Having just completed my first year at Ursuline, I am still learning about the school community. What I will take away from this trip to Piedade is a greater sense of the Ursuline global family. From the common foundation of our schools we have fostered a connection that continues to grow. Family is exactly the word to describe the way I felt connected to the Piedade school community. What a powerful thought considering we got into a plane (well, three) and a day later arrived in the southern hemisphere where they are currently experiencing late fall, speak a different language and have differing cultural norms.
On our last night I made an observation during dinner that at restaurants there doesn't appear to be a lot of turnover at a table during an evening. The table that you choose is likely to only be occupied by you for that night as time is slowed down for conversation and a relaxed enjoyment of the meal. Here I got to know more about the teachers that took us out for dinner as well as some of the host families. Through a combination of English and Portuguese, and sometimes hand gestures for additional clarification of meaning, we discovered more about each other. What a rare and amazing treat it was to look through the window at life in Ilheus, Bahia Brazil!
Returning to St. Louis now, I bring ideas for sharing the experience with the school community, and within my own classroom. Most important, perhaps, is the global Ursuline family exprience that will continue to grow and connect us across oceans, continents and hemispheres.