Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Carcasses and Classes

Name that picture
If you guessed ant carcasses, then you would be correct. Welcome to my day: full of carcasses and classes.
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We are being invaded. We are being taken over by the tiniest of little black ants. For the last week they have been sending in scouts, just one here and one there - on reconnaissance missions, no doubt. I have found them in my living room, in the computer room, in the bedroom, in the laundry room, in the kitchen. Never very many, just one or two at a time; you know, just enough to drive me crazy. But today, they decided to make a full scale attack...on my candy dish. I suppose I must have missed killing some of the scouts and they must have made it back to the rest of the troops informing them that there is nothing worth coming in the bedroom for, nothing left out in the kitchen, nothing around the computer, but if you go to the shelf next to the table...there is candy! So I just had quite the field day squishing about 3-4 dozen ants. Hopefully now they will retreat and tell the rest it is too dangerous in there and that the candy has been removed. HA! Take that evil ants.
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The better portion of my day (you know when I wasn't busy killing ants) was spent at the language school where I am training to be an English teacher. I have been observing a few classes, and today I did some more of that along with some one on one training with the local school coordinator. She spent some time explaining the class levels and what all is offered at the school. She gave me the run down on the books they use for each level and let me glance through some of them. They are awfully short on teachers right now, so I guess they are trying to get me prepared as fast as they can. Still no real timeline, but she said today that "we could call you tomorrow and say, come quick we need you to fill in." Still no word on pay or logostics or any of those minor details either, but I am trying to just take it one day at a time-in good Brasilian fashion! (They tell Eric and I we'll live longer if we adopt the Brasilian "no worries" mindset...we're trying! :) ) I am real comfortable with the higher level English classes I have been attending. The students are at a level where there is nothing but English used in the class and they never seem to need explanations in Portuguese. That is where the school administators say they want to start me. Which is fine by me...goodness knows I would be terrible right now at trying to explain the English language's use of past perfect continuous in Portuguese -YIKES! Anyway, I go back tomorrow afternoon/evening to sit in on a few more classes with different teachers.
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Meanwhile, however, my Portuguese is getting better each day. I wandered in to a little clothing boutique during a break between classes today and the three ladies in the store struck up a conversation with me. We talked for several minutes, and they complimented me on how good my pronounciation is. They said, for a foreigner, I was real easy to understand. Somedays I need those little boosts of confidence in my developing conversational skills! I spend so much time studying and reading Portuguese, but I still really need to work on my listening/speaking. (That's where this teaching gig is so great-it has me interacting with a lot of people outside of the classes in Portuguese!)
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Eric is speaking like a pro and doesn't get accused of speaking Spanish nearly as often anymore. I guess he is finally losing his Spanish pronounciation and accent! He had a great moment this weekend while we were trying to find a place to replace my watch battery. A lady in a jewelry store we stopped at told us of this place called "cheeky tocky." Eric immediately guessed it to be spelled "Tic Toc." He was right, and now you also know why his name is pronounced "Erickey." (And why learning to speak Portuguese is so difficult: none of that say-it-like-it-looks businsess around here!)

6 comments:

Justin said...

I'm surprised it's taken so long for the ants to find you! When I was down there, they were in every kitchen, and the brasileiros never paid any attention to them. They just made a little trail to the big pot of feijoada that my "Brazilian mom" cooked on Sunday evening and left on the stove...all week...

wondering ego said...

Hehe... Justin is right. We don't pay attention anymore as they have conquered the land... I mean we never have conquered THEIR land. On the tropics, ants never sleep. They weren't there because your apartment was empty, but now they know you have a lot of yummy food there. This is why you should not care bringing peanut butter or other imported goods! Because the other ants, refined ants, will be attracted to your imported goods... mhuahuahuahua... Learn or die!

Emily said...

Are we saying I should just embrace the additional source of protein?

Wait, NO! I'm not giving up that easy...yet, anyway.

P.S. Justin: the one thing that I will not be allowed to change during my time abroad is my strong feelings on food safety and storage. No worries of my feijoada sitting on the stove all week! While I love feijoada, random animal parts are scary enough without letting them sit out at room temperature for 120 hours! :)

wondering ego said...

Grrrr... just because we have an "harmonious" cohabitation (n.) with the ants doesn't mean we leave our beloved feijoada one week on the stove... maybe just some lazy mamma... We have a popular saying: "ants are good for the eyes". Guess why!

Emily said...

HeHe! I haven't heard that saying yet, but I like it! :)

I'm happy to report that, unless my eyes are failing me, I haven't had anymore ants yet. Maybe they've heard about the crazy American ant killer living around these parts!

wondering ego said...

woot!? How did they learned the lesson so quickly? "Don't mess with the americans!". Well if they are Al Qaeda type of ants, they will be more persistent, they will hide on the caves of your cheese and do night rides on your cookies.