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a summer camp story
Apr 14th, 2010 by micah the admin

I went to a 5 day / 4 night Girl Scouts (Girl Guides) summer camp when I was 8. All the counselors had nature names like Rocky and Squirrel. (Yes, I remember such trivial details!)

The camp had a swimming pool, so all the girls went for a swimming lesson. I had no idea we were supposed to change in our tents first, but I somehow managed to get my swimsuit on without any of the high-school/college counselor boys seeing. As we picked up our clothes to head back afterwards, one guy asked whose…errrm…underwear was sitting on the rail, in full view of everyone within 100 feet. Yup. I meekly retrieved it and was embarrassed the rest of the day!

Susie – MN

adventures in brazil, part one
Feb 17th, 2010 by micah the admin

In my work, I had to move to Brazil a number of years ago. Of course, to move to another nation, you have to learn its language and culture in order to better serve the people, and learning these things are almost never a smooth process.

My mistakes in learning Portuguese came in a number of contexts. Most of the time it came from mispronouncing words in a way that accidentally formed other words to make crazy expressions. Sometimes it got me into trouble.

One of my many mistakes came when I tried to order a certain fruit juice at a restaurant. A popular tropical fruit in Brazil that makes good juice is acerola. However, the way I said it to the waiter was “cirola” (SEE-ro-la). I had just order long underwear juice.

The first words that any adult learns in a new language are the words of survival. When I visited Brazil before moving there, one of the first words I learned was that for toilet. One day I had to use the restroom pretty badly. So, with the normal facial expression and body language of someone who had “to go”, I asked someone in Portuguese where the nearest toilet was. But I didn’t say “sanitario” (toilet); I said “sanitorio”. Imagine my face and body as I had just asked for the nearest insane asylum.

Joseph – DC

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