Ross- Outbound to Brazil
Hello, this is my first journal about my exchange. It is hard finding the
time to write these journals because I am always doing something with my
friends or my family. I have been in Brasilia, Brazil for a little more than
a month now. I am really glad I have been given this opportunity to be here,
I am learning and exploring so many different things. It is so much
different from the United States, it is like a different world. I am
enjoying every minutes of the exchange. I do not feel like a visitor in
Brazil anymore, I feel like I belong in this country.
When I arrived here, I was greeted by my wonderful rotary club, who takes
great care of me. When I got to my host families house, I didnít really know
them well and it was very strange. Now, they feel like my actual family and
are great people.
School gave me a good idea of what the Brazilian people are like. Most of
the people are all nice and polite. They all want to get to know me and be
friends with me. There are so many differences in our culture, most of them
being good things. I am making tons of friends at school and many out of
school. Everyone in the entire school knows who I am, and want to talk to
me. I think the classes here are really easy, but the language barrier makes
the classes much more difficult. But I am learning Portuguese really fast. I
can easily communicate with people and my fellow class mates.
I live in a small impartment in the city, Brasilia, and I am still getting
used to the cramped life style. Most houses donít have air conditioners and
winter season is ending, so it is getting really hot. At night, I have the
choice of keeping the window closed and sweating during the night or opening
the window, but get eating a live by mosquitos. It seems that I am the only
one who gets bit by the mosquitos at night. This seems to be the only
difficulty so far in my exchange.
I just love being around my family and my friends. I always hang out with my
host brother and go places with him and my sister. I will be changing
families soon, and I will miss my first host family a lot. But I know my
other two families really well, so I know I am in good hands.
I just got back from Pirenopolis today, it is a small city sort of in the
mountains and has many waterfalls. It was amazing seeing these waterfalls
and being able to swim in the freezing cold mountain water. But the city was
very beautiful and I had a lot of fun.
I am having a great time in Brazil. Learning a language, culture, and many
other things has been a challenge but also is fun. I am making many good
friends and love the country. Everyone wants to talk about me and learn
about the United States. I have taken many pictures and I would love to
share them with everyone back at home. I plan on going to two of the rotary
trips; the Amazon and the 2nd half of the Northeast trip. I canít wait until
I go on these trips with the other exchange students. After meeting other
rotary exchange students from the USA and all over the world, none of them
were as prepared as I was. RYE Florida did an amazing job prepping us for
our exchange experience. Even though it was a lot of work, it made my
exchange much easier. This has been a great experience and I love it here.
Thank you Rotary!
This is my second journal for rotary. I have been in Brazil, Brasilia for
about 5 months and everything has been going well. I have met many friends,
the language is getting easier to learn, and just over all, it has been
I have finished school and I am about 1 month into summer vacation.
Ironically, I live on the other side of the world so it is summer here,
while it is winter in the USA. I have just came back home from traveling. My
family and I went to Uberaba (I think thatís the right spelling) and we
spent Christmas, my birthday, and the New Years there. Uberaba is a very old
city that has a beautiful history. My host dad family has lived there for
many generations and happens to be the city where my dad grew up in. He
showed me many amazing churches that were built by the Portuguese and showed
me around. Also, I got the chance to get to know my host familiesí family. I
had some of the best times with them and I will remember them forever. I am
currently with my second host family and they are very nice people.
Also during my summer vacation break, I got to do many things with the
other rotary students. Through my district, some other exchange students and
I, went to visit a near by water fall. I already visited many waterfalls in
Brazil but none of them where comparable to this one. It was quite an
experience when we had to climb down the water fall and got to see the
The people and culture of Brazil, to me, is the best thing about this
country. The people are so kind and are open about everything. I have many
friends here but I have a few close friends. These are the friends that I
will have forever.
So far with the language, I think Iím almost fluent. I have been studying
this language since the first day I was given this country. As of right now,
Iím working on learning the slangs and informal way of speaking. All of my
hard work that I have spent studying has finally paid off. For an exchange
student, without knowing a language that has any relevance to Portuguese, I
doing very well in terms of learning the language. This example should give
a good idea where my Portuguese is at. When my Brazilian host brother talks
to my Brazilian friends in Portuguese on facebook and my friends think it is
me typing, thatís how I know my Portuguese is good.
One thing that is true about Brazilians is there love for soccer. I hear
people arguing over which team is better. At my family reunion here, my
family members would argue that the Corinthians of Rio de Janeiro arenít
good or call me gay for liking Fluminese.
About four days before my birthday, my little host cousin asked me if I
was ready to be hit with eggs. I didnít understand what she was talking
about but she explained that when someone has a birthday everyone grabs eggs
and throws them at the person who is celebrating their birthday. I thought
she was joking but three days later my uncle said the same exact thing about
the eggs being thrown at me and also mentioned about eggs being smashed in
my pants. So, as my birthday came, my host mom told me to change my cloths
to something that I donít mind getting dirty. After my family gave me my
birthday wishes, they led me next to the soccer field (not in the soccer
field because they donít want the soccer field to be filled with eggs when
they are playing) and my Host brother-in-law grabbed an egg and smashed it
in my pants. That first egg was followed by 6 more and a bag of flour. That
was something very funny and strange I experienced here.
I will be traveling to the Northeast of Brazil soon, and I will have some
great stories coming. I canít wait until the next I will write a journal.
Writing helps me remember what has happened so far in my exchange. Iím at
the half mark in my exchange, and thinking of me returning to the USA makes
me sick. I wish I could stay here forever, but I will need to return to
finish up school.