We arrived in Teresina on Thursday after a short flight from Brasiia. We were met at the airport by our fabulous host teacher Josie, and her friend and former ILEP student, Alex. Arriving in Teresina, I coud immediately sense that this was a city that is thoroughly lived in. (Okay, I’m over Brasilia bashing now.)
From the airport we were taken to the Metropolitan, an upscale hotel in the heart of downtown Teresina.
That evening, Alex was not scheduled to pick us up at the hotel for a couple of hours, so Jennifer and I decided to take a stroll around and check out the city. We learned later that this was an IREX no-no….oops:)
Right down the road from our hotel is the Church of St. Benedict, built in 1886. With mass going on, the inviting doors and windows of the church tempted us to sit down for a few minutes inside.
From here we strolled a bit further down the road and came across the main government building in Teresina, which to me, resembled a miniature White House.
A little further down the road, we stepped into a store selling all sorts of things like housewares, clothing, and party decorations. With Brazil’s June Festivities upon us, we saw a ton of decorations, many of which resemble those of our Halloween.
Later that evening, we went out to a local restaurant where we we had some of the best food we have yet to experience in Brazil, while enjoying some awesome live music.
After a long day of traveling and eating, we were ready to head to Joselia’s school on Friday morning.
A quick background. Our host teacher, Joselia was an ILEP fellow, who studied English in the United States for 5 months at Kent State. Now, she hosts America teachers from the TGC program when they visit Brazil. Jennifer and I are spending the week in Josie’s school, visiting with teachers and students, co-teaching and planning, sharing ideas, and learning more about one another and our different cultures. Josie teaches at the Center for Language in Teresina; a small school where students of all ages attend classes to learn English, French, Spanish, etc.
We visited the first class in the morning; a level one English course where students were given the opportunity to practice their English by asking us questions and vice versa. Thank God for my partner teacher, Jennifer, who can sense when the blank stares and awkwardness are about to kick in, and jumps up and starts some activity.
After spending some time with the students, we were picked up again by our driver, Marcos, and taken on a cultural tour of Teresina. Our first stop was a row of ceramic stores, selling all sorts of things, from giant ceramic tigers for people’s front lawns, to tiny St. Francis statues, and all those you see below:
From here, were were driven down to a little park by the Parnaiba river.
After our tour, we headed to a nice restaurant with Marcos and Joselia, where we had another great meal.
When we arrived back at the hotel at 2pm, we were told to take our time, relax, and pack a small bag for our weekend excursion, before we headed back to Josie’s school to have another session with a level 2 English class. I love having the opportunity to talk with these students; I feel like it is giving me a better understanding of the ELL kids in Copiague.
After our second session at the school, we were picked up by a car sent by the secretary of education to drive us a few hours to the coast. What was supposed to be a 4 hour drive turned into 7, but this was totally okay, as I loved seeing the country side, and getting out of the city to spend the weekend at the beach. (To be discussed in my next post.) Goodbye to Teresina for now.