Today was a half-day at Casa Ronald, The students planted six trees that the house dedicated to George School for their appreciation for our service. This was another tough day for goodbyes. We will miss the residents at the house, and they have touched us all deeply. Continue reading
Tag Archives: Brazil 2015
Today was a sad and happy day. Casa Ronald had a farewell party for us with all the residents of the house. There was traditional Brazilian folk music along with a demonstration of a dance called Capoeira, a Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics, and music, it was developed in Brazil mainly by African descendants with native Brazilian influences. It was great to see our students dancing with the residents and to see all the smiles on their faces. It is these small things that make a difference in their lives even if for only a moment. Continue reading
by Amedeo, Art Department teacher and trip leader
On Tuesday evening our group had the opportunity to attend a special press conference to support Maes em Luta in the Campanas courthouse. Maes em Luta is an organization that is making efforts to locate missing people in Brazil, particularly children, and raise awareness to the cause. Vera, the founder of the organization, was extremely grateful because our presence brought a broader level of attention to a national crisis. Missing children is considered a social crime, and so the police do not often take immediate action, which is what they need. At the last minute Carol was asked to interpret because their translator could not make it. She did a wonderful job in a difficult situation and we all were so very proud of her. Mahek, Charles and I were asked to speak a few words. Later the next day we found out that it was the highlight of the news on TV. Continue reading
Wednesday morning we all woke up at 5:00 a.m. for the fullest and most exciting day of our whole trip: a day in Rio de Janeiro. The plane ride from Campinas was only an hour long, but all of us were so sleepy that it felt like minutes. Our bubbly guide Fernando met us at the airport, and we split into groups to board buses headed to Christ the Redeemer. On the way we passed the beautiful beach of Copacabana. The road up the mountain was full of twists and turns, and Carol pointed out an old hotel where Pele had once stayed. The mountain itself was misty and crowded with tourists from all over the world–I heard everything spoken from Korean to French. The air was humid and warm at the base, but the higher we moved the cooler it became. The statue itself was bigger than I could have imagined, even though I had seen it in pictures. It towered over all of us, tangled in the clouds like a massive ghost. Thousands stood around it, taking pictures and leaning over the railings to look down at the city, spread out like a painting below. I bought postcards, and we headed down for lunch. Continue reading
Tuesday afternoon we quickly ate lunch and waited patiently for a big surprise. After about an hour of just relaxing we were called to the back of the house. We met Neinao who has been a graffiti artist for over twenty years. He had recently come back from New York where he had finished a project there. He had also done a mural at the Casa before. The surprise was that we were going to help him create another mural near the one he already did. Our job was to fill in paper cranes with spray paint, which he had created the outline for. On the left side of the wall he made a little girl blowing bubble wand, which instead of producing bubbles it produced the cranes. We formed an orderly line for people get a turn, which quickly turned into whoever got the spray paint can handed to them next. I found the experience quite enjoyable, but others found the smell of the spray cans hard to handle. Even though some did could not see the completion of it the mural turned out beautifully. Photos below!
I want to start off by saying hi! to my family and to reassure my mom that I am okay and having an amazing time here!!!
This mornings task was woodworking, which many of us were not sure what that entailed. My group was Carol, Jibri, Charles, and Jermaine and we soon learned that we would be sanding and varnishing all morning. We started this task and soon realized that we were going to be covered in dust and varnish. It was pretty funny seeing everyone either with white hair or having their hands covered in this sticky residue that never seemed to come off. We all were laughing the whole entire time because someone was always singing or making a joke. We were grateful that no one could understand us though. After lunch we finished off by cleaning up our mess that we had made and helped the other group change light bulbs. Continue reading
Saturday, 5:40 a.m.
Although most of us had gone to bed late Friday night, the group decided to wake up in the morning to watch the sunrise. Alex, Carol, Abby, Natalie and I dragged our bodies to the beach by 5:50 a.m. The girls were joined by the boys who surprisingly had an ample amount of energy for 5:50 in the morning, After being serenaded to ‘Beautiful Girls’ by Sean Kingston by Malcolm, Jermaine, Jibri, and Charles, we watched the sun peek over the hilltop. Riviera de São Lourenço at sunrise is undeniably one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen. The vivid pink and purple colors were mesmerizing. Continue reading
Today we all woke up at our usual times, and met at the Escola Americana de Campinas once again. But instead of going to Casa Ronald McDonald as we usually do, today was an off day. Today would comprise of a trip to São Paulo where we would all go to the Civil Police Palace and the University to see the DNA lab, and then finish out trip to the Brazilian coast for the weekend.
After a one and a half hour drive from Campinas, we arrived at the police palace where we met with our tour guide who also was the chief of the homicide department, Paulo. He stated that his English for the most part came from “Game of Thrones,” but even with that he spoken near fluent English. We all entered the building and headed up the elevator to the homicide department in the police palace. All the departments of the Civil Police of São Paulo are located in this building. Continue reading
Today was a day for organization. We started the day by dividing ourselves into groups. One group cleaned the kitchen, one cleared gutters, and mine tackled a cleaning closet. We moved everything out, cleaned the walls, shelves, and floor, and then moved it all back in, organizing and grouping everything. This took a few hours.
After we cleaned the closet, we took wheelchairs and strollers out of a storage closet, cleaned them, set aside any that were broken or unusable, and neatly stored them back inside. Then, we sorted through toys and art supplies that were donated to the House. After that, we cleaned some of the toys in the playroom. These tasks are important to making sure that the residents are comfortable.
For an afternoon snack, the house celebrated the birthdays of two residents and one GS service trip participant, Miranda, with cake and soda. It was nice to see everyone gather to share in the celebration. Continue reading
Today we spent the morning organizing an electrical closet (I was glad to have Erin on hand to explain to us what everything was) and the afternoon folding and sewing paper cranes for ornaments that Ronald McDonald house will later sell. I was terrible at making the cranes, but I was able to sew them onto the strings and beads. The group has been getting along really well, and it is a pleasure to be with them. As we took our afternoon break on the porch, a thunderstorm rolled in over the green hills. I cannot get over how big the sky here, and how the sun shines in the puddles. The colorful buildings and purple, billowy clouds are a wonderful relief for my winter eyes. I was excited to see little Julia again, who shrieked and raced to hug me the minute I arrived. I’ve never met such a bright child, and although language is a real barrier, we manage to get along. She repeats whatever I say in English, trilling, “hello, my name is Julia, hello, your name is Miranda,” again and again. Nepali threatens to come out of my mouth every time I speak to her, my default reaction when someone speaks a language I don’t. Continue reading