Brotos de Flores

To my fellow expat friends in Brazil: my dad recently sent birthday presents (books) for the twins from France via Amazon, we didn’t have to pay any customs, and it arrived in (drumroll) 10 days! ONLY TEN DAYS! Yes, I’m as amazed as you are, but now I’m afraid to push my luck and ask for a new camera… 😉 (I’ve been dreaming of a real fancy schmancy one with a couple of good lenses because there are many birds, flowers and landscapes worth showing off here, but technology is seriously way over budget).

On another note, the English classes have been going very well. There are new students every week since I’ve started one month ago. It’s encouraging, but I am still struggling to adjust to the way Brazilians roll. Let me illustrate.

Lesson 1 : 2 students

Lesson 2 : 5 students (yay!)

Lesson 3 : 1 new student, but one was already absent, so that was still 5 students in class.

Lesson 4 : 1 new student, but 2 were absent, so still only 5 students in class.

Lesson 5 : All 7 students were finally there. Ooh yeah fantastic, except that even though they are all adult they kept talking at the same time like a bunch of kids. At least I have no problem of participation! Ha ha. Sigh.

Thank God, I asked them to pay for their lessons one month (4 weeks) in advance so that even if they don’t show up, I don’t have to run after anyone for payment.

Apparently, I am supposed to get one more new student next week, but I won’t believe it until I see it (or him). Since I’ve started teaching, there have been about 4 more persons supposedly interested who never showed up.  However, if that class keeps on growing this way, I will need to divide it. I believe eight students to be the absolute max or we won’t understand each other.

À tous mes amis expats au Brésil: mon père a récemment envoyé des cadeaux (livres) pour l’anniversaire de jumeaux en utilisant Amazone et c’est arrivé en un temps record de (tenez vous bien) 10 jours! Incroyable, mais vrai. Je n’ose tout de même pas demander un nouvel appareil photo, faut pas pousser ma chance, pourtant le mien c’est de la merde. Le prix de la technologie ici est vraiment hors d’atteinte, alors pour l’instant je rêve de pouvoir capturer les oiseaux et les paysages magnifiques que je vois tous les jours.

Pour parler d’autre chose, les cours d’anglais vont très bien. J’ai des nouveaux élèves toutes les semaines depuis que j’ai commencé. C’est vraiment encourageant, mais pour l’instant je suis encore en train de m’ajuster à la manière brésilienne de faire les choses. Laissez-moi illustrer:

Leçon 1 : 2 étudiants

Leçon 2 : 5 étudiants (youpie!)

Leçon 3 : 1 nouvel étudiant, mais déjà 1 absent (ça commence bien), donc encore 5 étudiants en classe.

Leçon 4 : encore 1 nouvel étudiant, mais 2 absents, donc toujours 5 étudiants en classe.

Leçon 5 : Tous les 7 élèves finalement présents. Formidable! Sauf que bien qu’ils soient tous adultes, ils parlaient tous en même temps comme des gamins. Au moins je n’ai pas de problème de participation! Ha ha. Soupir.

Heureusement que je leur ai demandé de payer un mois en avance (4 semaines), comme ça si ils n’apparaissent pas en cours je n’ai pas besoin de courir après mon paiement.

Apparement j’aurai encore un nouvel étudiant la semaine prochaine, mais je n’y croirai que quand je le verrai. Depuis que j’ai commencé à enseigner ici, il y a eu au moins 4 autres personnes soi-disant intéressées qui n’ont jamais apparu. Toutefois si cette classe continue à grandir, il faudra que je la divise. Je pense que huit élèves est vraiment la limite, sinon on ne s’entendra plus!



10 comentários sobre “Brotos de Flores

  1. I’m so glad the classes are working out for you! (I’ve also been told that payment in advance is an absolute necessity). I’ll probably jinx myself for writing this, but our last couple of boxes have arrived tax-free as well! Our boxes coming from the States take a consistent two weeks to arrive. (That is, WHEN they arrive – but that’s always been a USPS problem rather than Correios one). I think the key is receiving smaller boxes that have “permissao para abrir” written on them. My mother even sent a box for my 30th birthday that had over R$1,000 worth of beauty products inside and it was tax-free. The most recent box we received included 80 ounces of peanut butter, which I told my husband I would pay ANY tax note to pick up. However, I have a feeling our luck will run out on the next box.

    • I have seen some peanut butter in the store here… Haven’t you? But then again, I’m not a fan so maybe the national brand is not as good? 🙂 I am so glad to hear about your box from the States because I have a very good friend who is sending me something from WI and I was worried about it already since last time she did it took well over two months to arrive…

      • I was complaining to a Brazilian friend (who lives in Brasilia) about the lack of food choices in Governador Valadares. She said it was a “Minas Gerais” thing and that once she left Belo Horizonte she realized she didn’t even know 1/3 of the spices that were available to her. I don’t know what it is about this state, but the food options are so limited. I mean only three types of cheeses? Come on! So yes, we have peanut butter here. I’ve seen two types. But they’re both over R$16 for a couple ounces and the taste is… ECK. It doesn’t even taste like it’s made of peanuts. I have seen online how easy it is to make my own peanut butter and peanuts themselves are plentiful here – I just have to get a blender! It’s been on my “husband, please buy me this” list for a month now.

  2. I’m glad the classes are working out as well, and you made the right move with your payment system. Trust me on that one… that’s the freelancer talking!

    Amazon can be amazingly quick. I’ve gotten packages delivered in 24 hours from the US without asking for a rush delivery or anything.

    • In 10 years of teaching in Canada, I was very relax about payment. My students could pay before or after their lessons, many weeks in advance or at the end of the month, and I’ve had very few problems. But those were mostly individual lessons. Here as a group and having an idea of how Brazilians are, I figured I might as well ask for the money upfront… And that was indeed a good call.

  3. Je suis contente que ça marche bien même si ça a l’air un peu anarchique!
    Même quand c’est “bien organisé” ça peut être pareil que dans ton cours. Quand je donnais des cours à l’Alliance Française de Dublin en 92/93 ce n’était pas très différent! 😀

  4. English classes, huh? Funny how we all end up doing that…! I can’t recall if it has made it into my blog yet, but me too! I’ll third the need for payment up front. Does your small town do the pagamento a prazo/notinhas? Both are deadly to your financial solvency. Cash a vista only. And it’s very easy to put Cielo on your smartphone, if you have one, so that you can schedule credit card payments. More than one merchant has told me that since I’m American, I should use the cultural difference to demand cash and avoid people leaning on my friendship to make payments. All those merchants also say that the notinha system is a huge drag on our local economy. It’s a fascinating–in the train wreck sort of way, sadly.

    • Yeah, I am an Argentinian/French/Canadian teaching English in Brazil… How cliché! haha. But yes indeed, I realize how necessary it was to ask for payment upfront. Unfortunately I didn’t require for them to start at the beginning of the month so I have to keep track of who paid when… Kind of annoying.

      • I didn’t know you had Argentinian heritage as well! One of my best friends is from Córdoba. It seems that English is all that anyone wants to learn; our languages school offers Spanish too, but to date we haven’t had enough interest to form a single class!

Oi! Tudo bom?

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