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November 17, 2005

Quinta-feira, dia 17 de novembro

Well, I’m feeling better again today, my first day working at the
Brazilian Service Center in Northeast Philly, about ten minutes up
Roosevelt Boulevard from Cayuga.  Yesterday afternoon, while I was
meeting with Sister Muhammad in her office on Bible Way, Celso called
me back with the go-ahead for hiring me to be the Center’s newest
employee; in fact, Celso referred to me as a partner.

Now I’m really going to feel
an impulse to begin my entries with Portuguese, as I will be hearing
and speaking Portuguese on a daily basis, which is one among many
exciting facets of this new opportunity.  My job will be to help
the Center expand its services and increase the strength of the
Associacao Brasileira, which is apparently very weak in comparison to
the long-established Latino organizations in Philly.  It will be
my responsibility to reimburse Celso and Sergio (his boss) for my
salary by securing grant monies for the Center and the
Associacao. 

For the first two weeks I’ll be familiarizing myself with the Center
and with Philly’s Brazilian population in general; as Celso said today,
I can’t help him write proposals if I don’t know what to propose. 
So I’m still feeling things out, getting a sense for what kinds of
obstacles and opportunities I’m dealing with; but I’m excited and I
feel like me again, doing the
two things that motivate me the most:  learning foreign languages
and working at community development–and I’m doing it from within a
small organization that services a population that has only recently
become a significant minority in Philadelphia, meaning there is a lot
of opportunity for growth, a lot of opportunity to be creative, and a lot of opportunity to have an impact. 

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