Tiffany, outbound to Brazil

Olá! Sorry it has been extremely long since I have written but my life is really crazy busy here and I am very happy! So yes here we go.....

Holidays: the holidays for me were actually REALLY great! I spent my Christmas in Salvador with my host dad's family, he has 9 brothers so it was so fun. I had to get up and sing a song infront of the WHOLE family! Like 100 people. I wanted to die hahaha so embarrassing but definitely one of my favorite memories. New Year's I went to an island called Barra Grande with my host sister and 10 of our best friends. We had a blast. I only got teary eyed and homesick at midnight New Year's Eve because I realized how much I have changed this year and how happy I really am. It was also such a perfect night I just wish my family could have been there to enjoy it with me. In February was my birthday! It was one of the greatest birthdays ever. Brazilians are very good at making you feel special. My mom woke up and made me a special breakfast and made me wear a princess crown all day because she calls me her beautiful little princess. That night she said I could have a few friends over for food and drinks and cake. My few friends turned into almost 40 people! I felt so loved and so happy on my birthday it was truly amazing. So for me, I didn't have the emotions and homesickness during the holidays like many other exchange students have. I mean really how "sad" can you be with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world with the best people in the world!

Weight Gain: IT WILL HAPPEN! Yes I have gained 8 kilos here! I am not saying it's okay to gain wait....but you really need to just eat like you'll never eat again....because really you only have one year to eat it. Although I have lost 4 kilos now and I'm having fun Doing workouts and different Brazilian actives such as soccer, capoeira, "academia". My host mother also got me a personal trainer it's awesome.

Traveling: I went to RIO! And fell in love....Rio is officially the most beautiful place in the planet. If I could live anywhere in the world I would live there. Although the water was extremely polluted which was so sad. I also went to the worlds best carnival!!! After my birthday party at my house me and my exchange friends jumped on a 8 hour bus ride at 11 at night and headed to Salvador Bahia. We arrived, slept, ate, then made some of the best memories of my exchange. Carnival is a huge party with over 3 million people. Everyone has matching shirts based off of what music you want to listen to. Once you find your "group" you follow the music artist in a big truck and dance and sing until the sunrise! David Guetta was there and waved at me! Just like a dream.

FAMILY VISITS: YAY! So in March my little brother mom and dad came to visit. I can honestly say they were some of the greatest days of my exchange. It made me so happy to see my real family love my families here as much as I love them. I also felt very proud of my self and realized I have come a long way. I felt proud of myself for being the form of communication between my families. It made me feel really proud. I think my family was also shocked at how far I've come. Being raised in very safe environments, great schools, the perfect life. But that life is sheltered. My city, Itabuna, has just been voted the most dangerous city of teenagers. When I told my friends this back in Florida they freaked! Telling me to come home, but this IS my home! Yes it's dangerous but I have learned to become more self aware and I have learned SO much about what life really is about and how important family is. I am proud of my city here and I love it. Violence is unfortunately something that won't ever go away but I feel like living here has made me really appreciate what life is like in the USA.

Time is running out: as I am writing this I have about 87 days left in this hot country. I can't really explain how I feel to be honest. I am sad but excited. I'm happy but I'm mad. I'm jealous but I'm not. I feel excited to know that my life of traveling and exploring has only just begun. With Rotary I now have connections ALL over the world. To me the world isn't that big anymore. I have best friends in Denmark, Germany, France, Brasil. And many other countries. I feel sad because I don't know when I will have this wonderful worry free exchange life again.

If any future out bounds would like to talk or have questions I am available on facebook(: I would love to talk and relive another year of exchange through you guys! I'm incredibly jealous your journey is only just beginning.