My first trip to Brazil was 3 years ago, when I visited Rio do Janeiro. I remember the feeling when the airplane finally landed. I was not even out of the plane yet, but I felt strangely at ease. That is why, when I got the opportunity to go abroad for more than 4 weeks, I decided to come back, but this time in a more meaningful way: by volunteering for ETIV do Brasil. I wanted to have a direct connection with the kids here, and contribute to the local community. This brought me to this amazing new life experience : being an English Teacher for 40 days.
FROM PARIS TO ITACARÉ
I first took a flight from Paris to São Paulo Guarulhos Airport on a Tuesday, and then a flight from São Paulo Congonhas Airport to Ilhéus on the following Wednesday. The flight took around 2 hours. I arrived at 3pm in Ilhéus. From the airport I had no option but to take a cab to go the bus station, which cost 32 Reais. What amazed me was that the airport in Ilhéus is really close to the city, after 2 mins in the cab I could already see the Sea!
Arriving at the bus station, I then purchased a bus ticket from Rota Bus line to go to Itacaré for 18 Reais. There is a bus every hour.
Tip : Upload the app Rome2rio. The app tells you the fastest way to go from one city to another everywhere in the world and gives you an estimated time of arrival.
Problem is : We are in Brazil! Accept the fact that the bus will probably be a little bit late (mine was around 20mins late) and do not expect the ETA given by the app to be accurate! It is only an estimation. The bus journey was supposed to last 1 hour and 30mins, but the bus stops a lot, more than 20 times I would say, so after all it took me 2/2:30 to get to Itacaré.
Tip: There is only one stop in Itacaré, so no worries, you will not miss it!
MY FIRST WEEK
I arrived on a Wednesday night in Itacaré. I truly appreciated that volunteers share the same house, it quickly gave me a feeling of being at home. The first day, I had a meeting for two hours with Jaci, in order to learn more about ETIV and Itacaré, but also the rules in the Volunteer House, along with lots of handy tips!
The city of Itacaré itself is truly beautiful. Here is a picture of the golden hour in Itacaré while doing my first tour of the city!
Then I had to give my first English class the day after, I was mostly observing Mirjam, the other volunteer. They started the class by presenting themselves in English : Name, Age, and where they are from. Then we reviewed the most useful verbs: to be, to have, to say, to do and to go.
During my first week end here, I had the opportunity to go on a surf trip with some of the other volunteers! It was a blast. The beach we went to is called Havaizinho, it is really close to Itacaré (30mins by bus). We had the beach to ourselves!
Here are some pictures from Itacaré taken randomly during my first week! Stay tuned to know how my volunteering experience goes!
Blog post by Bianca Benoist.