They say that the best way to learn something new is to make a game out of it, but today I learned that the best way to learn a new language is to play games. Not in class, though the attempt we made at playing something like Headbands in lessons today was a fun way to practice asking basic questions of each other, but joining in an actual game or sport.

Our host had invited us to water aerobics, saying it was a special class for Carnaval this week. Of course we accepted the invitation; while working as a lifeguard, I’ve supervised many classes but never have been able to participate myself. The social environment of the event was different than what I had seen before. In part of the class, we were divided up into teams (the other women were kind enough to be sure that Martha and I were on the same team as Gisele, our host, who was the only person playing who spoke English). The game was pretty much water polo, and it wasn’t long before we were shouting along “Aqui! Aqui!” and doing our best to help our team win.

There were several more games. We were told earlier in the day that Brazilian people do not care about being first. Apparently the person who told us this had never met the women in the water aerobics class; they’re all dirty cheaters and definitely cared about winning or losing.

Our team won in the end, much to my delight. Apparently competitiveness is something I have in common with the women here.

I have to end this blog by brining it back to the first topic I wrote about, the traffic.   The flow of traffic has not slowed down since we first arrived.  The roads are a horror even by an Western New York native’s standards. While every Brazilian person I’ve met so far has been welcoming and friendly, apparently once they step on the gas pedal they lose any respect for others. I’ve never been so scared of crossing the road before!


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