I’m officially on my last week here in Brazil! A lot has happened this semester and it feels like over a year since I departed from the United States. I’m definitely ready to go home at this point, but I’ll definitely miss all of the folks I’ve met here.
What are 5 things you’ve learned, Ryan?
5. How to speak Portuguese (kinda, sorta, not really) fluently. I still usually need to ask people to repeat, but I can understand the news so that counts for something.
4. How to utilize the Brazilian bus system. I am officially a master of hopping buses now. It’s true. “What?! Hooooow do we get to Ouro Preto?! Irrelevant. Let’s hop on a bus to the next city and it’ll piece together. No sweat, tiger!”
3. How to not awkwardly greet females with a kiss on the side of the face. (Though, apparently I can’t word it without sounding awkward…)
2. How to make Capirinhas and some Brazilian foods! I’m bringing a bottle of Cachaca back home to celebrate a relaxed night with my roommates.
1. How to not be afraid of what others think of me, seriously. Learning a language means looking like a ‘idiot-dumb-face’ in front of every new person you meet. Your abilities as a human being drop to that of a 6-year old. Any hope of you have of coming off as a refined, intelligent individual disappears when you desperately piece together, “I need to go to the bathroom.” Brazilians have been more than accommodating to me and very respectful, but it is a humbling experience nonetheless. Learning this better just feels so…liberating! It’s great! I’m still not perfect at it, but study abroad is a huge confidence booster in life. I feel…fear.less.
What are 5 things you’ll miss?
5. Rainy days and pretty sunsets. I’m all about the rain on chilly days and most evenings here in Pirassununga you can see a wonderful sunset too.
4. The slower paced lifestyle. Admittedly, I still haven’t gotten used to this but it is growing on me. Deadlines are soft and expectations are generally lighter. It’s completely acceptable to arrive somewhere an hour late (in fact, in many situations it’s expected).
3. Churrascos. We have barbecues in the United States all the time, but the food isn’t usually quite as flavorful.
2. Salgados. Or, meat/cheese filled pastries. There are a bunch of salgado shops in Pirassununga and they’re perfect for a midday snack. They’re quicker and cheaper than McDonalds and other fast food restaurants. Surrrrre, there is the occasional moment when you realize your food was probably sitting out for 8 hours and the calabresa inside is luke warm, but that’s all part of the experience.
1. The people! Specific people. You guys are all super. Maybe we will meet again in the future! Maybe… 😦
Sooo….what are 5 things you won’t miss? 😀
5. Waking up to our dogs barking every single morning. Half the time I’m not even sure why, they just want to rebel against something, I guess. Reckless youths.
4. Hot, humid days in December. It’s personal preference. I’m a cool, cloudy weather kind of guy. If there’s rain even better. After a few months it gets a little “eeggghhh…” waking up to a blazing sun most mornings.
3. Rice and beans everyday. I miss my peanut butter sandwiches.
2. Washing my clothes by hand. I don’t know how people did it for a majority of human history.
1. Overcoming the language barrier. This detail was absolutely critical to making this experience as great as it was. Learning and speaking a new language everyday is something I’m glad I’ve gotten to do. But some days it can get pretty darn frustrating. And it definitely has a hindering effect on every little action. Suddenly it becomes much harder to perform simple tasks like asking for directions or to telling someone the bus is running late. I’m already a very introverted person so socializing can be pretty mentally taxing to me, and to add the language barrier drains my social battery that much faster.
(But don’t worry. This part of the list is for giggles, not criticisms. Brazil is good!)
Well…you can expect this to be my last post on this blog. I’m going home in 5 days! I feel very blessed to have had this experience.
Brazil, you have been too kind to me.
Until next time, I’ll see you all later!