Sunday, November 23, 2014

My Life In Brazil

After not reading any posts from me for a few months, a friend of mine who doesn't have a Facebook account said to me -- "Éartha, I lost you in Brazil!"

Shame on me. I know. :(

But I'm still here!!! Alive and very well!

I'm so sorry for disappearing without warning. I don't have any excuse to offer apart from --- Brazil Happened. Really. Its lame, I know.

If you let me... I'd like to catch you guys up on everything that went on in the past 4-5 months I have been on hiatus. This will take a few blog posts to go through EVERYTHING in proper detail... but it will be worth it. :)

First, let me start where I left off...


To anyone who paid attention, Brazil was slaughtered by Germany... and it all went downhill after that. The energy in Sao Paulo died down, but the parties still continued. I've actually never seen so many Brazilians cheer for the Germans in the finals, considering the massacre that happened... but apparently that's just how much they didn't like Argentina. Germany won, everyone was happy again... and life in Brazil slowly went back to normal.

For me, that meant going full swing with my teaching!


Just to give you guys a little refresher... I got a job teaching English in Sao Paulo. I got hired by a few schools to give Business English lessons to intermediate to advanced students... Most of them worked for finance. Sao Paulo IS the financial capital of South America after all. I also got a few private students through word of mouth... And that's pretty much all I did for the entire time I was in Brazil!

I was very surprised at how easily it all worked out for me. I don't have any TOEFL certifications or whatnots... I didn't have a working permit either... None of that matters in Brazil though! All they were looking for were Native English speakers. Of course it helped that I had a teaching background --- but that only meant that working on lesson plans was a lot easier for me. A lot of my co-teachers didn't have experience whatsoever, but they were hired because they had the right passport! It's a little crazy... but I wasn't complaining! It meant I could survive and earn a pretty decent living in one of the most exciting countries in the world! I was golden!

My schedule was a little odd. I had to give classes either before work, during lunch time, or after work. Which basically meant I was at the students offices at 7am, 12:30pm, and 6pm... and I'd use the time in between to eat, commute, prepare classes, and sleep!

I would earn anywhere from 80 to 120 Reals per class, depending on the length of time or the distance... I worked Monday through Friday, and on my busiest day (which was a Thursday) I had 5 classes back to back. (I called it Terrible Thursdays) I got paid every month in cash, and for private students, they either pay me for a few classes in advance for a discount, or pay me after each meeting.

So all in all, I'd say it was a pretty good gig! I do love teaching and I loved my students. If you guys ever make your way down to Brazil, teaching English is a pretty sweet way to make some cash. I totally recommend it!


When I am not teaching... I have fun. Or at least I try to. :)
Sao Paulo is known for the night life, so my weekends are usually spent with my friends, going out to pubs or bars or karaoke joints around the city... Rua Augusta, Vila Madalena, Liberdade, Moema, pretty much everywhere and anywhere where somethings going on.... and Sao Paulo doesn't run out of it.

On sunny days, we hang out at Ibirapuera Park and make friends, play music, or go skateboarding...

On really REALLY sunny days, we go to the beach! Sao Paulo isn't a beach city like Rio, so beaches over there are a little farther. The closest one is about an hour by bus... The closest decent one takes about an hour and a half.

On occasion, I help my friends out by working at the hostel they own in Vila Madalena called, HBB Hostel. I work the night shift every now and then, and sometimes help them out on their events. Those are the MOST fun.
With Alessandra, My Brazilian mom - as we were working during a World Cup Event

Me, working as a Shot Girl on HBB's 1 year anniversary


I was only really only supposed to stay in Sao Paulo for 3 months... Then I extended it to 6... Potentially, I could have stayed longer if I wanted to... But I think as I was nearing my 5th month, I started feeling like maybe it was really time to go. That 6 months would be enough.

It's not that I didn't like it there - I loved it! The Brazilians are amazing people... They remind me so much of Filipinos... They're my peeps! But I was never meant to settle down in Brazil to begin with... It was never my intention. All I wanted was to experience it... Work, live, have a good time, immerse... make friends... make a difference! And I think I've managed to accomplish all of that... and learn a little Portuguese on the side!

Its just that --- things started to feel like a routine. Teach...Commute... Go out. Lather... Rinse... Repeat. Everything became familiar --- which is both a good thing and a bad thing. Good, because I was slowly starting to blend in, and BECOME a local. People actually already started thinking I was a Brasilera! Which is a compliment!
But bad because I left my life in LA for several reasons... And one of them was because I was done with the whole "routine"... The "daily grind"so to speak.

When I realized that I put myself in a situation like that again... I had to plan my next move. I had to go. It was time to move on.

Besides... even if I was making a pretty good living teaching English, I couldn't save. I was literally breaking even. Yes I had enough to eat, live, and have fun... which would have been okay if I wanted to stay in Sao Paulo and live there forever --- BUT I didn't. I don't! I want to keep traveling... and I need to earn and SAVE money to do that.

And so I formulated a plan...  to help me do just that! A plan I will share with you in the next week...'
Earn and Save Money - to be able to keep traveling! I'll tell you what it is very soon, I promise. It's pretty exciting!

So anyway, I finished working at the end of September... Then I traveled around Brazil for a couple weeks to relax and decompress... Went back to Sao Paulo for my farewell party, and finally, said goodbye and flew out of there...

It was kind of bittersweet, my departure. Brazil is the longest I've stayed anywhere on this trip. I have made the most amazing friends... learned SO much about the country, the people, and myself. I will always have a home there now, and I will look back on these past 6 months with so much warmth and so much love.


I am writing this post from Los Angeles. Well... Orange County, actually. My brother's house... where I have been for the past few weeks, spending time with my family. It's SO GOOD to be home. I have to savor each moment because I don't have much time left. Pretty soon I have to leave again...
But that's another story all together. ;)

It's good to be back. Follow-up post will be on in a few days. YES a few days... not a few months. Haha :) Can't wait to share the good news.

Talk soon!

(P.S. -- I know I said this post was supposed to go up last Thursday, but my laptop - which is still in Portuguese by the way, crashed AGAIN. O_O  Black Friday is coming up. Let's hope a good Samaritan gifts me a new laptop.)