Category Archives: Travel

Nate’s Travel Blog

Brazil Part One

Part one of my Brazil trip is coming to an end. I have been here since 2 February. I will go to Belo Horizonte this weekend to experience Brazil outside of Rio de Janeiro. I’ve heard great things about the city and nearby Ouro Preto.

I came here to learn Portuguese. My Portuguese has progressed, and I can communicate, but I need more practice to improve. I can read Portuguese fairly effectively, which I learned by reading the newspaper and magazines using a dictionary. I can write and speak with many errors. Still the most difficult thing is to converse at full speed. I need practice. I watch movies and the news and this helps, but consistently having full Portuguese conversations has proven difficult because all my friends speak English and they want to practice! What I have become very good at is speaking English as various levels of speed and vocabulary! I have to say, I certainly appreciate the patience of my only-Portuguese friends!

The father of my host family has probably taught me more Portuguese than any other single person.

I came to Brazil to teach English. I finished the TEFL course the 13th of March with Graeme Harris, an Englishman who lives here with his Brazilian wife. He took the course after his oil job disappeared with the low oil price. He is starting a language school of sorts and I’m helping him with that as well. He is building clients by talking to companies and by word-of-mouth. English is in high-demand and his work is increasing quickly.

For my own part, I have given some formal classes, and I have one regular student. I also have a list of people who are interested in classes and I have various lessons prepared now that I can give with very little preparation. One main difficulty was to find a suitable classroom in which to teach. Coffee shops are only viable for one-on-one classes. With the help of my host family, I now have a few classroom options for hosting classes. I plan to conduct a weekly class for the 3 months when I return. I have prepared a lesson book that is particularly relevant to the difficulties that native Portuguese speakers experience with English. The lesson book is designed to help the user self-study effectively. While I have had some difficulty with learning Portuguese by self-study–and formal Portuguese classes would certainly help me–I have been successful by doing language exchanges and I still believe that language can be largely self-studied. This is especially true for English, with the large amount of material available to include movies and music. I now post short English lessons to my site that students can study with the notebook.

The last section of the notebook is a tool that is exactly the same as the tool that I made for myself to learn Portuguese verb tenses by example. It is simply a list of the verb tenses with blank space to write examples as you hear them, or as you attempt to produce them yourself. Watch a movie, write down your favorite lines under the appropriate verb tense. Listen to music on YouTube with lyrics, same drill. It is the most natural, simplest, cheapest, most interesting way to gain practical usage of language and systematically correct mistakes, hands-down! It facilitates listing questions to ask friends later (during language exchanges for example) and meaningfully improve from fun foreign language activities, like watching movies and listening to music. It sounds childish, but that’s exactly why children are widely considered to be better at learning language. Learning language is child’s play!

After being here in Rio for a few weeks, and attending some shows, I became inspired to take some piano lessons. I have tinkered on the piano since I was 20 years old and haven’t taken a formal lesson since I was 10, so this is a long time coming! The road to taking piano lessons was interesting. It involved finding an instructor by asking around at shows, making my first all-Portuguese phone call, buying a keyboard on Brazilian craigslist, and convincing the teacher that I could understand Portuguese piano lessons (não problema). It has been worth the effort. Self-study can only take you so far!

Music is everywhere here in Rio–and good music!

That’s it: learning language, teaching language, and learning music. That’s what I do here now and I am prepared to do more of the same when I return for the months of June, July, and August.

Like the huge flags in Mexico, Brazil has a flare for the awesome with big cool statues in the various squares around the city.

Boas Frases Portuguesas

Nunca é tarde para se aprender.

A esperança é a ultima que morre.

Um dia da caça, outro do caçador.

Nunca é tarde para ser feliz.

Em terra de cena, quem tem olho rei.

Devagar se vai ao longe.

Quem com ferro fere, com ferro será ferido.

Uma landro é o gato.

Onde há vida, há esperança.

O que guarda a sua boca e a sua língua guarda a sua alma das angústias.

