The night was again very short. I slept at 3, woke up at 6:30 and first had to study some messages which arrived early morning. The time difference of 5 hours means that many of my contacts in my homelands are already heading to their lunch at this time. Due to timely limitations I had to reschedule the interview with the most favourite radio station in Switzerland to Tuesday morning. During the day I got the information that one of our leading local radio stations might also call for an interview on Tuesday.
After my blog was uploaded at 7:30am, unfortunately without pictures, I had to prepare myself for my meeting with Priest Robson. We met at 8am, I had quite some chocolate with me, and he took me to the Escola Dom Bosco de Artes E Oficios, a salesian school which celebrates its 65th birthday this year. I already could talk a lot with the priest as the traffic was stuck all through Recife again. Normally it would have taken us 25 minutes to get to the school, we now however arrived only at 09:30am. Brasil has a very strong economic development since years. With the consequence that more and more people are using a car. But, and that’s their problem, the infrastructure is not up to date anymore. Old streets, bad maintenance, many potholes and an increased number of accidents get to a daily problem for the people over here. Bad maintenance which is the same problem with the many old buildings U see throughout the city.
Priest Robson lived 6 years in Sri Lanka and 2 years in Ireland, he was one of the first persons who really speaks a good English over here. There are about 45’000 Salesianer in this area for which the priest is responsible. Next to that he educates at the University. He was born in Sao Paulo and still supports one of the local football teams from there. 5 years ago he came to Recife. And he is not the only one. More and more people from other countries come and live in Brasil, for example 82’000 people from China and Korea in the past 10 years. Brasil needs qualified people, in many areas. The education system however is not reacting to these requirements. In the public / government schools the teachers are not well enough educated, there is no visible education system, the teachers lack information. In the morning I didn’t realize that I would be faced with the same comments again on my way back home in the evening. On our way to the school we passed by a prison for children between 10-15 years. Even the priest answered me that crime in Brazil is one of their biggest problems, especially crimes from children! Also he advised me to never go out alone in the evening!
At the school I met with Pe. Gilvan Galdino Tavares, the director, and his assistant Andreia. During a very good breakfast we discussed many issues about this school and we looked forward to a project for 2014. 600 boys and 500 girls are studying here, the majority is between 17-20 years young, and they are out of poor families or do not have any parents anymore. The school has co-operations with several companies making it possible to let these young adults work and learn at the same time. An equal system like in Switzerland, just at a later age. 75% of the young adults in this area are going through this kind of education, more than 90% of them gets a job after they finished their study!
Interesting was it to hear that most of these young people are not that much interested anymore in sports activities on Sunday. They rather like to go to a shopping centre, a trend we also see in countries like South Africa.
At 11:30am the priest took me to the Arena. A bit too early as my shift officially started at 2pm, but I now had the possibility to check and answer my mails and to upload some pictures to my Facebook profile. Unfortunately I could not yet answer all my birthday wishes, is still to come. I had a short talk with Peter and got updated on what he experienced yesterday in his volunteer area. Some coordinators and volunteers really do not understand what it means to work with VIP’s. It was quiet in the volunteer centre so at 1pm I went to the media centre. As a “late birthday, or “Bert-day” present I had some of the world best chocolates with me for my volunteer colleagues. U can imagine how happy everybody was today! After a check on the signing in the Arena I got into a discussion with our head responsibles. In first instance just to get our storage room better organized. Finally we then agreed on it that I am going to assist them in organizing the Media Volunteer Team. The 5S was done today to get our working areas in a proper and organised structure. As off tomorrow we will start improving our processes, our reporting and the planning of our personnel. I am confident that we together, as a team, will deliver an excellent service on our next match day on Wednesday!
On my way home I got a chat from Muni saying: “Bert! You see the “parade”. I ordered it for you!! You are living a historical moment in my country”. Muni explained me that there were more than 100’000 people protesting in Rio, 80’000 in Sao Paulo as well as in 7 other cities in Brazil. Billions and billions are spent on the Confederations Cup, while people are being deprived from health and education, rising in prices of public transportation, corruption and rising violence in the cities. Last time Brazil saw something like this in 1994. Thus far the protests are peaceful, no aggression from the police. It might be that I will witness history while I am in Brazil!