Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Boring Part of Our Life

Since I've been bombarding you with pictures and stories from the part of our life that is just one big vacation, I thought I'd bring everyone back down a bit and update you on the not-so-glamorous things that we've been doing. Especially since there is a possibility we may end up at the beach again this weekend...I just don't want you thinking all we do is play!

Eric is still working long days. He has several projects going on and is just staying super busy. I've learned not to expect him home before 8:00, although occasionally he's here by 7:30. (And we get real excited about being able to finish eating supper before 9:00 on those days.) He was originally planning to be out of town this week, but that trip got pushed off until maybe next week. We've managed to go seven and a half months of marriage without spending a night apart, but it looks like that will be ending soon. (I'll try not to pout too much.) He is blowing everyone away with his Portuguese, and he even gave a big presentation this week completely in the native language (with the exception of a couple technical terms relating to parts on a rear axle that I can't even remember in English right now.) He is enjoying his work and the people he works with, so he doesn't seem to mind the long hours too much. (Despite wishing he was home more with his wonderful wife, of course! I sure do enjoy getting to be the one writing these reports. hehe)

I spend my time thinking up witty little posts about our days to try to entertain my readers. And when I'm not doing that, I am cooking, cleaning, and doing laundry. And when I'm not doing that, I'm over at the club. Three times a week, I have Portuguese lessons. And when I'm not doing that, I have been sitting in on English classes trying to glean some great knowledge on how to be an effective teacher. And other times, I have been pondering on what I could do worthwhile with my extra time down here.

I am attending a school-wide teachers' meeting tomorrow at which the language school's coordinator and owner will be present. My hope is that they ask if I'm ready to start teaching, and I'll say yes, and then I'll pick up a few classes of my own. The local neighborhood coordinator, who has been in charge of my training, keeps telling me how bad they need more teachers, so hopefully something will come to fruition tomorrow morning.

In other fun-ness, I just found out about an American school (PreK-12) that is here in Belo Horizonte. I contacted them this week to see if they could use a volunteer in any capacity. I received a warm email from the school's director, and he was going to get back with me in a couple days to set up a time to meet and discuss opportunities at the school. They have students from 15 different countries including a lot of Brasilians. They use an American curriculum, teach all classes in English, and are even SACS accredited. I've really been wanting to get out and volunteer my time somewhere, but, until my Portuguese is a little more advanced, I am still intimidated by the process of finding somewhere to help out. This seems like a more manageable starting place for me right now.

So, I guess it all boils down to Eric is doing great with his career and all, and I am trying to figure out what I am going to do here to become a better, more rounded person with skills other than posting pictures and stories on a website. I recently found out about a website, called Expat Women, that has some really great articles for someone in my position. I also found out I have a name: the trailing spouse. (Feel free to start referring to me as such. Dear Trailing Spouse, Oh how I love reading all about your exciting life ... Yeah, you get the idea.) Luckily, I guess, if nothing else, I could always see if Gisele needs a stand-in double or something (I'll just have to grow 4 inches, lose 20 pounds, get a better tan, get a professional to work on my hair and makeup...and speak Portuguese a whole lot better.)


Bru said...

Hey Emily, just to encourage you a little bit with the portuguese, it sucks! I'm brazilian, and I've always hated grammar lessons. I'm living in Paris now and after 6months here + 1 1/2 years of studying before I came, I still don't seem to get the gazillion verb tenses right! And I'll tell you, it's not lack of studying... latin languages are haaaaaaaard to learn. Well, good luck with your meeting tomorrow... and may I say how jealous I am that you're getting all the sun down there while I'm stuck in an never-ever-ending-rainy winter??? Enjoy!!!

wondering ego said...

And, dear trailing spouse, you are a professional of the culture, as you are approaching people with your blogging skills, your travel reports, etc...

Emily said...

Gee, thanks Bru! Every brasileiro I talk to tells me that Portuguese is a super difficult language. And the ones who speak English always tell me how much easier it (English) is to learn. That leaves just a whole lot of room for hope, now doesn't it...thanks guys! ;)

Wandering ego, yeah, that's right, thank you! I will try to explain that again to my husband. It's hard to convince him of the importance of this blog! hehehe