Last Friday night…

…I didn’t dance on tabletops, or take too many shots, so don’t worry, Ms. Jodie.

I have to admit that here in Brazil I do a fair amount of partying (or, at least, going to parties–the wildest thing I’ve gotten up to is taking funny pictures.  I am, after all, the little grandmother of the group.).  At least, more than I did back in the Philippines.  But rest assured, I have been doing work in equal measure.

Last Friday (we’ll start there since I haven’t updated on that day yet), the bunch of us interns did an extension of CEED work at a local high school here in Maringá: Nobel.  We milled about, interacted with students, and answered questions about AIESEC.  I’m not sure how many of the girls were listening though: most of them were trying to surreptitiously take photos of Ciarán using their cell phones.  (Honestly, if they’d just asked, the little cam-whore would have posed for them.)  Apparently, now my CEED duties extend to off-site promotions, which are fun because I get to meet different crowds of people while I’m here.  The challenges are primarily the language barrier, and breaking out of my usual “I’m not sure they’ll like me; I don’t want to walk up to a stranger.” issue.  Yes, I have that issue.  Hard to believe, but the truth.

On Saturday, I did a panel appearance at an AIESEC event (sometimes we interns feel a bit like celebrities) to talk about AIESEC and GCDP, and then later that evening the interns and I went to Casa de Bamba with Ciarán’s neighbor, Laise.  It’s not a bar you go to if you want to “pull,” since the people there are pretty “well-seasoned,” if you know what I mean, but the music is good and the entrance fee is a fair price and really, you just go there to dance.  I definitely did.  Learned how to dance from a DI who was taking a break at the club, got spun like a whirling dervish by Matthias (that boy can dance, damn!), and had loads of fun–my Instagram is flooded with Overgram photos to prove it.

The next day, Sunday, was significantly more chill.  Again, it was another party courtesy of Laise and the students of the Executive Secretarial Science and Linguistics course.  Another barbecue, actually, though not as crazy as the first.  I got home really early from that–at nine–but was still exhausted from Casa de Bamba the day before (overlapping until 4AM on Sunday) so I didn’t go out more.  Neither did I go out on Monday, opting to stay in with my roommates, chat, and enjoy one of the last few nights we would have together.

On Tuesday, this post happened.

On Wednesday, I did another CEED promotion in Engineering, this time with Fernanda Menezes since Lorayne had exams.  Despite the class being mostly girls, this time, we managed to get a whole lot of people interested in joining Cidade Global, which is what they call GCDP here in AIESEC.  It was also my big cooking day–I have one every other week–and I made bistek tagalog from a recipe Mum emailed.  My partner, Klára, wasn’t poisoned, so I’m supposing that was successful, despite bistek tagalog being slightly more complicated than giniling na baka.  I made fried bananas too, or banana caramelada as they call them here.  Those were significantly more of a hit–enough for Ciáran to ask for some when he came by to bum at my place on Friday, since his WiFi was busted.

Ended Wednesday night at Eden’s Beer, a local brewery/bar, for the pre-birthday celebration of Douglas, my boss Thays’ boyfriend.  It was still a pretty chill evening, by all accounts, despite my getting home a bit late.

And then…there was Friday.

Yesterday was pretty much a whirlwind day for me.  We had a lunch meeting–and evaluations–in the afternoon, which consisted of a group session then individual “mentoring” sessions that had us all receiving personal feedback on our progress throughout the project in particular and in AIESEC in general.  Fortunately, my feedback was (mostly) positive, though there were some comments on a lowered energy and a change in rapport with my partner.  I admitted that I had a gnawing sense of insecurity about my ability to present my country, to which Mari, my mentor for Project TALK, replied with encouragement as well as pretty much giving me license to pull out all the stops next time–guitar, gags, and all the lovely Marketing gimmicks I learned in UA&P–so I could get people interested in my 7,107 islands in the Pacific.

After the group session, we four interns went to buy our bus tickets for the upcoming trip to Curitiba and Florianopolis.  By the time we’d negotiated ticket prices, I had very little time to go home and change for my next CEED work of the day, this time at a PTA meeting in another school, and with Ciarán.  For the most part, we just smiled and waved and acted a bit like how I’d imagine Katniss and Peeta would have to on their Victory Tour, except with AIESECers instead of Peacekeepers and without the hostile threat of President Snow breathing down my neck.  I answered a couple of questions about my country and lo and behold!  Some of the parents knew Filipinos!  I was even introduced–by phone–to a lady from Bicol who was now living in Brazil, and she asked for my number!

It felt so good to speak Filipino again, I swear.

After the CEED work at the local school, Ciarán and I, along with Fernanda (Guarinieri), Victoria, Gabi (Ottobandida, LOL), and Victor (Capellini) went to Cheef Burger to score some dinner before we went, sans Victoria, to Douglas’ actual birthday party at Thays’ place.  That was a lot of fun, and a great way to cap off a busy day.  A good part of it was spent gushing with Victor over our shared interests: Of Monsters and Men, Panic! At The Disco, Paramore, Fullmetal Alchemist, manga, and photobombing.  I think the pair of us hipsters annoyed all and sundry with our arm-waving, rapid-fire fanboy/girling, but hey, when it comes to Roy Mustang, I can’t be held responsible for my actions.

Took loads of photos, which I promise to post at a later date, but now I have to rush out for a lunch meeting with Daniel, one of my AIESEC “guardians.”  I’ll let you know when more happens!

Bye, Ms. Jodie!

~ NC

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