I was pretty excited when we decided to make the move to Brasil: I would be able to retire after putting in a long 15 months with the State of Iowa through Lee County's Soil and Water Conservation District. It didn't look like I'd be working in Brasil (you know, outside of the cooking, cleaning, and keeping my hubby in-line), and I imagined days filled with manicures, pedicures, shopping, and lounging by the pool. But my, my how my reality has changed . . .
In February, my Portuguese professor encouraged me to contact the language school where she works and talk to them about teaching English. Two months later after lots of observing and training, I had my own classes and individual students. Last month, I was approached by the school's owner to see if I would be interested in joining a new team of eight teachers who would be trained to present 3-4 day immersion classes. This month I am training and preparing for our first immersion class the end of July. (It is going to be a lot of work, but tons of fun too. It will be 3 days with 10 students (businessmen from a huge company in Brasil). We (the teachers and students) will all be out at a place in the country, and all day and night we will use nothing but English. We will present workshops and mini-classes, have 'business' lunches, happy hours, and nightly suppers, and live completely in English. It will give students the immersion experience of visiting an English-speaking country but also incorporate perfecting grammar, practicing all forms of communication in English, and put them in real-life situations.) Depending on how this first session goes, the school's owner is planning to schedule several more of these immersion classes before the end of the year.
Last week, a Hong Kong-based internet travel company that just opened their Latin American branch in Belo Horizonte was looking for native English speakers in the area and happened upon my blog. They contacted me to see if I would be interested in doing some part-time editing work. They needed someone to be an editor of the Latin American travel section. It sounded like a great opportunity to gain experience in a new field, so I will be starting that on Wednesday. (And how could I turn that down? I mean, HELLO! I will get to read all about new places and expand my ever growing to-do-before-we-leave-South-America list!)
Then through a connection at the language school where I teach, I was asked to do the final editing for a new English textbook/workbook that is being published for use by about 200 private schools in Brasil. I met this morning with the book's authors and also found out that this is the level one book - there will be eleven more published soon that they also want me to edit. (Today's meeting was also the first business meeting that I've been actively involved in that was completely in Portuguese. There were between three and six of us at any given time - and everyone in the room was speaking directly to me. It was slightly intimidating at first and exhausting for sure, but it really helped build my confidence in that department!)
The fabulous thing about the editing work is that it can all be done from home and from anywhere in the world. It's definitely not a bad field to get some experience in for someone who desires one day in the future to stay home and raise her kids!
So all this is pretty exciting for me and should do a nice job of keeping me out of trouble while also building the wow!-you've-done-a-lot-but-geez-none-of-it-seems-to-be-at-all-connected-array-of-experiences that fill my resume.
As I walked home from my meeting this morning with the textbook-to-be-edited in hand, I did have to wonder though, "What the heck happened to my retirement?" Meanwhile, the rest of you are probably all left wondering, "How the heck did she land an editing job? Have they never read her ramblings?" (And to that I respond, "Oh touché!" I am self-admittedly the worst editor ever of my own writing. My apologies to those of you who suffer through it here.)