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 ):