by Alina Yaccino, CCI Greenheart Travel High School Exchange student in Brazil
Today was my first week anniversary, as we sat around the table at lunch both my 2nd parents said “sobrevivo!” (you survived!) They asked me if I will give up and go back, or continue on. My answer is not only obvious because my stay is already paid for , but because I have found and have easily adapted to a place and family that has shown a lot of care for me already.
I must admit that my Portuguese vocabulary is not the best yet, but its only been a week, and in this week, I’ve learned a lot more than I thought I would, accompanied by lots of laughs and strange sounds as I try to learn their pronunciation to every word that I am used to pronouncing differently in Spanish. I am slowly losing my fear in making a fool out of myself trying to speak the language and have found a lot of support in my family and new friends at school.
Being out of school for four years and going back wasn’t easy, it was a little nerve-wracking, but funny at the same time. The sight of my school was comforting, it was very green and big, with lots of space to play in. The sight of my schedule was even better, we have 3 intervalo’s; which are 10 minute breaks between each two classes. My teachers welcomed me with smiles, jokes that I’m not sure I understood and a bad English accent while trying to say “hello, how are you”. The students all think I’m “legal” (cool) and show me around the school as if I was the new school’s pet, its great!
I’m getting used to waking up at 6 and coming back at 2, both my sister and I are starving by the time we get home, but are received with a lovely home made Brazilian meal made by one of the top 5 cooks I know, that is in love with the apron I bought her. (my 2nd mom)
This weekend I went to their “sitio” a little house up in the mountains, surrounded by nature and the lovely smell of river water and/or cow manure. We spent some good quality time together, I got to see their garden from which we eat of almost every day, their chicken coop, their cows. They’ve owned that property for over 10 years and have already told me that in the next couple of years that I come to visit it will be very different. For me the place needs no modification, but my opinion doesn’t matter, what matters most in that sentence is the fact that they’re already inviting me back.