GlobeTrek, Travel

Frustrations of an intercultural manner

Today I was walking down a major avenue in São Paulo and I saw something extremely odd. It was a man riding a bicycle with his neck in a brace and without a helmet. It’s the sort of thing that you will come to notice by being in Brazil. My first little while in Brazil have not been necessarily easy. I arrived with expectations and goals swirling around in my mind. I was in store for some major disappointment. Expectations dashed and goals seemingly out of reach. It was not an easy time. One conveyor of this was getting a Portuguese teacher. I don’t think I have experienced anything as frustrating in my life. The first arrangement I had was with someone that the director of my organization (ABBA or Associação Brasileira Beneficente Aslan) had organized for us to have lessons. She cancelled meeting with me for three weeks in a row. Frustrating. Gavin, my mentor, talked to her and she finally admitted that she can’t commit to teaching me. But this is a part of Brazilian culture; people try to avoid confrontations as much as possible. Twice more I attempt to get a tutor and twice more I have problems with it. I met with one woman in my mentor’s church and gave her my number and she didn’t send me a message asking if I need tutoring for a month. The other said she could do it but then realized she didn’t have enough time to add in more responsibility. Eventually after a month and a half of uncertainty I finally got a tutor. There’s complications with her as well… but you’ll need to ask me that in person.

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