Tag Archives: homestay

Bye Brazil, Hello Argentina!

Who's that Guacho???
Who’s that Guacho???

After my 1-month ECVA program in Sao Paulo, Brazil, I said my farewells to my awesome new friends I’d made and hopped on a flight to Buenos Aires, Argentina. It was cold and rainy, much different that the balmy weather I left behind in Brazil.  The mood of Argentina was also more melancholic, which you could tell by their love of Tango and theater.

The first ECVA host family I stayed with in Argentina was with a wonderful woman named Eva. Eva lives alone in the suburbs of Buenos Aires – it tooks approximately 40 minutes to the city center with the train. The train was incredibly cheap – only 20 cents! Eva sported me around the city showing me all of the sights. Her energy was amazing, always on the go! She even commuted to a university 4-hours away twice a week to take a class she was interested in.

Eva’s English level was fairly basic. She could understand more than she could speak. She has a son that lives in San Francisco (where I live), and she wanted to improve her English to be able to communicate with her adorable grandson who was born in the U.S. We sang children’s songs (The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round was a big hit!) and we looked at simple English grammar and sentence structure.

I used role-play techniques to prepare Eva for her next trip to the U.S. She told me that she loves going to Starbuck’s near her son’s home in San Francisco, so we acted out ordering coffee and other things in a cafe. We went to the grocery store together and compared vocabulary in English and Spanish.

After being bombarded by meat in Brazil – I was thrilled to find that my host mother was a vegetarian. I couldn’t have asked for a better placement!

First Stop – BRAZIL!

heidi trolley!

Bom dia!

My name is Heidi Smith, and I am the Program Manager of the ECVA program. Today I am embarking on a 1-month journey in which I will participate in the program and gain experience tutoring English in Brazil.  I am really excited to experience the program first-hand in order to better understand how things work. I will be trying out different teaching methods and approaches. I will keep you posted on all the juicy details that make traveling so much fun.

My first homestay will be in Sao Paulo for a couple of weeks. I have never been to Brazil and don’t speak Portuguese. I will have to get  by using English and Spanish to communicate with the locals.

I’m not exactly sure what to expect. I have a mental image of walking the colorful streets in Havianas passing people dancing to Samba. The smell of Brazilian barbeque fills the air, and everyone is smiling. Can you picture it?

Wish me luck!