Paulenrique: guess where he is?
Our beloved Paulo is now in Lyon, France as you can see from the above picture. Not that you would notice since he's still answering questions on the Portuguese discussion pages, lol.
I introduced Paulo to a guy who lives in Lyon and Paulo introduced him to Duolingo. Anyway, Bensouhil said that Paulo's French is very good and he'll be speaking French like a Frenchman before too long.
Acompanhei o Paulo Henrique desde o início do seu sonho até os últimos preparativos para a viagem até a França e posso dizer que está sendo uma experiência incrível para ele. Falei com ele agora e fiquei sabendo que em apenas uma semana de aulas, ele já subiu um nível. Paulo é uma pessoa muito especial, inteligente e sensivel. Ele investiu muito nesse sonho, mas tenho certeza que cada centavo investido valerá à pena. Ele está estudando muito!!!!!! Eu tenho muito orgulho dele. Ele é o melhor amigo que alguém poderia ter !
merci beaucoup!! =) it was very kind of you! you're my greatest friend too! =)
Meeting a Legend
(I'm sorry if this is a bit long, but blame ThanKwee as she asked me to write this piece and she knows how long-winded I am).
Paulo is well known to everyone studying Portuguese here. Without his tireless efforts answering our questions in the sentence discussions, Duolingo Portuguese would be a much poorer experience. He is always there to help.
Paulo takes his own language learning very seriously and he recently decided to spend many thousands of dollars to improve his French. He told me he had booked a course in Lyon and was going to fly from São Paulo to London and then from London to Lyon. He then let it slip that his transit time at Heathrow airport would be a very boring 13 hours and asked whether I would be able to come to the airport to meet him (I suspect he thought that having me to talk to would be more entertaining than twiddling his thumbs, though he took a lot on trust there).
My first thought was whether it could work, would he be able to get through immigration to meet me, but thinking about it, it didn't seem impossible with such a long transit time and the fact that Brazilians don't need a visa to enter the UK. So my answer was "yes!".
Because I live about 4-5 hours away from London airport by conventional public transport, my second thought was how to get to there and get back home in a day and still have enough time to meet up and do anything more than shake hands. Then I had a flash of inspiration - I could fly there! What better way to get to an airport I thought.
The third thought was how were we going to recognize and contact each other. We exchanged photos and I gave Paulo my mobile phone number and I stuck a mobile data SIM in my tablet computer. Paulo had his "celular" and a tablet. Communications would not be a problem.
At roughly the same time as Paulo's plane was scheduled to land I departed from home on the bus to Manchester Airport and then caught my plane to Heathrow. I emerged from UK arrivals to be greeted by ... nobody. Yes, nobody. The reception committee which should have consisted of one cheerful Brazilian Duolingo icon was absent.
No problem. I switched on the tablet and fired up Skype. Within moments Skype was alive with members of the Duolingo Skype group. I made myself comfortable in the arrivals area and chatted with people in São Paulo, Kuala Lumpur and Rio de Janeiro but there was no sign of Paulo who could be no more than a few hundred metres away from me. I was able to get Paulo's "celular" number but the voice at the other end told me the phone was "fora da área de cobertura ou desligado". By talking to the airport staff I managed to confirm that he was in the airport and that no Brazilian had been refused entry into the UK that day. So where was he?!
Slightly depressed I gave up waiting and went through the security checks into the departure lounge quite a bit earlier than was required. Then it hit me. Paulo probably thought he was in the right place even though he was still airside. As luck would have it my departure terminal was the same as his. So I started a frantic search of what seemed like thousands of passengers to find the Paulo in a haystack. And ... success! I caught up with him at the exact moment he had finally worked out how to get connected to the free WiFi. Needless to say he was answering Duolingo questions! Almost his first words to me were "I have 76 Duolingo emails to go".
