Colegio Damas, my new school, requires students to pay to attend. In Brazil, if you can afford to pay for private school, you go to private school. No question. In general, Brazilian public schools, despite recent improvement, provide a less than desirable eduction. This means rich people get a good education and poor people get a bad education. If I were to find one reason for such a large economic (not to mention racial) divide in Brazil, this would be it.
Mauro Senior, my host grandfather and animated old Brazilian man who everyone seems to know, told me of a time when Brazilian public schools were better than private schools. A time when the historic school downtown educated the future leaders of the country and was not in a state of decay. He hopes things will improve.
Last week I joined the school soccer team. I’ll be training with them twice a week. I’m the worst player on the team, but I can keep up most of the time. Keeping up is much more than I can ask for having joined a random team in Brazil of all places.
My host brother Rafael left for a three month stay in California last week, and today my host sister Leticia leaves for France for her year long Rotary exchange in France. I get the feeling this is some sort of turning point for me.
Everyday I meet new people. A new person tells me his name and then my brain instantly forgets that name as it attempts to figure out what the hell this new person is saying to me. Then a different person introduces herself. Repeat process.