Peço a Deus vida e saude para os meus inimigos, para que assistam de pé a minha vitoria.

Deus em mim é mais poderosa que qualquer coisa que eu posso enfrentar.

Orai e vigiai.

Buying 2016 Rio Olympics Tickets

If you weren’t actively planning your Rio 2016 Olympics trip in the spring of 2015, you must buy your tickets second-hand. I just spent several hours researching the process and here is what I found:

Options:

https://www.cosport.com/ is the official vendor for the US. They have been the vendor for the Olympics since Sydney 2000. The tickets are mostly sold out, but they do have some available. There was a lottery that started in spring of 2015 and ended in the summer of 2015.

E-Bay. Folks in the states are receiving their tickets this summer (2016) from the lottery and some are selling them on E-Bay. I do not believe that the tickets are attached to an individual and require ID. I am looking for more verification on this.

This doesn’t help much, but at least you can direct your search.

Informative Articles

Forbes: Rio 2016: How To Plan A Trip To The Next Summer Olympics (written May 2015)

Nick Huggin’s Travel Blog (written April 2015)

Scams to Avoid:

www.tickets4summergames.com/ appears to be a scam. I’m not chancing it. There are other scams out there. There is a reddit post about it here, as well as this BBC article.

Esportes e as Artes

Eu acredito que nós devemos fazer um balanço na vida. Sem dúvida é importante ganhar dinheiro, ser responsável e trabalhar bem na sua profissão. Mas praticar esportes e as artes também são importantes. Se uma pessoa somente trabalha e só pensa em ganhar dinheiro, o que vai ela fazer depois de ganhar o suficiente? Se a pessoa só sabe trabalhar, vai continuar apenas trabalhando. Nunca será o suficiente.

Estou buscando balancear a minha vida. Já trabalhei muito. Agora vou aprender a tocar instrumentos musicais, porque gosto de música.

Uma observação: a música do Brasil é vem do povo. Todos as classes sociais conhecem e participam. É diferente dos Estados Unidos. Temos muitos tipos de música lá, mas é separado classe social. É mais como um “produto” que a população compra. Todos devemos participar. Eu quero participar e vou participar da música!

Por isso, estou tomando aulas de piano enquanto estiver aqui no Rio de Janeiro.

Trabalhar para comer, não comer para trabalhar.

Acabamos a Aula de TEFL

Eu não escrevi desde a aula de TEFL começou. A aula de TEFL foi boa porque agora já tenho experiênçie reales. Não quero dar aulas pelo internet, nem ter aulas da internet. É possível, mas não quero. Havia uma outra aluna de TEFL na minha sala, Graeme. Nós acabamos na sexta-feira, e celebramos em Botafogo, sexta à noite.

Depois da aula, mudei para outro apartamento. Gosto da familia que me hospedou. Eles me ajudaram muito, e agora tenho amigos novos. Vou voltar!

Gosto do Rio de Janeiro. É uma cidade com vida. Gosto de samba. Antes de chegar aqui, pensava que o samba era uma dança muito rápida. Mas, não é apena rápida, pode ser lenta também. É similar ao jazz, e boa para dançar.

Não gosto do café do Brasil. Desculpe, mas o café é muito pequeno aqui. Sim, o café é forte, mas gosto de saborear sem pressa. Gosto do café Americano, com um pouco de leite!

Ontem, eu participei da manifestação. A gente de todo o mundo precisa de bons líderes!

¡Bogotá!

Esta semana, yo visité Bogotá, Colombia.

En el Bogotá Bike Tour, me encuentré una chica bonita quien se llama Laura y ella escribe una blog de viajar que se llama The Traveling Gypsy.

Quiero escoger un restaurante, un tour, un museo, un hostal, y un café de Bogotá. Todos exepto el Café están en La Candelaria. El tour en bicicleta inicia en La Candelaria, pero va a toda la ciudad.

