Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Annnnnd, That's All, Folks!

You know that strange feeling when you think back on your life and wonder, wow, where did the time go...that feels like it was just yesterday? That is my exchange year, times about a thousand. I remember sitting at the desk in the Arts Guild Shop updating my blog for the first time about leaving for Brazil in one month. Now, I am updating it four days before I am on a plane back to the United States. The intensity of this "strange feeling" as mentioned above cannot be put in words. The only thing I can think to say right now is, "WHAT. THE. HELL." (excuse the language...).

I am confident that any exchange student you talk to in the coming weeks as we return home, their reaction will be about the same. It's kind of in a state of shock that we return home now. I am currently avoiding packing my bags in fear that the reality of my return date will finally hit me--because up to now, it's not real. It's just that day that will "get here...at some point", but not now. Not now.

To say that I am not excited to go home is false. I am looking forward greatly to seeing my family, friends, dear pets...sleeping in my own bed, going for Arb runs, etc. However, saying goodbye to the people I love here, not knowing when I may see them next, will be harder than saying goodbye to my family in the airport in Minneapolis.

I have changed. There is no denying it. However, the extent to which I have changed will not reveal itself until I arrive back home. I am a little worried to see what happens with that. I am worried I may not find pleasure in the same things I did before...that I won't just be satisfied getting Indian food and renting a movie from Red Box.

This year has meant a lot to me. I have learned so much about myself, and about my place in the WORLD....not just Northfield High School, or Northfield. Now, it is the world. I am empowered and ready for my next adventure. The only question remains...where will it take me?

I just wanted to thank everyone who helped make this year a success: my Rotary Club both in Brazil, and the United States, my families, in Brazil and the United States, my friends, and the other exchange students. Without all of you, none of this would have been possible. I wouldn't be sitting on my bed nearly in tears with the thought of packing up my Brazilian life. OBRIGADA!!!!!!!

Beijos do Brasil....para sempre <3

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The "I Love My Life" Post

In all honesty, this could very possibly be my last blog entry before I return home in June...I'm done making promises I can't keep in terms of updating regularly. I apologize for being such a horrible blogger...and for my writing. My English grammar has gone down the drain entirely....

So, here's my life as I know at at this point in time:

I am studying at the local university in my city--UNIFEMM, in the course of "Direito," or Law. It has been a really great experience so far, and a much welcomed change from my previous school where I spent most of my time playing games on my iPod and nodding off in day dreams. Now that I am understanding and speaking Portuguese proficiently I can participate in class more. I am studying things such as philosophy, sociology, political science, Portuguese literature, history of Law, and Constitutional Law. I quite enjoy it! Plus, the other students are my age, which makes it easier to make friends.

I have about three months left of exchange. My return date is set, which means it's now real. I really am going back. I will not get into all the feelings I have about this--the strongest being mixtures of sadness, excitement, and a little bit of fear, to be honest. I don't know if I am ready to get back to reality. Brazil has become my reality--My life, my home. I love my family here, I love my friends. I love the food, I love the warmth, I love the sun, I love the stray dogs on the streets, I love catching buses across the city, I love the flowers. I love my afternoon naps, I love doing Pilates with my mom, I love Galo, I love Cruzeiro, and I love fighting about the two teams. I love the smell of churrascos, I love the fresh fruit juices every day, I love Pao de Queijo, I love the "abracos e beijos", and the "jeito brasileiro". And more than everything, I love being happy. Because that is my reality at this point in time--I am happy. Really happy. I don't have the same stresses here as I did in the United States, and the ones I do have are small and I have learned how to manage it better than ever. I find joy in the littlest of things here, and can hold onto that feeling for hours.

Brazil is joy. Brazil is happiness. Brazil is love....That pretty much sums up my feelings at this point. Obviously, not everything is as shiny as this all the time. But, honestly, life has been pretty good to me here. It's hard to dwell too long on the crappy things when you are surrounded by all this good.

Until next time, gente (which may in fact be in June...), BEIJOS DO BRASIL!