Thursday, 31 January 2013

More presents for the children of Calheta ...

At this moment in time these should be the latest presents for the children of Calheta though by having perused the list of children we shall be taking something to I have realised we are still far from having collected them all. I do sincerely hope we'll be able to finish tagging and packing them all prior to flying there.

My suitcase is full, so I have been handing the latest presents to the other colleagues who shall be flying with me this time.

Presents for Juliza (left) and Jussara (right).

Presents for Ana Galina (left) and an extra present for Eduardo (right).

Presents for Evilise (left) and Ana Filomena (right).

Presents for Eunice de Jesus (left) and Simone (right).

Birthday presents for Liliane Rosy (left) and Sonia (right).

Presents for Valter (left) and Neuza (right).

Presents for Nelsinha (left) and Ivete (right).

Presents for Silvana (left) and Cynthia, Gerson and Tarine (right).

A blouse and some hats for the children staying at the Emergency Centre in Praia.

Some children seem to be getting more than others, the reason being that those will have their birthdays soon and the "godparents" have decided to include the birthday presents as well, once the underlying idea is to have them get basically the same, without there being too many differences.

I haven't been able to take too many books lately because of weight restrictions, but because there will be five of us travelling this time I'll risk taking quite a few. Not only don't the children have easy access to story books, but are also willing to develop their Portuguese reading capabilities ...

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

The latest books I have read ...

I have been reading a lot lately, which vaguely reminds me of what I used to do when I was much younger ...  and living with my two rather small children. After they had gone to bed I would grab a book and read it for endless hours, sometimes all night long ... I kept on telling myself that I needed them to keep me "balanced" and away from all sorts of "assailing" thoughts ... and whether that was a plausible justification or not ... the truth is it did work ..., the same way it is working now.

I was impressed with  Ohran Pamuk's Silent House, mainly  because of its well succeeded constructed narrative from a series of introspective monologues ... the saga of a family with the latent "violence" in which its history hinges and the way it has affected their relations. It was the ninety year old Fatma's dwellings on her poisoned years of marriage to an idealistic doctor that mostly impressed me.

Simone de Beauvoir 's The Woman destroyed (three long stories about the decay of passion, having the readers drawn into the lives of three women, all facing crises) impressed me even more, especially the one which bears the name of the book.

Very different in style, each of these books is worth being read and  some of their chapters even re-read.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

My beloved "students" ...

It is not easy to have to walk up the steps that lead to my office every morning knowing that most of the time people who spend the working day with you don't acknowledge your commitment ... you still hold onto despite the fact that within  a training centre like ours what most people seem to be worried about is the financial profit involved rather than the role we may be able to play as teachers ... mentors.

I was granted the privilege of having thirteen of my former sixteen students enrolled in a course, which started today and which will allow us not only to further continue developing the English Language knowledge but also discuss controversial issues  (in English) twice a week for the next month and a half ... it may not seem much, but the truth is we all enjoy the "'round the table" morning sessions ..., as if we needed them to start the day in a proper frame of mind ...

My beloved students (who happen to be working colleagues ... and some of them friends) are the ones who know me best  ... the ones who understand me for what I am ... and if I am honest, I have been learning with them as much as they have been learning with me ... (at a different level) ...

Each of us has a unique personality and each of us in rather different ways contributes towards the enriching experience of providing opinions, hypotheses ...  and whichever contributions one may feel necessary to convey so as to understand the issue being analysed.

Back row (from left to right) - Jaime, Cristina F., Catia, Cristina I., Carlos, Ana, Luisa and Luis.
Front row (from left to right) - Vinagre, Carmo, Isabel and I.

Note: Teresa was at a meeting and missed the first class.  

Monday, 28 January 2013

The Paris "adventure" - The Carnavalet Museum (cont.) and the Pompidou Centre.


Le Dôme Central de la Galérie des Machines durant l'exposition de 1889 - Louis Béroud 1852/1920 (left). Combat de la Rue Rohan, le 29 Juillet 1830 - Hippolyte Lecomte (right).

Juliete Gréco 1956 - Robert Humblot (left). La Danse des Muses - Louis Boulanger 1806/1867 (right).

Portraits de Margerite et Robert de Broglie 1890 - Emile -Auguste Carolus-Duran


Salle de Danse de l'Hôtel de Wendel 1925 - José Maria Sert y Badia

Chambre de Paul Léautaud

Enseigne de Bijoutier-Horloger Au Nègre du XIX siècle (left). Allégorie du temps - Luc Olivier Merson - 1846/1920 (right).

I still managed to visit a rather interesting temporary exhibition at the Carnavalet Museum on paintings of Parisian churches dating back to the seventeenth century - "Les couleurs du ciel".

Friday afternoon -The 25th of January

Having realised there was a Dali exhibition at the Pompidou Centre and despite the fact that Christian and I had been to his House Museum in Figueres just outside of Barcelona a few years ago I felt I shouldn't miss it, so that is where I headed soon after having left Carnavalet.

It was understandably packed with people and though one had to wait for a while to have access to it, it was worth it.

On the way to the hotel to pick up my backpack so as to head to the Airport I still stopped at some Parisian Libraries in the Marais area where a very interesting exhibition was on photography and children.

The flight back home would be fairly early on Saturday morning, so similarly to what had happened some years back (2005) I decided to sleep at the airport, though this time I took the necessary precautions so as to chose a lounge where there were already quite a few people lying about.

I must admit that I hadn't expected this "Paris adventure" to have been as interesting as it was ... (at least when I left home).

Saturday, 26 January 2013

The Paris "adventure" - The Carnavalet Museum

Friday morning  - The 25th of January 2013

I started off by further exploring the Marais area and headed towards the Carnavalet Museum almost around the corner from the Hotel.

Just before reaching it I stopped at a small garden, which bears the name of the former conservator of the Carnavalet Museum, Georges Cain and has been open to the public since 1931. It is an archaeological depository of some destroyed buildings and Monuments.

Gardens can often become the depository of our thoughts and this is exactly what happened to me at this little more than beautiful little garden as I sat and wrote down some notes reflecting my morning thoughts.

I must confess that in no way had I imagined Carnavalet Musem to house so many collections  showing what the city of Paris looked like in  different eras, as I strolled trough the centuries of history. 

L'abrevoir de Montmartre, around 1840 by the French School of Painting (left). La Coline de Montmartre fu cotê Nord by Paul Gilon Villeneuve (right).

Bouquinistes sur le quai des Grands Augustins (1949) by Bernard Boulet de Monvel (left). Le quai de Montebelo et le Chevet de Notre Dame by Emile Harrouart - 19th century (right).

Petits ramoneurs Savoyards se désaltérant à l'eau d'une pompe, French School - 1840 (left). Le marchand de coco - Augusta, le Baron Desves - 1843 (right)

Les Parisiens tirant le Diable par la queue - Jean Véber -1864/1928 (left). Le Cabaret Pigall's - Pierre Sicard -1925 (right).

Les retardataires - Albert Guillaume - 1873/1942

Femme au chien - Ferdinand Heilbuth - 1826/1889 (left). Elégante à la Place de la Concorde - Louise Abbéma -1858/1927 (right).

La lecture - Georges Croegaert -1848/1923 (left). Femmes au Café - Mariano Alonzo-Pérez - 1857/1930 (right).

(to be continued)