Tiffany Shave

Brazil

Hometown:St. Augustine, Florida
School: St. Augustine High School
Sponsor District : District 6970
Sponsor Club:St. Augustine, Florida
Host District: District 4550
Host Club: The Rotary Club of Itabuna


My Bio


Oi! My name is Tiffany Shave and in less than a year I will be living in the amazing country of Brazil! When I found out that Brazil was where I would be going I could not have been happier. I actually screamed when I was given the country flag. I will be leaving my beautiful life in St. Augustine Florida for the journey of a lifetime and I could not be happier. I come from a family of five. I have two brothers who are my best friends and I will miss them dearly. My oldest brother is Zachary and he is 21 and a senior in College. My youngest brother is Mitchell he is in 8th grade and 14 years old. They are both big surfers and are both jealous and excited for me to go to Brazil. My parents Candice and Nathaniel have truly been the greatest parents in the world. Family is very important to me and I know how blessed I am to have the love and support from both my immediate family but also awesome grandparents and Aunts and Uncles!! I will be graduating from St. Augustine High School "Go Class of 2014"! I am very involved in my school and have been a member of the swim team, cheerleading team, Dance and Tennis. I am also very involved in school clubs. I enjoy helping my community and being with people. It is such a strange feeling to know that you are closing one chapter of your life and opening one that will shape who I will become. Thank you Rotary for this amazing opportunity. Thank you in advance for those families who will open there homes and there hearts to me. Fondly, Tiffany Shave

My amazing families

My amazing families

Praia with my family(:

Praia with my family(:

My brother did my makeup. He is my best friend here!

My brother did my makeup. He is my best friend here!

Brazilian Festa (PARTY)

Brazilian Festa (PARTY)

Jetskiing with my brother and his dad

Jetskiing with my brother and his dad

Flying into Ilheus

Flying into Ilheus

Capoeira, typical in Salvador

Capoeira, typical in Salvador

Boat day with exchange students

Boat day with exchange students

Party with some friends

Party with some friends

Went to Salvador with my brother for his last weekends, we had a blast.

Went to Salvador with my brother for his last weekends, we had a blast.

Making wishes in Salvador

Making wishes in Salvador

Exchange student friends

Exchange student friends

It's pretty crazy how well we all get along

It's pretty crazy how well we all get along

My Rotary meetings!

My Rotary meetings!

Typical food of Bahia YUM

Typical food of Bahia YUM

My host brother is famous here on the back of all the buses

My host brother is famous here on the back of all the buses

This is my rotary meetings ON THE WATER

This is my rotary meetings ON THE WATER

A Rotex made the Americans chocolate chip cookies because we missed them so much.

A Rotex made the Americans chocolate chip cookies because we missed them so much.

We miss driving a lot so we drive in the toy stores

We miss driving a lot so we drive in the toy stores

Water falls with my mom!(:

Water falls with my mom!(:

My host family had a pizza party for my two months in Brazil

My host family had a pizza party for my two months in Brazil

entry-92-image

entry-92-image

Paradise

Paradise

Made a x-mas tree of books with my 1st family

Made a x-mas tree of books with my 1st family

My cousins baptism

My cousins baptism

My host sister and I

My host sister and I

My wonderful 2nd family!

My wonderful 2nd family!

Barra Grande

Barra Grande

Me singing infront of my family

Me singing infront of my family

CARNAVAL

CARNAVAL

My future home RIO

My future home RIO

Christmas with my Family

Christmas with my Family

New Years with my friends

New Years with my friends

My family came to visit!

My family came to visit!

Journals: Tiffany - Brazil

  • Tiffany, outbound to Brazil

    Happy Holidays! So once again a lot has changed from my last journal. As an exchange student change is the only thing that is normal. If that makes any sense at all. Because everyday something is different from your life at home in Florida.

