Erik

In "Deixa Te Falar Uma Coisa," Erik shares stories from his year as a Fulbright English teaching assistant in Brazil. He'll focus on what he learns while planning class activities for college students, struggling to become proficient in Portuguese, and comparing his experiences there to his travels elsewhere in Latin America.

Articles


292 by this author

  1. My Experiences with Race in Brazil Deixa Te Falar Uma Coisa October 18, 2014

    In June, I went with American and Brazilian friends to the small town of Pedro II for a music festival. There were several groups of journalists roaming around doing interviews, which we Americans – Leslie, Laura Rose and I – were not anxious to ...

  2. Brazil’s Hottest City Deixa Te Falar Uma Coisa October 18, 2014

    When I tell Brazilians from São Luís to São Paulo that I live in Teresina, their response is unchanging: “It’s hot there, isn’t it?” It is. Even people here accept that heat is Teresina’s claim to fame. More than once ...

  3. Robbed Deixa Te Falar Uma Coisa October 17, 2014

    My first time almost being assaulted, I was in Rio. I was strolling along Copacabana beach deep in conversation with my friend Nick when a man approached us. He asked if we spoke English. Used to getting that question, we both said yes....

  4. Political Jingles Deixa Te Falar Uma Coisa September 9, 2014

    Brazil has a strict limit on political campaign seasons. Unlike in the United States, politicians here have three short months to drum up support. Now that we’re now less than a month away from federal and state elections, though, campaigns are at a fever pitch....

  5. Brazilian Road Trip Deixa Te Falar Uma Coisa September 9, 2014

    In June, I got to travel to some off-the-beaten-trail places close to Teresina. Pedro II Pedro II is a town that calls itself the “Switzerland of Piauí.” People here explain to me that Pedro II is much ...

  6. On Strike! Deixa Te Falar Uma Coisa July 9, 2014

    Every day, from 11 to 1, a huge number of students wait in line for lunch at UFPI’s main cafeteria. Although the food is never anything special – usually it’s rice, beans, salad and some part of a chicken or cow – the government subsidizes the price, ...

  7. Into the Lençois Maranheses Deixa Te Falar Uma Coisa June 30, 2014

    During Holy Week, I got to explore parts of Maranhão, the colorful state to the west of Piauí. Lençois Maranheses “This better be stupid beautiful,” Mike said as we bumped along the road to Lençois Maranheses National ...

  8. Brazilian English Deixa Te Falar Uma Coisa June 5, 2014

    Not far from my house in Teresina stands the Riverside Shopping Center. The name of the place, as well as the food courts and chain stores inside, could make you mistake Riverside for a mall in suburban America. The way people in Teresina pronounce the name Riverside, though, sounds thoroughly Brazilian: hee-veh-SAI-gee. When ...

  9. Dangerous Roads Deixa Te Falar Uma Coisa May 23, 2014

    In the Dominican Republic last summer, almost every bus, taxi, and car had a decal like this slapped on the windshield: - God is loyal. - God takes his time, but he never ...

  10. Crack Open a Cold One Deixa Te Falar Uma Coisa May 5, 2014

    How do you like your beer?  Here’s how people in Teresina prefer it: Like a wedding dress  (Como vestido de noiva) Like a concrete worker’s leg  (Como canela de pedrero) Like a seal’s rear-end  (...

  11. Childhood Friend of the President Deixa Te Falar Uma Coisa April 29, 2014

    Hearing first-hand stories about how famous adults acted as children and teenagers is always fun. I recently got such an account about a former Brazilian president. Let me explain. On the way from João Pesso to Olinda, Mike and I hopped an alternativo, ...

  12. North by Northeast Deixa Te Falar Uma Coisa April 28, 2014

    A few weeks ago, I set out to travel to four cities in the Northeast of Brazil. João Pessoa and Olinda were the third and fourth stops. João Pessoa was a bit quiet after Recife, but we were ...

  13. The Spirit of Carnaval in Recife Deixa Te Falar Uma Coisa April 12, 2014

    Two weeks ago, I set out to travel to four cities in the Northeast of Brazil.  Recife was the second stop. Recife is famous for its Carnaval celebrations, which are the most culturally rich in Brazil.  Although we weren't there during the Carnaval season, I still felt the open, festive spirit ...

  14. Let’s Go to the Beach! Deixa Te Falar Uma Coisa April 12, 2014

    Two weeks ago, I set out to travel to four cities in the Northeast of Brazil.  Porto de Galinhas was the first stop. Porto de Galinhas is a small town full of scuba diving and dune buggy outfits, which cater to the tourists who come here for the beautiful beaches....

