Sunday, June 16, 2013

Cinema Trip at Fashion Mall - Voluntourist Post

Today we went with Erin, a lovely voluntary English teacher and Rocinha resident, to take some of her students to the cinema. Erin had organised the trip as a treat because most of the group had never been to the cinema before and also because it was a fun way to help the class with their English listening skills. The group are aged roughly between 12 and 14 years old and most have a fairly good level of English. We met everyone outside of their school in Rocinha and walked the ten minutes out of the favela and up the road to the cinema located in the new fashion mall. The short ten-minute walk demonstrated a huge range in wealth as the street stalls turned into high-rise flats, which then turned into large glasshouses nestled into the mountain. This path led us to the spacious mall itself, which was dripping with glamour and overpriced goods and was in huge contrast with where we had just come from but by no means better.

We arrived a little early for the showing of ‘Fast and Furious 6’ (the only English speaking film with Portuguese subtitles) so took a walk around the mall which had many floors filled with an abundance of places to refuel during some serious retail therapy. Each shop was elegantly decorated and boasted huge display windows to compete for custom over the countless other retail stores. None of these shop windows seemed the impress the kids, however, until we reached the Apple store, were we heard a little squeal of delight and looked around to see them all marching in to study the latest technology. Almost everyone here, wherever they come from, has a smart phone.  

After eventually dragging the group away from the latest models we went to take our seats in the cinema laden with our drinks and goodies (we tried GuaranĂ¡, a Brazilian fizzy drink I would highly recommend) and shivered in the intense air conditioning. In Brazil, it seems to be more socially acceptable to make noise in the cinema and at times the whole place was united in laughing and talking out loud about specific moments during the film. At the end, when we stepped back outside into the warm air to walk home the group discussed the movie; they all enjoyed it, especially the fast cars and their gadgets! Over all it was an entertaining afternoon everyone and demonstrated the ability to share an experience with people whatever language or level of English they speak. 

Sophie Wakeford
Masters Student from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, London
2bros Voluntourist

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