    I have switched host families which I can honestly say was one of the hardest days of my exchange. My first host family really was incredible. My little 9 year old brother wrote me letters and bought me a piggy bank to put money in to come back. Of course I burst into tears. And my mom and dad bought me this BEAUTIFUL necklace and earrings and wrote the most beautiful letter ever. My last day my whole family took me to get my hair done and then surprised me and took me to a really fancy restaurant. As we drove to my next host the whole family burst into tears. We all cried and hugged in the middle of the road. It was so difficult but I know now I have a family here who will be there for me always.

    My new host family is AWESOME! I have a sister my age who went on exchange to Germany so she understands homesickness and all the stages of emotions that we encounter on exchange. My parents are so charming and really spoil me!! My first weekend there they took me to a place called Barra Grande, Google it right now it's insane, they took me there on their boat and we spent the weekend in paradise!!!!! They also took me to a private island. I literally cried when we got there it was just so beautiful.

    The holidays!!!! The holidays are difficult. Luckily my family and I traveled to Salvador for Christmas so I could try to get my mind off of home. We had a really incredible time with my dad's family. He has 9 brothers so just imagine how big this family party was! We played a game called "amigo secret" which I'm sure you can all figure that one out. Except this had a twist! You had to sing and someone had the other half to your song and that's how we got partnered up. And of course my luck I was the first to go because my cup had number 1! So here I am trying to read this song in Portuguese before I get up in front of a hundred people and sing, trust me I do NOT sing. As being an exchange student this little embarassing moments make the best memories. My advice for future exchangers is just smile and give it you're best. This is what YOU signed up for! Anyways I got up there and sang and I got a standing applause (I'm guessing I read the lyrics right). It really was a great Christmas one I will never forget.

    For New Years I will be going back to Barra Grande with about 20 of my really good friends. It's going to be a blast.

    I am already about half way through my exchange which is so scary. I am so jealous of all of the new exchange students who just got their countries. I would love to go on exchange again. It's the best, hardest, most confusing thing ever but I wouldn't change a thing.

    Thanks Rotary for the best year of my life. I wish I could repeat it for the rest of my life. About 5 more months left ):

  • Tiffany, outbound to Brazil

    Olá! Sorry it has been extremely long since I have written but my life is really crazy busy here and I am very happy! So yes here we go.....

    Holidays: the holidays for me were actually REALLY great! I spent my Christmas in Salvador with my host dad's family, he has 9 brothers so it was so fun. I had to get up and sing a song infront of the WHOLE family! Like 100 people. I wanted to die hahaha so embarrassing but definitely one of my favorite memories. New Year's I went to an island called Barra Grande with my host sister and 10 of our best friends. We had a blast. I only got teary eyed and homesick at midnight New Year's Eve because I realized how much I have changed this year and how happy I really am. It was also such a perfect night I just wish my family could have been there to enjoy it with me. In February was my birthday! It was one of the greatest birthdays ever. Brazilians are very good at making you feel special. My mom woke up and made me a special breakfast and made me wear a princess crown all day because she calls me her beautiful little princess. That night she said I could have a few friends over for food and drinks and cake. My few friends turned into almost 40 people! I felt so loved and so happy on my birthday it was truly amazing. So for me, I didn't have the emotions and homesickness during the holidays like many other exchange students have. I mean really how "sad" can you be with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world with the best people in the world!

    Weight Gain: IT WILL HAPPEN! Yes I have gained 8 kilos here! I am not saying it's okay to gain wait....but you really need to just eat like you'll never eat again....because really you only have one year to eat it. Although I have lost 4 kilos now and I'm having fun Doing workouts and different Brazilian actives such as soccer, capoeira, "academia". My host mother also got me a personal trainer it's awesome.

