From Florida to Floripa

I have been in Floripa for one day and have already fallen in love with a isla da magia. Walking down the steps of the plane onto the tarmac we could already feel the difference from being back home. I heard someone near me say “I can breathe fuller.” The air is different, cleaner, smelling of the rain and ocean. Oh, and the food. The glorious FOOD. After two days of airplane food, my first true Brazilian meal was a godsend. 


But through the inspirational speakers of Global Launch, the amazing conversations I’ve had with my “fellow fellows” and program staff, and the beauty of my new home, I still have momentarily freak-outs about some of the struggles to come. These moments are characterized by fears like not being able to communicated in Portuguese, that my host family won’t like me, that I won’t be able to balance being present with talking to people back home in south Florida.


However, I refuse to stop being excited despite my anxieties. I may be terrified in some of the challenges ahead, but I also am entirely confident in my abilities to overcome them, and grow from my experiences.


– Julia Salomone