The results are in. Thank you to the seven people who voted in my little survey about whether or not you buy pirated DVDs. 5 of you said you never have, never will. 2 of you said you do rarely but feel guilty. A straw poll of my students revealed the opposite set of results. Most always do, and scoffed at the idea they should feel guilty (those people in Hollywood don't need more money!), while some did occasionally, but one person felt slightly guilty about it all, especially when they buy a Brazilian film (the implication being the producers and actors need the money more than Europeans or Americans). So, thanks again and I'll put up another poll in a few weeks time.
The first Inter-Cultura Games. Early yesterday morning Rachel, Nelson and I and a bus load of rowdy students made the journey to Joao Pessoa for the first ever sports competition between language schools from the north east cities of Natal, Joao Pessoa and Recife. As usual, the mastermind behind this venture was Rachel's Dad, who, in typical fashion, pulled off a fantastic event which looked doomed in the weeks leading up to the big day. But, if I've learned one thing from Brazilians it's that 1) they love sports 2) they love gatherings and 3) they leave everything to the last minute. So, of course, everything was fine.
I played for Natal's Futsal team. Sadly, we lost 5-3 and 5-0 but I was pleased with my contribution in the first fifteen minutes of the first match when I scored a goal and set up another... after that, my severe lack of match fitness took it's toll and I wobbled around the pitch like a sweaty pink sausage. As a supposedly impartial gringo I was roped into refereeing the final between Recife and Joao Pessoa. I gave a contentious penalty in the first half but the game was drawn at 2-2 by the end and went to penalties, Recife eventually taking victory. I crawled off the pitch in a state of near exhaustion and refused to play handball (the next sport) as I didn't know what it was and I no longer had complete control of my legs... just as well, as those that did play knew what they were doing and came away with gold medals.
Nelsinho had a great day too. He loves ball games and always wants to compete with adults - he seems oblivious to his evident lack of size, strength of coordination. But, with a little help from his 6'4" Uncle Nelson, even the little fellow had the opportunity to slam dunk a few balls on the basketball court. We all slept well last night, I can tell you.