Sunday, May 15, 2011

Day 23

Since we are several days behind I will just give you a quick overview of Day 23. It started at our usual meeting place, the hotel where the Rotary District Conference was held in Fortaleza.  We met our tour guides for the day and head out to emcetur, an old prison in the centre of town that is now a market for local artisans to display their works.  We saw several of these artists at work, one elderly woman making clothing, doilies and other things using a dying art form that will likely not be passed down to the next generation due to the intensive work and relatively low return on sales.  
Afterwards we headed to the University of Fortaleza where we had a tour of the campus and the athletic facilities.  It was a very nice campus and is the largest public University in the state of Ceara.  
Lunch on day 23 was similar to several meals we have now had in Brazil.  An all you can eat BBQ restaurant.  For about 13 dollars Canadian you are first greeted with an immense salad bar, and buffet with several choices of hot food.  Once you fill your plate and head to your table you are inundated with waiters (garçons) offering every type of meat imaginable.  This is soon followed by the largest desert cart in existence.  Needless to say, lunch is the 'big meal' in Brazil.....or in a case like this, the only meal you need in a day.   Most brazilians take a two hour lunch break so they have time for a much needed nap afterwards.  
Unfortunately and afternoon nap wasn't in the cards for us this day, we headed straight to our next vocational visit.  A local Rotarian took us to two of the private schools that he owns.  At each of them we had the opportunity to tour the facilities and visit with students at various levels.  Both schools were very nice and well maintained.  We spoke with some staff members and had the opportunity to see the administration office, which was in a converted house across the street from one of the schools (very similar to the set up of the old board office in Kenora).  At the second of the two schools we were invited to their weekly assembly and introduced to the senior students, we also fielded some questions about Canada for some very shy grade 1 students.  

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