During Sasha’s first week in Pinda, Brazil, she had the opportunity to visit a public school with her host sister-in-law. Sasha has studied government education programs during university, so she was fascinated to learn more about the Brazilian system.
Pinda is located in the Southeast corner of Brazil, surrounded by the major Sao Paolo and Rio de Janiero cities. In Brazil, primary education is mandatory, but many of the public schools are filled with low-income students whose parents migrated from the Northeast to the state of São Paulo in the pursuit of a better life.
Since her host sister-in-law worked as a school teacher at the school, Sasha was offered to visit as a guest.
Sasha explained that many of them had never even met a foreigner before, so they were understandably excited by the first exposure to a life outside of Brazil when she visited. She shares a bit about her experience:
“When we arrived at seven in the morning, Maria Antonieta led me into the first classroom and announced “Today we have a guest. Where do you think she is from?” Dozens of bright eyes and curious smiles fixated on me.
“Estados Unidos!” (US)
“Rio de Janeiro!”
Maria Antonieta jumped in, “No, no, no. Sasha, where are you from?” Charmed beyond belief, I replied, “Sou Canadense”.
One of the most meaningful experiences I’ve had in my life…attending a rural elementary school in the outskirts of São Paulo. We all live in such different realities, but seeing light in a child’s eyes, despite the challenges life has placed in front of them, is one of the most beautiful gifts to receive #brazil #nowords #greenhearttravel
It was charming to be asked so many questions about life in Canada, to share words in English. Having no idea where Canada was, some of the children asked, “How do you get there? Can you walk? Can you go by bicycle?” And due to my unmistakeable “gringa” appearance, I received some of the funniest questions of my life: “Are you an actress? Do you live in Hollywood? Have you been in movies?”
Needless to say, I was not expecting to be asked to sign autographs, or to have pictures taken with me, but I was charmed by their obvious fascination with my American appearance”. I absolutely loved being able to connect with these kids who grew up in an entirely different world than my own.”
Read more about Sasha’s reflections on her visit to the school here.
Are you interested in experiencing life in Brazil for yourself?