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November 15, 2005

Terca feira, 15 de novembro de 2005

It’s been over a week now since I’ve been out of the classroom and it
already feels like a month.  TFA feels like a dream right
now:  I’m not sure if Institute, Induction, Orientation, and
teaching for two months really happened.  I’m happy that I’m not
doing it anymore, though, and I feel confident, if not completely
comfortable, in my decision.

Despite feeling like TFA was a mistake, I’m glad that it brought me to
the City of Brotherly Love.  I’m starting to get used to living in
the city, and I actually kind of like it.  I’m enjoying the
convenience of nearby grocers and markets, the ability to walk to cafes
and restaurants, and the stimulation I get from being surrounded by so
many different lives and realities.  I’ve always been an observer
and ponderer, and now I finally have time to observe and ponder the
people and places around me. 

I also like our apartment–Paul’s and my own little place.  I like
going about my business washing dishes, getting dressed, preparing
meals, and doing work with the sounds of the city below, knowing that
I’m never alone on this corner of West Philly.  The sound of the
trolly humming, of car tires slap-slapping over its rails, and of
people calling out across the Sunoco station below have all become
comforting sounds that make me feel connected to the life of the city.

Now that I’m finally finding myself again after having lost myself to
TFA, I’m also getting excited about the job prospects that Philly has
to offer.  There are hundreds of community-based organizations and
non-profits in and around Philly, several of which I’ve already applied
to.  I had one interview today with the director of the Brazilian
Service Center in Northeast Philly, where there is a steadily growing
Brazilian population.  The Center is small–in fact, Celso, the
man I met with, is the only employee–but with a need to grow. 
Celso said he’d love to hire me to help him manage the amount of
requests he gets from Brazilian immigrants to serve as an interpreter,
to fill out paperwork, to give advice, and, of course, to write
proposals for grant money; the catch-22 is that he’s currently
underfunded, so he has to check with his funder to see whether he can
provide me with a base salary.  What a fabulous opportunity this
would be for me both to maintain (and improve) my Portuguese and to get
involved with the Brazilian community in the United States.

Paul’s home now–back from his weekly certification class at
Rutgers–so I’ll sign off here.  I hope you are all doing
well.  No matter how much I’m starting to enjoy the city, I still
miss my friends and family back home (and acoss the globe) as well as
the breathtaking beauty of star-studded nights in Pine Grove Mills.




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