Mi restaurante favorito es Mama Lupe. Ellos tienen comida tipica de Colombia y no es muy caro. Especialmente, Mama Lupe–y Colombia en general–tienen jugo muy delicioso.  Aquí está el carta de Mama Lupe. El dirección es Calle 11 #6-14. Está un cuadro desde Museo Botero. Hay 4 restaurantes similares, busca el foto de Mama Lupe dentro del restaurante.

Mama Lupe. Busca la foto de Mama Lupe dentro del puerto.

Si hace solamente uno tour, Bogotá Bike Tours es el mejor. En el tour, monta una bicicleta entre el tráfico de Bogotá por más que 4 horas. Va a un variedad de lugares en Bogotá. El tour cuesta 35,000 Colombian pesos www.bogotabiketours.com

Mi museo favorito fue el Museo del Esmeraldas. Es similar de Museo del Oro, pero me gusta más.

Mi café favorito es Tú Café. El dueño de Tú Café promueve una cultura de estudiando. Aquí es más información sobre Tú Café y su misión. El dirección es Calle 34 #19-41

El mejor hostal es Anandamayi Hostel. No es para fiestas, pero es perfecto para personas quien quieren un habitación seguro, limpia, y quieren encontrar otras personas similares. En una semana, mientras yo estaba allí, yo ví personas desde 20 hasta 55 años de edad. Los trabajadores quien trabajar allí son el mejor. El dirección es Calle 9, #2-81

El edificio de Anandamayi tiene 400 años.

Lo más destacado parte de mi viaje a Bogotá fue visitando lugares en toda la ciudad con Agosto, “Tato,” y Carito Moreno. Constructora Poliobras es el compañía de Agosto Moreno y su padre. ¡Enlace el hipervínculo! Ellos hacen proyectos muy grandes. Los Morenos son verdaderamente personas importantes en Bogotá. Disfruté viviendo la ciudad con ellos. ¡Quiero volver a Bogotá!

Yo y Tato
Carito y yo, la esposa de Tato, en el techo de su edificio.

Tambien, el Lunes visité Panamá y el canal de Panamá. No quiero volver. Fue OK.

Una Historia de Fútbol

[google-translator]

Mientras estoy en países donde los gentes hablan español, voy a escribir en español. Puede traducir con Google Traductor.

Quiero contarles mi mejor historia de la semana pasada…

Yo compré un balón de basquetbol y fui con mi amigo del hostal a la cancha. Mi amigo es de Irlanda, y lo llamamos “Rojo” de cariño.

Cuando llegamos, había niños jugando fútbol en la cancha. La cancha tenía aros de baloncesto y canchas de fútbol. Después de una hora, los niños nos invitaron a jugar con ellos. Durante el juego, un niño pateó muy fuerte el balón y este fue a parar demasiado lejos del campo de juego, y había mucho tráfico. La calle estaba muy empinada y el balón rodó hacía abajo muy rápidamente. Un niño corrió detrás del balón, entonces, después de dos o tres minutos, empezamos a jugar con un balón diferente. Pero, ¿Adónde fue el niño por el balón? No sé. No regresa. Continuamos jugando fútbol y mi equipo le ganó al equipo de Rojo en todas las rondas porque los jugadores de mi equipo eran mayores más veloces que los del contrincante (Rojo).

Después de cuatro rondas, también un niño volvió a patear el balón muy fuerte y lo lanzó muy lejos. En esta oportunidad, yo fui por el. Cuando salí corriendo, los niños gritaron, “¡Rápido, rápido!” Corrí y corrí bajé y después de tres cuadras, un hombre me dijo, “¡Allí, allí!” y él me señaló con el dedo hacía donde este se dirigió. Seguí bajando la montaña, y otra persona me dijo lo mismo. Después de dos cuadras más, un hombre finalmente pateó el balón hacía mí, y hasta aquí llegué.

Mi búsqueda duró más de quince minutos, y ahora sé a dónde fue el niño. ¡El niño corrió hacia abajo y no regresó ya que estaba muy cansado!

Yo corrí lentamente y me devolví al campo de juego. Hasta que atardeció y el juego terminó.