    Traveling: I went to RIO! And fell in love....Rio is officially the most beautiful place in the planet. If I could live anywhere in the world I would live there. Although the water was extremely polluted which was so sad. I also went to the worlds best carnival!!! After my birthday party at my house me and my exchange friends jumped on a 8 hour bus ride at 11 at night and headed to Salvador Bahia. We arrived, slept, ate, then made some of the best memories of my exchange. Carnival is a huge party with over 3 million people. Everyone has matching shirts based off of what music you want to listen to. Once you find your "group" you follow the music artist in a big truck and dance and sing until the sunrise! David Guetta was there and waved at me! Just like a dream.

    FAMILY VISITS: YAY! So in March my little brother mom and dad came to visit. I can honestly say they were some of the greatest days of my exchange. It made me so happy to see my real family love my families here as much as I love them. I also felt very proud of my self and realized I have come a long way. I felt proud of myself for being the form of communication between my families. It made me feel really proud. I think my family was also shocked at how far I've come. Being raised in very safe environments, great schools, the perfect life. But that life is sheltered. My city, Itabuna, has just been voted the most dangerous city of teenagers. When I told my friends this back in Florida they freaked! Telling me to come home, but this IS my home! Yes it's dangerous but I have learned to become more self aware and I have learned SO much about what life really is about and how important family is. I am proud of my city here and I love it. Violence is unfortunately something that won't ever go away but I feel like living here has made me really appreciate what life is like in the USA.

    Time is running out: as I am writing this I have about 87 days left in this hot country. I can't really explain how I feel to be honest. I am sad but excited. I'm happy but I'm mad. I'm jealous but I'm not. I feel excited to know that my life of traveling and exploring has only just begun. With Rotary I now have connections ALL over the world. To me the world isn't that big anymore. I have best friends in Denmark, Germany, France, Brasil. And many other countries. I feel sad because I don't know when I will have this wonderful worry free exchange life again.

    If any future out bounds would like to talk or have questions I am available on facebook(: I would love to talk and relive another year of exchange through you guys! I'm incredibly jealous your journey is only just beginning.
    BEIJOS


  • Tiffany, outbound to Brazil

    Happy Holidays! So once again a lot has changed from my last journal. As an exchange student change is the only thing that is normal. If that makes any sense at all. Because everyday something is different from your life at home in florida.

    I have switched host families which I can honestly say was one of the hardest days of my exchange. My first host family really was incredible. My little 9 year old brother wrote me letters and bought me a piggy bank to put money in to come back. Of course I burst into tears. And my mom and dad bought me this BEAUTIFUL necklace and earrings and wrote the most beautiful letter ever. My last day my whole family took me to get my hair done and then surprised me and took me to a really fancy restaurant. As we drove to my next host the whole family burst into tears. We all cried and hugged in the middle of the road. It was so difficult but I know now I have a family here who will be there for me always.

    My new host family is AWESOME! I have a sister my age who went on exchange to Germany so she understands homesickness and all the stages of emotions that we encounter on exchange. My parents are so charming and really spoil me!! My first weekend there they took me to a place called Barra Grande, Google it right now it's insane, they took me there on their boat and we spent the weekend in paradise!!!!! They also took me to a private island. I literally cried when we got there it was just so beautiful.

    The holidays!!!! The holidays are difficult. Luckily my family and I traveled to Salvador for Christmas so I could try to get my mind off of home. We had a really incredible time with my dad's family. He has 9 brothers so just imagine how big this family party was! We played a game called "amigo secret" which I'm sure you can all figure that one out. Except this had a twist! You had to sing and someone had the other half to your song and that's how we got partnered up. And of course my luck I was the first to go because my cup had number 1! So here I am trying to read this song in Portuguese before I get up in front of a hundred people and sing, trust me I do NOT sing. As being an exchange student this little embarassing moments make the best memories. My advice for future exchangers is just smile and give it you're best. This is what YOU signed up for! Anyways I got up there and sang and I got a standing applause (I'm guessing I read the lyrics right). It really was a great Christmas one I will never forget.

    For New Years I will be going back to Barra Grande with about 20 of my really good friends. It's going to be a blast.

