SKALB

Graham Markert - Brazil


September 9, 2019

 

 

 

1/9/19

 

 

Hey friends!  Welcome to the first official entry in my blog! 

 

 

I’m writing to you live on the plane from São Paolo to Floríanopolis, where I’ll live for the next eight months.  I’m also writing this just minutes after my first conversation in Portuguese!  Well, I’m not sure if it qualifies as a conversation so much as a lesson.  As I sat down next to a nice Brazilian woman, I said “bom dia!” (good day).  After exchanging the formalities (which already exhausted the little Portuguese I know), she asked “seu Brazileiro?” (are you Brazilian?).  Holy cats! I felt like I had won the World Cup—a local actually considered the possibility that this was my first language!  The euphoria was short lived though, as I was forced to resort to Spanish for the rest of the conversation.  I found that with repetition, I could generally get my point across, no matter how painful it sounded.  Understanding what they said back to me though, was a whole different beast.  Luckily, my fellow GCY Fellows Vivian, Aaron, and another kind Brazilian joined in.  After a few minutes of struggle, we managed to convey that we were volunteering in Florípa for the next 8 months.  I also added that we didn’t speak much Portuguese yet, although that probably went without saying.  I must’ve been so focused on connecting with my new friends that I didn’t realize I was sitting in the wrong seat.  Oops! I laughed it off and struck up another convo with my new neighbor.

 

Though insignificant, this is the first of many mistakes I will make this year.  That’s not a bad thing.  It’s just a given.  Instead of dwelling on them, I’ll accept that they’re inevitable and learn from them.  I realize that sounds really corny, but I’m Midwestern.  I like corn so deal with it.  Now that we’re on the subject, I might as well lay out the rest of my goals for the year (in no particular order).

 

 

1. Learn from mistakes.  

 

2. Stay curious.

 

3. Accept all invitations (within legal boundaries of course, Mom).

 

4. Keep healthy habits.

 

5. Become fluent in Portuguese.

 

 

LSAKB.  BLASK.  KLABS. SKALB. I’ll decide which acronym for my goals I like best later.  I’m not sure how often I want to blog yet, but stay tuned to my adventure nevertheless.

 

 

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Bom Dia! 

 

-Graham

 

 

Graham Markert