It´s been about a week since I arrived at my homestay in Eldorado, an MST community. For those Dwighties that are reading this, no, this is not the dreaded Math/Science/Technology program, but rather a program that sets up rural workers with land that is no longer used. This has caused problems in Brazil, as the people who say they own the land believe that they are being stolen from. Fortunately, this program is backed by the government officials in power, and therefore they are able to live their lives. For them, everyday is just work. You work to get your food, and if you don’t work that day, you simply aren’t eating. To me, this lifestyle is overwhelming, exhausting, and strange. From my first moments here, I was just taken aback.
We arrived at Eldorado on a hot Sunday, at around 2:00p, when it seems like it is hottest. We had met everyones’ mothers upfront, with my mom still not making an appearance. As we waited and waited at the house of Kelly, a teacher at the local school, I saw through the window a woman wearing a flannel, working pants, and a straw hat. She was carrying two jugs of water on her shoulders that she carried with ease, and a machete dangled by her side. I thought to myself something along the lines of “Wow, that lady is tough as nails”. Tony, our program manager, suddenly said “Ah, here’s your mother now, Cooper”. She came in, all smiles, and I offered to carry the water jugs, which once in my possesion felt like 500 pounds of metal. Everyday has been something different, and invovles more work than I ever imagined doing in my life. But this is why I feel that two weeks in, I made the right decision in coming here.