March 2, 2010

The Impossible Trinity: School, Research, and Housing

As our first week in Brazil is coming to a close, I am anxious to get started with my research. However, getting settled is taking time.

We arrived on Thursday evening, so I spent Friday recovering from the long flights and layovers. Over the weekend, I researched possible places for us to live and do research. For now, we are at a friend’s house. We are very lucky to have someone willing to take in all five of us.

My husband, Fernando, traveled to Perinopolis on Saturday. He loved the city, but it doesn’t seem as if the schools there will be the best options for the kids. Really, we need three things to coincide – my research site, the kids’ school and reasonable temporary housing.

One of my best options for research seems to be the city of Itapurangu. On Sunday, I met Evarando, who is from Itapurangu. He explained to me that there is a lot of emigration from Itapurangu, and that there are at least 200 deportees in that city. So, that seems like a great option for a research site. The problem is that, like Perinopolis, the options for schools are limited.

Here in Brazil, I’d like for the children to have the best experience possible. It is going to be difficult for them in school, as they don’t speak Portuguese. My friend told me about an alternative school in Cidade de Goias, called Vila Esperanca. It is a marvelous school, focused on ethnic diversity, dance therapy, music, and art. They have already said that the girls can enroll them in the school with no problem.

Cidade Goias seems like a great option for us. It has the alternative school, and is an hour away from Itapurangu. Finding temporary housing there, however, seems like it will be a challenge. A friend of ours looked for housing there and was unable to find anything. Nevertheless, Fernando went to Goias yesterday to see what he could find. With luck, Fernando will find a place for us to stay in Cidade Goias.

With a place to stay, a school from the kids and a ready research site, we will be able to get down to business in Brazil. I am looking forward to that.

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