WOW I can’t believe I am already in Brazil! I have been here for about month now and it already has been the best month of my life! There is not a single word that could describe how my life has change in just the little time I have been here. I have had to grow up more than ever but in the end there is no place I would rather be than in Brazil!
Being at the airport with my mom, brother and best friends was one of the hardest things I had to do in my life. Taking time with each person there to say goodbye was a lot harder then I'd thought it would be. My best friends Logan, Maddie, Kyriana and Brittany are like family so it was really hard to say bye. My brother and I are really close so, saying bye was really hard to. Although I have a saying, “It’s never a goodbye, always a see you later." Keeping that in mind I walk to the gate with my mom. She had to walk me to the gate! Well she thought she HAD to. I sat there with her and she gave me advice like moms do. When it was time to go I had to say my hardest goodbye, to my mom. Then as I was walking in the plane something in my head said, "you’re gone for a year that's not long, you need to take every bit of it in and leave Jacksonville with a smile on your face." That's exactly what I did.
The feeling of coming off the plane was excitement mix with fear. To know that there would be a group of people welcoming me into their home was amazing. I walk out to them and all I said was, "Oi" (hi in Portuguese) and waved my hand and smiled. Right after my host brother Marcos came and gave me a huge hug and kiss on the cheek and said, “I can’t believe you’re real." When I heard that, I was just over whelmed with happiness. Right after came another new person then another coming and giving me kisses and hugs. I wasn't use to all the kissing so I stood there and took it all in. I knew once I left that airport that my exchange suddenly became a reality.
My first night I was sitting in the living room with my host brother and there was a moth flying around. I hate any kind of bugs, so I asked my host bother how to say disgusting moth and he said "mariposa nojento." So a few night had past and I was sitting in the living room with my whole host family and there was a moth on the ceiling, so I said "mariposa nojento" and my whole family looks at me and starts laughing so hard! I was wondering why are they laughing at me? Then they told me that they have never hear an exchange student learn this as the first words on there exchange. I thought about this and started laughing to cause out of all the thing to learn in Portuguese I learned, disgusting moth as my first saying! Now, if my family ever sees a moth they point and look at me, so I will say, "mariposa nojento" which is my famous saying in Portuguese!
In my first week I did everything from rock climbing to exploring my new city. Curitiba is the best city in Brazil! It's nothing like Jacksonville at all, there are huge buildings everywhere, a different park at every corner and I've never seen more malls in my life! I live right in the middle of the city. The location of my house is great! I'm between two big malls in Curitiba one is Shopping Curitiba and the other is Shopping Estação. Two really great malls in Curitiba! I go them about five times a week with my friends. I also live really close to my school which I walk to every day. Making lots of new friends in my school is something I'm good at. Everyone loves the blonde American girl and everyone wants to be my friend no matter if they can speak English or not. Everyone tries to speak English with me even, if they can’t and everyone comes up to me and says, "The book is on the table." I just laugh because that make no sense at all and everyone says this to me. I have made lots of new friends and they are all amazing!
The best thing in Brazil is the FOOD! I have never eaten as much in my life as I have in Brazil. I will learn how to cook all of the meals my host mom makes for me! My favorite meal is Escondidnhs it has the best red meat in it! Some of my other favorites are Feljoada and Pastel! My favorite snack that my mom makes is Pao De Queijo, it’s kind of like cheese bread. Oh, I can't forget I've never eaten so much rice and beans in my life but, it’s great because I love them! The desert in Brazil is like no other. Before coming to Brazil I didn't eat desert at all and now I eat it every day! My favorite is Brigadeiro, it’s that best thing I've ever eaten! One thing that I have eaten that I didn’t like is Coracaozinho which is Chicken Hearts! Brazil has the best meat ever! They have these things class Churrasco, where they cook so much food and you just eat, eat and eat! They're the best thing ever!
There is really no other place I would like to be than in Brazil. I feel like it’s my new home with my new families and friends. I am in love with Brazil. I'm hoping from reading this you will fall a little bit in love with Brazil yourself! There' lots of more adventure to go on. I am just getting started! Tchau!
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
I have now been in Brazil for four months now! It goes by so fast it’s scary to think in six months I have to go home! What’s even scarier is I don’t feel like I will go home because Brazil is my home. I have my family and friends here and I am in love with this country. I never thought that I could ever say that my new home is a country. I have only lived here for four months but I can and love saying that Brasil is my home! I know that my new families and friendships will last forever!
I have taken many adventures in the past few months. I have gone to a beach in my state called Caioba. It was every nice but it rained all five days while I was there. I was able to spend some good times with my first host family. I also went to a beach called Camboriu in the state Santa Catharina. That state is right below my state Parana. It was very nice there but, again it rained until finally the next day it was a little sunny. The whole month of December I have been in a city called Toledo, it’s in my state of Paraná. It's a small city and not much goes on here. I did travel to the famous waterfalls called Foz do Iguaçu. They were amazing! There were so many waterfalls and the views were breath taking. It was one moment in my life where I know that I will never forget it! Going there was one of the most amazing things I have ever done in my life. My plans now are to stay in Toledo until a little after New Year’s, then I am off to my Northeast dream trip!
Homesickness has been hard on me but every time I pull through it. I am really close with my mom and I thought that being away from her would be so hard but, in the end it’s not all that hard. I miss my mom a lot but I just think in 5 months I am going home and I won’t be able to see the people that are my new friend and family until who knows when, that is when all the homesick feeling go away. The holidays were the hardest part for me. It was the first time I was away from my family during Christmas. It was different but not all in a bad away. I got to see how my host family did Christmas and they made me part of their Christmas and for that I couldn’t thank them enough. When it’s the holidays the best thing to do (instead of sitting around and think about home) is to go and be with your host family in your host country. It makes everything feel a little better.
I think that I have been blessed with such great host families. I am now in my second family. It is just me and my mom, I love it. She treats me just like her own daughter and that’s one thing I couldn’t ask for more. One really hard part I had in my exchange was leaving my first host family. I love them! My host mom in that family is like my really mom she has helped me though hard times I’ve had and has been there for my first new experiences I had when I first came to Brazil. I call her my mom and she calls me her daughter and I am so thankful for that. It was so hard when I had to moves families. You get so attached to the people that take you into their homes. They give up a lot to host you and I can’t put into word how much these people mean to me. My families have change my life so much and in so many different ways. I love my new families!
Language has 100 percent been the hardest thing I have had on my exchange. When Rotary tells you to learn some of the language before you go on exchange PLEASE do it! I regret not knowing more when I came to Brazil. I am now starting to understand about 80 percent of what is being told to me. Speaking is very hard to but, I am coming along. It’s really a hard thing to do, learning a language but as long as you don’t give up you will learn it. Rotary gives you this opportunity, one thing they want to come out of it is knowing a language and without studying that won’t happen. Try your hardest and in the end all the hard work will pay off!
Next time, I will have the great things I did on my northeast trip and I can’t wait to share them with all you guys! Hope you have a great new year!