Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th from Brasil!

So much has happened since I wrote last week!  My weekend at Ilha Grande in Rio de Janeiro was perfect.  Since I returned, life has been filled with classes, coffee, the outdoors, and of course football.  Yesterday marked halfway through my time in Brasil, and today being the USA's Independence Day, I believe some reflection is in order.

Things I like and want to continue here:
- Being outdoors.  Days of rain make me value the sunshine and outdoor activities even more.
- My host family.  Riso and Livio are absolutely wonderful.  Riso teaches me about Portuguese and Brasilian culture all of the time without even knowing it, and Livio and I have a mutually beneficial friendship where he speaks in English and I respond in Portuguese.
- Florianopolis in general.  Out of all of the places I've visited in Brasil, I'm fully convinced that if/when I move to this country, I want to live in Floripa.

Things I wish I could do differently:
- Speak less English.  I have made some awesome friends through my study abroad program, but only 2 of them speak portuguese at a level where we can converse.  Plus, it seems all foreigners have a knack for finding each other, because I have met just about as many foreigners as Brasilians, if not more.
- Research.  I'm not quite sure what I was thinking before I got here, but I thought I would just be able to hop on board with an NGO and volunteer for them. Obviously, that's not really how things work, and I don't really know how to do research, but I am still doing my best to learn about the environment surrounding volunteer work here.

I am very thankful for my experiences thus far here, and as much as I don't want them to end, I'm excited to see what the next 5 weeks will bring.  I'm not going to lie and say I miss America, but I am proud to be an American and I always will be.  I am happy to represent my country abroad, and I can only hope I do a decent job of it.  Brasil has been very good to me, and now it's time to go cheer them on against Colombia.  Rumo ao hexa!!!

- Pictures to come soon on Facebook!

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