How EAB Students & Staff Celebrated Carnival 2019

By Emma Holm-Olsen

From Rio de Janeiro to Buenos Aires, the students and staff of the American School of Brasilia jetted off to exotic places all over the region to celebrate one of the most beloved and entertaining holidays, as well as to participate in some of the world’s largest parties. Carnival, a Western Christian and Greek Orthodox holiday that occurs before Lent, the period of repentance and cleansing after two or three days of ‘sinning’, has always been considered a religious holiday. Of course it still is, but in the last few decades has strayed away from it’s religious connotations in efforts for companies and destination vacation spots to make money and of course for people to just let loose and have fun for a few days. That being said, people generally go a bit crazy during those few days with partying until the early hours of the morning with lots of eating and drinking, and all around merry-making. Although the religions that celebrate Carnival and Lent frown upon any kind of partying or pleasure taking from Ash Wednesday on, many people tend to ignore that “guideline”.

Anyway, back to how people actually spent the week-long vacation! As for me, the extent of my celebration was a bit of glitter and a venture downtown to take part in a “bloquinho” devoted to bringing back classic Carnival Bossa Nova music. (News flash- this was my parents’ idea but I went with the flow, as you do with parents).

High school Junior Sarah Wiggins travelled to Argentina for the week

Other students and teachers had much more interesting breaks. High school Junior Sarah Wiggins travelled to Argentina for the week and had a spectacular time. “Over Carnival I traveled to the deservedly famous, Buenos Aires, in which I was able to dip my toes in the culture and qualities of the beautiful city. The trip consisted of many steps in exploring the city and even more bites of the diverse and amazing foods that could be found on every street”, Sarah said in an interview earlier this week. “We then went to Mendoza, a much smaller city, which was a lot less bustling than Buenos Aires with its serene atmosphere and wonderful landscapes… there were vineyards full of sweet grapes for the harvest season that stretched as far as the eye could see.” I would say that’s a pretty nice way to spend a week off! Other students stayed within Brazil, but still found ways to get the most out of their carnival break. One of my fellow classmates, who preferred to remain anonymous, went to Rio for a few days, where she visited Cristo Redentor, the Escadaria Selaron (the famous mosaic steps near Lapa), as well as took part in the festivities of the Sambadrome parades over the weekend. The Sambadrome parades in Rio de Janeiro is the largest Carnival celebration worldwide, with the festivals dating back as early as 1723. Obviously it’s still going strong with more than two million people on the streets every year. Students weren’t the only ones who took advantage of the holiday, though. High School English teacher, David Sweetman drove 16 (!) hours to Paraty for the week where he spent the days on a schooner sailing around the islands; at the gorgeous coastal municipality of Ubatuba; going to see a form of puppet theatre known as Ban Raku, as well as visiting the famous Basilica and National Shrine to Nossa Senhora Aparecida. High School Biology teacher Erin Kahle stayed in Brasilia, with her family, the first few days of break to avoid the raucous Carnaval crowds. Around the area though, they visited the Itiquira waterfall where her husband, English teacher Andrew Jones, hiked to the top with some friends. They also went to Trancoso, Bahia where they got some well deserved rest at the beautiful beaches while spending time with some other EAB teachers and families. 

As you can see from these students and many more, EAB is a very diverse school, thus making sense that our students travel to far-off places to spend their week off. I hope everyone had a great break, no matter where they went (or didn’t go!), and that we are all well-rested (well actually, I’m not so sure about well-rested with all of that partying we did!) and ready to return to the seemingly endless days and very small amounts of sleep, of school- obviously (*sarcasm definitely intended*) our most favorite way to spend our precious days;)  

 

3 Strategies on how to stick to your New Year’s Resolutions

By Fatima Kane 

Here are our strategies on how to actually keep your 2019 New Year’s Resolutions – and not just until January 2nd!

Plan it out 

It’s great to aim high with your goals, but you want have an idea how to get there. To make your resolution seem less daunting, plan it out on paper in smaller, more specific steps that will allow you to accomplish your goal. Giving yourself deadlines and time limits to complete certain steps can help you stay on track and keep moving forward. You can easily set up your plans on a calendar, agenda, journal and with reminders to make sure that 2019 is the year for you!

Remind yourself. Constantly. 

All the hopes for your resolutions go out the window, unless you constantly remind yourself of your goals and make them a daily important priority. Setting up to-do lists, notes, or reminders for yourself, allows you to keep your resolutions at the forefront of your mind. Positive reminders of your plans will go a long way in helping to keep you motivated. 

Keep track of your progress!

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Recording significant (or even seemingly insignificant steps) you’ll take during the year is the perfect way to keep to being motivated, committed, and striving for your target! Studies have shown that “monitoring” your steps leads to higher success in sticking with your resolutions. Keeping track of your progress allows you to remind yourself of how far you have gone and how close you are to the finish line! And don’t stress about having a couple “cheat-days.” Perfection can’t be expected, and any progress is a reason to be proud! Just don’t let these days distract you from your goals. 

Good luck with your 2019 New Year’s Resolutions! 

 

Image Source: “Bullet Journal Monthly Habit Tracker, Flower Drawing. | @Littleolivebujo | Bullet Journal Ideas | Pinterest | Bullet Journal, Journal and Bullet.” Pinterest, http://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/408912841160773537/.

Guide to Thanksgiving 2018

By Savannah G. Eschenroeder

Thanksgiving is a much-loved American holiday, one in which all you do is eat. And I don’t know about you, but I just absolutely love food!

Not a lot of people celebrate Thanksgiving, or know the backstory to it. Thanksgiving was first just a three-day feast between the pilgrims and the Wampanoag Native Americans. Before coming the America, life in England was hard. The pilgrims, formerly known as the Puritans, were persecuted for their faith and they were desperate for religious freedom. After leaving Holland in September 1620 and arriving in America (present-day Plymouth, Massachusetts) in November 1620, the pilgrims soon found out that surviving would be hard. Besides the harsh winter, they needed food and a place to sleep. Squanto, a fellow Native American, felt pity for these new strangers and so he helped them by teaching them how to grow crops such as corn, harvest berries and maple syrup, fish, hunt, and avoid poisonous plants. One year later, in November 1621, after a successful harvest and a prosperous year for the pilgrims, they decided to celebrate with the Wampanoag Native Americans. So together, they enjoyed fellowship and friendship during a three-day feast.

       Nowadays the typical Thanksgiving feast consists of turkey, stuffing, corn bread, mashed potatoes, yams (sweet potatoes), cranberry sauce, and all the pies (pumpkin, pecan, apple) for dessert.

         Thanksgiving is also a time for us to reflect on all the joy of our life and the blessings that God has given us. I love looking at the tiny moments of this life, and just stop for a moment to be thankful for it. Often I write down all the beautiful memories in my gratitude journal; it’s good practice to look at the bright side of things, even when our day seems a bit gloomy. And every time I point out something negative, I tell myself three positive things. So my challenge to you who are reading this is: write down 10 things that you are thankful for this season. Who knows, it might even bring a smile to your face.

“Thanksgiving 2018.” History.com, November 13, 2018,

https://www.history.com/topics/thanksgiving/history-of-thanksgiving. Accessed November 28, 2018.