Monday, February 13, 2012

There is absolutely no way that this is possible...

...I have been here for six months!! Really, when I was told that my time here would fly by, little did I know that it would be flying by at the speed of light. When I think back to when I first arrived, the thought of a whole year away from my home and all that I was used to seemed like an eternity. But before I knew it, I started school, the holidays came and went, and most recently, I moved into my second (and I'm pretty sure last) host family. Of course there have been times in these last six months where days seemed to be passing by like molasses, and my emotions were on the world's biggest rollercoaster; but the thing is...I wouldn't trade any of it for the world. The amount of fun and exciting moments surpass the low moments by a longshot, and I can say whole heartedly that I feel like I am home here. :)

And now for a quick update as to what I have been doing the last week...

As I said, I changed families! My new family is so so nice and I definitely look forward to my next four months with them. The dad's name is Ruben, and the mom's name is Virginia; and they have two daughters, Anna and Isabella. And the funny thing is right before I moved I was feeling so nervous! To the point where my hands were a little shaky and I had an extreme case of butterflies in the stomach! Luciana could tell I was getting nervous, so she told me just to eat, that would solve it. But the thing is, I couldn't! I took a few bites of pão de queijo (one of my favorite foods here, that I could eat all day), but that was it! I found it funny because I have performed in front of hundreds of people and I didn't feel this nervous. Why I was feeling like this is still a mystery to me! But once I arrived in my new home, the nerves flew out the window and never returned. And it has been smooth sailing since. I have felt so welcomed here, and like I said, I happy to see what the next months with this family has in store.

Also,this past week, I started college classes here! I am only listening in on the classes, and they don't count for anything, but so far that hasn't stopped the professor from making me an active student. On the first day of my sociology class, everyone got into a big circle to discuss a reading. All the while, I was praying that I wouldn't be called on to give my opinion. But wouldn't you know that God didn't answer this prayer as quickly as I hoped and I had to talk in front of the whole class about what I think makes me, me. And bam! It felt as if someone had literally just taken an eraser and erased all the Portuguese from my mind. I was blank! But I stumbled through it with some pretty weak Portuguese and just shook my head with embarassment; because I really can speak Portuguese, just at that moment I couldn't. And then the whole class clapped for me which made me turn even more red. I definitely think that I got my daily dose of humility that day. But oh well, what can ya do? :) I think it will be a very fun and interesting class though.

And this past weekend, I was supposed to go to another city to meet up with the inbound and outbound exchange students; however it was cancelled at the last minute and rescheduled for a weekend in March. And that my friends, is quite typical for Rotary in Brazil. :) But it actually was ok because I ended up going to a music festival on Saturday with some friends from my old school. It was called "Sensacional" and featured various types of good music from Brazilian bands and even a gypsy band from Holland. The following day, in the same place there was a well-known Brazilian band playing; so my host sister, Anna, and I went to that. Both of these concerts were pre-Carnival events; just things to get the city ready for Carnival, which is next week. :) Carnival, by the way, is pretty much a week long party the week before the Lent season begins. Many people travel to another city for Carnival, so we'll where I end up celebrating.

So, I found out that I am leaving Brazil on June 20th and will be arriving back in the states on the 21st. When I first found out, it didn't really hit me that I would be leaving (and I guess it won't really hit me until I'm on the plane). But that means that I've got 4 months and 7 days left here in this wonderful country; and I've got a pretty good feeling that they are going to go by even faster than the first 6 months. Nonetheless, I will savor each and every moment I have here. I am so excited for my adventures to come, which may or may not include the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro and the Amazon. Stay tuned to find out! ;)

Thank you to everyone who has kept up with me in these last 6 months! You're love and support really means so much to me! And until next time friends!

Sending all my love from Brazil,


Friday, February 3, 2012

British philosopher Alan Watts once said...

"The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance."

So with that said, guess who is moving families today? To be honest it's a strange feeling knowing that I'm moving. It has created a mixture of sadness, nervousness, and excitement. I am sad to be leaving an awesome family that I was so fortunate to stay with for the past five and a half months; and the nerves are starting to kick in now as I finish up packing. (Also, guess who will be coming home with another full suitcase in 5 months? I really thought that my two suitcases and backpack would be enough...psh...looks like I was wrong.)

Anyway, to Helio, Luciana, Teresa, Hudson, and the rest of the family...

OBRIGADA!!!!! Honestamente, não sei como agradecer por tudo. Vocês me fizeram sentir muito bem-vindos e em casa. Vou sentir muitas saudades de vocês!! Oh, e uma mais coisa...vê-lo em Washington para a Copa do Mundo de 2014! :)

So although I will miss this family, I very much look forward to the future with my next. My new family seems so so nice and ready to welcome me with open arms. Really, I don't know how I got so lucky with host-families.

Sorry for the very quick update, but I promise a more detailed one is to come soon! For now, I need to get back to packing so I can actually move!

Abraços e beijos
(Hugs and kisses)