Did you learn Portuguese?
This is suprisingly the most common question that I've gotten since I got back. My favorite answer is that I couldn't write a dissertation in Portuguese but I can have a conversation. I'm super proud of how much of the language I have picked up, but I also want to keep studying. So much of what I learned is based on experience. Like with English, I have learbed a lot of words but there are still words, like medical words that I wouldn't know because I haven't had contact with them. With portuguese there's a lot more words that I haven't had contact with, which means that I want to study and expose myself to the language more.
How was it?
It was awesome! I had the experience of the lifetime, met great people and also lived ten minutes walking distance from the ocean. This, however, is still a really hard question to answer when I hear it because overall the experience was amazing, but there were so many moments that were less than. I wasn't always happy, sometimes I was angry, sad, bored or even just felt normal. I had an entire life in Brazil and that came with a lot of normal human emotions, so it's hard to give just one answer to "how was it?". So looking back the experience was amazing but also complex.
Do you think you've changed?
I do, but I don't know if I've changed a lot, or in the way that I expected to. I think that I look at my life a lot differently now, because I've seen so much more than just my own narrow scope and I also think that I'm more confident. However, there are a lot of ways that I still act the same. So the answer is that yes, I've changed but I'm still identifably me.