Friday, September 26, 2014

School | Senior Buddies

One thing that I love at PACA is the way in which a sense of community is consistently fostered. From classroom instruction to school-wide activities, everyone is encouraged to know and care for one another. This is evidenced in the buddy program in which each kindy kid gets assigned one or two seniors to interact with during the year. It was precious to watch the interactions and see if the senior or the kindergartner was more nervous. For their first meeting, the partners exchanged information in a basic get-to-know-you activity. In the end, I think it was safe to say that all parties enjoyed the gathering and I have been asked every day since if it is senior buddy day.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Beco do Batman | São Paulo | Brazil

Graffiti : São Paulo :: Mexican food : Texas. It's vibrant, it's everywhere, and you can't get enough of it. Though it may not be everyone's taste, I personally love the variety of styles and forms that graffiti takes all over this city. Located in Vila Madalena, Beco do Batman is essentially an open-air gallery of graffiti and definitely worth a visit if you're in the area!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Parque Ibirapuera | São Paulo | Brazil

Since my arrival in Brazil, I have been blessed to be surrounded by some of the friendliest people I have ever encountered. From new colleagues to parents, I have been offered a bounty of services, rides, and advice. The community at PACA is tight-knit and everyone takes care of each other. It is comforting to be so far away from home and yet be welcomed into other families as one of their own. A few weeks after school started, I was invited to go to Parque Ibirapuera with the family of one of my students. Living on campus, any excuse to get off campus is welcome and getting to interact with a student in another setting is always fun!

Parque Ibirapuera is massive. While reminiscent of Central Park, there seemed to be a lot more diversity. There was a marching band (which made me miss college football), an outdoor yoga class, several living statues, various types of trees, a Japanese garden, miles of bike path and several museums.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

School | Dia da Independência

In honor of Brazilian independence, we all got to sport our country's colors (I don't have any Brazil apparel yet but luckily my Merapi shirt was the right shade of green). The whole school gathered for a special flag ceremony. I wasn't entirely sure what was going on because the entire thing was in Portuguese but my little guys did great being the innermost ring of a student circle! I heard the Brazilian national anthem for the first time and for those of you in Indonesia, it was twice as long as "Indonesia Raya". I was impressed that a lot of the younger kids seemed to know all of the words! We're still working on learning how to take a group picture so for now, this was the most faces we could get looking in one direction.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Paranapiacaba | Brazil

On a recent long weekend, a new friend organized a trip to go hiking from a town called Paranapiacaba, a couple of hours outside of São Paulo. We didn't quite make it onto one of the actual hiking trails because we didn't want to follow a hike master along with about 30 other people, but we managed to find a dried up riverbed that we followed for awhile. We also spent quite a bit of time in the town itself, for which I cannot think of another word to describe other than adorable.