    I am already about half way through my exchange which is so scary. I am so jealous of all of the new exchange students who just got their countries. I would love to go on exchange again. It's the best, hardest, most confusing thing ever but I wouldn't change a thing.

    Thanks Rotary for the best year of my life. I wish I could repeat it for the rest of my life. About 5 more months left ):

  • Tiffany, outbound to Brazil

    These journals are getting harder and harder to write every time. Not only is it hard to find time but it's nearly impossible to tell you everything I am experiencing.

    In my opinion I am living in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. I have been traveling a lot through out my state of Bahia with friends and family. I am not really an emotional person but I am not kidding when I see some of the natural beauty Brasil has I cry. Haha seriously it's breath taking and to think I LIVE HERE! Wow wow wow I'm seriously living my dream.

    For future exchangers you WILL have bad days. The bad days only make you appreciate the good ones even more. Just know that it's normal and it's ok to be sad. You will hear this a thousand times but when you're, sad go out! Party, eat, laugh, be Brazilian! (Or whatever your country is). My greatest experiences so far are my experiences as a Brazilian. Just Immerse yourself in the culture because one year goes by fast and you will always wish you had done more.

    Ok enough of that haha so today marks 4 months in Brazil. This past month has been the best yet. I have a lot of Brazilian friends now which makes my life so much more interesting. A few weekends ago I went to Morro de São Paulo (google it it's the most beautiful place in the world). I went with my friend for the weekend to this island and it was a BIG concert. We danced, sang, and caught sun all weekend. It was also great because she doesn't know English, so it was a weekend of Portuguese. Best weekend of my life!

    Portuguese, well it's difficult, very difficult but I can officially understand everything and I can respond it just might not be the correct verb conjugation. It's a pretty great feeling speaking politics or world events in another language. I'm proud of me! Haha

    My family!!!!! Well this week I change families. I am HEARTBROKEN! My family now is literally my family. We all have the same birth mark! My mom is one of my best friends. She pushes me to be my best in everything I do. Speaking Portuguese, or running, or the gym. We run every night and talk about everything. I feel very lucky to have such a strong relationship after 4 months. I know I can count on this family for anything forever. So thank you rotary because I now have 2 of the most amazing moms and dads in the world.

    It's Summer! Seasons are opposite down here in South America so it's summer for me(: a normal day is gym, reading, helping prepare lunch, friends, running, sleep! And the weekends are spent on the beach(: When I tell you I'm living the dream, it's true.

    I couldn't be more thankful for this opportunity. Truly Rotary has changed my life in so many ways. I have a new home in Brazil, many friends and a loving family. I have noticed a change in myself and the way I look at life. I can't really explain anything it's just so difficult. I guess you will have to experience it for yourself. Congrats to all of you future exchangers because your about to have the year of your LIFE! But it isn't easy so be prepared. It's not a vacation it's not all site seeing and fun, it's a life with sad days bad days but you the good outways the bad. If anyone has any questions or just wants to talk I'd love to!
    Tchau & BEIJOS pra vocês ❤️


  • Tiffany, outbound to Brazil

    Good days and bad days I wouldn't change a thing.

    Olá(: so it has been over a month since I have written my last journal and I have been doing and learning a lot since!

    I'll start with my family: I am SO LUCKY! My mother is one of my best friends here and she is helping me get in shape. We will be running a race next month in Porto Seguro (google it) its absolutely. She is amazing and literally caters to my every need I love her! I also have a little brother and we are TRUE siblings we fight all of the time but end up laughing because my arguments in Portuguese are pretty weak. Haha I bring him to play sports with me and my friends and he loves it. My dad here is officially the best in the kitchen. Everyday is something different and So, so good. He is also really goofy so if I ever feel sad or homesick he helps a lot. All of my aunts & uncles here are equally amazing and begging me to live here after exchange.

