Jonathan, outbound to Brazil

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I can’t believe it’s almost Christmas. Time flies in Brazil! It has become increasingly difficult to speak and type in English so I will apologize in advance for my grammatical errors. Luckily I have spell check still. The culture here in Brazil is very different than that in the US and as I have been here 4 months I have learned a lot about this Brazilian culture. Just like the US, Brazil is a very large country with many sub-cultures and different social norms so when I speak of my opinions and experiences with Brazilians I am not talking about all of Brazil or all of the Brazilians in general.

My Portuguese is coming along quite well. I have had my first dream in Portuguese a couple of weeks ago. I can understand people and their conversations in the streets when I walk by without trying too hard. I also have to write journals for my Rotary district here in Brazil and I completed the second one in complete Portuguese. The Brazilians here never think that I’m an American! When I talk to someone I have never met before and they notice my accent they always ask if I’m from Portugal or Argentina. I consider that a compliment because those countries are a lot more similar than the US is. What’s even better is to see their reaction when I explain how I learned how to speak almost fluently in four months.

It’s amazing what just talking can get you, all the things you can learn. I was on the way back from a Rotary RYLA event in the largest city in my state, Joinville, on the bus a met a German man. We talked for the whole two hours to his city and I got his contact and he said that if I was ever in the city I could come over. This is just one of the examples but for sure it’s better to talk than just stay on facebook. Thank God my phone was dead.
I changed host families at the end of December. I have my parents who each have their own business. I have a 19 year old host brother, his name is “Deyvid”. I also have a 17 year old host sister, Paola. She already went on exchange to Thailand the last year. I’m liking my new host family, but I feel more like a friend here than an actual part of the family. I still talk to my first host family and sometimes eat lunch with them.

School's out for summer here in South America! I don’t have to go back till February. I still go to the gym but I sometimes get a little depressed because my small city doesn’t have much to do. I like to travel to the other cities where my friends stay. Overall, I’m still alive, enjoying Brazil and all of its differences. Missing my family, friends, and people in The States,

Until next time.