Parabens to all who participated in Petrolina’s First International English Fair! Although there is a still lot of work to be done, the fair itself ended with a wonderful evening of music and presentations at the public amphitheater in the city center on Saturday, December 1, 2012.
The first of many posts about our event must be dedicated to thanking all the people who helped and collaborated. Without everyone listed (and probably others who are not listed) this event would not have been possible.
Consul, Usha Pitts (center in black jacket) and participants after the opening ceremonies
Fabio Marcelino: Volunteer number 1 who did all of our design work for FREE–from making our logo, to designing the program, and crafting the posters from large to small. We even had a billboard for the event! All thanks to the fabulous Fabio.
All of our event volunteers who worked 12 hours over 3 days, helping with everything from picking up trash to managing the stage and to our volunteer MC who opened the fair with grace and style—Karina.
Surprise Superstars – Eliane from the GRE and Ana Maria from UPE who worked thanklessly behind the scenes. Eliana organized all the transportation, making sure students arrived, providing snacks for the teacher’s workshop and ensuring a lovely space at the GRE for our cocktail event on Thursday night. Ana Maria created the two most beautiful stands– one with a chocolate fountain and the other with a Gothic themed tea party, complete with costumed students– representing UPE, the only University in Petrolina responsible for forming English Teachers!
Francisco: He built all the stands from scratch and made all three of our event locations aesthetically pleasing with just colored fabric and a lot of creativity.
English fellows: Avram Blum, Laura M.—our inspirational/informational lecturers with a special thanks to Laura for whipping together at the last-minute a games section. Thanks to Scott for helping with the consulate stand!
Maria Snarski, Regional Language Officer for Brazil, with students trying, for the first time – the free English Language learning video game “Trace Effects” sponsored by the US State Department.
American consulate in Recife and their fleet of Americans: Special shout out to Heidi for all her work and mentoring leading up to the event, the informative palestras, and the heartfelt speech during the round table and for all the time and energy at the consulate stand. Heidi continues to be not only an inspiration for aspiring young women such as Chelsea and me, but also a good friend. Thank you for everything, Heidi. Maria, Brazil’s Regional Language Officer for honoring our fair to be the inaugural event of the Consulate’s Language-Learning computer game, Trace Effects and for her workshop on Saturday, which many said was the highlight of the event for them. And finally to Usha Pitts, Consul for the North-Northeast who used the fair to visit Petrolina for the first time, opened the fair with a charming and sincere speech and interacted openly and with humility to all participants. Usha never ceases to impress all who cross her path, and we thank you for bringing grace and prestige to our event.
The GR TV, the radio shows (especially the dynamic Genival Ferreira) that helped get the word out about our event.
Thanks to the following institutions for their contributions: GRE – space for the cocktail, teachers workshop, print material, student presence and buses; IFSertão – buses, print materials and 3/5 of organizational committee, and the flooring performance at the opening ceremonies by the Symphony of the Sertão; UPE – even when they cannot contribute with resources, they over compensated with talent- wonderful stands and 100% participation; UNIVASF -even though we would have liked more physical participation we thank them for being unafraid to put their name and we are grateful for Lucia Marisy´s faith and confidence in our abilities; SENAI – complete use of space and Lucienne and Paulo—two great helpers; and finally Gilmar Mello and Amazon Produce – for being a leader in corporate responsibility in the region, sponsoring the cocktail, graciously showing the diplomatic team around Petrolina and the genuine speech at the opening ceremony.
Laraine: for her vision of a culminating event, the delicious meals to ease the pressure of meetings, the results she produced despite communication difficulties and most especially for her dedication to the teachers from the public schools, who made the event what it was… which brings us to…
Teachers: Your projects and your presentations floored us. We recognize that you do not do it for the money, but for the love of your students. That love shone through the marvelous work you shared with Petrolina during the fair.
Students from 1- public schools: from far and wide came to post their work on imported science fair boards and present songs, dances, plays, etc. My most sincere thanks go to the students and their teachers from Cabrobo, who traveled 4 hours from the island where their indigenous tribe live to present work about their tribe (in English) and present a song a dance representing their tribe at the fair. 2- the universities: who made up our volunteers and enriched our lecture halls. We hope that you were inspired—you certainly inspired us.
PE Professors Filipe and Barto: They helped run the rugby workshops on Saturday morning.
Rafaela: MC for the closing ceremonies, writer of all eloquent Portuguese, mounter of the IF stand and contact with the private schools and institutions.
Finally – the most important person to C² – Jeziel. Thank you for your dream, for your tireless and too often thankless efforts, for caring for us as people and treating us like family. You inspire and push us everyday.
From left to right – Heidi Arola, Jeziel Junior and Rafaela Carla