Agata Zgarda Chaves Nunes
I’m a teacher and coordinator of Cultura Inglesa in Teresina, Brazil. I was born in Poland where I graduated in bio-engineering and fell in love with English language. This love took me to London in 1998 where I spent three years studying and mastering my language skills. Thanks to my adventurous spirit and curiosity, I made my way to Brazil.
I started working as a teacher and discovered this is something I want to do in my life. In 2001 I was invited to write a book “The Language of Hotels in English”, which was published in 2004. Nowadays, I mainly coordinate but still keep in touch with teaching.
In 2008, I attended the ACINE conference in Fortaleza and loved the experience. I’m planning to be a more frequent guest at any possible ELT conference in the future. It’s a great opportunity to meet wonderful people like Ken Wilson, who invite you to be a guest writer in their blog, which is a great honour.
One of the biggest pleasures in life for me is having friends come around, no matter where – Poland, England or Brazil. So once I settled in Brazil and considered my home a ‘friends friendly environment’ (read: fully furnished and decent looking) I decided to have some of my Brazilian friends over for dinner.
Following Polish tradition (‘czym hata bogata’- treat your guests better than yourself) I set up a date, time and menu. I even called up my guests asking if there was something they considered not edible to avoid surprises later on, seeing somebody struggling with separating onions from the rest of the food and decorating the edge of a plate with them, or shyly smiling over a glass of water.
Before I proceed with the dinner description let me explain Polish habits regarding hospitality. Whenever you invite somebody to your place, the food is ready and the table is set at the time your friends knock at your door. Then you sit by the table enjoying your food and company until things disappear from the plates. After this happens, you just sit around enjoying a nice cup of coffee/tea and a lengthy conversation that usually lasts till your guests decide it’s time to leave.
There I was then. Cleaning, cooking and checking the remaining details before my guests arrive. The time has come and… nothing. No big deal, even people in Poland get late from time to time. After about 30 minutes, I started to feel worried as my delicious casserole dish could turn into dry overcooked food in the oven. One hour passed and believe me, you don’t want to know all the baroque chain of adjectives describing my friends that went through my head. Finally about one hour and some minutes later, my long expected friends knocked at the door.
Well, apparently surprises in Brazil are inevitable. I expected four people but seven appeared instead, to enjoy my cold (by that time) dinner. I wasn’t prepared for seven people of course.
That was the first of a series of improvisation classes at the Great University of Brazil.
Agata Zgarda, Coordenação Acadêmica
>>CULTURA INGLESA >>
Av. Jockey Clube, 299
Teresina – PI
Agata blogs at http://sabendoquasetudo.blogspot.com/