Saturday, February 11, 2012

Moving Forward

My entire adult life I have been fortunate enough to have been making forward progress; I mean this both professionally and geographically.  Beginning with my first quasi-adult move to enter college from the Twin Cities to Eau Claire, Wisconsin, to my first actual job on the opposite side of the same state in the town of Manitowoc on the shores of Lake Michigan, to Cali, Colombia where the exploits of this blog have been played out, I have found a way to also move toward the rising sun.  That trend will continue, it seems...

While this may not be late-breaking news, I have signed a contract to leave the amazing country of Colombia and further my experience as a teacher and of Latin America in another school in another country.  In July I will be moving to the city of Campinas, Brazil, for what will end up being a combination position of various life science-based courses and probably a Master's degree program.

While I still have about four months left to explore and enjoy a country that I will hold forever dear to me, allow me to share a little bit of information about my new home.  Campinas (say: cahm-PEE-nahs) is located in the Brazilian state of São Paulo, about a ninety minute drive from one of the world's largest cities, São Paulo itself.  While the aforementioned metropolis has about 11 million people - if the surrounding suburbs are included this number doubles - Campinas has a modest 1.5 million.

My future campus.




The school I will be teaching at is similar to the one I have been at, except that the origins of my new place of employment are and continue to be linked to foreign corporations, such as 3M, the company that founded the school.  São Paulo is a financial and corporate force in the world economy and therefore the proximity Campinas has to it is residual in many ways.  I look forward to living and working in a smaller large city with a large professional population with a fair amount of cultural offerings.

Campinas means "meadows" or "plains" in Portuguese, a new language I will have to learn.  That being said, there are many coffee, cotton, and sugarcane plantations around the city, also contributing to the economy.  (After living in Cali and Colombia, I am used to the burning 'cane fields and coffee has become a staple part of my diet. This will be a welcome part of the transition!)  

Because this is Brazil, Campinas has not one, but two professional soccer teams, and three stadiums.  I'm not sure what the plans are of yet for the World Cup in 2014, but a game or two in Campinas at the early stages may not be entirely out of the question!

The climate is pleasant year-round with a slight change in seasons, something comparable to a Midwestern spring/fall to summer.  To put it simply, even the wealthy homes do not have central heating.  Along with several picturesque parks and trails, there is also an extensive public transportation system, two malls, several theatres for the performing arts, and a plethora of reputable universities, ensuring that the nightlife is also on par with larger more metropolitan locales.

A lot of this information I was able to ascertain from my coincidental visit last spring for an educators' conference.  One thing I learned from Wikipedia is that "Campinas was the third city in the world to adopt the technology of the telephone in 1883, after Chicago and Rio de Janeiro."  Who knew?!?!

I look forward to this new change and to find out more things about Brazil and Campinas.

7 comments:

shafeph said...

Will the blog continue under the title of "Aventuras en Columbia"?

Sergio en Colombia said...

vamos a ver... maybe "sergio in south america" or "sergio sambas"
(sigh) i've got a few months...

Gimpyman said...

That is awesome man!! Sounds like another great adventure!! Hope you have fun!!

Johnson Family said...

Congrats Stetson! Excited to hear about the new adventures. I'm glad we didn't have to try to secure you some interviews because you were late for a job fair this time! ;)

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