I joined Dr. Anderson and her students on a trip to Calabar, Brazil. We visited a community center that teaches children and adults how to speak English.
Before we left the U.S., Dr. Anderson collected books and magazines (with black characters). With the help from close friends and parents, I was able to donate many books and magazines.
The students in Brazil were very grateful for the material.
The young man, Vinicius, (who is photographed above) who started the program was very humble and giving. He shared with us his inspiring story on how he started the program. ‘I did not have a lot when I started, he stated, I only had a notebook and a pen. But I kept going until it begin to grow.’ It was encouraging to see how dedicated he was to helping others in in community. “I started this center when I was 16 years old. I wanted to teach others how to speak English because here, if you know English, you can go far. I had a scholarship to learn English and it changed my life and I wanted the same of others”.
After a meet and greet with Vinicius and his co-workers, we got to meet some of the students. Vinicius had us stand in two circles. Standing on the inside was Dr. Anderson and her students and on the outside was Vinicius and his students. Every time he said, ‘switch!’ we spoke to a new person. I learned words in Portuguese so fast. All of us kept laughing and talking.
During the summer of 2019 I visited the country of Brazil. I stayed in Salvador, Bahia at a small hotel across from the fisherman’s beach. Every night the sounds of the water rocked me to sleep and in the morning was there to greet me.
It’s A beach town someone told me.
Oh, that’s the place in Brazil many Blacks live, another person said.
Descendants of slaves, some like to say.
My first day there Kayanara met me at Guarulhos airport. We took a taxi to Bahia. After I freshened up, Kayanara took me to Teatro Miguel Santana.
She showed me the stone church built in the 17th Century for and by the Blacks. In the same area is where Michael Jackson performed “All I wanna say is they don’t really care about us” which is now a tourist attraction. That’s where I spent my money on a tee for Daniel and Ashley.