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7/05 continued

posted Jul 10, 2010, 5:24 AM by Julie Bateman   [ updated Jul 14, 2010, 8:19 PM by Ethan Shirley ]
This afternoon, we went to the Municipal Secretary of Education in Pocone with Eduardo and Jucineide, but in true Brazilian style - she only works afternoons and we were directed by her assistant to go to the State Secretary of Education. It was only about two blocks away (as are most things in Pocone), but continuing our luck all the doors were locked. We ran a quick errand at the solar power store to kill time, and then returned to find the State Secretary of Education office open and three already waiting in line. Eduardo, our mandachuva, abruptly explained to the assistant our objectives and demanded immediate attention - which lucky for the assistant, the State Secretary of Education herself appeared in the doorway behind us.

At last, we got behind closed doors with the Secretary of Education, Maria, and launched into the explanation of PCER and how we planned to share responsibilities in the operation of the school.  Not five minutes into this discussion, Maria sat back and decided the press had to be contacted -  immediately, its always impressive when something happens instantly here. Within ten minutes, the Pocone news crew appeared on site and ready to interview and shoot film. Our GIEU crew had been patiently waiting in the bus while we had our meeting withMaria, and joined us for the filming. Our enthusiastic Secretary of Education repeatedly turned over our palms to the news crew, the proof for work done, Ethan fortunately had a soccer wound for extra credos.

So if you get Pocone news, be on the look out. On a more serious note, while happy with the energetic response and getting word out to the community, we look forward to talking serious details (like buying us a bus and paying the teacher's salary) around July 16th.

Continuing our tradition of breaking anything we touch, the bus' axle was nearly destroyed - everyone safe and unharmed - on the way home, fortunately only two kilometers from the home-stays and Eduardo's lodge. We all had a nice night walking tour, and left the bus near the bridge as a courtesy warning to other motorists.