I moved in with my host family and they have been so welcoming it’s insane. I think I’ve been able to adapt really well this beginning because of a lot of things I’ve learned through my life. Every day my understanding skills skyrocket exponentially as I learn new words and see new things, while my speaking skills very slowly increases. I am very happy and overwhelmed. Sometimes I’ll literally just start crying out of nowhere, like today I had one of my first more substantial conversations with my host mom and grandmother and I just thought to myself, “holly shit I’m on an island in Brazil!”. That was truly the moment that it hit me. That I saw into my future of being here for the next eight months.
I really liked what Henry said about feeling “culture shock” at strange and small moments. Yesterday and today I have gone into downtown Florianopolis and it is truly one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever been to. I experienced so many new foods and people and sounds and smells and I just enjoyed the moment and didn’t think much about it. My culture shock moments have come when I’m playing FIFA with my host dad and the commentator in Portuguese throws me off. It might seem stupid but it was such a nice moment to be able to not really speak the language, but through this game, and more importantly the language of soccer, we can understand each other.
My host grandfather had depression, so sometimes he has good days, and sometimes he had bad ones. The first day I got here, him and I watched NINE different soccer games throughout seven different leagues, and my host mother told me that she hasn’t seen him this happy in a long time. That made me feel really good to have already made a difference in someones lives without even knowing. This also gets me hopeful for my apprenticeship because now I know that no matter what I’m doing I’ll be doing some good whether I know it or not. I hope all of you are doing well and in some strange way, I feel like I get closer to all of you with each week that passes even though I don’t see you guys.