playing in the South Atlantic Ocean

Playing in the South Atlantic Ocean

Lunch.

Lunch.

A little friend came to visit.

A little friend came to visit.

After lunch and a little more time in the water we boarded the boat for one last stop. Here they went up in a lighthouse and were able to see all the places we had stopped at earlier in the day.

Our next stop, Farol de Preguiças.

Our next stop, Farol de Preguiças.

Farol de Preguiças.

Farol de Preguiças.

166 steps to the top.

166 steps to the top.

The view from the top.

The view from the top.

Our guide with the lighthouse keeper.

Our guide with the lighthouse keeper.

On the way back to the boat many stopped for a treat of some ice cream or some agua de coco.

Aqua du coco.

Aqua de coco.

After finishing the drink, the coconut is split open to eat the inside layer.

After finishing the drink, the coconut is split open to eat the inside layer.

Getting to head back to the bus.

Getting to head back to the bus.

Alex.

Alex.

Mr. McDonah

Mr. McDonah

Waving to the Fishermen.

Waving to the Fishermen.

Our ride home.

Our ride home.

On the way back most in our boat had a quick nap while some others spent the time trying to get the local fishermen to wave at them when we past by :).

By the time we boarded the bus for the trip home many had been awake for more then 12 hours and were ready for a little rest. We arrived home around 9pm and I, for one, am pretty sure I didn’t even move while I was sleeping because I was so tired.

Vida na Ihla (The Island Life)

Sábado, Março 15, by D’Arcy

In English, Vida na ihla translates into the island life.  Today’s activity was  representative of what many of us may consider to be the island life.  I am talking about surfing.

Getting ready for Surfing lessons at Praia do Calhau.

Getting ready for Surfing lessons at Praia do Calhau.

We gathered together at Praia do Calhau for surfing lessons. It is the rainy season here in  São Luís, but we have been fortunate enough that rain has not stopped any of our activities. Today was the same. The sun was out and it was necessary to apply lots of sunscreen.

There was a team of instructors there to greet us and they divided us into two groups. First, we received basic instructions.  David, from via Mundo, helped translate the instructions from the head instructor. Then group 1 got ready to surf while group 2 waited for their turn.

Head Instructor for Surfing lessons.

Head Instructor for Surfing lessons.

Instruction translation.

Instruction translation.

Instructions being translated into English.

Instructions being translated into English.

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Instructor showing us how to hold the board.

We were each paired with an instructor and then it was off to the water, which is much warmer than in Nova Scotia.

Pairing up with an instructor.

Pairing up with an instructor.

Kristen getting tips from her instructor.

Tips from the instructor.

Alex and David.

Alex and David.

Some more stretching.

Stretching before hitting the water.

Surfs Up.

Surfs Up.

Our goal was simple.  Try to maintain balance and maneuver the board so as to catch a wave and ride it back to the beach.  Sounds easy. However, the waves were big, and strong, and this proved to be a fairly demanding physical activity.  It made for a good workout.

Alex.

Alex.

Mr. McDonah

Mr. McDonah

Georgia, Alex and Emma.

So much fun!

Standing up on the board is for the next trip.

After we were finished, we had a little time to play in the water.  Alex was interviewed for a TV program and all had a great time.

Soccer is played all day long on the beach.

Soccer is played all day long on the beach.

Alex being interviewed.

Alex being interviewed.

Standing up on the board is for the next trip.

This picture says it all.

This picture says it all.

Volleyball in São Luís

Pi-day, March 14 (#2) By D’Arcy

MARANHÃO VÔLEI/CEMAR (MA) vs. BANANA BOAT/PRAIA CLUBE (MG)

Tonight’s activity had us watching a volleyball game between Maranhão Volleyball and  Castelinho Vollyball.  Castelhino is located near Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. This was an impressive show of Brazilian female volleyball talent.  Three of the players on the visiting Castelinho team play for Brazil’s national team. They can hit the ball pretty hard.

The home team, MARANHÃO VÔLEI.

The home team, MARANHÃO VÔLEI.

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The visiting team, CASTELINHO VÔLEI.

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Cleaning the floors after point scored.

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Cleaning floors between sets.

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MARANHÃO VÔLEI players warming up between sets.

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After the game.

After the game.

The games were close in score, but unfortunately the visiting team won the match. It was 3 sets to 0 sets for CASTELINHO VÔLEI over MARANHÃO VÔLEI.

Tomorrow, we get to try surfing.  We will have a film crew video taping us while we learn.  Time to do some push ups.

