I have been in Brasil for two days now, and I feel like I have stories and memories that I could talk about for days!! I can't even describe how amazing this is, and how lucky I feel to be here! Ok, so I will just start with the landing, and then go on from there...
So, the 10 1/2 hour flight from Detroit to São Paulo wasn't as bad I as I thought, I sat next to a Brazilian man who gave me excellent tips and words of wisdom, and then I sat next to other exchange students and got very little sleep as we talked about how excited we were and almost everything else! Once in São Paulo, I had to pay for my extra luggage, even though I was allowed 70lbs per. bag; but did Delta care to tell me that I had to show a piece of paper stating that to the Brazilian airline? Nope, they wanted my first Brazilan purchase to be a luggage fee...Eh, whatever, I then eased the pain with a keychain that had red peppers and bells to put on my jacket! Flying from Sao Paulo to Belo Horizonte was nervewracking and exciting all at the same time. All I could think about was what my host family was going to think of me, what should I say, how should I say hello, etc. But as soon as I rode down the escolator and saw them with a sign of my name and their big smiles, the biggest sign of relief crashed over me.
Once I was settled, we went out to a bar for dinner. *Sidenote! Bars are pretty much restaraunts. Minors are allowed in, but not served alcohol. You can order food and you have a waiter. They just aren't called restaraunts* In fact, we went to a German bar because my host brother leaves for Germany tomorrow. After, we went home; and at this point, exhaustion was an understatement and I crashed!!
Today is Father's Day in Brazil, so my sister and brothers and I went to our grandparents house for lunch. *Another sidenote! Lunch is the big meal of the day here, and dinner is a light a'uorderve type of meal that you eat around eight.* I felt so welcomed the second I walked in the door! I was greeted with lots of hugs and kisses! The food was delicious and meeting some family was so fun! After lunch, my grandfather, who I might add is one of the sweetest people I have ever met, made a lovely toast. Luckily for me, my host brother's stepfather knows English and was able to translate some of it for me. I didn't get most of it on my own; but there was one word that stuck out that I actually knew. Agape. He talked about the love he has for his family and how lucky he is to be a father and a husband to his beautiful wife. He talked about how his love for his family is unconditional (Agape) and then turned to me and another American exchange student and said that we are forever apart of this family and will always have a place here. Hearing that made me explode with happiness inside. It was for sure the highlight of my day and something that I will remember for the rest of my life.
Lorencia, the other exchange student who has been here for about 11 months, told me that we would be going out at six to another German bar for my brother's going away party. That meant that we didn't leave until a little after seven. :) There, I was able to meet some of his friends and more friends of the family. Most of them even knew English, so I didn't sit in the corner all night! I found that some of them like the same music and movies as I do!
It was such a fun night and these past few days have been wonderful! Everyone from my host family and even complete strangers have been great! And the name of the city, Belo Horizonte has sure lived up to it's meaning. It means "beautiful horizon"; and there have been gorgeous sunsets. I try to take a moment a couple times a day and thank God for this amazing expericnce. It's almost two in the morning now, and I am still pretty exhausted from the trip, so until next time!