Savannah, outbound to Brazil 2015-2016

Trying to avoid writing journals because it makes me sad to think about how little time I have left. Since my last journal in February so many things have happened. The three major things I’ll be writing about are my birthday, my sister coming, and my trip to the amazon! To start, my 19th birthday was by far one of the best birthdays I’ve ever had. It was on a Monday and right when I walked into school I had a group of people hugging me and singing. When I walked into my classroom my whole class had decorated the room and sang happy birthday to me and I couldn’t stop smiling.

During our break all of my friends threw a surprise party for me with food and a huge bouquet of beautiful roses. After school I went to my favorite sushi restaurant for lunch with my friend Caroline and host sister Luana for lunch. That night I went to gymnastics and they had another surprise party for me there and after I went to my favorite burger place for dinner. It was such an amazing day to experience all of the love from my family and friends here and experience my birthday like no other with a different culture and language.

My family also helped me to throw a birthday party. We went around and bought decorations and invited lots of friends and best of all was that sister came for my party. It was amazing for my sister to meet all of my friends and experience a Brazilian birthday party. The week after my birthday I spent with my sister. It was almost like a game of how much I can show my sister of my life here in such a short amount of time. We went all over and I showed her some of my favorite places in Recife. Saying goodbye was definitely hard but it was amazing to be able to see her.

This past week I went on the amazon trip and it was one of the most incredible amazing experiences I’ve ever had. We spent the first two days in hotels going trekking and seeing the city and the last 6 days we spent on a boat. Our group as so big that we had 3 boats for all of us to sleep on. Each boat had 20-24 people on it and throughout that time every single person on the boat was like family to me we all got so close. On this trip I saw and experienced things I will never have the opportunity to see again in my life. I held and played with a sloth, anaconda, alligator, and pink dolphin. We also went canoeing and swam in the river. One of the nights we actually slept in the Amazon Rainforest, which was actually terrifying but so incredible. Like how many people get to say they have slept in the Amazon?!?! Going on this trip was one of the biggest things I have been looking for ever since I found out I was coming to brazil and it was something I will never forget.

Being in the last few months of my exchange I often sit in class or at home wondering where the time went. In a blink of an eye I’m speaking a different language and have a completely new life and soon I will just have to leave it all behind. Leaving is something I can’t quite wrap my head around yet. I’m not ready to face reality and go back to speaking boring English every day but on the bright side, I have learned and discovered more about myself this past year than I would’ve ever known if I stayed in the states. These last few months will be spent with my family and friends here; making more memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life.