It was so fortunate that I went by air, if I had gone by any other means I would not have been able to go airside. So, to cut a long story a little shorter than it could be, we spent a little over an hour together before I had to leave. More than enough time to shake hands but not nearly as much time as we could have had. Anyway, I can tell you now from personal experience that Paulo is a very nice guy.
very good, but you could make it even longer by adding that we had a snack together (you paid me a juice! =]), we waited in the line together and other things.... also...you talked in Portuguese with me! it was simply great!
Yes, generosity is one of my faults - I think it was a whole 250 ml of orange juice - although you should point out that you refused anything else. :-) I also neglected to mention the tribal exchanging of gifts; by the way, my penguin is next to my computer (it is particularly happy when I'm using Linux). Wow, that would make a great Duolingo sentence, would you accept "Meu pinguim está ao lado do meu computador"?
wooowww that just perfect!! I hope you take good care of it! =) my pen is doing fine too!! =)
That is an amazing story. I can't thank you enough for all the help you've given me and everybody else here. I wish you the best of luck with your French and everything else!
Sim, muito obrigado pela ajuda em português. A propósito, por que voce escolheu Lyon para aprender frances?
bem, estou um pouco cansado de cidade grande, e Paris é bem maior que Lyon. Mas também não queria uma cidade muito equena onde seria mais difícil a locomoção. Como Lyon é a 2a maior cidade da França, achei um lugar excelente!
You've forgotten me already?! (clue's in the name)
It's probably best you kept it quiet. Don't need an outbreak of Beatlemania as a dozen middle-class Portuguese learners rampaged to the airport to meet their hero.
That's so amazing, guys! And have fun in your trip, Paulenrique, wherever you are!
Oh, what a nice story! I almost was there myself, when I read that :-)
Must have been so great to meet each other, although only for an hour! :-)
Yes, that was really cool. But I'm sure I'll be back after the college is over =) Actually, my grandparents were Italian. =)
Must be great to have family roots in other countries! Do you have French roots, too?
j'ai rencontré Paulo par l'intermédiaire d'une américaine adorable que moi je nomme lovely, Paulo est arrivé à Lyon semaine passée, une personne très avenante souriante humble mais très intelligente avec des facultés mentales très développés. j'avoue avoir été agréablement surpris par son niveau de français lui dit mon français est horrible. autodidacte tout seul par la lecture, duolingo et la conversation via internet avec d'autres personnes je pense. il emploie les bonnes paroles, les bonnes expressions avec quelques difficultés mais minimes . moi qui donne des cours de français je peux dire que son français est très correcte et qu'il partira avec un française limite parfait. à mon avis l'immersion est la méthode la plus adéquate pour apprendre toute langue. alors Paulo, je te redis bien a Lyon j'espere que ton vocabulaire s'enrichira mais je reste très confiant à ton égard, car tu as la motivation moteur de tout challenge et ça fait vraiment plaisir de voir cela.
oh, merci beaucoup pour tout! et pour ton aide aussi!
thanks for the compliment and for taking me for a sightseeing!
but i won't forget I owe you some help with your English! =)
Thank you so much for helping Paulo to get oriented! That was so sweet of you. And also thank you for helping me with my French. Without you I wouldn't have understood the "imparfait" in French, and I'm sure that you have also helped Paulo with his French. I appreciate that delicious spice mix that you sent to me one time and then gave me cooking lessons on Skype explaining how to use it. When Paulo went to your house, did you fix him a meal with your special spices? :=)
coucou anijo, c'est avec un grand plaisir que je lis ton commentaire, bien évidemment tu imagines bien que mon aide pour toi fut un plaisir pour moi, et un immense honneur, tu as été la personne qui m'a sorti de l’obscurité de l’incompréhension des expressions anglaises, concernant le repas, non j'ai pas utilisé les épices d'ailleurs si tu veux y'a pas de problème tu en auras encore , je te fais pleins de bisous donne moi de tes nouvelles de temps à autre
Oi Paulo! Merci beaucoup (did I say that right?) for all your helpful contributions to the Duolingo Portuguese lessons. Hope you have a fun, safe, and successful trip in France!
oh yes, that's right! =) thanks for the good wishes! bons estudos para você!! =)