First journey to school

Trip Start Nov 07, 2006
1
13
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Trip End Apr 26, 2007


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Flag of Brazil  ,
Thursday, January 11, 2007

Like any five year old on his first day at school it is the journey there that really counts, the journey into the unknown.
Caution as it happened; the metro is reasonable, I know it is safe, or is it, beware pick pockets, change at the right station, donīt get into the crowd, even mind the escalator. I achieved full points and am approaching my destination, just four stations to go when a mature lady speaks to me in Portuguese,-I don`t understand, she tries again, then again and gets more insistent and resorts to gestures, I begin to get the message.  She is telling me to go no further, it is not good for tourists, (especially ones as old and infirm as me), "Get off here and return to the center of Rio."
Explanations of the fact that as a `Travelers world wide volunteer, it is OK` settle her a little as I get to right station.  A slow exit from the Metro, (my legs don`t like stairs after sitting for so long),--more caution, too many pairs of eyes seem to be on me, clearly I`m not one of them, an outsider on their patch, "I must get the 778 bus or van." First bus pulls away, next a van, it`s full, another passes by without stopping, "everyone is looking at me". The next van stops and I climb aboard, it is an old 1960`s VW that is mainly patched up and rattles violently as we career along at what feels breakneck speed.  We get near our destination taking a sharp turn left, "Just by the bridge, Acqui (here). We roll to a stop extract ourself and pay the man.
Looking around, the gate and tall wall are recognized, this is the right stop. Through the gate, climb the steps, up the slope and over the railway lines to the other side of the tracks. Across the grass, mud, and across the road and there is the school.  A concrete creation behind very stout tall railings, the ground floor is a type of playground, the building is on concrete pillars with another security fence from top to bottom, a small pack of dogs start to bark guarding their temporary territory. there is a long sloping pathway, (more leg work), to the first floor where again a locked security gate stops any unwanted guest who may have got this far. It is opened up by a smiling member of staff and as it clicks locked behind me I relax and introduced to the school staff and given refreshment.  Then I think of the journey back!
 
 Itīs all in the mind.         Peter T. 
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