I hope I can accurately document my experiences in Brazil and share my knowledge with other educators. The Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Project offers an extremely unique opportunity for a special educator. The need for both leaders and educators in special education to develop a global perspective of their field and an international understanding for policies and procedures abroad is imperative. Opportunities to learn from educators, government officials and inhabitants of countries promoting large education initiatives, especially those targeting students with disabilities and individuals who require alternative teaching methods, offer invaluable information about the country’s perception of special education, the disabled population, and what role culture plays in educating individuals with disabilities. Mutual understanding and learning amongst educators in this field is critical to the development of programs that will meet the unique needs of diverse populations.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
To Pack or Not to Pack
Approximately one day and counting… The good news, I received a full agenda yesterday and a partial packing list today. Nevertheless, I am finding packing to be an extremely difficult feat. On one hand I’ll be meeting with the Secretariat of Education, Congresswoman Raquel Teixeira, and dining with U.S Embassy officials, on the other I will be visiting Sao Gabriel da Cachoeira, located in the heart of the Amazon, relatively close to the Colombian border, home to the biggest and most important indigenous movement in Brazil. Although I am quite sure I will be more comfortable in the Amazon than meeting Brazilian politicians and US Embassy officials, let’s face it, I am a woman and packing for a month long trip anywhere is a complete nightmare! Initially I decided on a small rolling suitcase, a backpack and a shoulder bag. While my husband was taken hostage by his laughter at my plan, I realized there was no chance. I think I’ll go with the large suitcase. It looks as if a Brazilian soccer jersey might be the only item I haven’t laid out to pack which, ironically, may be the only piece of clothing appropriate in all areas of Brazil.