    School: Ok so school is rather insane. There are about 50 kids in one room. All white walls with no windows (it drives me crazy). Brazilians are loud, very loud so it's not the greatest at 7 in the morning. I usually sit in the back with my friends and they have new vocabulary and conjugations for me everyday. We have three classes a day but we stay in the room and the teachers switch from room to room. The biggest difference is the teacher-student relationship. It's okay for your teachers to hug and kiss you or play with your hair. My Spanish teacher even comes out to parties with us, very strange haha. My favorite thing about school are my classmates. They are willing to do anything for me. Truly some of the nicest people ever.

    Language: I'm actually not struggling as bad as I thought I would. I completely function on my own which is the greatest accomplishment. I take the bus alone, walk around town, and buy items all on my own. Because of my language improvement I have been given a lot more freedom in my family and Rotary. I have friends in the next town over so all I need are signatures from my Rotary and parents and I can go take the bus to spend the weekend there. It's great! I just need help with forming my sentences but that's normal.

    WARNING for future exchangers - you will have really bad days, you will have really good days. Just know it's okay to be sad or homesick. I have three Americans with me here in Itabuna so if one of us has a bad day we meet up at someone's house eat skittles (because they don't have them in Brazil) and watch Mean Girls or Friday Night Lights. It's become a tradition. I think it's important to understand that what you are feeling is normal. I was very frustrated that sometimes I will just be sad, but then I realized if you left your family for a year and you weren't sad at all I would be so surprised. I have had some of the saddest days and some of the happiest days ever but everything I am going through I cherish because it is happening so quickly. 

    Extracurriculars: this is definitely the most important thing for exchange students.  Three times a week I do Muay Thai, it's a form of kick boxing and is amazing when you have a bad day. Two times a week I do volleyball at the other school. Other days all of the exchange students play soccer or American football. Every Friday night I have Interact Club meetings which was a great way to meet people and I am giving a presentation for it next month!

    Advice for future exchangers: do it! Even on my bad days I would recommend exchange. Always say yes to everything even if your so tired you can't keep your eyes open, this will happen a lot. ( I did this and ended up meeting Dilma, the president of Brazil!!!!!!!!!!!!) so my advice is to say yes, but stay true to your morals. Take chances even if it seems out of this world. After all you are pretty brave to be doing this in the first place. Just always know the exchangers are family and always will be! We all go through the tears and we all go through to joys. Don't be afraid to make mistakes because you will make plenty. Represent the United States well and most importantly, be proud to be an American! If I have learned one thing this year I have learned Americans are extremely blessed to live in such a beautiful country.


  • Tiffany, outbound to Brazil

    My exchange is going too fast!

    Oi Amigos! So a lot has changed and happened since my last journal!

    I'll start with the most difficult difference....my host brother left! Coming to a new country you crave something that reminds you of home...like comfort food! But instead of comfort food I had my host brother we got along so well it was strange. We were partners in crime and had a daily routine that I quickly adapted too. Until....we went to Salvador because he had to leave for exchange in France ): . It was almost like I was restarting a different exchange because once he was gone everything was different.

    I had a lot of free time which I think is the exchange student DEVIL! It is important that you stay busy or else you starting thinking and wondering if this was a good idea. It's not a bad thing to have difficult times. We all have them. My advice would be to try something new! I've started kick boxing!

    One week after my brother left I went back to Salvador by bus and met all of the other exchange students in Bahia! It was SO MUCH FUN! I felt like I was on a reality show because all of the exchange students here look like super models and we rented this Gigantic boat and traveled throughout different islands. Yah, I know, your probably jealous. I still can't believe it! I was sitting there like wow I am in Brasil right now with incredible people and I'm living my dream, literally! Rotary really knows what exchange students want and need and they do a great job providing us with those wants and needs.

    After orientation I went back to Itabuna and I now have exchange student friends here! Yay! Yesterday we went shopping and we spoke Portuguese all day. I was impressed with myself because I was speaking words I didn't even know I knew.

