Look! A second post!!

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.

exploring downtown!
Dia dos pais
Me and the first Dutch Governor
Governor’s Office
Central Plaza in Recife Antiguo
Taxi boat


3 thoughts on “Look! A second post!!”

  1. Great to hear from you Theo! I hope you are settling in nicely and making connections. It sounds as if you are going to miss your host family’s children. I am sure you will do well and find others with which to connect. Are you making friends with your soccer mates?

    It was interesting to hear about the public school system in Brazil. Do you know what happened to Brazil’s educational system? Sometimes I feel that this is what the US is doing to public schools in our country though Charter Schools — systematically taking money away from public schools in an effort to destroy or privatize them. I fear that the future of schooling in America will be like Brazil in which only the rich can receive a good education if this trajectory doesn’t change.

    Keep the blogs coming! I love hearing about your adventures!
    Love you!!

  2. Hi Theo!
    I am enjoying your writing so much. You are a superior share-er.
    It is such a breath of fresh air to hear your point of view among what seems like a cacophony of doom and gloom. Unlike so many, you pointedly reject the fear of getting out of your comfort zone. I love love love that. Optimism and hope for the future. I am showing your words to Ellie- she’s 9 now. I know she will love hearing about your adventures and hopefully, she will follow your example. We look forward to reading more about your days ahead!

  3. Thanks for the post, Theo. Your perceptions of the school system are interesting. The racial problems predate the decline of the public schools since they originate with slavery. Figuring out how to integrate people who use to be enslaved turns out to be pretty tough everywhere. Keep the observations coming!

    Good news in the NYT today: the gap between rich and poor kids in the US in terms of school readiness is SMALLER than it was in the 1990s. Importantly, rich kids are not less ready.

    Love you!

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