Posted by: Abby Rhodes | March 7, 2010

Tips for travelers (but not necessarily taxi drivers)

None of the 47 members of the Wind Ensemble’s Brazil tour have ever traveled to the South American country before. While many of the participants have international experience sight-seeing and even performing abroad, each destination comes with its own considerations for foreign guests. Visitors to today’s rehearsal shared some helpful information about everything from how to pronounce the local currency (it’s “hey-ow”) to some quirky traffic light patterns to what a typical meal includes.

Kim McDaniel of WIU's Study Abroad Office offers tips to travelers

Kim McDaniel of WIU's Study Abroad Office offers the Wind Ensemble its best defense against travel anxiety: information

Macomb resident Leslie Walker fell in love with Brazil and its people over forty years ago when her family hosted a foreign exchange student, Valeria, from Vitoria. Walker herself spent seven weeks living in Rio and Vitoria in the mid-1960s, learning Portuguese and building a lifelong friendship with Valeria and her family. During Sunday’s rehearsal, she described the sights the band is about to behold in Rio, and encouraged members to spend as much time interacting with Brazilians as possible. To help break down the language barrier, Walker provided language guides and noted that learning a few phrases in Portuguese will be the best way to express our gratitude to our Brazilian hosts.

One-time Brazil resident Leslie Walker shows off her scrap book

Musical Instrument Repair Technician Chad Walker will have his tools in tow when the group touches down in Brazil, but he’s hoping smart packing will mean little repair work during the ten-day tour.

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