Of despedidas and dreaded evaluations…

Again, hi, Ms. Jodie!

First off, I am officially a CEEDer for AIESEC Maringá!  I’ll be working in with the Communications team, under Laís Marçali Natali.  I just got my marching orders today, and I suppose I’ll start officially putting my nose to the grindstone next week.  It feels so good for this workaholic to be getting back in the swing of things, though I suppose I’ll be singing a different tune when I have to cram my presentations while doing AIESEC work.

…Oh well, it’s not like we Dragons need much sleep anyway.

This Dragon actually hasn’t been getting much sleep.  Between cramming aforementioned presentations (I have to make two Powerpoints a week, which is more than I’ve ever had to do at school…with the exception of Hellweek(s) of course.) and socializing (more important than it sounds), I sometimes get home at past one AM, to the ire of the basilisk in my kitchen.

(I’ve named him Barmy.  I don’t think he likes it.  Or my nightlight, graciously provided by my new hosts.)

Still, my sleeplessness hasn’t affected my performance at work, I don’t think.  We started formal evaluations this week, a routine that will haunt the four of us interns for the rest of our stay here.  From what I can gather (the form’s in Brazilian Portuguese), we’re to be “graded” on our rapport with the groups, our ability to create an environment open to communication, our presentation of the topics, and our engagement with our partner.

…that last one scares me.  I’m not ready for that kind of commitment!

Kidding aside, the forms do terrify me quite a bit.  There are times during class when I feel like I’m losing my audience, although this week I was feeling significantly less insecure about my ability to “market” my country than I was last week.  This time around, both Ciarán and I have made it a point to leave room for questions, which tends to get conversations going a lot better.  I’ve also noticed that we’ve gotten less formal and more cheeky when it comes to bantering with the class–something that I hope helps bring up our “rapport” points.  It helps, though–the overall atmosphere seems more dynamic, less stilted, and the students talk more both with each other and to us.

I may actually be sort-of good at this.  Yay!

It’s not just the students we interns have been building rapport with, though.  We’ve also managed to get to know quite a few of the other AIESEC interns here in Maringá on other projects.  A few of them started leaving this week for their home countries, though.  Last Sunday, I said goodbye to one of Daniel’s interns–whose name shall not be mentioned as she is “wanted”–at a group trip to the Maringá Park shopping center, where we had juice and cake and someone (not me, of course) made a potential love connection.

Apparently my foreveralone-ness haunts me across continents.

On Monday, we sent Andrea from Columbia, another of Daniel’s interns (and the one he’s been hosting for two months) off with a party at the local favorite student pub, Afonso’s.  The place is starting to grow on me–the food is cheap, and though it’s often packed the crowd’s pretty good and anyway, each time I’ve gone there, I’ve been in good company.  Wilson’s especially a riot: he’s an expert photobomber, though not the most ethical with his choice of methods…

See what I mean?
We spent most of the night teasing Matthias on his exploits at Maringola, the student party that happened last weekend (the weekend I spent at home, settling in my new place with my four awesome new roommates: Camila, Midori, Fernanda, and fellow Potterhead Carla).  Apparently, Germans are very…popular here, if you know what I mean *wink wink nudge nudge*.

Honestly, though, Matthias didn’t actually do anything–he’s a really decent guy.  And in case any of you lovely people who read this blog are wondering–sorry, he’s not looking for anyone right now.

 

Wait, did that sound wrong?

Since he’s such a nice guy, I probably should feel guilty at all the fun we had at his expense last Monday night, but I really can’t.  It got progressively worse when one of the other guests at the despedida, a Brazilian Scarlett Johanson lookalike named Lucia (or is it Luisa?  I’m hopeless with names.) brought out her Portuguese-German phrasebook.  We spent the large part of the night trying to read the words in the proper accent, with varying degrees of success, while Matthias tried to convince us that the language was not all World War II movies and screaming. He and Ciarán ended up having a go at “flirting” in the language, the results of which you can see on my Youtube channel.

God bless whoever invented the video camera.

Actually, that night, I seemed to be the only intern (with the exception of Klára, who wasn’t there) who wasn’t exactly a “hot commodity.”  A few moments later, someone from the other table delivered a paper napkin rose to Ciarán, which he gloatingly asked me to take pictures of him holding.

…rub it in my face, why don’t you?

Turns out the person who sent it was a friend of his–the girlfriend of one of his hosts, to be specific–so I feel slightly less jealous.  Still, you don’t see anyone giving me roses.  (Okay, okay, I’ll quit whining.)

We’d only planned to stay until eleven-thirty, but it was a little past one when we eventually started heading home.  Daniel walked me and Andrea backed to the Bloco de Números, where I now live–a place that, while safely gated, can get pretty creepy at night owing to the buildings being arranged around a giant hedge maze.  I managed to make it back in one piece, though–a fact that no doubt gives Barmy the Basilisk no end of joy.

…really, Barmy, could you let me sleep?  I’m not an Enemy of the Heir, honest!  I’m friends with two Slytherins, for crying out loud!

Well, that’s it for my exploits.  Tomorrow, the interns and I hustle out of town and head to Foz do Iguaçu, or the Iguazu Falls, which is an eight-hour (or so) bus ride out of Maringá.  It’s another stage in these Lonelygirl adventures, and of course means I’ll be dropping off the internet radar for a few days (no use carting my gadgets around where they could get wet, right?).  I’ll be back on Sunday though, hopefully with more updates as to how things are going.

For now I’m beat, and heading to bed.  Goodnight everyone.  Goodnight, Barmy.

~ NC
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