On learning Portuguese

Dave and Shelagh seem to be making good progress with the Portuguese lessons they are having with Gabriel …

Just as you think you start to see a pattern along come the exceptions  (usually to the feminine/male anomaly – how can an inert object be feminine – don’t answer that). When we ask Gabriel why something is so, the stock answer is – “it just is”.  As well as working 5 afternoons at the project he is working extremely hard  for some really important exams in December so we are not winding him up too much. Finally,  Dave has come up with a strategy for dealing with shop assistants who insist on giving unlooked for help – a quick “falla ingles (do you speak english?)” usually sends them packing leaving us free to browse.  Our vocabulary has been further embellished by the Portuguese phrases for Chisel, Stanley knife and emulsion- silk paint.

Dave & Shelagh

Their approach,  which is to see the funny side of life’s  incidences,  puts them in good stead for  getting the best from their experiences of another language and culture.



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Amazing ….cycle marathon breaks all records

Not only was a record time set for the marathon but this year  it has also raised a record amount.  With some monies  still to come  we will shortly be sending £1900.00 to support the Living and Learning project in Rio.  You can see one of the students at the project giving his response to the news.

I wonder if he might supply us with his name ?

Well done and thank you to everyone who contributed to this success.


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Paint pots… fun… and a task well done

Dave and  Shelagh have  a truly amazing and inspirational approach to their volunteering at the Living & Learning project.  Not least in the way they have  courageously  got involved in all kinds of home improvement type tasks from fitting cupboards, laying tiles on wall and floors and putting up curtain rails.   It is  great to see that  on one  occasion  some keen  students who turned up on what was actually a holiday, were organised by Shelagh and Dave  into a painting party and set about brightening up the classroom.

It is wonderful  to see the youngsters  being given,  and taking  responsibility for  improving the environment for themselves and others.  Added to that is the good heartedness and fun that seems to be pervading the task.

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Disaster in time ….a cautionary tale

On Sunday, we put our clocks back one hour and in so doing bring to a  close  ‘British Summer Time’.  Along with everyone else I have tales to tell of  some embarrassing  early arrivals,  and of some  less forgiving  late arrivals.  None of which I would  describe as a  ‘disaster’ unlike volunteer Dave in Rio who tells us that last Sunday:

Disaster the clocks went forward today in Brasil – nobody told us – missed breakfast !      – Dave

In Brazil, they call it Daylight Saving Time (DST).

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A walk on wild side

T2 had earned themselves an afternoon out on Tuesday (a reward for collecting the most used oil for recycling). The “games mistress” – (Shelagh – now spelt Xila as an X is sh in Portuguese) – was expected to entertain. In preparation for this we decided to do a pre-visit one morning. Despite various pieces of advice such as “its only 45 minutes away” and “it’s just down the road” it took over 2 hours to walk there mainly uphill via the entrance to the Corcovado. On returning it was found that the local bus would have taken us some of the way. Despite rumours that the trip may be postponed as it was too cold (mid 20s) the trip took place to the Paneiras (part of Tijuca National Park). We all crammed into the VW van including 2 in the boot and one sat on anothers knee and a good time was had by all. The bull horn and various team games proved to be entertaining.

We returned to the project just as the thunderstorm struck followed by heavy rain and winds!

Dave and Shelagh

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Recycling cooking oil

In the campaign of collecting used cooking oil we managed 96 liters! That was very good because we traded oil for cleaning supplies and help not polluting the water of rivers, lakes and seas.

The result of the contest was a tie between group 2 and group 3. So to break the tie, we decided to have a competition to see who brought more scrap. This time the group 2 won and the prize will be a picnic at Paineiras.

And the class 1 was sad because didn’t win, but in the next round we will win!

by Group 1 – Projeto Tô Ligado

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Lending a hand in the kitchen …

So at first sight its looks like we have a fairly easy work load but Beth is a smart cookie who has obviously had words with Joe/Margaret – it would appear that our reputation (perceived), such as its is, has gone before us. It has been “suggested” that there are also other ways  by which we may fill our time … the kitchen needs tiling!!

Ed. Added to give Dave a helping hand with his tiling skills!

Last Saturday we bought the tiles and we have started preparing the walls by hammering holes into them and sealing with glue/water solution. They are pretty solid and we started on the hottest day of the year so far – temperatures over 42 degrees were recorded on the beach. Today is thankfully cooler and rain is forecast.Tools for the wall banging are courtesy of my friend Roberto (Handyman) who is still with us  despite Daves attempt to sack him. Dave agreed to the tiling on the condition that  when they all fall off he wouldn’t  be there. Part of the roof leaks (on the few days it rains) so Beth also wondered if Dave could “pop up” and see what the problem might be. What’s the Portuguese for ladder and health and safety? Does Brasil have working at height regulations ?

Dave and Shelagh

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Dancing and English … a winning combination!

The week started well with English on Monday. A pattern is emerging – T1 (the little ones) are by far the most difficult group –an hour is a long time and they tend to wander about and argue a lot. Games and entertainment are the order of the day and any english taught is a bonus. We had a new arrival this week. He is 6 years old ,which is very young for the project, but he has been left at home whilst his parents work and already there is a fear that he has been used by the drug barons, so a place at the project has been found. Imagine a son, daughter, grandson of your own aged 6 already involved in the drug business. T2 (mid age) and T3 (older) are much easier to plan for and there are some lovely kids in both groups with a great sense of humour and fun .  Dave and Shelagh

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