Above is my Global Citizen Year capstone video where I show a little piece of my long, but too short, experience abroad in Florianopolis. My video-making skills obviously need some work, but when I think back on my 8 months in Brazil I will now have a little video that captivates a small component of my journey with some great memories–which is something I believe will be extremely important to me later on in the future.
Now that I have completed this small video project, I can now say I have successfully completed Global Citizen Year. And what those words are truly worth, I yet have an idea. However, I do know that I am no longer in Brasil. I am no longer tightly knit with my country cohort. We have parted our separate ways, as I have with my Brazilian alter ego. As I reflected while creating my final project video, I thought about why we love the things, the places, the people that we do. I have been out of the Brazilian country for almost two months now, but honestly a day has yet to pass without the thought of açaí, the Brazilian sun, Carnaval, the Portuguese chatters that roamed the streets, walking the Lagoa boardwalk, and complaining about the most trivial problems to other fellows. I think that we love the things that we do because those things give us a sense of our true selves. Brazil gave me many things, so many that I somewhat feel as if I robbed Brazil. The country had much to offer, and although I do not wish to part ways with my bridge year experience, I have realized that the time for me to come to terms with my Global Citizen Year and say my goodbyes has arrived. I could never forget my journey I had throughout my bridge year, but I cannot move forward constantly troubled by the fact that I’m no longer in Brasil. If I get so hung up on where I would rather be, I lose sight and forget to make the most of where I currently am. This special farewell is certainly not a I will never see you again but rather I WILL see you again and I cannot wait until that day but for now I have to move on.
Lastly, I’d like to give a huge thank you to everyone who was a part of this journey! These are a few gratitudes I’d like to shine a light on:
Tufts University- Thanks for giving me the opportunity to travel abroad for the first time! I have gained so much insight from my experience in the 1+4 program! Thanks to my peer leaders and other Tufts alumni for helping me out throughout my year and Jessye for being the mom and helping all the kids out when we needed the guidance!
Duke- Thanks for waitlisting me because although I tried harder than hell to get into your school, that failure turned into a big opportunity for me to experience something extremely awesome in another country.
Global Citizen Year- I respect the amount of effort all the GCY Staff shows for all the fellows and I want to thank the entire program for the initiative they are showing to make a difference in the lives of young students.
Elise Steenburgh- I spent more time with you than I did with probably anyone else in Brazil, and although sometimes we disagreed, I appreciate your friendship and my world view has changed due to your strange color-thinking.
Lexi Strike- My love for you goes well beyond a few sentences. I loved complaining with you about stupid stuff and I think your honesty struck me the most because it made me feel super comfortable around you.
Chrislaine Souza- Você é uma pessoa muito real. Eu sei que tivemos problemas e eu gostaria que eles pudessem conserta-los, mas eu ainda quero te agradecer por me ensinar sobre críticas e como ser melhor com isso e crescer com meus fracassos.
Yuri Parkinson- Obrigado pela sua ajuda com tudo. Você é um cara pensativo e eu espero que você leve isso com você para as futuras cohorts.
Dominique Landinez- You’re my favorite because you notice things that I never did and made me realize/check myself in many times during my time in Brazil. You were always available for me to share anything with you and I thank you for everything you did for me. It mattered more than you understand. Cannot wait for college!
Leo Ruiz Sanchez- Thanks for always going out with me and it was super cool having you in the cohort with me. You were a person I could easily relate to in almost all situations and I appreciate that.
Savion Sample- You are a strange guy who can make me super confused, angry, and laugh all with the same stupid joke or come back. You were a fun light in the fellow cohort and I am jealous of your musical talent.
R3 Animal Crew- Shoutout to everyone at R3 Animal for making my apprenticeship a fun experience and all my coworkers for dealing with me always missing work. It was truly an unforgettable time that I will always remember with all the crazy obnoxious animals that I grew to really like.
Leo Salvatore- If there was one person in the cohort that I looked up to, it would probably be you. You were someone who was so carefree about so many things and were so flexible to situations. We did not get to spend a ton of time together, but I enjoyed the short time that we did.
Eliane Butin- Obrigado por tudo e especialmente pelas palestras tarde da noite que eu aprendi. Você me ensinou a nunca olhar para trás e que é importante não pensar em preto em branco.
Mom and Dad- It’s crazy that you even let me go to a foreign country on my own and I really appreciate your sacrifice for always allowing me to pursue my wishes and what makes me happy.
I wish I could personally thank everyone, but I would need weeks to do so. Everyone who was apart of Global Citizen Year influenced me in some way and I cannot explain the impact this experience has had on me. I am still unraveling the lessons that those jam-packed eight months had on me, and will most likely continue to do this for quite some time. But until then, I intend to focus on the present and try my best to use my Brasil bridge year experience as a model for how I intend to make more wonderful memories for my future self.