Clau looking down and over the river bank with Arapixuna behind her.
“Tudo bem, Sarah, tudo bem? How are you? Tudo bem” my co-teacher Clau laughed as I stumbled over the grammatical differences between tudo bem and tudo bom. Language lessons were a way of life for the week I visited Arapixuna in April. Partly because I filled my evenings listening to scientists and students around me chatter in crescendos and decrescendos, the foundations of Brazilian Portuguese. And partly because I filled my days conversing with 5th graders about the world’s largest river and rain forest. Managing the chaos of field trips, science demos and art classes for 46 young learners, sometimes all I could say was “tudo bem”, the famously succinct and casual phrase for “all is well”.