  15. We the People Deixa Te Falar Uma Coisa March 29, 2014

    We all know that English and Spanish combine to form Spanglish, while Portuguese and Spanish together are Portuñol.  During a recent conversation with my family, I struggled to name the mix of Portuguese and English that I speak with my coworkers at the university.  My mom took a stab at ...

  16. Everything but the Kitchen Sink Deixa Te Falar Uma Coisa March 17, 2014

    Looking for a place to live here has got me wondering whether the phrase “everything but the kitchen sink” has its origins in Brazil. Apartments and houses for rent in Brazil are generally unfurnished.  That would be fine, except that unfurnished here means that everything that can be removed has been removed: the ...

  17. Carnaval no Brasil Deixa Te Falar Uma Coisa March 17, 2014

    Mike, Anna, and I spent Carnaval the way most people from Teresina choose to: we left town to relax on the beach.  It wasn’t wild, but it did help me straighten out my priorities here. Our destination was Parnaíba, Piauí’s second largest city.  The center of Parnaíba has colorful colonial buildings, ...

  18. Halloween Times One Thousand Deixa Te Falar Uma Coisa March 9, 2014

    Name three things that come to mind when you think of Brazil. Is Carnaval one of them? I got my first taste of this over-the-top celebration last weekend. On Saturday, Teresina held Corso, which is a sort of warm-up to the real Carnaval festivities that start tomorrow. When all of us ETAs ...

  19. Posted in Teresina Deixa Te Falar Uma Coisa March 9, 2014

    As I wait in Miami International Airport, it’s hard to imagine what the next ten months in Brazil have in store. I’m sure now that the experience will be positive, but I wasn’t so sure earlier. This summer, the Fulbright program accepted me as an English teaching assistant in Brazil as ...

  20. Kisses and Handshakes I Didn't Bother to Pick My Category April 19, 2012

    When large groups of Spaniards get together, the train of kisses and handshakes takes a long time.  Men shake hands for every hello or goodbye.  A kiss on each cheek is standard between two women or between a man and a woman. Even though I've been here for over a month, ...

  21. Go to Tatooine I Didn't Bother to Pick My Category April 19, 2012

    That's how I first heard the directions to my internship.  I've since learned that the name of the neighborhood is Tetuán, but I still think of the Star Wars planet every time I get off the Metro at the Tetuán station. I love the Metro in Madrid.  The stations are sharp, ...

  22. Whirlwind through Sevilla I Didn't Bother to Pick My Category April 19, 2012

    Most of the things that pop into your mind when you think about Spain can be found in Sevilla.  Sevilla takes pride in being part of the heartland of flamenco, continuing the tradition of bullfighting, and serving some of the best tapas in Spain. I went to Sevilla over a month ...

  23. In Segovia I Didn't Bother to Pick My Category April 19, 2012

    Well over a month ago, I decided to jet to Segovia to visit my high school friend Lauren.  Even though I arrived at 11 a.m. on a Saturday and left at 8 a.m. on a Sunday, I got to know the place well enough because of its size.  I realized ...

  24. Dream, Dream, Dream I Didn't Bother to Pick My Category April 19, 2012

    People make a big deal of dreaming in languages other than their own.  The general assumption is that it marks the point when your mind can switch between languages with relative ease.  I hope that’s the case because it happened to me for the first time two weeks ago. I remember ...

  25. Judge a Man by His Shoes I Didn't Bother to Pick My Category March 26, 2012

    A few weeks ago, I had an interesting run-in while out with some Spanish friends. Our group decided to find a place to dance after drinks at a few bars.  It was Saturday, so the line for the club that we chose was long, taking us a half hour to reach ...

  26. Our Spanish I Didn't Bother to Pick My Category February 26, 2012

    "You're here in Spain.   You have to learn our Spanish." One of my coworkers at the Centro Hispano-Dominicano, where I have my internship, has said this to me several times after Latin American words slipped out of my mouth. I learned Latin American Spanish for nine years before coming to Spain. ...

  27. Second Thoughts on Carlos III I Didn't Bother to Pick My Category February 14, 2012

    I've been told that some people thought my last post about school sounded disappointed.   I can see how that came across, but I just meant it to highlight some of the cultural differences between the United States and Spain that appear in the classroom.   Carlos III is a ...

  28. First Impressions of Carlos III I Didn't Bother to Pick My Category February 4, 2012

    I looked for a study abroad program that offered me the opportunity to direct enroll in a Spanish university.   I'm still confident that attending the Universidad Carlos III through Middlebury was the best decision for immersing myself in the culture and the language, but my first encounters with school ...

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