A Visit to Maple Bear Canadian Elementary School

Pi-day: March 14 (by D’Arcy)

As was mentioned in an earlier post, next door to Escola Crescimento is Maple Bear Elementary School.  This school utilizes Canadian curriculum and teaching methodology.  Students start at age 2 in the toddler class and for now classes go up to grade 4. They plan to add add a grade per year, over the next several years, to eventually have a school enrollment up to grade 9. Instruction is in English and Canadian educators are brought down to help with curriculum and methodology.  Fabiana Mondego, one of the teacher chaperones who accompanied the Brazilian students to Nova Scotia(and lived at our home), teaches at Maple Bear Elementary.

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My homestay brother, Louis-Philip.

My homestay brother, Louis-Philip.

We were invited to go to Maple Bear Elementary and visit with the classes to read stories, maybe tell stories, and possibly answer questions.  Maple Bear students wear a uniform that has a white shirt with the Canadian Flag and red shorts with the Maple Bear Logo.  The classrooms are set up in a familiar fashion to what we see at home which made being in the classrooms feel more comfortable.  Our students were paired up and placed in different classrooms and they chose stories from the classroom libraries. They had very attentive audiences.  It was a great experience.

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Jimmy and Mullen reading to Fabiana’s class.

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Later in the evening, we will go to watch a volleyball game between São Luís and Castelinho.  I will update this game in the next post.

*Note from Anne: D’Arcy tells me that Alex was in a different room than he was, so there are no photos of Alex reading to the kids. He will be in Fabiana’s classroom again next week, so we’ll try to get some photos at that time – hopefully even of him reading to Louis-Phillip!

400 Years of History

The following post was written by Lorieann, the female chaperone on the exchange:

Thursday, March 13

Today, we all went to visit the Lion Palace. It is not only the residence of the governor (technically governadora who is a woman. Her father used to be the president but is now a senator) but where they would entertain any dignitaries who would visit. It was very interesting to see the articles (paintings, vases, wardrobes, etc.) which have been collected since the “palace” was open almost 400 years ago. You won’t be seeing any of those things though, no pictures and no touching the articles allowed. We also have to wear protective wear over our shoes to keep the floors from being ruined. This meant the beautiful wooden floors were INCREDIBLY slippery!

Palácio do Leão

Palácio do Leão

One of the lion statues in front of the Lion Palace.

One of the lion statues in front of the Lion Palace.

Heading upstairs for the tour.  No cameras allowed after this point.

Heading upstairs for the tour. No cameras allowed after this point.

After the tour was completed.

After the tour was completed.

After we were finished our tour we had a little free time so we were taken on a tour of the local art area. There were many very interesting shops with lots of different gift ideas. Some bought gifts and some bought gifts for ourselves.

Heading to the Market.

Heading to the Market.

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Checking out some shops.

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Moving along.

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Street scene.

That evening we experienced a “Tambor de Crioula” workshop. Tambor de Crioula is African drumming and dancing. Many of them took part in the drumming (both boys and girls were able to drum while girls could dance).  Not so many of the girls were brave enough to take part in the dance. D’Arcy jokes he would have liked to try the dance but was sad it was just for girls.

Tambor de Creole

Tambor de Crioula

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One of the teachers for our activity.

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Getting lessons.

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Dancing

Jimmy getting lessons.

Private lessons.

The girls also had fun and even by the end of the evening they were able to convince all the girls to try…

Emma and Hanna dancing.

Dancing.

Random Photos

IMG_3643  IMG_3645 IMG_3668   IMG_3771(2)

Falo um pouco de portugues. (I speak a little Portuguese.)

Tuesday, March 11 by D’Arcy.

Tudo Bem?

Yesterday, we were given a class schedule to follow.  Juliana Camarao, placed the students into as many classes as possible because the Brazil students were all asking to have a Canadian student in their class.  Escola Crescimento has so many students that there are two shifts of classes – the first starts at 7:10 am and the second starts at 1:10 pm.  Whenever we have classes scheduled, they are during the same shift that our homestay brother, or sister, attends.  So, some of our students attend classes during the first shift, and others during the second shift.

With all that being said, today was a full school day for the morning shift and only a partial school day for the afternoon shift.  The reason for this is that we were having a Portuguese lesson at the via Mundo office. Our teacher was Jessica.

Hanna with our Portuguese teacher, Jessica.

One of our students with our Portuguese teacher, Jessica.

Jessica taught us some basic terms that we might need to use as we try to communicate with our new friends, and families. We were all making notes to have as our cheat sheets.  You can just imagine us in conversation, having to resort to our cheat sheet (notes) to try and make sense of what is being said or what we are trying to say.  The key word here is that we are trying.

Tomorrow we have an Arts Workshop at Crescimento School in the morning and then Beach Volleyball in the afternoon.

Até logo.