Andie, outbound to Brazil
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I know that some time has passed since I arrived in Guanambi (around 2 months) but it is a lot easier to sit down and write these journals when things have finally settled down. I arrived in Vitória da Conquista, Bahia, Brazil on August 6th with 2 suitcases full of worry, anxiety, and excitement. My family greeted me and it was chill. There weren’t any big signs and there were only about 10 people in the airport in all. We immediately took a selfie with my two older host brothers, Eric and Cayo and my mom and dad. My dad is the president of my Rotary club here in Guanambi and my mother is the president of the women of rotary, the wives of the men in rotary. My younger host brother Eric is 16 and is doing his exchange in Canada and my oldest host brother Cayo is 19 and is studying agronomy in a college in Vitória da Conquista.
When we finally arrived home it was sort of the same as it was in Vitória. I normally only talked with Eric because he speaks English and he would translate for me and I would help him with his English and pronunciation. Everything is really chill and I surprised myself with how fast I am learning Portuguese. I have been here for two months and can talk to other people with them understanding everything I say which is a really big deal for me. I study at a private school here and there aren’t as many students as you think. It goes from pre-k all the way to 12th grade. The names are different here and high school is only 10-12th grade. I am making friends here, but it’s mostly at school friends. I hang out with the other inbound here from Mexico, Monica, or I will hang out with people that aren’t from my school. Since schools ends at 12:00 you go home eat lunch with your family and kind of chill for the rest of the day unless you have things you have to do. On Tuesdays I have tennis at the Clube de Campo and I also have school before. Wednesdays I also have classes but it is just P.E. I’m not doing much school work but I am trying to do as much as I can just in case I can get out of repeating 11th grade in the U.S. I don’t watch much TV and of I do it’s either soccer with my mom and dad or Gravity Falls in english.
There is nothing that is going on in my life that is making me extremely upset or really uncomfortable and I am grateful for that. It was awkward with my family because in the U.S. I only live with my mom but here I have a mom and dad and so I didn’t know how to act around them and to be honest I still don’t. I am working my way into getting more conformable and I know it will come easier as I progress with the language. My mom here is just like the one i had in the United States it’s just that one speaks English and the other Portuguese.There were really hard moments and random sessions of just tears streaming down my face but it wasn’t often and now I really have a better grasp on myself. I know that it’s only a year and that sooner than later I will be back in the U.S. missing my life in Brazil. I truly don’t want to go back home, I just want my mom to come here and live with me.
Outside of home life I am able to travel a lot. The other inbounds live in other cities but when we want to get together we all hang out in Salvador. They are my favorite people here in Brazil and I say that without shame. When we are all together there’s just something about it that just makes you so happy. Everyone is from a different country a different life but we are all here together to experience Brazil and it’s so amazing and cool and when we leave to go back to our cities it’s always so hard but okay at the same time because you know you will be able to see them again. I have traveled to Salvador, Vitória da Conquista and this week I am traveling again with Monica to do to the south of Brazil. We are going to be visiting different places as well as going on tours and a park with roller coasters and I am super excited. Money also isn’t a big problem here because of the allowance as well as my debit card. Also having friends that pay for you is great.
I will try and keep updating this because I realize that it’s really bad that I’m not doing my monthly check up but I am making videos of little stories and recaps as well as writing short stories and poems based on what I’m feeling. Everything is going well and that is all I could ever ask for.
Posted on Sun, October 23, 2016
by Terri Wescott