Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Some anecdotes from the two weeks when I wasn’t writing.
I had explained to my class that I would be leaving next week, and when I returned it would be with my dad and my brother. One boy raised his hand and asked “does the teacher have a sister?” All the boys in the class laughed.
A few weeks ago Ann went to the primary school near her house to introduce the idea of REDES (Girls In Development, Education, and Health) to the director and to ask if she could start a group there. I have met this director before and was very impressed by her, she is energetic and seems genuinely invested in the students’ activities. She was enthusiastic about the idea of REDES and told Ann to come back the next day; she would have a list prepared of girls who were interested in participating. When Ann returned the next day she had a list of 85 girls! So now Ann has four REDES groups and meets with one per day, Monday-Thursday. Which brings the total number of REDES groups in Inharrime to 7—mind-blowing.
We were reviewing how to tell time and I had written that 11:45 can be read as “a quarter to eleven.” One student raised his hand and said “shouldn’t it be a quarter to twelve?” When I said yes and thanked him he got a big grin on his face and said “Oh, I am too clever!”
I sneezed one day in class the entire class in unison said “bless you teacher!” Even if their verb conjugation is poor, at least they have manners!
Margarida (the three year old) has been helping me with my Xopi! During my lessons my tutor will have me read through to practice words and phrases in Xopi and then he will verify in Portuguese what I just said. But I was skeptical that my pronunciation was actually any good, I figured that he was humoring me because he knew what I should be saying. So one day I was studying Xopi and Margarida walked up, so I started saying things to her in Xopi, and she excitedly repeated them back in Portuguese! And if she can understand me then that means I am at least close to pronouncing things well. So now we do this often and it’s great practice for both of us.

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