Brazil- A busy last few days….

On Thursday morning we woke up early for our ride back down the dirt road to go into Fortaleza. We ate breakfast and said our goodbyes to PRECE and our new friends, then started driving. With most of us asleep and unaware, apparently a rock got trapped between the tires of the bus causing it to pop and forcing us to stop to get a replacement. We all got out of the bus and are stood outside a tire shop in the middle of Pentecoste.

   

Finally we made our way to the Fortaleza airport and headed for Rio. Once we got to Rio we were greeted by the grandfather of a Pace 3rd grader and his students from the south!!! It was a complete surprise! They welcomed us with Brazilian soccer Jerseys with our names and Pace on them. This, naturally caused us to stand out like Americans…or a Brazilian soccer team. We couldn’t decide. Either way, we loved the feel and look of the shirts! And, how fun to meet another group of students! After such a warm welcome we got on the tour bus and headed to the hotel. Once arriving we all took the first warm showers of the trip and finally got to see ourselves in the mirror!!!

We went to dinner at a Brazilian Steakhouse with an all you an eat buffet. We all got stuffed off beef then headed for a dance show of Brazilian dances around the country and throughout history. While participating and watching half naked dancers, we all had a great time. Late that night we went to bed and prepared for our last day.

We all packed up and ate breakfast early in the morning. Piling all our bags into one room, we all checked out. We got into the tour bus to head to Corcovado- the Christ Redeemer. As we headed up the mountain on the train we instantly felt the temperature change while going into the clouds. We came back down and drove to the Maracana stadium that hosted the World Cup, and we learned some history about the Brazilian soccer teams. We then went to lunch at a buffet style restaurant where we were able to try different types of pork and chicken dishes from around Brazil. After lunch we went to see murals representing 5 of the contents that had been painted on Olympic Boulevard. Then we went to the Sugarloaf gondola, hoping to go up the mountain to get a different view of the city. However, we never made it up due to a shootout between police and 2 nearby gangs. So we decided to head to the beach to walk around. We went to Ipanema beach for some pictures then back to the hotel for some shopping and getting ready for our departure.

    

Late on Friday night we boarded our last flight of the trip!

  • Ben C and Davis

Brazil: Visiting Lagoinha

Today we had hot dogs for breakfast. They were kinda fye.

We all loaded on the bus and headed into Pentecoste. From the school, we piled way too many smiling faces into a van and sang the whole way to the beach. Just before reaching our destination, we stopped for goodies and snacks at a never-ending, treasure-filled shop.

As we pulled up to the beach, we unloaded the van and ran down to the sand. The beautiful water and palm trees lining the coast had everyone captivated. We swam in the warm, salty water and battled the waves. The Brazilians who accompanied us tried to teach us how to dance to some Brazilian Funk and it was beyond entertaining to watch. We walked along the shore and explored the shops on the sand. For lunch we had a feast consisting of all sorts of fried food, fish, shrimp, lobster, salad, fruit, and of course rice and beans. As we relaxed on the beach, it gave us a chance to reflect on our past few days and make more lasting memories.

  • Sophie

Brazil: More adventures…

Today we woke up in a bright mood, ready to seize the day. We began with a tour of PRECE and their organic garden lead by Vankelene. Shortly after, the group went on an excursion to find rocks by the river, load them up in the back of a truck and unload them back at PRECE. We loaded rocks up for almost an hour with Coach Smith’s same five songs on repeat!! This service may sound boring, but we managed to make a very fun time.

    

We then went to two public schools in Capivara and Mulungu, and experienced the differences in the state professional high school in Pentecoste and the county public schools in the rural areas. We learned that there was a lot of variation between the two schools. They performed ‘How Far I’ll Go’ from Moana in Portuguese, and we performed the Cha-Cha slide for them. It was a really cool moment to see both cultures come together and share a part of each other.

  

 

  • Devan and Dominique

Brazil: Teaching at the Public School

Today we went to the public high school that was in the city Pentecoste, and it was a very amazing experience being able to interact and teach all of the kids English. We did our best to make the whole community come together by playing different sports and even having a flash mob party in the middle of the square. We added our own American twist by playing the cupid shuffle and the cha-cha slide. In the classroom, the students were very enthusiastic to learn English and even were teaching us the Portuguese version of what we were trying to teach them. So we were able to learn the names of different family members in Portuguese and how to count up to 10.

     

  • Jaden and Bennett

PRECE “Memorial”

Today, after our final English lesson, the founder of PRECE invited the students to write some reflections on their experience at PRECE. They will keep these messages here as a reminder of the connections that were made. Additionally, they planted a tree in honor of our Pace Academy students so that they will always remember us. Below are the messages the students left for them:

PRECE Memorial

It was an amazing sight getting to see the light bulb light up in the children’s’ faces when they learned something new in English. I have enjoyed all the new foods and different experiences in this Brazilian culture, which is isolated from the rest of society. By viewing the way this community is self-sustaining shows to all of us that hard work can help accomplish difficult tasks.

  • Ben

It was an amazing experience getting to meet everyone and to be able to teach them English and about our culture. I am very thankful for opportunity, and this moment will stay in my heart forever

  • Jaden

It was so incredible to break down the language barrier and build lasting relationships with the students. It has been such a blessing to be able to learn and engage in the culture. I’m so grateful for all the laughs and smiles.

  • Sophie

It was a great experience coming and being able to teach kids younger and older, English. It was fun meeting new people and creating new relationships. It was also great learning a little bit about the Brazilian culture, the dancing and the food. This was a once in a lifetime experience that I wouldn’t trade for the world.

  • Bennett

It was an awesome experience coming down and having the opportunity to teach kids of all ages English. I really enjoyed also being able to learn a new language and connect with the Brazilian culture and learn all sorts of new dances. Although, I had some fears with different animals, I’ve never enjoyed myself more.

  • Dominique

These past few days have truly changed my life and how I view the world. It is an amazing experience when all walks of life come together and learn from one another. I am grateful for people I met and that I had the opportunity to learn from them and teach them our language and culture.

  • Devan

The opportunity of coming here and helping a community gives me a warm feeling inside. I love helping people while also learning from them whether it is about their culture or an aspect of their lives. I have had a great time getting to know all the students here in Cipó, and will bring back lessons learned here into my life.

  • Morgan Payne

Teaching and bonding with the kids was a special opportunity for me. I really appreciate the chance to blend cultures with them. I never would have known how it is to interact with other people who speak a completely different language and come from a completely different culture if I hadn’t come to Brazil.

  • Davis

It was an incredible experience to come to Brazil and teach while bonding with these kids. Despite the cultural differences and the language barrier, we were still able to come together as a community and have a good time. This is an experience that I will not be able to have anywhere else.

  • Ben

It was a humbling experience to embrace the Brazil culture, from teaching the kids to learning about their faith in a church service. Brazilian people have unbelievable faith and they ooze with gratitude. I am very proud of our Pace Family, we have fully emerged ourselves into their culture by foregoing our beds to sleep in hammock outside, eating their great cooking, and attempting to learn Portuguese. Cipo reminds me of my childhood….growing up on dirt roads and finding ways to enjoy yourself and the people around you with limited resources. I am so blessed to be here!

       –    Demetrius “Coach” Smith