My first visit begins. I finally meet Susana Delgado who has been organising my itinerary for the last 3 months at the Universidad Luterana Brasil ULBRA. She has also been helping to promote my ‘lecture’ on Wednesday to the whole faculty. No pressure then. She collects me from the hotel, (15 mins before person) she has had to travel across town to get me, so I reassure her I can do most of my travelling to and from places via public transport after this. I realise my limited Portuguese isn’t going to last the drive so I let the dictaphone roll.
She tells me that this Universidad Lutheran University is one of the top universities in the country and is situated 6 miles out of Porto Alegre in another city called Canaos. This University trains and teaches students to work as front line staff, taking both a practical and vocational element to learning.
Brazil has a National Health Service and the Ministry of Health partners with the University and their department puts the students put out into the field of work – working with the most vulnerable families in the city of Canaos.
Doctors work alongside trainee Social Workers, Speech and Language students, Dentists, Pharmacists.
We walk around the campus and it’s freshers week as the Summer holidays have just ended. No Lutheran University would be complete without its own Lutheran Church; a modern spacious sanctuary empty.
I get interviewed by a journalist from the Uni she asks me what my expectations are? I say that’s it’s a qualitative research study so looking at how students and professional interact with families, how they keep their attention, what engagement their is the families and community.
I meet lots of people interested to see the English person, and Daiana comes in to help speak English of which I will have much more to talk about in later posts..