    I have notice myself change, a lot! I am much much much more independent and my wants and needs for the future have changed too. I can't believe I have been here for one month already and that makes me sad because how is this all happening so fast? I know that after this year it isn't the end for me and Brasil because I have fallen in love with this country and I will be back(: I think I secretly have Brasilian in my blood.

    Random comments :
    1. I was told I dance like a Brasilian (greatest compliment ever)
    2. My host mom is kicking my butt into shape
    3. I adore brigadeiros (Google it)
    4. What is makeup? I never wear any here it's so nice
    5. Chocolate with pizza? Different but I'm not complaining
    6. I'm going to Itacare this weekend (insanely beautiful beaches)

    7. Brazilians are brutally honest, I have been told my feet are ugly and I have a fat roll (exchange student problem)

    That's all for now! 1 month down, dear exchange please slow down because I love you!!!!


  • Tiffany, outbound to Brazil

    Two weeks already?! How!?

    The idea of living in Brazil for a year is unimaginable. Before I arrived all I could think about was Brazil Brazil Brazil. As it got closer to my departure I started thinking to myself what the heck am I doing?!?!! I realized my Portuguese was not where it should be and I was so nervous. I told myself I wouldn't cry but that only lasted about an hour. My family means more then the world to me. My brothers are my best friends and hugging them for the last time for a year kind of made my heart hurt!

    Once I arrived at the airport my parents walked and waited with me at my gate. I anxiously waited and I thought I was going to puke I was so nervous. I finally boarded the plan and cried like a little baby (the guy sitting next to me was attractive and looking at me like I was crazy) once I arrived in Miami I met another exchange student from RYE Florida going to São Paulo. At 11:40 PM we went our separate ways and I boarded the plane to Belo Horizonte Brazil. I sat down and heard NOTHING BUT PORTUGUESE. It was extremely intimidating. I couldn't sleep but what seemed like years I finally landed and I had one flight left.

    There was a bit confusion with my bags but my small amount of Portuguese and body language (like I was playing charades) everything was fine. As I flew into Ilheus I was shocked. Not what I expected at all. Little wooden hut houses, dirt roads, and jungle. Where were the big buildings fancy beach houses?!? I was greeted by my three host families who gave me kisses and chocolate. I was already feeling at ease. I then went to my first Brazilian BBQ anddddddd yes I ate chicken hearts. I could feel my eyes watering as I ate them trying not to gag hahaha. Things went quickly I immediately started school which was CRAZY! Very little structure so my school days consist of dancing. I can now salsa, samba, ahosa, and many more. Fortunately instead of the exchange student 15 pounds I have lost weight! I dance every day, run, go to the gym and eat healthy. I have been to a few festas (Brazilian parties) which are pretty crazy but I just dance allll night haha. Life is pretty awesome I am extremely happy. I've been jetskiing, to the beach, parties, school, Brazilian BBQs and many family events.

    RANDOM BRAZILIAN THINGS:
    1. What is a seatbelt? ( no one wears one)
    2. If you can't dance, just leave haha
    3. EVERY GUY CAN DANCE...EVERYONE
    4. The kindest happiest people
    5. Everyone knows English (come on America we are slacking big time)
    6. Do you know Harry potter? Twilight? The Hunter games?
    7. How many guns do you have?
    8. BEST CHOCOLATE EVER
    9. BEST FRUIT EVER
    10. I find it a bit dirty here in Itabuna
    11. Homeless people sleeping everywhere
    12. Kiss everyone because it's rude if you don't
    13. Meat meat meat and more meat

    I will add more soon but something I have noticed and really admire about here in Itabuna, Brasil is even though there is a lot of corruption with the government and life is far from perfect, everyone is so happy and so giving. This is something I feel sad that many Americans don't understand. You don't need the biggest car or house so have a good time and be happy. You need to be with good people and take life one day at a time. I have already noticed a difference in myself and I am very excited for what is to come. 

RSS Feed