First off let me start out by apologizing that it has been awhile since my last post, my computer broke and I had to wait three weeks while it was being fixed.
Time is really flying by, I can’t believe that I left home a month a half ago. It feels like ages ago that I said goodbye to my friends and family, but since arriving here time has gone by so fast. A lot has changed the past few weeks as well. I started out in Year 2, but I asked to change to Year 3, so I could meet more people and to be with people closer to my age, and I will also be with the people from Year 2 in February. I am also understanding a lot more in Portuguese, but speaking is another issue. I also have had a total of three dreams in Portuguese and the first time I did not understand anything, but the last two I was able to understand a lot, so hopefully I will be able to start speaking soon. Some times though, Portuguese sounds like Chinese to me and I just don’t understand anything. There was actually a day last week when I was in class and I look up to the board and I was very confused to why everything was not in English and then I realized that I wasn’t in America, that I was in Brazil, but at the moment I was very confused and had no idea what was going on.
Two weekends ago I had my orientation where I got to meet the other inbounds and the future outbounds were there too for their interviews. It was a lot of fun getting to meet everyone and getting to know them. We also got to learn about the trips that we can take, and my mom surprised me with being able to take all 3 of them! My best friend Julia, from Germany, is also going on all 3 and we are very excited about it! The first one is actually at the end of next month and goes into November.
Last weekend my second host family took me fishing! It was a lot of fun and I haven’t done it for years. It didn’t take long for me to pick it up because out of the 25 fish we caught I caught 16 of them! I also got to meet my host grandma, cousins, and aunt and I love them already. And they are taking me to the beach next month and I am very excited about it!
There’s actually one thing that I accidentally left out of my last post. When I was on the plane from São Paulo to Londrina, my plane just barely made it off the runway. I remember thinking that it was taking a long time to take off and when we finally did, I looked out the window and saw the end of the runway and then trees. To say the least I freaked out the whole way to Londrina. But I’m here and I’m safe so that’s all that really matters.
There is one thing that I have to get off my chest. EXCHANGE IS NOT EASY! Almost every time I talk with someone they will say that, but trust me it’s not. There’s nothing easy about leaving your friends and family, going to a new country with new people and customs, learning a new language, and going to school in a language that you don’t know and trying to make friends.But I did it because I wanted to, and regret is harder to deal with than anything that could happen on exchange. I will grow and become someone that I would not if I didn’t do this.
Julia and I have gotten very close these past few weeks, and it feels like we’ve known each other for years, but in reality its only been 5 weeks. We are planning on leaving on the same day so we can spend as much time as possible with each other, and we’re not looking forward to when we won’t live a car ride away anymore. I never realized how close you could actually get with someone in a very short amount of time. We have also helped each other out with all the difficulties we’ve had so far. I know that the two of us will be friends forever.
I want to take a moment to thank everyone who has made this exchange possible. To RYE Florida, Julia Babbitt, Rockledge Rotary Club, Monica Wanger, Regina Dutra, Rotary Club of Arapongas, and especially to my friends and family who have supported me throughout this journey and who continues to support me.