Saturday, March 7, 2009

First Week

We have been in Arcoverde for over a week now. Have made just a bit of progress learning the language. I'm told it will improve exponentially. Within three months I should be a functional Gringo--that is, able to understand what people are saying, and able to respond reasonably well. I get excited any time I am able to completely comprehend a phrase word-for-word. Most of the time, if I understand something, the comprehension comes from a combination of context, hearing a few familiar words, and interpreting tones of voice and gestures. Guess work, in other words. I'm learning not to trust my guess work.

The road to gaining working papers will be long but not especially arduous. I have talked with the director of a private language school here. She is interested in giving me a position as soon as one is available (despite my lack of Portuguese). She thinks I could drive business. This is the first time in my life anyone has told me, "You could be good for business." This is only the first place we've tried. We may not remain in Arcoverde for very long. Nearby Garanhuns holds more opportunities. 

I'm living off beans, rice, cous-cous, fried chicken, and the occasional coxinha

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